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ETS Practice Tests: Powerprep II and the Official Guide Book and CD

Update 8/29/12: The post is now updated to account for the new materials released in July/August 2012 :)

You may have heard that there is no better way to practice for the GRE than by taking a mock exam, especially one written by ETS.

The extent to which this is true depends on how you use the exam. Taking a test once, figuring out your score, and then hoping that your brain will avoid the same kinds of mistakes on the test is wishful thinking. Following the steps below will help you get the most out of a practice test.

 

The tests

ETS (the best source for the most accurate practice material) offers a few resources. There are two separate sets of material:

Set 1 (released in 2010/2011 for the revised GRE):

  • PDF1: One free PDF practice test: here.
  • OG1: The Official Guide book for the Revised GRE (1st edition):  practice questions and exam overviews as well as 1 full-length practice test. Free video explanations here.
  • CD1: A CD that comes with the book above
  • PP1: Powerprep II, Version 1.0 (Practice Test 1)

Set 2 (released in July/August 2012):

The tests written by ETS are the best in terms of preparation. ETS creates the GRE you will see on test day, so it provides the best indicator of your score test day. However, some of the material on these tests overlap. Here’s a quick guide to keep track:

Overlap between Set 1 and Set 2:

  • There is no overlap between PDF1 and PDF2
  • The practice questions, exam overviews, and the first practice test in OG1 and OG2 are exactly the same. The only difference between these two books is the extra practice test at the end of OG2
  • CD1 and CD2 have one test in common. CD1 has only one test. CD2 has two tests—the old one and a new one. There is no overlap between those two tests.
  • The software of PP2 is simply an updated version of PP1, so Practice Test 1 will be the same regardless of when you downloaded it, but if you’d like to get the new Practice Test 2 as well, you should update your Powerprep software to PP2.

Overlap within Set 1:

  • PP1 and CD1 are identical, with 100% of the same material.
  • The material on PDF1 is a subset of the material found on both PP1 Practice Test 1 and CD1. That means you will see all of the questions on the PDF in Powerprep/CD material, but you won’t see all of the Powerprep/CD material on the PDFs.
  • Completely separate is the one practice test at the end of OG1, which does not have any overlap with any other material.

Overlap within Set 2 (basically, a very similar breakdown to Set 1):

  • PP2 and CD2 are identical, with 100% of the same material.
  • The material on PDF2 is a subset of the material found on both PP2 Practice Test 2 and CD2. That means you will see all of the questions on the PDF2 in Powerprep/CD material, but you won’t see all of the Powerprep/CD material on the PDFs.
  • Completely separate are the two practice tests at the end of OG2, which does not have any overlap with any other material.

Confusing, right? It’s best to do as much practice as possible, so you shouldn’t worry about overlapping material too much. However, you should keep the above distinctions in mind because if you see a question that you’ve seen previously, you may get the correct answer not because you knew how to do it, but because your brain may just have remembered the answer from last time!

 

Mark the questions you get wrong

This process unfortunately is not at all straightforward – but it will help immensely. Because the GRE offers the PowerPrep exam for free, it has no incentive to drop snazzy functionality in there. And boy are they Spartan when it comes to that. You basically see the question, and after answering all the questions, your score. You cannot go back to see which ones you’ve missed. However, there is a way to see the correct answers. The PowerPrep 2.0 test #2 corresponds to the paper-based test, so you can see the very same questions, along with the answers, afterwards (a few questions from PowerPrep do not overlap with the paper-based test). Doing this allows you to see which ones you missed. While not a perfect means–you may have forgotten which answer you put in some cases–you should be able to catch the few that you missed.

 

Figure out the question on your own

Looking at an explanation can be harmful in a few ways. First off, many explanations seem more confusing than the actual question. Secondly, by relying on an explanation, you do not force yourself to really think through a question.

There are no explanations given with any of the tests. Again, this will force you to really think through a problem. Of course the reality is you will sometimes be stumped. If that happens…

 

Watch my free video explanations

If you can’t figure out a problem after trying to work it out on your own, check out my video explanations to all of the officially released practice material here

 

Find questions similar to Powerprep II and the Official Guide

Practice tests allow you to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your weaknesses by finding practice problems that test the concept with which you are struggling. Manhattan GRE and Magoosh are both great resources.

