Barron's Essential Words for The GRE
is a 400-plus page vocabulary workbook specifically designed to prepare test takers for the GRE. The book contains 80 vocabulary lessons. Each lesson includes ten words with definitions and sample sentences. Each lesson also includes ten matching, ten fill-in-the-blank, and five in-context questions. Along with two mini-tests and a comprehensive vocabulary review, the workbook provides over 2,000 practice questions. There is also a sizable section covering root words. Pros1. Vocabulary Exercises
– The variety and number of practice questions is excellent. Definitions are clear and sufficient, while the sample sentences help to see how the words actually function in a sentence.2. Word List
– While a number of these words may have been carried over from previous, "old GRE" editions, the vocabulary is still relevant and worth studying. Easy words are in the minority, so expect to see lots of advanced vocabulary! Cons1. Word Roots Section
- The etymology section does not seem very comprehensive; there is no real discussion of word roots, nor is there a sufficient amount of practice questions to properly absorb the material.Closing RemarksEssential Words for The GRE
offers almost everything that one can reasonably expect from a vocab workbook. The vocabulary is challenging, while the practice questions are fantastic. The (separate) word roots section, however, basically functions as an incomplete dictionary with some matching exercises thrown in the mix, so that part of the book dissapoints. Overall, this is a solid resource.