Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kaplan and the GRE

A reader we'll call MV writes in with his take on the Kaplan tests. We welcome other opinions...

If anyone emails you about GRE preparation, I’d
recommend the Kaplan book with CD-ROM of practice
tests. I just took to actual GRE and scored about 200
points higher than on my practice exams. I felt that
the Kaplan practice exams were very difficult, and
they forced me to learn esoteric vocab words and the
different meanings of each word, think of more exact
word-relationships, and they taught me how to “read”
the reading comp passages and attack the questions
following the passage.

Regarding math section, I wasn’t too concerned, so I
only took a couple of practice sections and glossed
over the basic elements algebraic math. Kaplan’s math
approach seems inclusive of all of the topics and

The Kaplan tests are difficult, but if test-takes go
back to the questions that they missed and learned why
they missed them and understand their way of thinking
when they answered the question, then they will be
well prepared for the actual GRE.


Anonymous said...

I started out with the Princeton Review book with DVD and then picked up the verbal only Kaplan book. I preferred the Princeton Review book, but only slightly; its presentation seemed to gel better for me.

Were I applying for some math-based grad program, I would be raving about the PR book. Saying math isn't my forte is a staggering understatement. I studied the quant comp, but not nearly as much as verbal.

I took my GRE last week. The results? My quant comp score jumped by nearly 300 points over my first prac test score. The real kicker is, my official quant comp score was better than my verbal!

That's kind of annoying, actually. If this isn't a perfect case study of how wildly inaccurate the GRE can be in assessing ability, I don't know what would be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact the Kaplan is a good source for improving GRE scores, but I hate to wonder what the person’s score was initially (if they are up 200 points…! ) once you get above the 650 range you are pecking for every point… and there can be a lot of luck involved in depending on one’s ken.

I also think it is important to take into consideration that a 640 on verbal puts you in the 90th percentile, while a perfect 800 on the math only puts you at the 94th percentile. The verbal section is much harder.

UrnMalley said...

Ek is right, it's the percentages that matter, not the numbers - and teh percentages can change when more data is collected. I ended up with my math score in the 700's, but that's meaningless because the percentage was only in the 80's, while a lowr verbal provided me with a 90+percentage.

Oh, and I just used and the Barron's to study.

jaywalke said...

I used the "Cracking the GRE" book from Princeton Review, and it was $20 (and about 40 hours) well spent. I was aiming for a 700/700 on the test, but when I got in there the GRE felt more difficult than the practice tests. I thought I was going down the standardized tubes.

However, something must have stuck because I got a 730 verbal/770 math score.

Ali said...

I used the Kaplan book with CD and the Princeton Review Book. I preferred the Princeton Review Techniques for the Quant. especially (didn't want to look too unbalanced). My Kaplan book (and it was from 2005) annoyed me because it described the CD as having '3 full length practice tests' and when I finally installed it to take them - I found out that there was a ton of stuff on the CD - lots of practice sets, special games and Vocab exercises. At that point, I only had time to do the practice tests. I'm not sure if they've done a better job of describing the content on the CD for later Kaplan editions - but it's worth installing the thing right away.
In terms of the test - I thought the writing section was the most ridiculous.

Asli said...

I cannot believe how unorganized and inconsiderate the Kaplan program is! I signed up for an express course for the GRE well in advance to get a refresher before I took the exam. I was scheduled to take the exam on a tuesday and the express classes were scheduled for the saturday and sunday before it. Well, I got an email 4 days before I was to start the Kaplan classes saying that they cancelled...sorry....What the hell am I supposed to do? They couldnt let me know a few weeks earlier so I could at least make other arrangements? I should have taken everyones recommendations that
Princeton was the way to go!

Mavis said...

Hi Asli,

I signed up for Princeton Review and the same thing happened to me. A lady called me the day before the first class to notify me that the class has been cancelled due to not enough students. So i guess it is the same with both :(

Shopping Blog said...

There is not going to links of london uk happen such a difficulty that you can't find cheap links of london bracelet an identical topaz jewelry according to your costume. cheap links of london charms It is monitored that besides the reality that it's a links of london watch uk great present to gift, it's also preferred by many people just for the links of london ring uk sake of an inclusion to their own jewelry collection. However, links of london necklaces uk if you'd really like to satisfy your partner and guarantee that she adores your present on this special date.

pro said...

Thanks for your share! I think this information is helpful for everyone. I'm doing practice GRE here: . I hope it's useful for GRE test takers.

scoregetter said...

nice blog. update more post.. we are GRE in chennai and gre coaching training classes in chennai .

nancy john said...

Nice collections of GRE Books.