 

Take the tests multiple times

The PDF file is static so you the questions will not change. The Powerprep II test, however, differs slightly so that you will see a few new questions when you retake the test. Either way, if you space out enough time between tests, you shouldn’t remember too many questions. While the score will not be valid (it will probably be slightly inflated), taking an ETS test under timed conditions is the best way to prepare for test day.

Be sure to review questions, both mistakes and lucky guesses, the way enumerated above.

 

Other tests

No mock test is the same as that provided by ETS. Still, it is important to remember that some are better than others. Manhattan GRE provides six practice tests, all of which have challenging content. Magoosh also allows you to create your own mock tests.

Kaplan tests, judging from their book content, are a poor approximation of the real test. Princeton Review also contains questions that are suspect, too easy, or both. And those tests you find on-line…well, let’s put it this way. I ventured to a site that offered mock “GRE tests.” In the math section, almost every other question was a permutation/combination problem. On the actual test you only get one such question.

Anyhow, hope that helps demystify and simplify what’s out there regarding practice tests!

 

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

80 Responses to ETS Practice Tests: Powerprep II and the Official Guide Book and CD

  1. Garry September 4, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    I have taken the two test included with the CD (powerprep II) and have come away confused. On the 1st test my verbal score was 10 points lower then on the second test and my quantitative was 8 points lower on the second test. Has anyone noticed a difference in scores between the 1st and second test?

    Naturally, I would like to keep both scores on the higher end. Is it simply a luck of the draw on what ?’s I get asked?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 4, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Garry,

      Yeah, it is luck of the draw to some extent (vocab words, math concepts you’re good at). Your mental state can also account for that discrepancy. Taking the test at night vs. the morning, for example, can have a major difference. My advice: figure out your weaknesses, and work at them.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Joe August 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    First, thanks for all of the content on this site, it is super helpful!

    I have taken several of the Manhattan Prep and ETS practice tests, but am consistently getting different results from each. For example, on my last ETS test I scored 169V/162Q but on the Manhattan Prep test taken the next day scored 164V/160Q. I have consistently lower scores on Manhattan Prep tests than ETS tests and was curious which test you thought was more accurate.

    Also, I have encountered an issue with IE when attempting to access the POWERPREP software (with both the CD and the web version) and was curious if perhaps you were aware of the issue and knew of a potential workaround.

    I would really appreciate any advice you could offer!

  3. Haley June 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Your videos are super helpful. I cant seem to find any explainations for the 2 practice tests which are on the included CD from the GRE revised boook 2nd edition. Do you have corresponding videos for these questions? I just completed practice test 1 on the CD.

    Thanks!

  4. Akhilesh June 21, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have take the tests from Power Prep of ETS. However, I found that, though my score in most of quants sections is same(mostly 165-167), the Verbal section is a bit of a mess(152 – 157). Is there any way I can know what could be my possible score in real test based on PP mocks.

    Thanks!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 23, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Akhilesh,

      I’d say the Power Prep mocks are about as accurate as you can get. The only real difference is the stress test day: some do better, others become unraveled. Many, though, do exactly the same.

      Hope that helps!

  5. sam May 29, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Hi,

    I’ll be writing the computer based GRE, will there be any use to practicing the paper based practice tests?
    Also I have a powerprep II cd, but it just has a bunch of folders and I cant seem to find the test, what should I be doing?

    Thanks!

  6. Ashish April 13, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Where can i get the solution of ETS power prep ?

  7. Ethan March 23, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Hello,

    Is there a grading scale I can use to grade the tests on offical guide 2? I want to find out what percentile I got.

  8. ellora March 10, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    hi all. im wondering if you can comment on the ets app that costs 20 in the apple store. it provides 300 questions to practice with. is there overlap of questions in this app with other officially released ets material and if so which ones? thanks for your help.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Hi Ellora,

      Hmm…I can’t seem to find it in the Apples app stores. The only app I see by ETS is the one to the GRE General Guide. Do you know the exact name of the app? I’d love to get my hands on it :)

  9. anushka January 13, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    hello chris,
    i wanted to ask that is there any difference between test material in powerprep II v2.0 , powerprep II v2.1 and powerprep II v3.1. please let me know soon.

  10. Radhika Kini October 21, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Hiee Cris,

    Just had a query regarding the powerprep. Does the powerprep change its set of questions? If yes how often is this change reflected?

    Regards ,
    Radhika Kini

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 22, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Radhika,

      The powerprep test does not change questions. ETS may add a new test in the future (at least let’s hope so), but otherwise the tests contain the same question bank.

