While there are many options when it comes to GRE books, you need to know which is the right book for your GRE prep. Not only should you get all the information required to successfully clear the exam, but it should also be available in an easy-to-understand format. The combination of these two elements will make your preparation more effective. Through this article, we will tell you how to choose the best GRE books for your exam preparation.
How Do You Choose the Right GRE Books?
Since there is a lot of self-study involved while preparing for the GRE, you need a GRE prep book that matches your learning style. Here are some factors you need to consider:
Quality of Information
- The best book to prepare for GRE will have in-depth information covering all the topics for the exam.
- There are two parts to the GRE exam, the GRE General Tests and the GRE Subject Test. While a single prep book covering all the relevant topics is likely to be available for General Test aspirants, for the Subject Tests you will have to opt for a book relating specifically to that area of study.
- GRE preparation books that cover the Verbal and Quant sections of the exam only, are available as well, and these might be good for those needing to brush up on basic concepts. These two sections form your final composite GRE score, and hence are usually considered the most important.
- That said, you will definitely find books dedicated solely to Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning as well.
- The best GRE prep book should include detailed content relating to modifiers, parallelism, and subject-verb agreement for Verbal Reasoning.
- The Reading Comprehension subsection should cover three subjects – Social Science (business), Natural Science, and Humanities.
- The Quantitative Reasoning section should cover topics like types of integers (arithmetic), lines and angles (for Geometry), descriptive statistics like percentiles (data analysis), exponents (Algebra), and more.
The book should be concise and must give you the information needed for the GRE. Remember that the book with the most number of pages isn’t always the best; you need one that simplifies the concepts, making them easy to understand, or one that suits your learning style.
Standard of Practice Questions
Apart from quality content, you need sufficient practice questions in all areas of the GRE to get through. Whether it is quantitative reasoning concepts like linear equations or verbal reasoning topics like idioms and idiomatic expressions, or analytical writing topics that ask you to analyze an argument. The only way to get better grades is through adequate practice.
The questions should be modelled on the actual GRE test and be of the same difficulty level. These questions help you analyze your areas of weakness and help you decide what you need to work on.
Level of Detail in Explanations
The best books for GRE preparation should provide explanations for the answers they provide. The more detailed the answers, the better the chances you have of mastering the concepts. You could have the best test-level questions in the books, but if the answers are very brief, you won’t learn much.
Longer answers that provide clear explanations are important. Better still, the reason why an answer is incorrect should also be clearly stated so that there is no confusion.
Sufficient Practice Tests
After you read the content and solve the practice questions, your concepts would be clearer. But to sit for a GRE, you need practice tests. The total time you get for the GRE is 3 hours and 45 minutes. A practice test allows you to check how fast and accurately you can complete this exam. Moreover, giving you the feel of the actual exam.
What are the Top Prep Books for the GRE?
Here are some of the best GRE exam preparation books available in the market right now. You can order these books from an e-commerce platform like Amazon, or you might even find it at your local bookstore:
- 5 LB. Book of GRE Practice Problems
The 5 LB.Book of GRE Practice Problems makes it to the top list with more than 1800 questions to ensure that you get sufficient exam-level practice. If you are looking for the best content, problems, and practice test questions in math, this book is one of the best books for GRE preparation.
You get enough practice problems in weighted averages, combinations, and standard deviation that are not found in most GRE books, and there is a separate section for these. The explanations to all answers are provided in a clear and detailed manner. The book does not, however, divide the questions according to difficulty levels. So you might be solving a set of easy questions and suddenly find a very tough one.
- Official GRE Super Power Pack
You get the Official Guide to the GRE General Test, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning with this pack. What makes this the best book for GRE preparation is that it contains tips for answering questions and strategies for exam preparation. There are four GRE-level practice tests along with enough questions to improve your GRE preparation.
The answers are well-explained so that your learning is more comprehensive. There are graded sample essay responses to help improve your writing. You also have access to their online resource, GRE POWERPREP.
Choosing the right GRE books is vital for passing the GRE. The books discussed in this article will help you understand the different sections of the exam. Moreover, you can also enroll with CareerLabs and get access to some of the GRE best books and study material.
- Can I prepare for the GRE only through GRE preparation books?
Yes, it is possible to prepare for the GRE only through test books as long as you have all the right books and have created a schedule for your study and stick to it with dedication. Studying for the GRE is mostly self-study, so all you need is the right resources and discipline.
- Can I take an offline practice test and still create an exam environment?
Absolutely! As long as you are able to sit in a quiet environment uninterrupted and stick to the time durations actually provided in the GRE exam, there should be no issue at all with taking an offline practice test in the run up to your actual GRE.
- How can I choose the best GRE prep book for me?
The book you choose should cover all the subject matter of your chosen exam, help you revise concepts of each section of the GRE exam, have sufficient practice questions, and mock tests. Just because a book is thick or looks reputable does not mean it is the right book for you.