Recommended by Kelly Roell, About.com test prep guide (Source: "Best GRE Books, About.com, July 2012")
Are you taking the GRE?
Then you need GRE - A Strategic Approach - Complete GRE Prep!
Written by a team of experts with extensive experience in graduate-admissions test prep, our GRE - A Strategic Approach was written entirely with the unique needs of the GRE test candidate in mind and covers every facet of the test. Our expert subject review and strategy pointers give you an advantage on test day and help you get into the graduate school of your choice.
Focused chapter reviews cover all the information tested on the exam. The authors’ lively, conversational approach explains the content and structure of the test in a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand style that takes the mystery (and anxiety) out of the GRE. Each review chapter is filled with examples, practice quizzes, sample questions, and drills to reinforce key concepts.
A full-length diagnostic exam is available online so you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses as you study. Two full-length, multiple-choice practice tests in the book simulate the actual GRE General Test. Each practice test is balanced to include every type of question, subject area, and skill tested on the exam. Our practice tests replicate the GRE question format, allowing you to assess your skills and gauge your test-readiness.
Every practice exam comes with detailed feedback on every question. We don’t just say which answers are right—we explain why the other answer choices are wrong—so you’ll be prepared on test day.
This test prep is a must-have for all grad school candidates taking the GRE!
About the Author
The book’s lead author (core review and strategies), Doug Tarnopol, M.A., brings a unique mix of talents and experience to test-prep teaching, tutoring, and instructional design. Doug has fifteen years of varied experience in test preparation. He has taught and tutored students of all backgrounds and advised both students and parents; he has also developed instructional print materials, designed online tests and courses, and run online academic support. Doug combines over a decade of test-preparation experience in teaching, instructional design, and front-line customer and academic support with an academically rigorous education.
Since moving to Rhode Island in 2005, Doug has been tutoring students for the SAT and ACT, as well as admissions-essay review, GRE, and GMAT. He has also tutored high school students in American history, English literature, biology, and writing, as well as college students in history, writing skills, and algebra. Currently, when not tutoring students for the SAT, ACT or GRE, Doug is working on a book for the new AP Biology exam.
Elizabeth Rollins, M.A., has been a curriculum developer, editor, and content author for educational publishers for more than ten years. Formerly the Director of Research and Development for GRE Programs at the Princeton Review, Elizabeth directed a complete revision of the then existing GRE course. She has also written lessons and assessment material for high-stakes and national standardized tests. Elizabeth wrote all of the verbal test items for the two paper-and-pencil and two computer-based practice tests.
Norman Levy, Ph.D., has been the Director of Mathematics and Testing for NJL College Preparation in Albertson N.Y., for the past twenty-five years. He coordinates all the instruction and materials for the math preparation required for AP Calculus, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II, and PSAT. He also personally instructs individuals and groups in all levels of mathematics, ranging from middle school math through calculus. Previously, he was the Mathematics Coordinator for the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (N.Y.). He supervised staff , participated in textbook selection, held teacher-training workshops, and implemented new programs as required to meet or exceed state standards.
Norm is a prolific author, having written more than 20 books in his career. Most recently he has written REA’s AP Calculus AB & BC. He has also authored review books for PRAXIS II, ACT, Essential Math for the College Bound, Big 8 Mathematics, PSAT/NMSQT, Study Cards for the SAT I Math, CLEP Calculus, and SAT Subject Test: Math Levels I and II. Norm wrote all of the quantitative test items for the two paper-and-pencil and two computer-based practice tests.
Gerri Budd, Ph.D., is a GRE rater for Educational Testing Service and a consultant for Sun Education Services. Previously, she worked as the Manager of Graduate Studies Support Services for Seton Hall University, where she created support services for grad students and managed graduate student admissions/recruitment. Gerri shares her knowledge of the grad school application process in our appendix entitled “A Quick Reference Guide to Graduate School.”
Read an Excerpt
The GRE has three main sections: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing (a.k.a., essays).
The Verbal section tests your reading skills and indirectly your vocabulary. It also tests your grasp of sentence structure as well as logic as it applies to sentence structure. This is common-sense logic, not esoteric symbolic logic.
The Quantitative section tests your knowledge of junior-high-school math and a bit of basic data analysis. You once knew this material, which is not difficult compared with, say, calculus or even trigonometry. With that in mind, this section should not be a problem. However, if you’re not a math person, it’s possible you’ve avoided this topic since you took the SAT or ACT. If that’s the case, don’t worry. We’ll help you review.
The Analytical Writing section includes two essays: an analysis of an issue and an analysis of an argument. These essays are more concerned with the structure and organization of an argument than the artfulness of written expression, as you’ll see later in detail. The issue essay prompts you to build an effective argument and the argument essay prompts you to analyze someone else’s less effective argument. They are mirror images of each other and will be covered later in more detail.
STRUCTURE AND TIMING
The computer-based GRE, which most readers will take, has the structure shown in the table on the next page. Don’t worry about which section(s), if any, is the unscored or research section; just treat each section the same. Also, don’t freak out if you have a few more or a few less than 20 questions in a section. There may be some variability.
You get 3 hours and 45 minutes to take the test. It’s a lengthy test. Several breaks should help: a 10-minute break after the third section, and 1-minute breaks between the other sections. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take full-length practice tests: These will help you prepare for a major requirement of the GRE test: the ability to sit still and concentrate. The Germans call this ability sitzfleisch (ZITS-fl [eye]sh). You might call it “chair glue.”
