Best and worst GRE Prep Material

Reading Time: 3 minutes

GRE is offered by the Education Testing Service (ETS) and is used by most graduate and business schools worldwide as a common evaluative score for international students. The test is divided into three sections Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.

To prepare for your GRE, we have listed some books that we feel will best equip you to master each section of the test, offer strategies for being successful before and during the test, and also provide you with practice questions to get you ready for test day.

Here’s the list to Best and worst GRE Prep Material

ETS: GRE The Official Guide to the Revised General Test

This guide includes four complete real tests (two are available using the included CD-ROM), hundreds of genuine test questions, thorough descriptions of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Content Areas plus tips for answering each type of question. It also contains an overview of the two types of Analytic Writing Tasks you will see on the test, including scored sample replies with actual raters’ comments.

Pros -The only official guide to GRE, it is one of the most authoritative text to refer to as it is designed by the company who creates the text. It is very trustworthy source as it can guide you to what you should be expecting in the exam.

Manhattan Prep

It offers a wide range of products that will help you to prep for your exam.

Pros – Their comprehensive material is compiled of 8 test taking strategies that emphasis on areas like Algebra; Fractions, Decimals, Percentage; Geometry; Number Properties; and Word Problems. Also, a noteworthy addition at the end of each book is that they have three sets of practice questions that are arranged according to their level of difficulty—easy, medium, and difficult. Best and worst GRE Prep Material

Cons – As the guide is detailed, it cannot be used for last minute prep.

Kaplan’s GRE Premier 2016

Equipped with strategies, test taking instructions and practice questions, this guide also comes with six full-length practice tests (five online, one in the book), a digital iPad download, a DVD, a mobile application and access to an online question bank, all of which make studying easier.

Pros – Giving you access to more than 2200 questions; the books are a wealth of test taking strategies that will simplify taking the exam for you. They also provide a 500-question online Quizbank and support from instructors through their Facebook page. Another feature that makes them a popular choice is a guarantee that using their resources would help you score higher on the GRE General Test or they provide a full refund to the student.

Barron’s GRE: 21st Edition

A well-known name in the test taking industry, this book comes with one diagnostic test and two full-length models of the actual test structure. You also get access to their online GRE Course material which comprises of video tutorials, quizzes, a practice question bank, and an iPad study app.

Pros – Well explained answers to the sample tests are provided, which helps in better assimilation.

Two books to not refer to –

McGraw-Hill’s GRE 2014 Edition, McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Math, McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE Verbal and Writing, McGraw-Hill’s 6 GRE Practice Tests

Contain very basic and non-GRE like questions, which will not be of any major help in exams. Will only be able to help you master the basics and not ace the more complicated concepts.

Gruber’s Complete GRE Guide 2015

Not a very appealing layout, and the content is also not up to the mark that you would see in an actual GRE exam. Again, very basic mastery can be achieved, but not recommended for serious GRE takers.

Students often opt for online GRE classes to score well. The Online GRE coaching services guide you through their decades of experience and enables you to make optimum use of the study strategies and materials.

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Best Books for IELTS Study

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are ample study materials available in the market for IELTS aspirants. However, few make sure you excel in your IELTS test that focuses on the four elements, i.e., Listening, Speaking, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Based on our research and the reviews of test-takers, we are listing here the best study materials that can help you maximize your scores in the IELTS test.

 

Here are the top-rated books for IELTS Study:

 

1.  Target Band 7: IELTS Academic – How to Maximize Your Score

This book is a strategic guide to the Academic IELTS test aiming to solve quintessential problems and aid them in refraining from making common mistakes. It is written by a former IELTS test–taker herself named Simone Braverman. Braverman provides useful tips, content and techniques for each of the four elements of the IELTS concisely. Sample exercises, material dealing with topic development, and clear language are the main highlights of this prep book, ensuring that the test-takers fully understand and perform brilliantly in every test section.

2. Ace the IELTS General – How to Maximize Your Score

This is another gem written by no other than Simone Braverman who has already published a study material for Academic IELTS. Simone Braverman is a former test taker and knows the key aspects to cover during exam preparation. The book encompasses the unique tips and tricks to ace the actual test. It an easy-to-understand book, designed effectively for you to familiarize with the General training IELTS. The book also includes the links to the online practice tests.

3. IELTS Cambridge Books

The IELTS Cambridge books comprises 10 volumes wherein each book includes 4 full tests and two General Training test – Reading and Writing which also includes answer keys. The IELTS Cambridge books are more reliable and authentic as they are published by IELTS itself. The book also facilitates you with CDs or Audio transcripts for listening the book contents.

4. IELTS Trainer

The authors Louise Hashemi and Barbara Thomas have strategized the IELTS preparations by developing your grammar and vocabulary. The book comprises six practice tests with answers and aims to share tips step-by-step on answering the questions with clear explanations. It enables you to build confidence and score well in the exam by taking four additional practice tests and helps you avoid common mistakes. The study material also includes audio scripts and model writing answers and answer keys with clear explanations.

5. Vocabulary for IELTS 

A strong vocabulary is a must for the IELTS test. It would be best if you had an IELTS vocabulary book to advance your writing and speaking skills for the test to improve it. The book contains various topics, a list of words and exercises. Understand and solve those exercises to crack the test and match the required band.

6. Grammar for IELTS

Grammar is a crucial part of any language. To prepare for IETLS, you should first have a good understanding of grammar. The book Grammar for IELTS will improve your accuracy and range of grammar for the test. The book guides you in two formats, i.e. text and audio with clear explanations. It also includes the exercises for practice that covers all your grammar required for the IELTS test.

7. Barron’s IELTS Superpack

This book is as extensive as it can be. Each section is described in immense detail, along with essential tips to grasp each section faultlessly. The super pack edition includes practice tests with two audio CDs for the listening component and a manual of necessary words to build your vocabulary for IELTS. It also consists of the CD in MP3 format to help you understand and clarify the pronunciation. Candidates who have studied this book reviewed it saying it is good to build up your confidence level as the difficulty level transitions from easy to tough as it puts together distinctive helpful material from Barron’s IELTS into a superpack. The audio CDs for Listening tests are in American English, however there are chances that on the day of the test you may interact with a person speaking in British English, Canadian English or Australian English, and more.

8. Road to IELTS

The British Council offers the Road to IELTS prep guide with mock papers, tutorial videos, interactive exercises. Road to IELTS is an online course available in three versions namely: ‘test drive’ which is free for download and gives you information of what is IELTS all about; ‘last minute’ is only accessible for free to those people who register for the IELTS test in association with the British Council, which gives you a practice session of up to 30 hours. The ‘full version’ is available for a price of $49.99 (estimated INR 3,300), which is a complete online IELTS course with over 300 interactive activities and nine practice tests. The ‘full version’ also contains tutorial videos by the British Council experts. This software keeps you updated on how you will be evaluated based on your practice tests.

Besides, you can also choose to join online IELTS coaching to get guidance directly from experienced professionals. These online IELTS classes can help you to access and make optimal use of the required course material with ease.

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