When I was looking for good GRE prep books to supplement my actual GRE course, I happened to stumble upon this product from Barron. Unlike other prep strategies, it is a comprehensive review prep book rather than an online course.
Barron’s GRE books have a good reputation among GRE test strategies. In this Barron’s GRE Prep review, we’ll find out if it’s good for students who need physical full-length practice tests.
What is Barron’s GRE Prep Course?
Barron’s GRE Prep Course is a GRE review book that aims to help students complete their test prep material with supplemental content.
It is one of the best options for those uncomfortable with computer-based and video or online GRE reviews and practice questions.
The Barron book is currently on its 22nd edition and is one of the most affordable review offerings. The price for prep books is lower as they are a compilation of practice tests rather than classes or a full course.
This new edition from Barron is popular among students who would be spending the next few months following a GRE study plan through GRE practice questions.
Quick Overview of the Prep Book
Barron’s full-length practice material comprises different sections covering practice GRE questions and their corresponding answer, explanations, and technique tip. To give you an overview of what to expect in this material, you may read the following guide for all sections.
Part 1. Introduction to the GRE
This recent edition of the Barron review book opens with an introduction to the GRE and the material. It allows you to see the study plan that you need to pour time and effort into for that particular edition.
Understanding how Barron has arranged their practice GRE questions will get you towards your best course of action moving forward. You would want to have a clear understanding of the GRE content that lies in wait for you.
Use this Barron introduction wisely as a course outline to plan to achieve the GRE score you want.
Free GRE diagnostic test
Before starting the Barron study, taking a free diagnostic test is a need for those who have no idea where their GRE skills currently stand. This will also help you evaluate how long you study should for the GRE. Your score will help determine the GRE questions in the test prep syllabus that you have to study with high frequency. You can draft your study schedule from the results of this test that serves as your review baseline.
For this Barron book edition, you will be taking on practice questions sourced from the latest test prep materials. The Barron team uses the most relevant and newest list of GRE topics they have sourced from various reputable institutions. 
Part 2. Vocabulary section
The book course then dives deep into a vocabulary list to help you with the GRE vocabulary section. The Barron reviewer presents an extensive vocabulary word list and sentence equivalence GRE questions that give you real chances of acing the exam’s verbal reasoning questions.
The GRE’s verbal ability portion might sound like the easiest category, but the GRE is not like your regular college exam. It is a test for the graduate student level, which implies that you should have an excellent vocabulary.
Thus, when you are preparing for the GRE, you should be building your critical thinking skills and your ability to verbally reason.
Part 3. Analytical Reasoning
Barron also has a full-length analytical reasoning portion with practice questions that will hopefully train your skills in this area. In the past, analytical reasoning seemed like a portion no one can do much about as it relies on one’s IQ and inherent skills, but this is not the case.
Although those who are naturally gifted do indeed find this section a piece of cake, even those who lack the talent can practice getting a high GRE score, whether online or through a book.
With time, you can also improve your analytical reasoning, the reason why Barron’s book has a dedicated section for it. This edition pushes you to study it as much as the other portions because there is a real chance that practice is all you need to get your target GRE score.
Part 4. Math section
The Barron review’s pride and joy are their GRE math section with a reputation of being one of the most robust practice questions that can significantly improve your score in the said GRE section.
Many students who are good at math credit their abilities to the long hours and high frequency of practice they dedicate to solving problems. The same technique can be applied when studying the GRE, as answering more math problems guarantees a better and faster pace of tackling other math questions.
Barron’s prep course prepares its clients for the GRE by also giving them a sizable list of math problems with corresponding solutions and explanations that can help sharpen their quantitative techniques.
What are the Benefits Of Barron's GRE Prep?
The Barron’s GRE Prep book has several advantages over its competitors, earning its reputation as a reliable source of practice questions. We listed four highlights of this edition that we received from those who have taken the GRE and used the Barron GRE tests.
1. New edition, same good value
The new Barron edition is a good investment for those who use its review course correctly. When answered at a high frequency, the tests deliver exemplary results such as that of the video classes.
The diagnostic test and related practice questions are helpful supplementary lessons for the video reviewers. Although the book does not make you pass the GRE with flying colors on its own, it is an excellent partner to whatever other courses you are involved with at the moment.
2. Improves your verbal reasoning without much question
The book has a strong emphasis on increasing your prowess with words, as evidenced by its extensive vocabulary list. Improving your ability to express yourself well at a professional level is a needed skill in graduate school, hence the GRE’s equally strong focus on this section.
Barron’s reviewer helps you increase your vocabulary and gives you tips on how you can be a better writer at the professional level. Unlike the computer or video lessons, the Barron reviewer can make practicing the use of professional words easier since you already have a pen-and-paper material.
When the right words strike, you can get your reviewer and start practicing your essay writing immediately.
"I truly am amazed when I see how reducing a person's test anxiety can significantly improve their scores on standardized measures,"
- Dr. Lisa Long, Clinical Psychologist (1)
3. Comprehensive diagnostic test discussion
We like how this diagnostic test has explanations that leave you with a clearer understanding of what went wrong and which portion you should get more practice on. This explanation helps guide you towards what topics you should be reviewing and bridge the gap between blindly getting the answer and knowing why it is the result. Reasons will prevent you from memorizing the review answers and instead forces you to think about why it happened. Thus, with another problem tackled through the same procedure, you can deduce the answer even without encountering it prior.
