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GRE Summer Prep Courses - Worth it???

Serval2613Serval2613 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Long time CC browser, first time poster. I have just completed my undergraduate junior year (phew!) and am beginning to look into GRE preparation (I intend to take it in August or September). I bought two GRE prep books last year (Princeton Review and ETS), but am still waffling on whether or not to enroll in an online course (Kaplan or Princeton Review). They're not cheap, to say the least.

I want to know if I'm getting a good value for the money here. If so, what option(s) is/are the best - there are several options of traditional classroom, live online classroom, and self-paced online for both Kaplan and Princeton Review. If not, what are some good strategies for self-study? Thoughts, anyone?

Replies to: GRE Summer Prep Courses - Worth it???

  • mathandcsmathandcs Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    I'm taking the GRE soon and have just started preparing. As a former math major, the math was obviously easy for me. But the verbal part is surprisingly easy too. I'm not going to get 170, but I should clear 160 fairly easily. I don't say this to brag, but this test is significantly easier than it was on the 800 scale when I took it 5 years ago I think. Adaptive by section is much better than adaptive by question because you were SOL if you messed up just one easy (early) question. More importantly, there are no cold vocab questions anymore, so the ability to read is emphasized (only about half the questions are on vocab, and they're sentence completions, not analogies or whatever the old test had).

    If you want my personal opinion, I think those courses are a big scam (but I have a pretty negative view of tutoring in general I think). By this point in your academic career, you should be able to work through a GRE book and learn whatever math you don't know. Pretty much all the verbal "strategies" aren't worth the paper they're printed on and should be completely obvious to anyone who's been taking tests for 10+ years. I'd just focus on vocab (Barron's has a pretty good GRE vocab book) and take a few practice tests.

    For the essays, I guess you can do a few practice ones if you're not comfortable writing.
  • LaJay87LaJay87 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I'd say if you aren't good at those phoney tests ETS makes up, and didn't do amazingly well on the SAT, then take the prep course..however Magoosh is way cheaper than Kaplan and I found it a lot more effective. Kaplan's questions are too easy..
  • musiclyricsmusiclyrics Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I agree with with mathandcs above and most of those courses are big scam (very expensive) This website site http://www.bestgreprepbook.com/ benchmarks lots of GRE preparation materials and seems to reflect that as well. Those courses are much more expensive than the alternative preparation sources but did not drive significantly better results.
  • perazzimanperazziman Registered User Posts: 2,380 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    Honestly, you don't need to memorize any vocabulary lists to do well on the Verbal section of the GRE test. just do a lot of reading.

    My son took two paper practice tests out of the Official GRE book to familiarize himself with the test.Then, he took the real thing last week, so he could obtain a benchmark score. He did no vocabulary lists. He didn't even do the online practice tests to familiarize himself with the computerized format. He wanted to save them to prep for his retake. His lowest score on the three tests was a 167. He is basically done with the test, no prep and no retakes. So I am skeptical about the value of these vocabulary lists. Has anyone really managed to significantly improve their scores by using them?
This discussion has been closed.