      Hope that helps!

  11. Maggie September 20, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have tried the link for PDF1 a few times and from different computers. The link appears to be outdated. Any clue on how to get to that PDF?

    Thanks,
    Maggie

  12. Sajid March 10, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Just wanted to share my observations on Power Prep Test question. First PP does allow you to review your questions and show the correct answer. Second, there are 4 tests within each Test, ie it starts with medium level, if you get 13 or more correct, you will see the hard level.If you get 10 or less correct to will see easy level test and if you get between 11 and 12 correct you will see another medium level test (though it has some questions from easy and hard level). The equence of question within hard,easy,medium levels do not change, they show in same sequence.

    cheers

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Sajid,

      That is indeed very helpful – we will make the necessary edits to reflect those changes. Thanks for your insights :).

      • Maggie September 12, 2013 at 6:25 am #

        Just in case someone also has troubles seeing how to review your answers: you go through the steps as if you are going to take the test again, and then you have the option to either ‘start test’ or ‘review answers’. Obviously, you select ‘review answers’ if that’s what you want to do.

        Best of luck to all.

  13. Krishna March 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Can you please tell me where I can find the video explanations to the questions in powerprep II V1.0 and V2.0?

    In a previous post you had mentioned that it’ll be up in a while (by Magoosh). Just thought I’ll post about it here. :)

    Thanks.

    • Margarette
      Margarette March 6, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Hi, Krishna

      Unfortunately, because of the way Powerprep tests are produced, it would be very tough for us associate the questions with individual explanations accurately– what may have been question #14 for you may have been question #2 for someone else.

      However, we do happen to have video explanations for the paper-based PDF test instead, which has a significant amount of overlap with Powerprep questions (and includes the answers to all of the questions at the end!). Because it’s a static document, it’s much easier for students to find the explanations to the questions they’re looking for. We have links to video explanations for both Powerprep II Test 1 (a close match to the 1st edition of the PDF) and Powerprep II Test 2 (a close match to the 2nd edition of the PDF) here: http://gre.magoosh.com/videos-for-revised-gre-paper-test

      Does that help? Let me know! :)

      Best,
      Margarette

  14. krish August 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I’m just wondering if I would be able to know which questions I got wrong after I take the practice test via the PowerPrep? I just took it online, saw my score, and had no choice but to exit. I was hoping I would know where I went wrong so I could go through them like you mentioned above. Thanks!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi Krish,

      Sadly, that is my fault, for communicating erroneous information :). Powerprep does not allow you to review questions, nor does it tell you which ones you answered incorrectly. I’ve amended this post, so you can see a way to still see the questions (and the correct answers) you encountered during the exam.

  15. Swami August 27, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Quick question on the PDF tests: the ETS website says “Practice Book for the Paper-based GRE® revised General Test, Second Edition” …. “You’ll get the following: one full-length paper-based test…”

    I downloaded this one. Where will I be able to find practice test #2 (pdf)?

    Thank You!

    • Margarette
      Margarette August 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi, Swami

      We’ve fixed the post so that there are now two links, at the very top (“Two free PDF practice tests (here and here)”).

      I hope that helps! :)

      Best,
      Margarette

  16. saurabh August 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Hey chris,

    which powerprep test is closer to actual GRE…I found 2nd tougher than the 1st….!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      That is a great question!

      I don’t know if anyone can really answer that, besides ETS, but my gut tells me that the questions in the 2nd. reflect today’s test better. Perhaps today’s test is even tougher :(. Again, prep diligently, and with the best material, and you should be fine :).

  17. Sid August 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve got my GRE on the 24th of September. I was wondering when you reckon would be a good time to do the ETS Powerprep tests? Cheers!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi Sid,

      Spacing them out by a couple of weeks is good. You should take the second Powerprep test about a week before the actual test.

      Hope that helps!

  18. Christopher August 8, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    what is the difference between POWERPREP II Version 1.0 and Version 2.0?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      The first test in PowerPrep II Version 2.0 is the exact same test as PowerPrep II Version 1.0. The only difference is the second test in PowerPrep II Version 2.0 is new (PowerPrep II Version 1.0 only contains one test).

      Hope that makes sense :).

      • Christopher August 9, 2012 at 3:42 am #

        Thanks!

  19. Shubham July 28, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Hello Chris,

    Could you please tell me where I can find correct answers to questions in powerprep II V1.0 and V2.0?

