Sep 16, 2011

Review of Kaplan New GRE 2011-2012 Premier with CD ROM

The Kaplan New GRE 2011-2012 Premier with CD-ROM is another resource you can consider using during preparation for the new GRE. Kaplan is a name well established in the GRE prep scene and is one of the top five GRE preparation books that are in popular use today. First off, lets start with reviewing the pluses about this book,

First off, it should be said that the Kaplan book is not good at everything it tries to do. But there are some things that it does quite well so it should be judged on those merits. Also, once you read the good things about the book, you can check out what isn't so good in this book so that you can make a better decision whether to invest in it or not.

  • Lots of Practice: It is important to identify weaknesses before you start preparation. The paper based practise tests included in the book do a good job of identifying your weaknesses in the run up to the GRE.

  • Lots of Tips: Kaplan provides strategies on how to tackle the exam in general as well as example problems that clarify each concept in the quantitative section.

  • Lots of study tips and advice on taking the test.

  • More Practice Tests with an Online Component:  Real time practise is vital to doing well on the GRE. Kaplan provides buyers of its prep book with a registration no that gives you access to 5 tests online and the paper based test too. Once you have brushed up your math skills and become familiar with the types of problems that may be asked, you can go ahead and try one or two practise tests online using their code. You will then be able to know for yourself how good you are at this and prepare accordingly from then on.

  • Helpful CD-ROM: The Kaplan GRE book provides you with a companion CD that gives you access to ten practise tests for verbal and quantitative each and practise material for trying out analytical writing five times.

  • Answers to all questions are given in the Kaplan book.

  • Good Online Component: The online system available to those who buy the book has got good reviews from those who have used it. However, some users say that there is the need for more full-length tests rather than sections that test only one section of the GRE. ie: Verbal/ quantitative.

In a nutshell the Kaplan GRE 2011-2012 prep book includes:
Now that you know the positives of getting this book, take a look at the negatives before you decide if you really want to get it.

Why you should NOT buy the Kaplan GRE book:

  • Not Very Suited for Learning Math Basics from: The section that reviews the Math section (quantitative) is mediocre at best. Those who are poor in their math fundamentals would do well to get the Princeton Review book for GRE (My Review of Princeton Review's Cracking the GRE 2012) which has much better material to study from for the Math and verbal section too. The Kaplan is better for practice questions than teaching you the fundamentals. Other great books that teach you the fundamentals of the Math section are the CliffNotes Math Review which has extensive coverage on all the type of math questions that would be asked on the GRE.

  • Less Examples: Only one example per concept in the math reference section.

  • In the Practice Tests Verbal & Quantitative sections have to be Attempted Separately: The practise tests are not full length like the real GRE. Instead, there are 5 sections on the verbal and quantitative section which you can attempt individually but not back-to-back like you would have to do on the exam day. However, this isn't a huge problem since the main thing is that you need to have ample practise questions and the Kaplan gives you more than enough of that.

  • There seems to be a few errors in the quantitative section so you need to watch out for those.

On the whole, the Kaplan GRE 2011-2012 book with CD-ROM is a good buy for its range of practice questions that do a great job of familiarizing the test-taker with a lot of questions to try out. But if you have a weak math background then you should take a look at the reviews I have posted for the GRE Barrons 2012 book which has a much more comprehensive math review section as well as a whole lot of useful tips for the verbal section. Another great book for brushing up your math from the basics is the CliffNotes Math Review which does a great job too. Check out the review for the CliffNotes Math Review book.