Barron’s New GRE 19th Edition Book Review


As a test prep tutor, and one who just recently took the new GRE, I approach the test from a different angle than a student who is just beginning their prep. Specifically, I am especially exacting on content, which those just starting off have no reliable reference point on which to judge.

These students are more apt to judge a book on the way it presents information—namely, are strategies presented in a way that is easy to digest, are there enough practice sets so that students feel they are applying what they just learned, and are explanations clear and comprehensive, or is the reader throwing their hands in the air in frustration?

Not to be forgotten, published books should have minimum typos. Meaning that even a book with the best strategies, the best content and the best explanations would be sabotaged by numerous errors. On the other hand, a reader would be more approbatory of a book that has no editing errors, even if the content is poor and uneven (remember, most students are not familiar with the content of the actual test).

Putting myself in a student’s shoes, I can see how Barron’s New GRE guide can seem downright ugly in it’s presentation (at least compared to Princeton Review and Kaplan – though, not McGraw-Hill). That is not to say that it’s content is great—at least, it’s not consistent—but I think many will simply judge this book superficially, and dismiss it as inferior to Kaplan (though Barron’s content is actually much better than Kaplan’s).

But that is just the layout. How does Barron’s rank, from both a tutor’s and a student’s standpoint?

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

To answer that question, I am going to look at how Barron’s handles the strategies for the math, verbal and writing section, and, finally, the quality of its content: does it mirror the content found on the new GRE?

Reading Comprehension

In terms of strategies, Barron’s is definitely comprehensive. Over the course of 20-pages, they delineate numerous strategies, some helpful, some not so much. This format is an example of how Barron’s isn’t user-friendly. Even if the information had been arranged a little more judiciously, I could still see a student becoming overwhelmed with all the different tactics, some of which can even be misleading.

Had Barron’s pared down the number of tactics to the most essential ones, and then, more importantly, provided more practice questions to highlight each tactic, a student would have gotten much more out of each strategy. Instead, Barron’s only has one wrap up for all of 15 different tactics, without referencing any of them in the explanations to the questions. The reason they didn’t do this isn’t so surprising – they do not provide any explanations for their practice sets.

Text Completions/Sentence Equivalence

Even though these types of question are new to the test, I would have expected more from Barron’s in terms of comprehensiveness and efficacy of the strategies. They offer some strategies that are so generic as to almost be superfluous. Sometimes, they are simply wrong: to say that one can look at part of a word to discern its meaning is tantamount to a lie, and I don’t mean to sound impertinent  (case in point, impertinent isn’t the opposite of pertinent, in that it does not mean irrelevant).

At least, compared to the Princeton Review, Barron’s offers copious questions, though the content isn’t always of the highest quality. And, again, Barron’s makes the egregious error of providing a practice set without any explanations. Answers alone aren’t going to help you avoid mistakes in the future. Clear explanations are essential. 


In this section, Barron’s shines and offers effective strategies to help students score 5 and above. Other books either offer strategies that are a little too stripped down, or, like Kaplan, complicate the essay (many students I’ve tutored on the AWA were victims of Kaplan’s method).  And while I’m criticizing Kaplan, Barron’s includes issues that you are likely to see on test day, instead of providing issue prompts that presuppose knowledge in a very specific field. 


Much of the math is recycled from their old GRE General Guide. While the GRE hasn’t changed that much, as many concepts are still the same, the test has (and for those who used Barron’s to prep for the old GRE, the problems may feel a little stale). Because Barron’s old GRE guide was recycled throughout the years with the publisher simply stamping a new face on the cover (Kaplan and The Princeton Review also are guilty in this regard), some of the problems were inspired by an old Old GRE test (I’ve taken the new GRE, and I wouldn’t say Barron’s content is really that accurate on the math).

Nonetheless, many concepts are the same, and Barron’s does a relatively comprehensive job of including math strategies and concepts that are likely to help you on the day of the exam. Again, their strategies are dumped one after another, so if you are working through this guide alone, you may find it very tedious.

Finally, if you are new to math, you may simply become lost in what seems a quagmire of arcane math concepts. Unlike Princeton Review, Barron’s does not do a good job of making the complex seem simple. They make the complex seem…well, still somewhat complex. For instance, I’ve had many students over the years come to me struggling on a certain concept they learned in Barron’s. When I show them an easier way of doing it, or simply explain it more clearly, they understand the concept, and, in turn, become frustrated with Barron’s.


