GRE BIG BOOK
GRE BIG BOOK Continued..
This book does have a lot of demerits. Since it is such an old book it does not completely satisfy today's test takers. They find the questions easy and outdated. Especially the quantitative questions in the Big Book for GRE are far too easy, if you score well in it do not get excited and feel you are prepared enough! Be prepared for a much tougher Quantitative section in the real test. The syllabus taught in schools has become tougher over the years but the questions in the Big Book have not changed. As a result, only the simpler questions, which were once considered tough, are mentioned in this book. Some students also find the vocabulary section easy while many don't, so it is up to you to decide. But the quantitative section is certainly misleading.
Another disappointment you are likely to feel is that there is absolutely no explanation of the answers. You only get to verify whether your answer is correct or not, nothing beyond that. You might feel helpless if you are not satisfied with the correct answer but there is no one who you can approach for the explanation. And if this happens repeatedly then it can get really upsetting.
The Big Book only contains the practice tests. It thus fails to be a complete source of learning. You will have to look for some other supplementary material for the formulae, basic concepts, common grammatical errors, quick calculation tips etc. This can be cumbersome as you will have to refer to another book for making good this shortcoming. This book also lacks the traditional wordlists of the test mentioned in other books. It is better to learn a lot of words from a wordlist before attempting any test, but there is no wordlist at all in the Big Book.
When you practice a test from the Big Book you are likely to forget the time constraints in the real test, so you might just go on practicing at your own pace. And doing that does not help at all. The GRE test is not merely a test of your knowledge but also a test of your speed. You will have to learn many techniques to save time for attempting the real test well.
The format of the test has changed over the years. The number of questions in each section is now different from what is mentioned in the Big Book. Furthermore the book was released when CAT was not available. This makes it absolutely unrelated with the computer adaptive GRE tests. Nor is there any CD available for the computer adaptive test takers to practice from. This book resultantly stands insufficient for the computer adaptive test takers.
It is best to incorporate other sources with the Big Book for preparation. What you can do is go through this book before you start your preparation. You will get a fair idea of what standard to expect in the real test. Concentrate more on the Verbal section. Try to make the most of the vocabulary mentioned in it; you can prepare a wordlist from the questions and start learning the meanings. Now take up some other GRE review, learn and practice all that you need to and then get back to the Big Book. Now you will be able to make optimum use of the book. Keep time limits on yourself and practice the tests. The book will prove to be a good source of practice; after you have revised your concepts and gone through wordlists. As for the quantitative section, those of you who are not good at math will get a glimpse of the real test; keep in mind that the test you appear for will be of a much higher level. Get a lead from the Big Book but don't get mislead!
This book is now out of print. This can be a huge trouble for some. It is not available off the shelf and you will have to work hard to obtain a copy. Most likely you will get a book which is already used. Endeavour to look for a piece in which the answers are not marked, as someone might prefer to have done for reference. Try to buy a hard copy from some seller on ebay, amazon or other such sites. It is better to obtain a soft copy for the ease with which you can study from it. Look for some download links. Generally such links are mentioned in some blogs in the form of Big Book rapidshare links. For free download you can follow the link http://www.freewebtown.com/loveanygirls7/bigbook_scanned_by_huy.zip. The zipped file contains the Big Book pdf. This scanned copy consists of 27 Big Book GRE tests in separate pdf files. Though obtaining a copy will require some effort, if you can get it, it shall be worth the effort.
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