What’s one great way to get better at GRE math? Well, do GRE math questions. Below is a overview of the GRE quant landscape, so you know which resources to use depending on your level.
Just thinking about the formula for the area of a circle causes beads of sweat to form at your brow. Your experience with learning math has been typically to become frustrated because math books seem vague and tend to jump around. Prepping for the GRE, however, doesn’t have to be that way, if you use the following resources.
Manhattan GRE guides
Ever open up a book to the math section and quickly feel overwhelmed? With the Manhattan GRE guides by your side, fear not. Everything is clearly explained, and practice questions at the end of each chapter build off what was talked about in that chapter (vs. other books that throw in information it assumes you know).
The Princeton Review: Cracking the new GRE
This book has great tips for those just starting out. You will definitely learn how to tackle GRE math questions(instead of feeling that you’re the one getting tackled). Big picture strategies such as approximation, process of elimination, and backsolving/plugging in are covered. Most of the questions are fairly easy. The only draw back is the book contains very few questions.
Magoosh’s GRE lesson videos are a great place to learn the fundamentals and then do practice questions related to the fundamentals covered in each video. The pause and playback feature make Magoosh a great way to learn, especially for those who prefer a human voice to a book.
You understand a fair amount of basics, but you still need a review of the fundamentals. At the same time, you’ll need questions that pull you a little out of your comfort zone without overwhelming you completely.
Manhattan GRE 5lbs. book
This book contains oodles of practice problems for just about every concept covered on the GRE. The explanations are excellent so rarely will you feel flustered when you miss a question. Make sure you know the concepts first (you may want to go through Magoosh’s lesson videos) before you tackle the question, as this book does not introduce concepts. It simply provides practice questions.
Don’t forget to use the actual stuff. Though you can refresh/learn concepts, the Official Guide is best suited as a source of actual practice. Remember, there is nothing like do questions written by the GRE folks themselves. Speaking of which you might also want to try the official guide for the old test, which was called Practicing to Take the GRE.
For the advanced student, you already know your basics. You simply want lots of tough practice questions. Basically copy the advice for the intermediate section, except for the old official guide (those questions are probably a little too easy). Here are a few other books to help you sharpen your “quant teeth.”
Nova’s GRE math prep book
This is a great book for practice. The introductions of concepts are severely limited, so I would never recommend this book to anyone but those with a solid grounding in math. The math questions though can be tough, and will prepare you for most of what you’ll see test day in the tough math section.
Barron’s six online practice tests
Here are yet more tough GRE math problems to sink your teeth into.
The perfect 170
You are a quant guru, and your program requires a score in the top 5%. Anything below 165 is not an option. Your one goal is the perfect score—a 170. So you don’t want to waste your time with mediocre prep material, or prep material that is too easy. You want only the tough stuff.
GRE Official Guide
Mostly to do all the practice tests, just to get you into test shape. After all the GRE will have many easy questions as well. You don’t only want to do tough questions.
Manhattan 5 lbs. prep book
This recommendation is mostly because once you buy the book you get access to Manhattan GRE’s online challenge problem archive.
We have some of the most difficult GRE questions out there. If you can handle these, you can definitely handle anything the GRE will throw at you test day.
Besides the Data Sufficiency section, the GMAT problem solving overlaps very well that on the GRE, except for the GMAT questions are even more difficult. Over on the GMAT blog, I’ve rounded up some of the best GMAT resources for those GRE overachievers seeking a perfect score on math. 🙂
For more practice check out GRE Math Practice!