Compared with Kaplan, Barron’s content is definitely much stronger, as it captures the actual feel and difficulty of the real test. The content, though, is uneven – some text completions (which Barron’s mistakenly calls Sentence Completions – that was the old test) feel rushed together as to create enough practice problem sets. While I commend Barron’s for providing far more than the parsimonious Princeton Review, in future editions it should try to do a better job of creating consistent content.


Remember how Barron’s used to provide the Holy Grail of vocab lists, the 3500 List? Well, now they provide the Zero List. That’s right – not a single word or a single list. What’s even more startling is Barron’s does not even mention vocabulary: how to learn it, which words to focus on, etc. This omission is definitely puzzling, and one I hope Barron’s remedies in future editions. For now, I can’t help but think that this book, like Princeton Review’s, was rushed to print (remember, most questions did not even provide explanations).


Barron’s does a relatively good job here; however, there is much room for improvement. As a tutor, I will definitely use some questions, probably more so on reading comprehension and on math.

For those students who are working without a tutor, especially those who haven’t seen math in awhile, Barron’s can seem very daunting. I advise using Princeton Review for math and and/or McGraw Hills Math (note I say math – stay away from McGraw Hill’s general guide as though it were the bubonic plague) for those who really need to (re)learn the fundamentals.

Finally, the strategies are lumped together in a way that is not very user-friendly. Aside from the AWA section, I would recommend learning strategies from other books, and applying them when you do the questions from this book.

Grade: B-

This is the third in a series of new GRE book reviews.

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62 Responses to Barron’s New GRE 19th Edition Book Review

  1. Vihar June 6, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I have purchased The Official Guide to GRE by ETS, Barron’s 21st edition and Manhattan 5lb prep book. Is this material good enough to score above 320?
    Is it okay to rely only on Manhattan 5 lb prep book in order to score above 160 in quant?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Together, this material is definitely good enough for a 130. Note that each resource has its own weaknesses. Barron’s is not the most TOEFL-like in Verbal or Math, but does a great job with AWA. Manhattan is a little weak in Verbal, but amazing for Quant. And the OG– while truly official and 100% TOEFL like– isn’t the greatest for strategy tips or answer explanations. So use these resources together strategically, playing to the strengths of each book.

      The Manhattan 5lb Book offers a ton of math questions and content, all of good quality. So you may be able to get a top Quant score just by using Manhattan. That being said, I recommend going through at least some of the Quant problems in the OG or another official GRE resource such as Powerprep. When studying for the GRE, there’s nothing quite like the real thing from the people who actually make the test.

  2. Anum March 8, 2014 at 5:48 am #


    I’m planning to prepare to give GRE in April. I’m about to start prep for it. From where should i begin? Also, I’ve got olf Barron’s GRE( 17th edition).. is it alright? Or should i need to buy the latest edition?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Anum,

      A great place to start is our free e-Book for the GRE. It will give you a sense of the GRE landscape and what you need to do to score well.

      The Barron’s book for the New GRE is a decent place for questions and strategies. The 17th edition is for the old GRE (the test changed about three years back).

      For tips dealing with the New GRE–especially recent, since the Barron’s 19th hasn’t changed in a few years, our blog offers lots of great stuff.

      Let me know if that helps :).

      • Anum March 11, 2014 at 2:16 am #

        Oh alright Chris, Thank alot! 🙂

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele March 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

          You’re welcome 🙂

  3. saad July 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Hi Chrish,

    I am definately looking for a very high score maybe close to 90 or 95 percentile or maybe even a perfect score. I have four books on gre. Kaplan, princeton, ets and barrons. I really do not have any other boooks availible. Would any other book cover these ideas. Should I read the mathematics sections of all these books to cover everything. Would do you recommend I do. As of this moment i am going through barrons. I am really concerned about your comments as I do not want to get a question wrong because i was not familiar with the concept.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

      The truth is that those books simply aren’t going to cover everything. I’d still go through the books, but you might want to consider ordering a MGRE book, and then using the online tests, which expose you to most of what you’ll see test day. Magoosh too covers the concepts you’ll see test day.

      Hope that helps!