4. Summary list for each chapter
Each section has a relevant chapter review that gives you time to write down your questions for that portion, which you can go back to later on for clarification. The summary makes it easy for you to note which topics are left for you to cover. It will also be helpful to recall after each chapter’s end to see whether you understood what the section was supposed to discuss.
Like the online review course, Barron’s GRE Prep also has its drawbacks. Its price may be a fair offer, but there are specific considerations you could use to evaluate whether to get it or not.
You cannot get more for the price you have paid as there is no interaction between the person who made the review and the examinee. This drawback is contrary to the online video courses where you can ask questions and be in a lively discussion with your instructor.
To improve your chances of getting your target GRE score, you probably want a GRE prep course with an extensive list of resources you can review. Such is not the case for this product since it is a physical book with a limited number of words rather than a video course. No matter how much you want the product to give you more, the offering only amounts to what is currently printed.
Strategies can be confusing or questionable.
Although one of Barron’s reviewer highlights is the test strategies it offers, the book’s tips can be confusing or questionable. The importance of not relying heavily on a single resource, especially for test strategies that you should instead come up on your own, is underlined with his drawback.
There is a good reason why the tips are suggestions rather than rigid commands; hence, you should exercise critical analysis when following them. What worked well for others may not be the technique that works for you, so do not get too disheartened if you find their advice inappropriate for your situation. Check out our extensive list of GRE prep books to find out the one that actually works for your study habits.
Real Student Results from Preparing for the GRE Using the Barrons GRE Prep Book
We wanted to find out whether students who prepared for the GRE using the Barrons GRE prep book saw a real improvement in their GRE test scores.
Accordingly, we had students take a GRE prep test before and after using the Barrons GRE prep book. We obtained each student’s Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning results from each test and compared them to determine a percentage improvement.
Although students saw their GRE test scores increase after using the Barrons GRE prep book, their percentage improvement in test scores was slight. For example, one student achieved only a 12.8% improvement in score, while another barely saw a 5% improvement.
How Accurate Are Barron's GRE Online Tests?
Knowing how well you can do your GRE exam can bring you the peace of mind and focus you need in order to do your best. That is why the accuracy of the prep test is so important.
On the other hand, if you are not ready, the prep test score will show that, and you can continue studying until you are satisfied with the score.
To find out the accuracy of Barron's GRE Online Tests, we decided to take both the prep test and the actual GRE.
Three students who studied only using Barron's GRE Prep Book noted their scores on the prep test, and afterward, we compared them to their GRE results.
Here you can see the comparison:
All in all, the results for Barron’s tests were pretty accurate.
However, there is a certain discrepancy, so you can't be sure that this prep test will tell you exactly how many points you will have on the real one.
Is the Barron GRE reviewer a good help for acing the GRE?
Yes. It’s no question that the Barron GRE reviewer is a reliable tool for acing the GRE. The extensive list of words, the discipline of having a practice time, the mathematical problems- these elements make this reviewer a good supplement to your video review classes.
Is Barron’s 800 product enough for passing the GRE?
Maybe. If you take the time to study these 800 relevant GRE words, there is no question of whether you will do well in the verbal reasoning section. However, this is not the only portion, so you also have to study the rest.
Will the words and vocabulary list from Barron help me in the GRE?
Yes. The words you learn from this book are relevant to the GRE, so if you take time to learn and practice using them, you can look forward to breezing through the essay section.
Which GRE reviewer is better: Barron or Kaplan?
It depends. This question is relative as it depends on the examinee and his or her circumstance. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and preference dictates the better choice.
Is the Barron’s 1000 product good enough for passing the GRE?
Yes. If you take the time to learn 1000 words, you can expect a high GRE score, according to those who have taken the exam. However, your success will depend on how much effort you have given in learning the reviewer’s words listed.
Of the words that the Barron reviewer has listed, how many should I learn?
Whether you learn a few hundred words or a thousand, your success depends on how well you have understood their use. The examination is not about how many words you can give; the real test is on whether you can use them properly.
Which GRE reviewer is better: Barron or Magoosh?
It depends. Both Barron and Magoosh have their unique strength. The question of which one of the two is better has a relative answer.
Is the Barron reviewer for free?
No. The Barron reviewer is not for free, but the cost is worth it. Your video review courses do not have all the answers, and the Barron reviewer can supplement their lessons.
Is Barron's Reviewer worth it?
Based on several reviews from students who are about to take the GRE, we have personally been impressed by this new Barron edition and recommend it. We have done extensive research on Barron’s reviewer’s benefits and we like its competitive features.
Those who have gotten good scores in their GRE have credited the said book as a helpful tool that brought them to today.
The skills they had developed while reviewing and using the course prep also remained relevant even when they were pursuing their graduate education.
The price they paid for the reviewer is said to be nothing compared to what they have learned, and if given a chance to go back, Barron’s reviewer is still part of their best options.
Our #1 Recommendation
Barron's GRE Prep Book
- Comprehensive with detailed answer explanations and full-length GRE practice problems
- Contains a diagnostic test with an answer key and answer explanations
- Contains an analytical writing review with scoring guidelines and practice exercises