You will probably take this test on a computer, and we’ll explore the interface, which you’ve already seen. Our hope is you’re reading this after taking your diagnostic full-length test. Thus, you’ll need to use scratch paper, which will be provided at the test center.
Besides the interface, the paper-based test differs from the computer-based test in a few ways. The paper-based testing time is 3 hours and 30 minutes, has approximately 25 questions in each Verbal and Quantitative reasoning sections, and allows 5 more minutes to complete each of those sections.
From this point, do not write anything in this book unless you’re specifically told to do so! You need to get used to practicing on scratch paper from the start.
We’ll also explore the anatomy of each item type in the relevant sections as we encounter them. For now, let’s agree on some terms.
• “Item” is how we’ll refer to what normal people call “questions.” Not every “item” is framed like a question, and this term thus avoids confusion.
• We’ll refer to “normal” multiple-choice items—in which you choose the one correct answer from several options as “multiple-choice items.” These multiple-choice items are indicated by ovals on-screen, as you saw.
• We’ll refer to the less-familiar multiple-choice items—in which you choose more than one (but not always more than one!) answer from several options—as “multiple-response items.” Multiple-response items, by this definition, are indicated by boxes on-screen, as you saw.
• When you have to fill in an answer, we’ll call that a . . . wait for it . . . “fill-in.”
• The word-selection items in the Verbal section, which we will discuss later, will not be distinguished from multiple-choice items because it doesn’t matter from your perspective whether you click on an oval or on the word itself.
• We’ll refer to another type of item from the Verbal section, in which you highlight a sentence or other bit of text in a passage, as “highlighters.”
We’ll refer to items that ask about a highlighted word or sentence as either multiple-choice or multiple-response items. That function is identical to line numbering in the SAT or ACT paper-based testing. Again, this doesn’t change a thing from the test-taker’s perspective.
• Any passage with associated items or a math figure or data set with multiple associated items will be called a “testlet.” The term “testlet” is useful because it describes what these sets are: mini-tests within the big test. Besides, “testlet” is a term from psychometrics and you can use it to impress your friends and prospective employers.
We’ll introduce a few section-specific terms of art later. Since psychologists state seven items is the maximum one can retain at once in short-term memory, that’s enough for now.
This test includes both an online calculator and the ability to go back and forth within a section, using a review screen to reorient yourself. Go to our online practice-test center and ETS’s PowerPrep online practice any time before your actual test to remove any unfamiliarity with how it works.
There’s been much hoopla over the GRE’s “section-level adaptivity.” The bottom line for you, the test-taker, is it’s not relevant. Based on extensive research and discussions with multiple psychometricians, we’ve determined that how you do on Section 1 of either the Verbal or Quantitative section determines your rough, or “fuzzy” score. That performance triggers the construction of Section 2, which tightens the focus on your score. Again, the upshot is that you should do what you’d normally do—the best you can with the time you’re given. That’s that.
TAKING THE GRE REVISED GENERAL TEST FOR BUSINESS SCHOOL
There are hundreds of business schools across North America and overseas that now accept the GRE General Test for admission to MBA programs and there are good reasons for this.
1. If you’re not sure what you want to do after you graduate, take the GRE. Whether you want to go to grad school or business school, the GRE revised General Test may be the only test you need.
2. GRE scores are accepted by more than 300 business schools, including those that are ranked high, like Harvard, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, and Stanford University (you can find the full list at http://www.ets.org/gre/general/about/mba/programs).
3. According to ETS, the GRE revised General Test measures skills that are valued by business schools, such as verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing.
No matter the reason you are taking the GRE revised General Test, we are here to help you get that score you need!
Table of Contents
Letter to the Student
About the Authors
About Research & Education Association
Going Online to Take the Diagnostic Test
Your Diagnostic Test Score
Understanding Your Score
Elements of the Score Report
Scores in the Application Process
Planning Your Preparation
CHAPTER 1: ABOUT THE GRE
Structure and Timing
Registering for the GRE
About the GRE Subject Tests
Taking the GRE Revised General Test for Business School
CHAPTER 2: GLOBAL STRATEGIES
Stand the Test of Time
CHAPTER 3: THE VERBAL SECTION
Form and Function
Sentence Equivalence Items (SEs) and Text Completions (TCs)
Sentence Equivalence (SE) Strategies
Text Completion (TC) Strategies
Reading Comprehension (RC)
Reading Comprehension (RC) Strategies
CHAPTER 4: THE MATH SECTION
Form and Function
Math Content Review
Quantitative Comparison (QC) Strategies
Problem Solving (PS) Strategies
Data Analysis (DA) Strategies
CHAPTER 5: THE ANALYTICAL WRITING SECTION
Introduction to the Essays
PAPER-AND-PENCIL TEST 1
PAPER-AND-PENCIL TEST 2
Appendix A: Score Conversion Table
Appendix B: Math Reference
Appendix C: GRE Vocabulary Enhancer
Appendix D: Drills and Practice Questions
Appendix E: A Quick Reference Guide to Graduate School
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is not a review of the book, but of the digital version. Beware: There is no passcode to take the online exams in the digital version of the book!!