Not much has changed in 2013. The big players have slapped a different glossy cover on their respective books, left what’s in between the covers unchanged, and called them new books. That many of these books were originally published before the Revised GRE had even debuted suggests the content inside is anything but 2013.
On a more positive note, there were a few surprises, notably from Barron’s, who did not rest on its glossy- covered laurels, and released a book with six on-line tests (see below). Also you may want to check out this post on the best GRE study materials for 2013.
Kaplan 2013 GRE Premier: with 5 Online Practice Tests
Same bad prep. Apparently, they offer five on-line tests on the cover, but in reality only offer two (they’re working on the other three). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we could do without more mediocre content. Here’s last year’s review (since it’s the same old thing!): Kaplan New GRE Premier 2011-2012 Book Review
Cracking the GRE 2013 Edition by Princeton Review
Do you want to know what the Princeton Review 2018 GRE prep book will look like? Or maybe the 2025 Edition? Well, take the 2013, making sure you don’t look at the pretty face on the cover, and open to the first page. Voila! The contents will be no different from the 2018 book, just as the contents to 2013 book are no different from past editions. For the 2012 Edition review—yep, you guessed it: exact same book—read here: Princeton Review: Cracking the New GRE 2012 Book Review
Princeton also released a 1,014 questions for the GRE. While the sheer number of questions sounds like a boon to the GRE prep landscape, you may want to keep reading.
On this one, it may seem as though I’m being remiss in my job as a book reviewer. I decided not to review this book based on the history of the Princeton Review 1,014 Question Series (for the old GRE) being fraught with major typos and issues over the years, and the fact that the Amazon consensus for this offering is no different. Usually, I don’t rely on what other reviewers say, but when nearly every one opines that this book is filled with errors and will only hurt your score, or, as one reviewer eloquently put it, “torpedo your confidence”, I think the verdict is clear: Avoid this book.
Manhattan 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
The 5 lb book is a formidable addition to the GRE landscape, offering almost 2,000 questions. They weren’t joking about the the title. But ultimately, it’s a mixed bag of mostly excellent math questions paired with inconsistent–and at times mediocre–verbal content. Check out the 5 lb review here!
McGraw Hill’s GRE, 2013 Edition
Same book word-for-word as last year. Avoid this book. The review for the old book is completely relevant – given that, besides the cover, the book is exactly the same. Check out last year’s review here: McGraw-Hill’s New GRE: 2011-2012 Edition Book Review
GRE For Dummies Premier 7th Edition
This actually came out last year, but I’m including it as part of the 2013 series since this edition is the most recent one released. For full review: GRE For Dummies Premier 7th Edition Book Review
Barron’s 6 Practice Tests and Verbal Workbook
Also Barron’s released another ‘Verbal Workbook’ over a year ago that I had never gotten around to reviewing. This is the most recent edition.
I’ll have these reviews up in a couple days, so be on the lookout for them. I’ll also be adding even more reviews of books as I sort through them, so make sure you check back soon.
So to reiterate, 2013 seemed to bring a lot of the same from the big GRE book publishers. I guess there’s not much surprising there! What are your thoughts? Are there any other books you’d like to have me review here? Post in the comments below!