GRE stands for Graduate Record Exam. It is a standardized exam conducted by ETS and is a prerequisite for admission to graduation courses in the US. GRE is a test of academic knowledge and capabilities that one requires for pursuing higher education. It serves the purpose of scrutinizing students for their academic potential. Merely clearing the exam is not sufficient; you have to aim at obtaining a high percentile for getting admission in a college of your choice.
The test is based on the education one receives at the school level. It tests candidates for the aptitudes one is expected to have developed through years of schooling. Nonetheless one needs to deliberately preparation for the exam. You can not aim at getting a high score without toiling for it! You shall have to devote three to four months of uncompromised commitment for preparation.
As a first time exam taker you are likely to be unaware of the study material required for the preparation. There are umpteen study materials which can help you prepare, but you have to be selective enough to pick the apt study aid which suits your needs. Before you finalize on any prep material it is vital that you have a clear idea of what the pros and cons of each are.
A good study material for GRE is the one which fulfils your individual requirements. By requirements it is not just meant the knowledge that you have to gain but also the time available with you, the style of studying which suits you best, the kind of environment you wish to study in, the confidence you have in yourself etc. Thanks to the advancement in technology, the modes of acquiring knowledge and learning have seen a lot of development. The conventional method of studying from books is now passed; there are several options available.
Let us first discuss the most easily available study aid: GRE books. Well established publishers print some very good GRE books which have helped many a student score high in the test. You have a wide variety of books to choose from. A good book for preparation would mean the one which has both, explanation of concepts and practice questions. If either of these is missing in one single book then you can buy more than one book, one for concepts and the other for practice. Check the table of contents of the book to make sure that all the topics that you require are discussed in the book. Further, the language of the explanations should be simple and lucid. You don't want a book which has a style and language which is difficult to comprehend. Most of the preparation books available today also have a CD of instructions and practice tests along. This is a remarkable feature of a good study material of the test. It significantly helps those who have to appear for CAT by giving them practice of the computer adaptive GRE tests, before they go in for the real one. This way they don't have to look for taking the practice tests elsewhere.
GRE Big Book is one highly recommended study material. This book is a compilation of 27 real test papers along with answer keys. ETS had released this book and that makes this Big Book the official preparation material. There are no other tests prepared solely for the purpose of practice in this book, nor is there any explanation of concepts and strategies or list of formulae. This Big Book is just a collection of genuine test papers. This Big Book is considerably useful for vocabulary. The reading comprehension passages will give you a fair idea and practice of the type and standard of questions asked.
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