      • saad August 2, 2012 at 11:32 am #

        Hi Chris,

        Firstly i think you are doing a great job with your blog, it has really helped me in designing my study for the gre and there is some truly insightful information there.

        Following up on your advice, I will buy the mahattan gre tests from their website. Also can you please tell me is there any added value in going through the math sections of all 4 books (barron, kaplan, ets and princeton) or if i go through the barrons completely is that enough (as far as material in these 4 books only is concerned). In other words is there anything that barrons misses out which may be covered or covered better in the other three books. your advice is much appreciated.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris August 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

          I don’t think Barron’s or the other books really cover in more depth–or effectively, for that matter–the quant review found in MGRE. Those other books would be simply for more practice. In the case of Princeton the questions would be a little on the easy side.

          Hope that helps :).

    • Hawk April 17, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      I found Barron;s quantitative math section to be decent, but their practice exams were horrid. What do others think?

      • Chris Lele
        Chris Lele April 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm #


        Do you mean the actual practice exams in the book, or the one’s they offer on CD? Also, when you say horrible, do you mean that the questions were too easy/too difficult/ambiguously worded/etc. I’m curious if others have the same reaction.

        • Rohan July 15, 2014 at 3:03 am #

          Practice exams are the worst I’ve come across
          Wrong passage given to a question of some other passage
          Quants section has wrong percentages in questions or just misplaced options with no correct answer or sometimes no diagram where its referenced
          I’m surprised you are mildly impressed by this book, I feel its downright horrid. Waste of my money I’d say

  4. saad July 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    hi chrish,

    i tried add a comment but it does not seem to appear on your website. I would like to know with regards to the mathematics review in barrons, are there any concepts that have not been reviewed or covered. you said

    “I’ve taken the new GRE, and I wouldn’t say Barron’s content is really that accurate on the math”.

    can you please elaborate. thanks


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Saad,

      It seems I’ve answered the comment right below :).

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. saad July 21, 2012 at 8:35 am #


    with regards to the mathematics section of this book, is there a mathematical concept that this books does not cover? as you said barrons content is not that accurate on math?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi Saad,

      More advanced geometry concepts, esp. coordinate geometry concepts (parabolas, absolute value graphs). Compound interest, advanced questions on mean, median, and mode, etc. So if you are looking for a high score, you def. don’t want to limit yourself to Barron’s.

  6. Gaurav July 3, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Hey Chris,
    First of all this is the most comprehensive site for getting started with GRE preps…Thank yo u for that.!!
    I have just with my GRE preps and already bought Barron’s.The problem I felt with Barron’s is that it lacks sufficient practice.I completed the RC section in no time. So I’m in search of a book which provides sufficient practice and difficulty level matches with the actual GRE problems. Please suggest…

    • Gaurav July 3, 2012 at 4:57 am #

      Hey Chris,
      Forgot to add a few bits…
      Does ETS official guide book has sufficient practice to suffice a 2-month plan and will the practice be enough especially when I’m also going to refer Barron’s ?Or you want to suggest some other book ?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Gaurav,

      Sure, there are the ETS books. There is Manhattan GRE, esp. it’s online tests, and there is of course Magoosh. To dig even deeper into RC, you can always use the GMAT official guides, or, if you are looking for the top score, the LSAT guides.

      Let me know if that helps :).

  7. Bhushan June 11, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Hey Chris,

    Barron’s 19th Edition does not contain the Word List. So would you suggest buying the Barron’s Essential Words for GRE? Is there any other book i can refer to for Vocab?


  8. Niki April 27, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I am an MBA from India and want to pursue Phd in economics from US. I have planned to take GRE in August but I am a bit confused. Can you suggest me

    1- How to approach different sections
    a) AWA
    b) Verbal
    c) Quant

    2- How much time to devote to each section ( I know it is subjective and depends upon the strong and weak areas, but still for an above average student what should be the ideal schedule)

    3- Is it possible to get into top 5 percentile by preparing for about 4 months


    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Hi Niki,

      To answer your first question, I recommend spending a few hours on the Magoosh blog, scanning both the AWA, Verbal and Quant sections (which you can easily navigate through by clicking near the top of the homepage). Giving an adequate answer to your question would take many pages 🙂 Luckily, the blog is already there to guide you!