    Thanks,
    Shubham

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      The correct answers to both tests should be found at the end of the paper-based doc (scroll to the very bottom). Of note, we are releasing my video explanations on youtube.com very soon :).

  20. shivakumar July 24, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    can any 1 guide me how t oprepare for new patterns and wht is de syllabus for that and also i want to take in dis september so give a plan plz i am totally confused

  21. Heath July 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I just took the computer-based ETS Powerprep exam for the new GRE and received an estimated score of 640-740 range verbal and 750-800 math. Is that an accurate prediction?

    I’m kind of psyched it’s my goal to score about 90th percentile or above in the math and verbal sections. I got a 780m last year but only a 510v. If that Powerprep test is legit, I’m just going to take my GRE asap and forget about it for the rest of my life.

    Thanks!
    Heath

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 23, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Heath,

      For the most part, PowerPrep is an accurate predictor of our score. I guess the bad news is that after ETS did the necessary statistical calibrations it determined that students’ scores were on the low end of the range. Meaning you would score about 750, 640.

      You can also take the second powerprep test to get a better idea of where you are scoring. But if it’s consistent you should take the test (though a little brush up on vocab couldn’t hurt :).

  22. Alex June 27, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you very much for these resources. They are helping me prepare for the exam. I do wonder though. I am wondering whether to take the Powerprep practice exam first, or do the ETS official questions first. Does the ETS book contain questions that are in the Powerprep exam? Or not? Some guidance is greatly appreciated, thank you so much.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Alex,

      So the questions in the ETS book do not overlap in any way with the questions found on the practice exam. Which is good news. You basically have access to two free tests.

      Hope that helps dispel any confusion!

  23. Neha June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    hii..
    I just saw adithya’s question about 160+ score…I thought if someone gets 160, it means 30 questions are correct out of 40( from 2 sections that are to be evaluated) as there is 1 point scale. Am I wrong? Is it not the criteria for marking?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      Hi Neha,

      Intuitively that would make sense. But I don’t think the exact scoring works out like that. Nonetheless, I don’t think the actual scoring is too far so that is a pretty good rule of thumb.

  24. adithya June 12, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    could u please tell me how to derive if an essay is an issue type or argument type ? and then how do u proceed with each type?

  25. adithya June 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    out of 40 how many questions have to be correct to get a 160+ score in verbal and quants

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Hi Adithya,

      Actually, that’s a hard question to answer. Nobody really knows accept ETS. My guess is you can miss between 6-8 questions and still receive 160+. Again, this score may depend on which section you miss the questions on. Or it might not. I hope that ETS gives us a better sense of its arcane scoring process with the release of The Official guide this August.

  26. Praveen June 8, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Is there a way to include extra tests in powerprep? Or can you suggest powerprep like softwares?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 9, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Praveen,

      Unfortunately, there are no other Powerprep tests. The good news is that ETS will be releasing a new GRE guide Aug. 10th. Whether that offers any more Powerprep tests remains to be seen.

      Hope that helps!

  27. sony June 4, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Hi Chris,
    Please provide sample essays for AWA.

  28. Newcomer June 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I’m planning to take GRE in 3 months time. I’m a bit worried about the verbal section :( will barrons 15th edition help ? or do i need to refer to any other book .Please Suggest.

    the ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE book, just gives an overall idea on the new GRE correct? does it come with any practice test? and what about nova and manhattan GRE, are these book good for only verbal or math section also?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Newcomer,

      Welcome to the world of GRE :). You’ve definitely come to the right place. To answer your question, I recommend clicking on ‘book reviews’ and ‘study plans’ at the top bar. This will take you to a plethora of posts devoted on the best resources for studying for each. Also, to really help with the Verbal, the Magoosh Vocab Ebook will be of great help. It will talk about the Do’s and Dont’s for studying for the GRE verbal section. Hope it helps :).

      http://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/

  29. Sun May 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    hi there,

    I took the Power prep I at the start of my prep and had got a range of 670-770 in Quant. Also, i took the Kaplan mock test and had got 91 percentile in Quant. I purchased Manhattan mock test series and i have taken two of the exam from that series.. in the first mock test i got 44 percentile in math and in the second i got 56 percentile. I am wondering what to conclude out of these scores. and is Manhattan mock test series hard in Quant? Could you comment.

    Best
    S

    • Sun May 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      Powerprep II *

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Hi Sun,

      In general, Manhattan tests tend to be a little more difficult. So no need to worry :).

