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Barron's GRE Verbal Workbook Paperback – Aug 1 2011

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great Challenging Questions, Good Price! Aug. 23 2012
By PerpetualLearner - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was debating between getting the Kaplan Verbal Workbook or Barron's Verbal Workbook because I felt I needed extra verbal practice. They were only around $10 each so I ended up getting both. I am glad I did; they did not end up being redundant and both provided me with the extra practice I needed.

Here are the salient features of each book:

Kaplan Verbal Workbook:
-More questions
-Better explanations of answers (in general)
-has a list of word groups (groups of words with similar meaning)
-has a list of word roots
-has a section about the essay part of the exam (somewhat helpful, but not as helpful as the Princeton Review's essay section in their General Review book, which provides a template for the essays)

Barron's Verbal Workbook:
-More difficult questions (these will really challenge you)
-Not as good explanations
-More difficult reading comprehension passages
-a huge "GRE dictionary" in the back which includes the definition of the word as well as an example sentence
-no extra essay section

For vocabulary, I bought Barron's Essential Words for the GRE, which included 800 words, and used it as my foundation (you can check out my Amazon review on that). The GRE dictionary section in Barron's Verbal Workbook contained waaaaaaaay more than those 800, so I just skimmed it for words I didn't know, extracted them, and studied them as a list for additional vocabulary.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Useful book to use among several verbal workbooks for the GRE May 21 2012
By Bikes With The Fishes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just took the GRE (August 2012) ended up scoring in the 85th percentile! I used this book as one of my main books that I used for vocab. Here is a review of all the books I used for the verbal section:

First, I used the Kaplan New GRE Verbal Workbook
New GRE Verbal Workbook (Kaplan GRE)
While I usually don't like Kaplan as a company (and I have not used any of their other books), I *would* highly recommend using their verbal workbook as there seems to be a good amount of practice problems and they seem similar to what you might see on the GRE.

Secondly, I did use the Barron's GRE Verbal Workbook Barron's GRE Verbal Workbook and while I found it useful for it's large amount of practice problems, I found some of the vocab words used as answers were less common that what I saw either on the GRE or on other practice problems and practice tests. With this noted, I still recommend using this book.

Finally, I did use Manhattan's Reading Comprehension and Essay GRE Strategy Book as well. Reading Comprehension & Essays GRE Strategy Guide, 3rd Edition (Manhattan Prep Strategy Guides). The best thing I got from this book is learning how to take brief notes while reading over the reading passages on the GRE. Taking notes helps to reinforce what you are reading, a technique not talked about very often by other books. The practice problems in this book are decent, but nothing above that. I do wish they could have put more practice problems in this book (like the Kaplan

If you need help with your vocab words, I used both the Manhattans 500 Essential Words Flash Cards 500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards as well as the Manhattan 500 Advanced Words Flash Cards 500 Advanced Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards. After making it through both of these sets of flash cards, I felt like I had a fairly good vocabulary for the GRE and did see many of these words on the test.

With this noted, if you do have additional time after finishing these two sets of flash cards, I **HIGHLY RECOMMEND** that you learn the 300 or so most common root words for the GRE as well. Root words are very helpful in deciphering words that you don't know that will come up on the GRE. I found Barron's Essential Words for the GRE book Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's GRE) to be a good source for this, although I'm sure you can find these same root words in the Kaplan or related books as well. And while 300 root words seems like a lot of words to learn, you will probably know some/many of these words already, so fear not! There doesn't seem to be a good set of root word flash cards out there, so I ended up making my own, which was fine. One last note about learning root words: they will also help to strengthen and reinforce the vocab words you already know or are learning from both sets of the Manhattan cards. Learn your root words!

One final note about both practicing your verbal, but also your math/quantitative: do as many practice tests as you can!!! When you purchase a book (any book I believe) from Manhattan, you get an access code to 6 full length online practice tests. I found these practice tests VERY VERY USEFUL for getting comfortable with the GRE format but also applying all of the verbal and math skills I was practicing. Most of the questions are very similar in difficulty to what you will see and you can review your questions as well. By the way, always review problems you get wrong, this is really important! For Kaplan, you have to purchase the Kaplan Premiere GRE review book to get the disc with access to 10 verbal practice tests and 10 quantitative practice tests. Like the Manhattan, I found these practice tests VERY VERY useful. Do yourself a favor, and get access to both the Manhattan and the Kaplan practice tests It will help immensely!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Do exercises on this book when you are bored June 5 2012
By Xiaoye Wang - Published on
The advantage of this book is that it provides a massive amount of exercises in verbal section (which is why it is called the verbal workbook). So if you are not too confident about the verbal section, you may consider to use this.

Also, as other commenters said, it is really helpful in building up vocabularies for you by providing a huge "GRE dictionary" towards the end of the book. I found it quite helpful.

However, I had this book after I have finished practicing with the ETS Official Guide and Princeton Review's Cracking the New GRE, and the type of questions it provides do not seem to match up with what ETS, the test maker, says. For example, in question 9 on page 23 of this book, it asks to fill in the blank with idioms such as "putting the cart before the horse", "building castels in the air", and "justifying the means by the ends achieved". I mean, although ETS loves to ask you about logical connections, it would rarely use phrases as such because, thinking about all those international test-takers, they would be less likely to know these culturally specific phrases. ETS is mean and try to find ways to trick you, but I don't think they would be that mean to the international test takers.

So if you just about taking GRE, I would suggest you to use ETS' official guide first, and then probably the Princeton Review (i found questions on this book greatly resemble those provided by ETS). Finally, if you are not confident about your verbal scores, you can try to purchase this book. But be cautious, because things you see on this book may not like what you will see in your actual GRE test.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
a good verbal workbook May 19 2012
By annamal - Published on
Verified Purchase
I found this book very helpful. It allows to practice each question type, one at a time. The only thing I didn't like is that answer explanations were useless. They basically repeat the question with the answer inserted in it and do not explain WHY, unlike some other workbooks I used.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Useful book Aug. 9 2013
By xianhui feng - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good questions and match the real test high frequency words. Barron's book is always my first choice when I choose to buy a text prepare book.