GRE Practice Books


5 Top GRE Practice Books

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a highly competitive test. It is attempted by undergraduates from all over the world to seek entrance to various top universities in different countries like the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia etc. This exam is attempted by more than half a million people. So, in order to get through this stiff competition, you will have to be thorough with all the test sections and prove your competence. To be successful in this test, you require vigorous preparation. You must put in a great deal of hard work, discipline and commitment to score high. There are many modes of preparation available for an aspirant preparing for the test. You may have selected any preparation mode, but you will have to prepare for the exam from good study materials.

GRE study materials are available in many forms. Coaching institutes offer study materials which are prepared by experts. You will get online study materials across the internet; but the most important study materials which are available in the market are the books when you step in to the market to purchase one. You must be choosy and analytic before purchasing practice books published by many experienced publishing houses. You will be confronted with scores of  practice books since it would be a big source of support throughout your preparation period. You might have joined a coaching institute or might have chosen to prepare online, yet you must regularly follow a good practice book to improve your skills.


A famous quote by James Bryce, “The worth of a book is to be determined by what you can carry away from it” gives a good description of how a good book must assist you through your preparation. In the market, there are many practice books available. From among them, you must carefully choose the books which suit your requirement and preparation mode. 5 top practice books that are available in the market are:

  • Barron’s GRE books.
  • Kaplan’s GRE books.
  • Nova’s GRE books.
  • The Princeton Review books for GRE.
  • The Official GRE books.

There are many more books from other publishers but the above mentioned books are worthy enough and are preferred as compared to the others.


The practice books for GRE are quintessential because they provide you with all the knowledge with respect to the test and also provide you with many strategic test taking tips to tackle the test in the best possible way. You may have a sound knowledge on all the concepts pertaining to the test but if you do not know how to strategically apply them to arrive at an accurate answer within the allotted time, all the knowledge you possess will not matter. Hence, gaining knowledge and scoring high are not essentially proportional. You will have to tackle the test with tricks so that you can answer a particular question accurately. This is where the practice books step in. You must practice all the practice tests provided in these books to enhance your test taking abilities.

There might also be a wide variation in the preparation styles of different GRE aspirants. Some might concentrate more on the Verbal section and some on the Quantitative section while others may concentrate on the writing section. So, depending upon your requirement, you must select a book that will be capable of increasing your competence in the section of your choice. There are practice books exclusively discussing only one section, either Quantitative section or the Verbal section. You can choose to go for such books in addition to the complete test books.


The GRE Big Book by the official administrators is one of the best practice books available in the market. It is published by ETS in order to help test takers get acquainted with the test pattern and understand the test structure. It is no longer available in print but you might find old books or unofficially printed books. You can get a PDF version of the book online at the link, This link also provides you with the official Powerprep software and priced books. The practice books by ETS do not focus much on theoretical explanations; they give you many practice tests to help you understand the test pattern. These practice tests are very good in that they will help you get the edge that you must possess to score high in the test.


Kaplan is another famous publisher in the market. They have a wide range of books for preparation; books covering only a particular section as well as books covering the entire syllabus. Kaplan GRE books are famous for providing good strategic tips for tackling the Analytical Writing section. Nevertheless, they also provide good tips for other sections too. Kaplan GRE books provide practice tests which might not be sufficient for you to score high. You will get thorough conceptual knowledge and tips to tackle the exam. But the tests that are provided by Kaplan will be just helpful to score an above average score.


Barron’s GRE books can fill the void mentioned above. Barron’s books provide a good deal of practice tests that can help you score very high. Barron’s books are especially famous for dealing with the Verbal section. They provide a strong vocabulary list with approximately 3500 words. The practice tests in Barron’s books are comparatively tougher and so practice in solving them will help you to score high in the actual test.


Nova is another leading publisher for the practice books of GRE. Nova’s GRE Math Preparation Course is preferred a lot to enhance one’s quantitative aptitude. This book is a top pick by those who want to prepare exclusively for the Quantitative section of the test. It contains many quantitative practice tests, tips and strategies to improve your score in the Quantitative section of the test. Other books of Nova are also preferred but much less as compared to the earlier said books.

Usually, GRE aspirants aiming at a very high score prefer more than one of the above mentioned books. The official guide to the Revised General Test by ETS is a must have book to understand every aspect in detail. Depending upon your requirement, analyze which book suits you the best and go for it to develop your skills and achieve a high score. When you have to decide which book is good, judge it using the crucial aspects mentioned below.

  • The quantity and quality of the content.
  • Expertise and experience of the author which any publisher generally advertises.
  • The number of practice tests it provides.
  • The utility of the strategic tips that have been provided.

You will have every book reviewed over the internet. You must have a good practice book to reach your goal of scoring high in the test. So, you must go through the reviews or get a feedback from other test takers for a particular book before you buy it.