When you're a self-motivated studier, or just do not have time (or cash!) to attend a GRE test prep course, then studying with a GRE book like one of these listed below is a great option! Plus, when studying from a book, you'll have the benefit of studying on your own time, whether that's cramming in a study session prior to work or slipping in a late-night session after everyone else is asleep.
Each one of the best GRE books offers practice tests, strategies, tips and content questions to help guide you toward the top Revised GRE score you can possibly earn, but since every book has a particular strength (ranging from readability to thoroughness), it wouldn't hurt to purchase a couple of these to get the most bang for your buck. They're all very competitively priced.
Here are a few of the best GRE books out there for prepping for the Revised GRE.
Publisher: The Princeton Review
Why Buy? Readability
The Princeton Review is known for their stellar test prep materials, and this book is not an exception! It's a great asset for anyone studying for the Revised GRE. Not only does the Princeton Review offer a DVD with many practice items, it also offers strategies to master each one of those items. Here's the real reason to pick it up: It's readable. Many test prep practice books are convoluted, clunky or just plain boring. The Princeton Review hires writers that can deliver a book that can help prep for the test and not bore you to death in the process.
Why Buy? Practice tests
The latest edition of GRE Premier by Kaplan offers 5 practice tests online and a DVD, too, so if you like to simulate the test prior to testing, this book (and the corresponding website) is the purchase for you. Although I'd rank this lower in the "readability" category than the Princeton Review book, it offers strategies and test-taking tips that are quite useful.
Publisher: Research and Education Association, Inc.
Why Buy? Instant scoring
If you purchase the book, you get access to online practice tests as well. The benefit: instant scoring with immediate feedback about where you went right or wrong. These explanations will tell you why your choice was wrong, instead of just giving explanations about the correct answer, a problem that many test prep books have. If that's not enough, you'll take a diagnostic exam first, so you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses prior to studying. Love it!
Why Buy? It's from the makers of the test
Considering that the GRE exam can impact your life's decisions (If you don't get into any schools because your scores are so poor, then what?), it makes sense to choose a test prep book from people who actually put the test together. Hence, this book is a good buy. There are two complete practice tests – one in the book and one on the enclosed CD – with strategies designed to help you conquer each type of question. Although the books is a tad dull, it does offer some good testing tip for the GRE.
Why Buy? Thoroughness
Struggling with a particular issue in the GRE Quantitative section? This book is for you. This GRE book breaks the test down in many different ways, so strategies, concepts and test content are individually scrutinized and explained. The book also offers eight practice tests, access to McGraw-Hill's online prep center with even more practice tests and problem-solving videos. Plus, they have an entire section in the book devoted to logic, which is tested heavily in all arenas on the GRE exam. There's pretty much nothing left untouched by this book, so if you want access to everything, this book is for you!
Why Buy? Strategy
Barron's is one of the most recognizable names in test prep, but I wouldn't buy this book for its popularity. Choose this book if you need specialized tactics for every sort of question out there. There are 15 strategies alone for reading comprehension questions, so no matter which type of question trips you up, you have a strategy to master it. The book also offers screen shots of the computer interface you'll encounter on test day (Yay for no surprises!), two additional practice tests on the CD-ROM, and comprehensive subject reviews. It's a keeper!