I didn’t study for the PSAT or SAT, and I used to think that people who study for standardized tests are cheaters. As though if you study, your score is not worth as much as the score from a non-studier. Now I think that perspective is incorrect, since taking standardized tests has a lot to do with understanding the tests.
I happen to really like standardized tests and I do pretty well at them, but when my husband suggested that we should consider going to grad school together I thought maybe we should study for the GRE. I guess I thought it was going to be harder than the tests I’ve taken up to this point.
Happily I was incorrect. In fact, from what I can tell, the GRE is actually easier than the SAT. Especially the math sections. I did need to study because I had forgotten middle school math and geometry, but a quick refresher was all I needed. As I read, I could almost hear my geometry teacher, who had a great German accent, saying as she worked a proof “Und now vee are going to go and do ziss vone heah.” Anyway, the math is much simpler than SAT math, or maybe I would have found SAT math easier had I studied for it. Ahem.
Anyway, if you’ve been reading here long you know that when I want to know something, I read some books. So I read some books about the GRE. The first one I read, Crash Course for the New GRE, was immensely helpful to me because it is more of a general strategy book, giving an overview of each type of question and what they are really asking for. On the other hand, my more literal/tactical minded husband was driven nuts by the theoretical nature of this book. He much prefers to just work a set of problems, and then go back and figure out if he did them correctly. To each their own, so we tried a bit of both approaches.
I won’t bore you with reviews of the various test study books we got, because those are a dime a dozen. Actually they are way more expensive than a dime, unfortunately, but that is why we patronize the library. In any case, I thought it might be helpful to mention the Crash Course because it was quite different from your average test study book, and if you’re a strategic, big picture kind of thinker it might be helpful to you too.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.