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Best GRE Books

Updated April 2018
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best GRE Books

    Last Updated April 2018

    The GRE General Test is a requirement for admission to nearly every graduate program in the country.

    Taking a standardized test can be a very stressful experience, so preparation is key if you want to ace the GRE and get into your dream program. Fortunately, there are many GRE books on the market to help prepare you for the exam but if you want to study as effectively as possible, it all comes down to finding the right one.

    The sheer number of options on the market makes choosing a GRE book pretty difficult, though.

    To find the right option for your studies, you need to consider factors like the book’s layout, the quality and quantity of its practice questions, and how many practice tests it includes, to ensure that it complements your studying style.

    When it comes to studying for the GRE, it’s best to start as early as possible. You may not have studied some topics that are covered by the exam during your college career, so you may have quite a bit to brush up on.

    At BestReviews, we don’t accept products from manufacturers, so you can trust that our recommendations are completely unbiased.

    We conducted field and expert research to get a better feel for the top GRE books on the market. Our hard work allows us to pass along all the info you need to make the best choice for your studying needs.

    If you’re ready to buy a GRE book, take a look at the matrix above for our top recommendations.

    For general tips on choosing a GRE book, continue reading our shopping guide.

    Who needs to take the gre general test?

    The GRE General Test is usually taken by individuals who’ve completed an undergraduate degree and are considering graduate school or business school.

    In fact, thousands of graduate and business schools around the world accept the GRE General Test for admission; it’s the most common admissions test for those types of graduate programs.

    If you’re applying to law school or medical school, however, you’ll need to take other specialized admissions tests. The LSAT is for law school admission, while the MCAT is the admissions test for medical school.

    Time management is one of the most important skills to master during your studying. You only have 3 hours and 45 minutes to take the GRE.


    Understanding the test

    The GRE General Test is a computer-based test offered throughout the U.S. and in most other countries. It features three main sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

    The test typically begins with a one-hour Analytical Writing section, followed by two sections of Verbal Reasoning with 20 questions. Each section must be completed in 30 minutes.

    The test ends with two Quantitative Reasoning sections. These sections contain 20 questions each and must be completed in 35 minutes.


    The GRE evaluates the skills required for graduate study, such as analytical writing, critical thinking, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

    Benefits of using a gre book

    • GRE prep books offer specific testing strategies based on the contents of previous tests, which can help give you an edge.

    • With plenty of realistic practice questions, you’ll learn how to effectively analyze the answers to help narrow your options.

    • By familiarizing you with the layout and types of questions that the exam offers, a book can help instill confidence when it comes time to actually take the test.

    • A GRE prep book can help you learn to manage time effectively during the exam.

    Make a list of all the graduate programs that you’re considering, and compare your GRE practice score against the average score of the students they accept.


    What should i look for in a gre book?

    Practice tests

    Every GRE prep book should contain practice tests to help you evaluate your progress.

    Choose a book that contains at least two tests. This allows you to test yourself early in your studies, then again at the end.

    For the best results, choose a book with four or more practice exams, which provides more opportunities to simulate taking the exam.

    Everything Needed for Prep

    With three different study guides, the GRE Super Power Pack offers all the information you need to master the GRE. It includes four authentic GRE exams, including two online versions, as well as 600 real practice questions with detailed answer explanations. You even get tips from the test maker for answering each type of question.


    A GRE book’s layout can be very important in determining how useful it for studying. It’s best to choose a book — or set of books — that breaks down the exam by section, so you get an in-depth look at the Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning parts of the test.

    In addition to explaining each section and how it’s graded, a prep book should ideally have a section devoted to questions solely for each part of the exam. That allows you to concentrate on that section and the types of questions that give you the most trouble.

    Some books may go even further in breaking down the exam by providing chapters devoted to particular concepts that are important for each section of the GRE test.

    Finally, the book should have a section thats contain practice tests to help you evaluate your progress as you study.

    By preparing you for the layout and types of the question that the exam offers, a GRE book can help instill confidence for when you take the actual test.


    Test-taking strategies

    In addition to understanding the specific concepts that the GRE covers, it’s also important to develop effective test-taking strategies for the exam to boost your chance for success.

    Look for a book that helps develop strategies such as proper time management, when to skip over questions, and how to prevent easily avoidable mistakes during the test.


    The GRE General Test is offered at approximately 700 test centers in over 160 countries.

    Quality and quantity of questions

    All GRE books provide sample questions for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the exam. However, it’s important to consider how many sample questions a book offers and how much they resemble the questions you’ll find on the actual exam.

    It’s also important for the book to provide detailed explanations of the answers so you can be sure that you understand the concepts behind them and avoid mistakes in the future.

    Some books offer as few as 600 practice questions, while others offer up to 2,200. Be sure to choose a book that caters to your preparation level. The practice questions should be based on actual GRE exams so you can be certain that you know what to expect on the exam.

    The score range for the GRE is 130 to 170. The average score for those who take the exam is 150.8.


    How much should i pay for a gre book?

    GRE books vary in price based on whether you’re purchasing a single book or a set of study guides. You can typically expect to pay between $15 and $80.

    For a single GRE book that covers all sections of the exam in one volume, you’ll usually pay between $15 and $30.

    For a GRE book set that features an individual volume for each section of the test, expect to pay between $45 and $60.

    For a GRE book set that features individual study guides for the various math and verbal concepts on the test, you’ll usually pay between $60 and $80.

    Personalized and Mobile

    The Kaplan GRE Prep Plus 2018 is ideal for anyone who wants to study on the go. It features two full-length online practice exams, as well as a full-length written exam for easy review. With over 2,200 practice questions, you’ll get detailed explanations of the correct answers to help familiarize you with the necessary concepts to ace the test. The book even allows you to create a personalized study plan through the performance summaries you receive after each test.

    Tips and tricks

    • Don’t wait until the morning of the exam to get all the things you’ll need to bring with you ready. Pack your ID, any necessary paperwork, snacks, and other items the night before.

    • Cramming doesn’t work very well for the GRE, so avoid studying the night before you take it. Try to relax instead by watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a good book.

    • A healthy meal can help boost your concentration for the test. Stick to fruit, veggies, and some protein rather than a high fat meal.

    • It’s best to get to the exam center early so you can check in easily. Arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled time.

    • When you take the GRE test, dress in layers. If you get too warm, you can easily take off a layer to make yourself more comfortable.

    • Avoid comparing yourself to other students during the exam. You don’t have to work at the same pace as others.

    • All questions have the same value, so pass over those you can’t answer right away and return to them later.

    • All questions on the GRE test have the same value, so pass over those you can’t answer right away and return to them later.

    Thousands of graduate and business schools around the world accept the GRE General Test for admission, making it the most common admissions test for those types of graduate programs.


    Q. What type of GRE book works best if you prefer to cram?

    A. If you like to get all of your studying done in a short amount of time, look for a single book that address all of the GRE’s sections in one volume. It should also offer test-taking strategies that can help you understand general patterns that occur on the exam.

    Q. What type of GRE book works best if you prefer to study in advance?

    A. If you prefer spreading out your studying over weeks or months, look for a set of GRE books with a volume that focuses on each section or concept covered by the exam. They’ll provide the best opportunity to learn the subject test content inside and out in a slow, methodical manner.

    Q. What’s the best way to use the sample tests in a GRE book?

    A. Take one of the practice tests before you even begin studying. It will give you a good idea of which areas you need to focus on while you’re studying. You should take the other sample exams at regular intervals during your studying, so you can see how you’re progressing. Be sure to take the tests in a realistic manner — time them so they feel like a real exam.

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