      For the second question, you are right. It differs greatly based on the student. I recommend taking the free online test by ETS to gauge your skills.

      Based on your performance you will know the areas in which to study. I recommend following one of these excellent study plans:

      For your last question, I would say it’s possible, though it all depends on what your starting score is. So if you end up scoring 155+ on both sections on the practice test, then, with a little practice (okay a lot of practice 🙂 and Magoosh’s GRE product (as well as the other resources mentioned in the study guides) you can get into the top 5%.

      Hope that helps :).

  9. sonita April 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Hey chris,
    What kind of gmat materiial are you referring to ? Can you please elaborate ? Thanks,

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 25, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      The GMAT Official Guide, which, like the GRE Official Guide, contains questions written by the test-writers themselves. The GMAT just released a new edition: The Official Guide, 13th. edition.

      Hope that helps!

  10. sonita April 24, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    hey Chris,
    Which books are the best for the difficult math qxns- rather my math base is pretty good i m an electrical engineering major- but i in order to get full score in math what should I do? Thanks

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Sonita,

      NOVA is good for difficult practice questions (only no new question types as NOVA has yet to update its material for the Revised test). Magoosh – that’s us – offers some of the toughest questions out there (and you also have the added stress of a timer – our questions are computer-based like the actual test).

      You can also use GMAT material. Official material is a good way to go. The GMAT does contain an extra question type, but you can just ignore those questions.

      Hope that helps :).

  11. Rohit April 6, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Thanks for the reply.
    The only Barron’s essential list book that i can find here got 800 words,should that be enough?Sir,I cannot purchase Manhattan GRE right now.
    If i fail/do bad in my first gre,i might buy Manhattan n get every help available on the net to improve my score(after first gre…i’ll know my weak sections).As of now i can only purchase Barron’s essential list book(800 words).
    1500 word list is available on and I’ll buy Barron’s essential list book as u r recommending it. 🙂
    I do read newspaper everyday and if i find any word dat looks n sound like an alien to me thn i right it down and find its meaning in dictionary.
    I read somewhere,in one the post,U mentioned Barron’s essential word list book(1100 words).Can u tell me how many Barron’s essential word list books are available??

    To summarize it all-
    Q1- Will Barron’s essential word list book(800 words) be enough?

    Q2- Should i learn 800 words from Barron and leave those 1500 words from gotta hunch that i’ll find many words from Barron essential repeating itself in that 1500 word list.

    Q3-How many Barron’s essential word list books are thr?800 words…1100 words….?Which one should i buy?

    Q4-I also have a print out of Bigbook problems(English),but the problem is that it contain questions that are no longer asked in GRE(opposite meaning,words that sound same etc etc).should i throw it away or should i keep it?

    thanks for all the help.:) I was so confused yesterday,but now i atleast know what I’ve to do.
    Maybe it was god’s will or just my luck that i found your site….You are really good…helping every blind soul like me in every way possible.thank u 🙂

    Vocab is one of that section of english that u cannot mastery in months/years…even a lifetime is not enough,but still i want go in the exam hall with confidence and that will come if i learn some words.

    i’m hoping i’ll do well but if i didnt….I’ll def come knocking on your door! 🙂

    ps-Sir,pls dont leave any final decision on me 😛 I’m a confused guy.i would be really happy if u can give my ans to my 4 questions without leaving any final decision on me 🙂

    thanks sir…thanks a lot!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 6, 2012 at 9:45 am #


      There is no magic vocab list. Barron’s 800 or 1100 won’t account for all the words on the test. Nor will MGRE. Stick to one of the lists mentioned above. Once you feel confident with that list move on to another one. The important thing is that the list has clear definitions, and more importantly, strong example sentences, so that you can see how words are employed in context. For a seemingly infinite list of example sentences visit

      Finally, do not throw away your big book. Those are words that could easily show up on the test (though the test has changed, vocabulary words have not). Anyhow, you could sell the Big Book on e-bay for a tidy sum :).

  12. Rohit April 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    hello chris,
    i enjoy studying from book and i’m preparing for gre on my own.
    I bought Barron gre 19th edition n I’ve already completed it.I’m confident on maths department, but i cant say the same thing about the verbal section(though i’ve learned all the words which barron used in the questions/examples) cos of the missing word list.
    So,can u please tell me what should i do?i cannot learn 3500-4k words,no one can remember that many words.Should i buy Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE(contain 800 words) or should i download something from internet?