      • Sun May 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

        phew ! that’s some relief :)

        Thanks for the prompt reply Chris. I wanted to check if the difficulty level is higher for both the sections or only in Quant ?

        Best,
        S

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

          For the verbal they are similar, from what I’ve heard. That makes sense (as it is difficult to write verbal questions more difficult than those written by ETS). More difficult math questions, or simply more math questions that are difficult, can make the math test harder.

          Nonetheless, let us know how you are actual score matches up with your MGRE mock test scores.

          Thanks!

          • Sun May 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

            Thanks Chris !

            Your blogs and responses are always helpful.

            While reading one of your blogs i realised that there is only 1 Power prep practice test for GRE..i was under the impression that there are 2. Well i have taken one abt a few months back so not sure if i should take it again.

            Also , i am struggling with RC, CR in Verbal and in Quant i struggle with answer choice D type questions (where the relationship) can’t be deteremined. In Quant i also run out of time in the 2nd section if i do well on the first one as i feel i get harder questions in the 2nd one.

            Pls share some tips to handle these issues.

            Best,
            Sun

  30. James Brown April 18, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Chris, the first quantitative Discrete practice sets in the official ETS gre guide have the same number of questions that are actually on the quant section…would you say that they that a raw score from those tests would be concurrent with the raw scores of the free paper test gre? I know this may be a silly question, but I got excited when I did well on those questions and have been trying to figure a way of how reflective they are of what I’d do in the Quant section.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Great question (and it seems I missed this one – so sorry for the delay). I don’t know for sure, but I think the number of questions coincidence is just that. I don’t think the discrete practice sets correspond to an actual exam. Nonetheless, good job on doing well on them :).

  31. Sneha April 6, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    hi Chris,

    I love this site.. It has helped me a lot with my practice .
    Can you please suggest some good books or websites where I read and practice AWA essays. I am not that good with argumentative essays and would appreciate the help.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 6, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Hi Sneha,

      Glad Magoosh has been helpful :).

      I recommend Barron’s for the AWA. Follow up by practicing essay from the essay question bank on gre.org.

      And of course, look for more AWA posts from Magoosh!

  32. KP February 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Thanks Chris,

    I appreciate the quick reply. I actually appreciate everyones help at Magoosh as you guys are always very quick to respond to my many questions from the paid GRE services.

    Do you have any other good references for SE and Text Completions (aside from the Manhattan GRE website)? Looking at my Free Diagnostic Service from ETS, it seems that is what brought my score down to the mid-400′s. I seemed to get correct answers for level 3 and 4 reading comprehension questions, but barely got any correct answers for level 3 SE and Text Completion questions.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi KP,

      Unfortunately, there really isn’t too much out there. Barron’s is definitely a drop in quality but if you are really starving for new TC and SE questions, it may be the best option.

      BTW have you tried any of the ETS official materials, such as the online test? Those questions are as close to the real thing as you can get.

      • KP February 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

        Hey Chris,

        yep! I purchased the premium service last Sept. and have gone through about half of the verbal questions (including the SE and TC) in practice for the first time I took the exam. I will continue to work on them though. It’s just a double edged sword, because I want to utilize the magoosh questions after being able to attain some vocab. knowledge so that I can use the strategies you mention in the premium videos. I was holding off doing the magoosh questions since they are so close to the real thing as I believe that is the best practice and am nervous that if I run through them all; my only reason for getting them right on the second pass would be a result of memorization, rather than skill. But, either way, I appreciate your reply.

        Thanks.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris February 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

          If vocab is the main problem that I’d recommend one of these three books:

          1. Princeton Review Word Smart
          2. Barron’s 1100 Words

          Use these in conjunction with quizlet.com and that should boost your score. And don’t worry about redoing questions. With enough time interval in between it shouldn’t be much of a problem. The key is your brain is getting a workout by navigating the treacherous syntax to come up with words. Moreover, you’ll strengthen your vocabulary with repeated exposure to words.

