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.

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.

Unknown 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 Chao 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 :(

nancy john said...

Nice collections of GRE Books.

Unknown said...

Interesting blog.I used Kaplan's Math Workbook. That was really helpful.I was determined in taking 160+ in Math. Hence I started reading Math from the basics and I learnt Math Formulas and concepts thoroughly.
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