    Also can u tell me what is ets material for verbal?I’m complete naive.

    I dont want to learn too many words cos I’ll start forgetting them,but i dont want to go into the exam room half prepared or with a low confidence.

    please help me!

    ps-It will be my first gre.
    pss-my relatives who have already done MS from US keeps telling me that Barron’s book is good enough and thr is no need to learn any extra word from anywhere.I’ve already told them that thr is no word list in barron’s 19th edition but they just wont listen 🙁

  13. Varun March 26, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Hello Chris,

    I am in my final yr of engineering (2nd semester) and want to start preparing for GRE. Which book would be preferable for me as a beginner? I want to take exam this yr itself in june-july.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm #


      I’d start with Princeton Review and/or Manhattan GRE. Of course exploring the Magoosh blog should be helpful as well. Speaking of which here is a 3-month study guide, a great way to prepare for your exam. Good luck!

  14. Chris Lele
    Chris February 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    HI Jayanta,

    I would recommend picking up the ETS GRE book – if you haven’t done so already – and taking the practice test at the back of the book. You can also take the computer-based test that is on the CD the book comes with.

    After you do so, if your test is in the top range, then you are ready. If your score falls short of your goal, then revisit your weak points.

    Let me know how it goes :).

    You can also take an ETS test – with questions that are different from the book and CD. Here is the link:

  15. chinky January 29, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Chris! I am pursuing my 3rd year and I’m going to take my GRE test on Feb 28th. Can you please suggest how to prepare? I am thinking of going to Baron’s book; I’ve already tried the ETS book. Please help me – how should I start in these 30 days? Thanks!

  16. prachi January 14, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    i am the beginner for preapring GRE so plz suggest me the books which i can buy…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Have a look at all the book reviews in the blog – see what sounds best. I usually recommend Princeton Review for complete beginners. However, that book will only get you so far and you will need to find more advanced prep.

      Speaking of which, if you are a video-learner than definitely try out our product. We offer a free trial so you really can’t go wrong.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Jayanta February 18, 2012 at 12:10 am #

        Hi Chris,
        I Watched all of Magoosh new GRE Math lessons and done all math practices and fully understand them. Is it enough for Math prep??

  17. Tony January 7, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Hi Chris,

    i will start to study GRE this month. i am so confuse with books of GRE. i dont know which book i should buy it. i dont want to buy books which will makes me more confused. so please i want you recommend a book for me which is more helpful.i tend to Barron’s new GRE. do you think is good book for verbal and quantitative.

    Thank you

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      For absolute beginners, Princeton Review is a good book to start. Barron’s isn’t bad. If you want to learn via video, Magoosh offers complete prep with hundreds and hundreds of practice questions.

  18. axiom January 2, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have decided to start preparation for GRE ( thinking of appearing in june-july 2012). Being a complete beginner in such preparation, can you please suggest me with which book should I begin ? please reply!! Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Hi Axiom,

      If you are a complete beginner, Princeton Review is a good place to start. It basically provides a friendly introduction to the test. You get some basic but helpful strategies and a few questions to get you started. However, after a couple of weeks you should move on to material that provides better questions and more advanced strategies. If you like learning on electronic format, you can’t do better than Magoosh. If you prefer the book format, and don’t mind the price, Manhattan GRE is the way to go.

      Hope that helped!

      • axiom January 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

        thanks for the reply Chris…however I have already bought Kaplan GRE book. But am confused about which section to start preparing first. I am doing my masters so have a little shortage of time and have some 1-2 hours everyday to devote to the preparation. Could you suggest some tips for effective preparation considering my time shortage.


        • Chris Lele
          Chris January 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

          A few questions: what is the field in which you want to pursue a masters? If it is related to quant, you want to focus more on quant.

          Next, what is the area you are currently weakest at? Focus there first. If you have 1-2 hours a day, make sure you mix in reviewing concepts with actual practice questions.

          Hope that helps!

          • axiom January 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

            nope…I am already persuing my masters, and want to do a PHD.. am doing masters in Material science.

