Friday, February 4, 2011
GRE PrepBook Offers Free Practice For Graduate Record Examination Takers
If you’re planning to attend business school, you will need to take (and pass) the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It’s always a good idea to practice for any test, and one simple website offers you that opportunity at no charge. That’s right, free. Here is my brief review of that site, simply called "GRE Test," at GrePrepbook.org (GREPrepBook LLC). GrePrepook.org (formerly Dranb) has a very simple website that is at once easy to navigate and not intimidating. GrePrepook.org is not associated with ETS, which administers the GRE. GrePrepook.org offers the test site for free because, no doubt, they want users to also click through to their “GRE Prep & GRE Big Book – Store,” where you can buy their GRE preparation books for prices ranging from $19.99 to $500.00. There’s nothing wrong with this, however, because there is no pressure on the use to buy anything. No pop-up ads, nothing annoying, just a static link to the book store. I must assume that the website offers only a fraction of what their books offer. Why give it away when you’re trying to sell it? GrePrepook.org avoids bells and whistles and gets right down to business. While the site is good overall, I have a few minor criticisms, most of which are aesthetic. (Click image to enlarge.) The opening page says, “We provide you with GRE practice test and thousands of real GRE questions! Check out the following sections: GRE Analogy Practice Test GRE Sentence Completion Practice Test GRE Synonym Practice Test GRE Antonym Practice Test GRE Reading Comprehension Test GRE Analytical Writing Practice Test GRE Vocabulary Practice FREE GRE Practice Test Purchase GRE Practice Test” That’s fine, but there are confusingly similar links in the sidebar: GRE Test Practice GRE Analogy Practice GRE Sentence Completion Synonym Antonym GRE Reading Comprehension Test GRE Analytical Writing GRE Vocabulary Study Guide GRE Quantitative Practice Free GRE Practice Test GRE Prep & GRE Big Book – Store Some of the links are redundant between the two lists. GrePrepook.org should have combined the two lists into one. Another minor problem is the fact that practice tests must be printed out to be used effectively. In the multiple-choice “GRE Sentence Completion Practice Exam,” for example, you cannot select the correct answer by clicking on it. It would be great to be able to do that and then have the site compute your score. I admit that this is minor, but it would make the site easier (and more fun) to use. These minor criticisms should not deter you, however. As stated, the site is easy to use and would seem to be useful for test practice. I should also tell you that the GRE will be changing in 2011. If you want to take it in time to get the results so you can submit them to the school/s of your choice, writes Louis Lavelle at Businessweek.com on February 4, 2011, you should hurry. Lavelle wrote that “those who are taking the test either in addition to or as an alternative to the GMAT for b-school admissions, timing will be everything.” Lavelle wrote that a spokesperson for ETS, which administers the GRE, “says that students who need their GRE scores before November should take the old-style GRE no later than July, which means they should probably start getting ready now. If they take the newer version in August, September, or October, they won’t receive their scores until mid-November.” Read Lavelle’s full article here. Oddly, GrePrepook.org makes no mention of pending changes in the GRE, nor does it refer to ETS. It would provide a needed service to their visitors if they did so.