With a plethora of GRE prep material that was published in 2011, from the dodgy website that promises a perfect score to choosing the best materials can be as daunting as prepping for the test. Besides Magoosh’s big list of free GRE resources, below are the best books and resources to help you prep for the new GRE.
Best GRE Verbal Prep
- MGRE (Manhattan GRE): This series of books offers plenty of useful tips for tackling the reading comprehension. The critical reasoning questions especially are covered in a thorough, pragmatic way. Great for strategy and practice questions.
- Official Guide: The best resource for both math and verbal questions. These are the people who write the test, so you should practice as much as possible with these questions to prepare for test day. In terms of strategies and techniques, this book is okay. Of course, ETS, the writers of the test, aren’t paid to hold your hand and make the prep experience far less daunting (that’s what Magoosh is for!)
- Magoosh: We offer plenty of reading questions as well as helpful lessons to help you deal with complex passages. For all our sections, we are computer-based. In fact, there is no Magoosh book. While this may strike some as strange, remember that the new GRE is a computer-based test with an annoying timer constantly harrying you. Magoosh offers the same computer based environment. After all, you don’t want your first computer practice to be the actual test.
Text Completions/Sentence Equivalence:
- Magoosh: Not to toot the Magoosh trumpet but we offer the most comprehensive package with the greatest number of questions. I feel the quality of our questions, in terms of difficulty and style, mirrors the actual test better than those of any publishers out there. We offer academic-style sentences, with difficult (but not ridiculously obscure/words you’ll never see on the new GRE) vocabulary. Some students have commented on similar the questions on the actual exam are. You can’t get much better prep than that.
Best GRE Math Prep
- Manhattan GRE – Complete Prep: They are not cheap, but the quality of the materials, from the friendly voice (like having your very own cool tutor) to a wealth of practice materials, makes the $150 price tag seem somewhat justifiable. The good thing is the series is broken up into different volumes that are about $20 each. So if you want practice with Geometry or Data Interpretation then you don’t have to spend too much.
- Official Guide: The content is great, the explanations and math review so-so. Definitely know every concept tested/mentioned in this book, but supplement your prep with a more user-friendly guide such as MGRE or, for beginners, Princeton Review. Think of this book as your question bank. From that standpoint it is simply the best out there for both math and verbal.
- Magoosh: Not only do our video lessons cover every concept in a clear and efficient manner, but also our questions allow you to practice concepts you’ve just learned. We provide questions for the beginners all the way up to questions that are actually more difficult than anything you will see on the actual test. Many students find the actual GRE math section a breeze after completing all our questions.
- Princeton Review: I mention this only as a good entry point for those whom math is a weakness and/or haven’t seen math in 20 years. The guide is the opposite of a complete prep book. It only touches a few concepts and has so few practice problems. (The 1,014 problems guide is so riddled with errors that I cannot recommend it).
- Barron’s: Barron’s offer a pretty in-depth look at math. This book is good for the beginner of the medium-level student. My only gripe is they have recycled much of their content from their guide to the old GRE. For the advanced student Barron’s offers little in the way of more difficult practice.