  19. Angana December 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I will be giving the GRE for the first time and the only book I have is Barren’s New GRE.Will it help?
    For Mathematics, is there any other book which I can follow?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm #


      I recommend having a look around the Magoosh blog, specifically the book reviews. I think if one thing stands out it is that there is no such thing as a one book prep guide. You will need to combine the best prep resources for your highest score.

      Perhaps a good place to start is the 30-day study guide. This will give you a sense of the best content out there.

      Good luck!

  20. Eric Winston December 12, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Hello Chris,

    Please pass this on to my fellow grad exam takers. I have two older editions of Barron’s GMAT, the 12th and 13th. The problem with the Barrons’ books is the publisher removed paragraphs from the 12th edition to the 13th edition. I assume the paragraphs were removed to shorten the exam time. The problem I noticed is the questions were not adjusted accordingly. This was a problem for me in the comp section and some of the math because I couldn’t understand a question until I notice the missing paragraphs in the 13th edition. When I re-read the article in the 12th edition compared to the 13th edition I understand the question, finally.

    For the time, money and effort we take to pass the exam one would hope the publishers would review the re-writes far better than the publishers are reviewing the changes.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris December 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi Eric,

      I totally agree – those prep books that have such egregious oversights should be shunned by all. The strange thing with Barron’s is their GRE and SAT material have always been pretty decent. There GMAT offering, on the other hand, pardon my language, sucks. Kaplan is also a bit inconsistent in this regard – their GMAT offering has been superior to their GRE and SAT (it seems the publishers prove themselves on one test and then use the positive buzz to stretch their brand into areas in which they clearly have not devoted the time and resources).

      Anyhow, I appreciate you letting the community know of Barron’s subpar GMAT offering.

  21. Zaheer November 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    I was planing to get this book, but after reading reviews I have changed my mind.
    Can you guide me here, how can I prepare myself for the GRE without a tutor?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      Hi Zaheer,

      I don’t think Barron’s is a bad book at all. I simply do not think any publisher out their is sufficient, i.e. there is no one book solution. To prep you need a variety of books. In my 30/60/90 day study plan, I recommend a variety of different books to help you prep.

      Let me know if that is helpful!

  22. Perry October 4, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Hi chris,

    I am retaking the GRE because I totally bumped the first time. Although i think i’m good at math and am currently studying NOVA’s GRE math bible, would you still advise that I get the new math texts (apart from the ETS and practice tests), as you did for Priya?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 4, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Perry,

      No, I think you should be fine with all of that prep material. For Priya, she was using the Barron’s book for the old GRE, so I recommended that she buy the one for the Revised GRE. As far as math goes, NOVA’s Bible has some pretty tough problems. If you are able to understand those math problems/concepts you should be ready for the test.

      Best of luck!

  23. priya September 27, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Thank you Chris.

  24. priya September 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm #


    I have the 18th edition of the Barron’s book. Will that be helpful for quant and verbal, or should I still go ahead and buy the New Barrons 19th edition?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 26, 2011 at 9:50 am #


      The Barron’s 18th edition is for the old GRE. You want the Barron’s book for The Revised GRE. The only edition is the 19th edition so make sure you pick that one up. The old Barron’s GRE isn’t really much good – unless you want extra practice on math problems.

  25. Student September 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    I just tried out Barron’s 19th edition New GRE. While the prep material is pretty good, I’d like to caution against the use of their included CD-Rom which contains 2 additional full-length tests. The tests are filled with errors: wrong passage on the verbal side, missing diagram on the math side, and atrocious grading logic where the right answers were occasionally marked as wrong. Their raw-to-scaled scoring rubric was also terribly designed: any conversion chart were they take a raw score and convert to a scaled score without regards to whether it came from math or verbal probably isn’t very good.

    I really do like Barron’s material, but their book felt rushed (answer sheets didn’t have enough bubbles!) and so did this CD-Rom. While reviewing my test results the program crashed. After relaunching the program I realized that I lost all of my progress. Oh well.

    I would not recommend using the CD-Rom program as a diagnostic. The tests are broken and you just might end up feeling like you wasted your time.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Yes, their book definitely feels rushed to press (most publishers’ do). But thanks so much for letting us – the Magoosh community – now about the shoddy quality of their CD-rom.

      Later this month, I plan on reviewing the content of the CD-roms. So thanks much for the heads up!

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