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Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers?

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Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 20:18
I am prepping for both GRE & GMAT. Can someone who has been through both of them or only GRE yet, share his/her experience tips/strategies and what material to use and what not to? Ironically, I can't find any good/nice forum like gmatclub.com to find debriefs, tips, strategies, and what material is useful in reality. So, I think it would be nice to start sharing tips, strategies, and recommendations regarding material here on http://www.gmatclub.com, in a GRE section as some of the top B-schools are accepting GRE and many are starting to accept it. What do you say?
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 08:50
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I took both and I will write-up some of what I learned at length in a couple weeks. But until then (and until you take the test), the most important thing to do is learn vocabulary. It's something that you can't cram (at least I've never been able to) and it will suck up your time.

At least 25% of your scored exam will test your knowledge of often obscure English vocabulary words and how they relate to each other. If you get an experimental verbal section, it will be at least 33% of the questions you have to answer under test conditions. Many of the sentence structure questions will require your knowledge of obscure English vocabulary words so you can correctly parse the sentence, pushing the numbers as high as 3/8 and 1/2 of your final score and test condition questions, depending on how the sentence completion questions are posed.

If you are studying for the GMAT, you are covered on the quant side as far as material; you'll just have to understand the different question types on the two exams. Same with the reading comprehension questions, although those are presented almost identically on the two tests.

So the biggest thing you'll have to do is study the vocab. Then study the vocab again.

Make it a goal between now and your test date to memorize the meanings of at least 10 new words every day. Grab the Kaplan flash cards for the 500 most-tested vocabulary words. If you don't regularly read a high-level news site/publication (NYT, WSJ, Economist -- preferably the Economist because they easily use more GRE words than the other two combined) you should try to start. And start looking up every word you can't immediately define and for which you can't recall a synonym & antonym.

Best of luck and I'll post more info/tips over the next couple of weeks as stuff winds down at work for me.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 09:52
Thanks man, it's really helpful and useful. I've started doing vocabulary from High Frequency GRE Wordlist and learning about 10-15 words each day and then put them in a software Anki as Flashcards and also recording sentences made by me, so that I can review them frequently and then listen to my own sentences in my own voice :) which is really helpful to remember words. By the way I just hate cramming and I hate that we engineers have to cram all those obscure words (I think only the most important words used in daily life or in business or in formal writing, not those used in poetry or novel should've been tested).
I hate them and I am just going to beat them really hard hehe, so I am trying to learn them in my own ways and relating them to some funny things and also to some visual things, also making expressions of those words sometimes hehe (acting by using those words). What overall book do you suggest to start from? Kaplan or Barron's or Cracking GRE by Princeton??? Which one do you suggest and why? Please! reply as I need honest and authentic advice/suggestion.
Thanks! again and do pray for me.

Cheers,
Atif
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 20:01
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Hi AtifS,

If Vocab is distasteful to you, Kaplan's materials can help. One of our best features are our word categories, allowing your to learn dozens of words in one fell swoop. The GRE will never ask you for the difference between genial, sociable, and gregarious; neither will you need to know the difference between acrimonious, uncongenial, and misanthropic. Any of the former could be an antonym to any of the latter, because all of the former roughly mean 'friendly' and all of the latter roughly 'unfriendly.' Thus, rather than rely on individual definitions (though we offer those too!), we include them on our "Friendly/unfriendly" list. Leaning words by 'respectful/disrespectful', 'good/evil', 'changing/stable,' and so on, can help you keep track of a much larger pool of vocabulary than just trying to memorize a pile of definitions!
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 06:01
What Eli says is true. Word groups may be helpful for some people, although for me personally they didn't work as well as truly understanding the meaning of individual words. GRE can definitely test infrequently-used alternate definitions and the analogies can get tricky in terms of the relationships between the words. Kaplan will also try to help you understand a word's "charge" (i.e. its connotation, whether positive or negative) and introduce you to the most common stems and affixes. However, to be fair, Princeton Review does the same and I didn't notice any significant difference in this content between the standard TPR book and the standard Kaplan book. Kaplan's flash cards were a step above, however, and their live classes, if you were going to spring for them, are superior. Lastly, Kaplan, in my experience, tests at a higher level than TPR on CATs. I believe this holds true for both GRE and GMAT CATs. So if you're looking to challenge yourself and "over-perform" on test day, buy some Kaplan CATs.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 07:56
I think I am going for Kaplan Flashcards and also will get Kaplan Premier for GRE and also will get Cracking the GRE. I think Kaplan is really good at tackling problems (good strategies) but have to get a firm grasp on content and content wise Barron's has all the topics covered? kaplan CATs would be a nice practice material to get ready for difficult questions.
@Eli, thank you for suggestion and explanation. By word groups you mean root words?
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 08:24
AtifS wrote:

@Eli, thank you for suggestion and explanation. By word groups you mean root words?


http://books.google.com/books?id=KqtQ5G ... &q&f=false

Page 397 to 402.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 10:02
Got it, thanks for a quick response.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 19:43
Here in Pakistan TPR offers prep course of 8 weeks (36 hours) worth of 20000 Rupee=250$. I can do kaplan CATs & flashcards on my own and join TPR for preparation. What do you guys suggest?? Also, USEFP (United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan) offers GRE prep worth of 18000 Rupee=225$, also USEFP is the one which provides Fullbrigh scholarship to study in USA and then after studies come to your home country and serve for a duration same as you studied in USA and also share USA experience. Test center is also at USEFP.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2010, 03:56
Thanks for the debrief ..
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 10:07
In case you are starting GRE vocabulory, start with "Word power made easy" by Norman Lewis. It builds a good foundation in etymology and makes grasping words easier and interesting.
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2011, 07:51
I think follow books' instruction is good, however we should think about smth different, you guys should ask other candidate's experience
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Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers? [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2012, 06:21
You can refer Barron's as well...
Re: Best material for GRE? Any debrief from GRE test takers?   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2012, 06:21
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