          Hope that helps :)

          • John March 2, 2012 at 10:02 am #

            Hi Chris,

            What if the main problem is quantitative reasoning? I bought Manhattan’s 8 book set and I’ve been through the first 6 books. When I took the first diagnostic about 2 months back, my quant score was 149. Six books in and a couple hundred questions later, my best quant score after 5 manhattan diagnostics is 152. I’m not too bad at math but it has definitely been a while. I’m one of those whose skill have atrophied. I still have months to study and at this point doing well on the test is almost as much personal as it is professional. I want a 700 quant score and this seems to be pretty easy for a lot of people. Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course should be in Monday. I’m hoping that will help. I’m not quite ready to give up and accept that my limit is just under 700. From the charts I’ve seen, it looks like I need a few more right to guarantee myself something over 700. Guaranteeing a few more is not going to be easy. Any advice? A novel about Newton or some other guy who was great at that sort of thing. I don’t know where to go from here.

            Thanks,
            John

            • Chris Lele
              Chris March 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

              Here is what I would recommend doing if I was your personal tutor:

              1.Go through 25 problems you’ve missed in quant and identify a reason or reasons why you missed the problem.

              2. Note any patterns that emerge. Careless errors, time crunch, lack of confidence with a certain question, long approach vs. quick solution, misinterpreting question.

              3. Create a study schedule that addresses these weaknesses. Do relevant question types or simply do a problem set being mindful of certain tendencies (misreading the question, etc.).

              Nova should give you plenty of practice questions. However it does not offer much in the way of strategy.

              If you are struggling with any fundamentals and want a quick, but exhaustive review, I can think of no better prep than our lesson videos. You will also learn strategies to solving questions quickly. We also have close to 500 practice questions so you’ll get plenty of practice working on your weaknesses. And the direct video and text feedback will allow you to quickly make the tweaks to help you get your target score.

              Let me know if you have any questions regarding the study plan/Magoosh/Manhattan GRE, etc. :).

              As for inspirational stories, check out our testimonials page:

              http://gre.magoosh.com/testimonials

        • Deepak July 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

          KP need your help immediately, thanks!
          deepakmagrawal@gmail.com

          • KP July 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

            sure, post your question on here!

  33. KP February 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I took the GRE in Oct. and did great on the quant., but very bad on the verbal. I did use magoosh premium services, but was not able to complete all the practice questions. Likewise, I felt like the reason for my poor score was still vocabulary. Even thought I ran through all the magoosh lessons, without knowing vocab, I wasn’t able to utilize sentence structure, shifts, tense, and other strategies, since I couldn’t determine the idea of the sentence. I am taking your advice better this time, and was planning to utilize The Atlantic, New Yorker, and the recommended Best Series Books. In addition to this, I was thinking of buying the Manhattan reading comprehension/Essay book since you said the Sentence Equivalence was rushed and poorly made.

    Did I also understand right that even if I just buy that book, I still have access to all five of the full practice tests?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi KP,

      You bring up an excellent point – strategies can only take you so far. You do have to know vocabulary/twisted syntax. I think following the reading schedule is a great plan.

      I’d also recommend Princeton Review Word Smart as a vocab reference. Wordnik.com is also a great resource for seeing how words are used in context.

      Also, def. pick up the Manhattan GRE book or books wherever you feel you need the additional help. And yes, you’re right. You only need to buy one book to access all their tests. And the SE and Text Completions on their online tests are much better than those found in their book.

      Good luck, and please don’t hesitate to ask me any more questions. I def. want to help you nail the verbal section this time around!

  34. A.A January 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Magoosh is a professional new generation site, no doubt about that. It was a turning point to my score when I joined. Yes, I did my homework, but I should say it for those who have a good background in math: Magoosh is the right destination for practice and enlightenment.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      A.A.

      Thanks for the kudos!

      I may also add that Magoosh is great for those whose background in quant is shaky or, though years of neglect, atrophied. Our lesson videos take you from the basics (fractions) to advanced combinations (ever heard of the Mississippi rule?).

      Again, thanks for the positive buzz!

  35. Nevin January 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    You have been so help full, so i hope you wont mind doing this one little favor :-)
    Could you please check the essays in this site (link given below). I just want to know if they are worth reading.

    http://www.testpreppractice.net/GRE/awa-samples/gre-awa-essay-samples.html

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Wow! I checked out the link and all I can say is I am appalled.

      The people writing those essays struggle with the rudiments of style and structure. It is a crime that they dupe students into believing that they have even a modicum of ability. They can hardly write a sentence, let alone a GRE essay. A complete sham.

      • Nevin January 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

        Thank you,

        That saved a lot of time. ;-)
        I completed the Magoosh lessons and feel a lot more comfortable answering the practice questions. What more can I add, You guys rock!!


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