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We all know that there are no two individuals in this world who are exactly alike with the same behaviour patterns and ways of reacting to situations. So much so, that even siblings don’t have the same characteristics even though they have been brought up in the same manner and conditions. With so many variations between individuals, how can we expect all GRE test-takers to use the same test materials? When there are so many differences between individuals, it is obvious that their study habits and needs also differ. Every GRE aspirant has a personal set of preferences and needs when it comes to studying for the General Test. It is to serve these needs and answer the various queries related to the test and the prep materials, that a variety of test materials have been created.
Many questions rise in the minds of test-takers when they look for appropriate study materials; and there are as many types of materials that satisfy their demands. Let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions-
For those who are in the initial phase of GRE preparation or want to work on all the sections of the test evenly, there is a requirement of study materials that cover the entire syllabus and give adequate information about the verbal and quantitative concepts. To facilitate learning in such conditions, GRE books which give complete guidance for the General Test are available. The most popular GRE books are Princeton Review’s Cracking the New GRE, Kaplan’s New GRE 2011-2012: Strategies, Practice and Review, Barron’s New GRE 19th Edition and The Official Guide to Revised GRE General Test by ETS. These books contain details about the whole test syllabus along with ample number of practice questions and sample papers that help the test-takers be aware of the test pattern. The books are accompanied by CDs which contain lessons on important concepts from the test content and a practice test that acquaints one with the computer-based test pattern.
Other than the books, the other materials that give lessons on the whole test syllabus are GRE software and online GRE courses which give step by step guidance for the test. The best GRE software are Kaplan and Powerprep II.
For those test-takers who are not so good with numbers and want to put in extra effort with respect to the Quantitative Reasoning section, separate test materials are available that focus on the Quantitative section exclusively. These are books like Ultimate Math Refresher by Barnes and Noble and Kaplan’s GRE Math Workbook. These books have ample practice material for this particular section and they help the test-taker to score high in the final test. Other online materials based on the Quantitative Reasoning section can also be found on the internet along with flashcards based on important concepts in the section.
GRE is an international test in which the English verbal skills are very important. For those who desire to take up a course that requires a high score in the Verbal Reasoning section or want to practice more for it, there are separate materials that concentrate on this section exclusively. One can find GRE flashcards with GRE books that help in developing a large vocabulary. Also, there are books like Kaplan GRE Verbal Workbook, Princeton Review’s Verbal Workout and Word Smart for the GRE that provide enough practice materials for this section.
It is known to all that the General Test is not designed on mugged up facts; rather it tests the reasoning skills of the test-takers. But for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, there are a few concepts and principles that have to be clear in one’s mind before one takes up the test. Making the task of memorising these concepts easy, are flashcards, a unique type of test materials, that are compact printed cards which can be carried in pockets or purses, thus letting one study anywhere. Each flashcard contains information about one topic which can be glanced over every now and then, thus helping to learn the concepts properly. The verbal flashcards have questions related to developing a good vocabulary and the flashcards for Quantitative section, contain mathematical concepts and principles.
These flashcards can be found as pull-outs with GRE books or in the downloadable and printable formats online. One can find online flashcards on certain websites that give practice for multiple choice questions. Also available are sets of flashcards which can be bought from websites like www.amazon.com.
It is not at all necessary that one has to stick to books and other printed materials for test preparation. For those who like to keep up the pace with modern day technology, there are GRE software that contain full-fledged courses along with practice questions and tests. Popular names of software are Kaplan software and PowerprepII software that has been designed by ETS itself. These software prepare one for the computer-based format of the test which is being preferred by most students nowadays.
There are many preparation websites that give online coaching for the test. One can have the preparation materials mailed to self or can get access to it after enrolling for these courses. Also, one can download lists of practice questions and practice tests from the internet sources but caution should be taken to ensure that the materials do not get corrupted.
Internet has made things far easier and accessible in the field of preparation. There are many sources for online preparation such as
These materials are a boon for the test-takers who are restricted to their homes and cannot take up formal coaching for the test. They can use these materials and easily achieve high scores in the test.
Most of the times, after having spent on the registration fee for the test and buying expensive preparation materials, test-takers have the tendency to look out for some free materials that can be consulted as references. Internet has many websites that offer free test materials for GRE once the individual registers with those websites.
gradmentor.com - http://gradmentor.placementor.com/free_gre_test_prep_material.htm and number2.com - http://www.number2.com/exams/gre/companion/index.cfm?s=0
But one should check beforehand that the materials are authentic and have been updated with the changes as per the latest test pattern. One can find free test materials on the official GRE website as well as at the link: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare?WT.ac=rx46. Being the official test materials, they are guaranteed as genuine and are in sync with the changing test design.
ETS, the organisation behind the creation, administration and assessment of GRE tests, is not just limited to these jobs but also provides the test-takers with test materials that can help them know the test pattern in advance and also give them knowledge about the test syllabus. There is a variety of official test materials (free and priced both). Among the free materials is the PowerprepII software, Practice Book for Paper-based Revised General Test, Math Review and Math Conventions that can be downloaded from the official website at the link: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare. There are other official materials like the famous Official Guide to GRE Revised General Test and Score It Now- Online Writing Practice service which are priced materials.
Thus, with all the major queries about the GRE materials answered, there is not supposed to be any confusion in the minds of the various test-takers and you can easily pick up the preparation materials that suit your needs the most.
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