Prep or preparation literally means readiness. The pattern of human upbringing is such that at every step we are preparing ourselves for the challenges that the future holds for us. With each passing day we are preparing for the next. As a student we learn new things each day work hard and toil to get to the next stage of learning.
When we step out of school for higher education we have to appear for entrance examinations. Entrance examinations are for the purpose of verifying whether a student is ready for the study or not. GRE tests the potential of students for graduation courses. Like any other entrance exam GRE too is difficult to crack and one needs methodical planning to thrive in the tough competition. There are numerous students who appear in this test and only a handful of them are able to meet the requirements of getting into a good college. Not everyone can pick and choose which college he shall go to. It's only those who slog and get a high score who can choose.
GRE preparation does not happen in a day or two. You will have to study for some three-four months to prepare yourself for the demanding exam. The prerequisite for any work that you undertake in life is awareness. It is only when you know how difficult the exam is, what type of questions appear, what syllabus needs to be covered, how much time is required for preparation, what sources can be best for you etc. that you can get an idea of what your particular requirements are. Depending on your capabilities and shortcomings you need to plan what preparation method will suit you best.
There are three sections in the test: Verbal Section, Quantitative Section and Analytical Writing Assessment. For each of these you will have to prepare separately.
There is a variety of alternatives you can choose from for preparation. Apart from the traditional preparation books there are software, online programs and coaching centers for preparation. Each source has its own merits and demerits.
Let us first consider some preparation books for GRE. There are numerous books in the market and each will claim to be the best. But you have to make a sound judgement about which one you need; don't blindly buy some book your friend is buying! A good book should have some attributes which you must be aware of. It should be written by a well known author or else a reputed publishing house should print it; check the credentials of the author in the book. The preparation book should have three main categories of contents. That is, for each subject you should have explanation of concepts, ample questions and a number of complete tests for practice. If either of these is missing then the preparation book is certainly not worth buying. In such a case you can think of buying two which in totality give you what you want. The content of the book matters next. Check the book for sufficient explanations of concepts, tips, strategies, tactics etc to handle the test. Glance through the questions and you will get an idea of the difficulty level. Pay special attention to how the analytical writing analysis questions are dealt with. You will require a lot of practice for this section in order to get a good score. Go through a little bit of the information given and see if it can be of help to you. Another aspect of a good preparation book is its appearance. The book should be printed in a clear legible print, the binding should be lasting and sturdy, the overall look should be attractive; after all you shall spend maximum time with this book for the next three months! There should be a CD of instructions along with the book and the edition that you pick should be the latest one. The CD should contain instructions and some practice tests for the computer adaptive format of the test. Some of the well known books for preparation of GRE in the market are Kaplans GRE Exam, Princeton Review, Petersons Ultimate GRE Tool Kit and Barrons How to Prepare for the GRE. You can look for these books on sites like ebay.com and amazon.com, or download some preparation book soft copy if you get a link. Another helpful book is the GRE Big Book which was released by ETS. It contains full real tests and is a good book for practice, but it is not printed anymore. Check for its availability on ebay and amazon.
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