# Practice Tests

Quick note: I never use a practice test that is not from ETS, the makers of the actual GRE test. Most test prep companies use their practice tests as either a marketing tool (to get you to sign up for their classes or programs) or as a false measure of either your weaknesses or progress.

Remember principle 2 — Official Material is King.

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO ACCESS THE TEST OR LEARN HOW TO ACQUIRE IT.

POWERPREP 1

This test can be accessed after you make an account on the ETS GRE website. If you click on Shop for Test Preparation, you can 'buy' the test for $0. I often use this test as a diagnostic to determine an individual's strengths and weaknesses. Also, the test has THREE versions. If you want to see other versions, you need to intentionally do badly (or well) on section 1 Verbal or Quant. Recall that your performance on section 1 determines the difficulty of section 2. However, the scoring algorithm is a little wonky on this test. POWERPREP 2 This test can be accessed after you make an account on the ETS GRE website. If you click on Shop for Test Preparation, you can 'buy' the test for$0.

This test should be utilized as a 'check' on your progress (maybe a month or two into studying) or as the 'final check' of your abilities before you take the real exam. If you do use it as the 'final check,' make sure that you leave yourself a cushion of at least a few days so that you can review wrong answers.

Like PowerPrep 1, this test's scoring algorithm is also a little off.

OFFICIAL GUIDE 1

The first test in the Official Guide has some very good, representative questions. You will get a good sense of the difficulty of the test (especially the verbal section) and get a feel of the various questions.

There are a few caveats, however. Each section of the test contains 25 questions (rather than the standard 20). Also, the test is not adaptive. That means the second section's difficulty does not 'adapt' based on your first section's performance. This makes sense -- the test is on paper (not the computer) after all.

OFFICIAL GUIDE 2

The second test in the Official Guide picks up where the first test left off. The questions are also very good. You will get a good sense of the difficulty of the test (especially the verbal section) and get a feel of the various questions.

The caveats from the first test return, however. Each section of the test contains 25 questions (rather than the standard 20). Also, the test is not adaptive. That means the second section's difficulty does not 'adapt' based on your first section's performance. This makes sense -- the test is on paper (not the computer) after all.

POWERPREP PLUS 1

This is a product that was recently released by ETS. It's as close to the real thing as you're going to find anywhere. It even grades your essays (the e-rater score\xe2\x80\xa6not the human one). Basically, this is GRE prep gold. Do not waste this test. Use it very wisely in test-like conditions .

The major drawback, however, is price. It costs $40 to take this test and you can only do so once. They do give you period of time to review your answers, though, so that's good. This test also has three versions (easy, medium, hard), but the only way you can see all three is if you purchase the test three times. Ouch. POWERPREP PLUS 2 This is the second test in the recently released product from ETS. It's as close to the real thing as you're going to find anywhere. It even grades your essays (the e-rater score\xe2\x80\xa6not the human one). Basically, this is GRE prep gold. Do not waste this test. Use it very wisely in test-like conditions . The major drawback, however, is price. It costs$40 to take this test and you can only do so once. They do give you period of time to review your answers, though, so that's good. This test also has three versions (easy, medium, hard), but the only way you can see all three is if you purchase the test three times. Ouch.

POWERPREP PLUS 3

This baby just came out. If you're looking for an authentic GRE testing experience, you CANNOT do better the PowerPrep Plus series of tests. And because this is the latest iteration, it is presumably the most accurate of three.

You will not find more realistic GRE questions anywhere on the market because this product is the most recent release of the test makers themselves.

Yeah, it's \$40, and that sucks, but it also grades your writing. In my view, it's a pretty good deal.

PAPER-BASED GRE 1

This is a practice book released by ETS for the paper-based version of the test. Let's just get something out of the way -- you probably CANNOT take the paper-based version yourself. It's only for the most remote areas of the planet.

But the questions in here are authentic and representative of what you'll see on test day. The format is slightly different (it matches the format from the official guide tests) and some of the questions have been recycled from the free PowerPrep tests, but there is still a lot of good stuff here.

PAPER-BASED GRE 2

This was the first practice book for the paper-based GRE. This practice test is from 2010, a little bit earlier than the one above. A few of the questions on here are duplicates of what you'll see on other tests, but this is still gold.

Again, you cannot take the paper-based version of the test yourself, but it's great practice.

OLD GRE: THE BIG BOOK WITH 27 TESTS

Talk about gold. This book contains 27 old GRE tests. Now, ETS has changed the test -- that is true. But many of the questions on the Old GRE utilize the same format as those on the current GRE.

In this book, you can practice the following Verbal question types: text completion, critical reasoning, and reading. Moreover, the math sections are nearly identical, although Old GRE math is a bit easier. Still great practice.

This book used to be cheap. The secret is out now though, and the price has ballooned over the past year or so.