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Reviews of Test Prep Books

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The most important book to buy for GMAT prep.

Read more about the Official Guide for GMAT Review

GMAT Strategies

Buy this book NOW!!

Good introduction to the GMAT, helpful software.

This book will get you started on the test and get you feeling comfortable with it, but it won't help you to understand the harder questions that you will see.


Extra GMAT Verbal Practice

Buy this book NOW!!

Fairly thorough coverage, still a little bit too easy.

This is a fairly solid product, but there are still many areas that are not covered in enough detail. Like most books, this book explains the most common patterns you will see on the GMAT, but not the ones that tend to stump us! Also, you will notice that the real GMAT questions are harder than the questions in this book.

Most of my students who are non-native speakers of English need more explanations than are in this book. So, from my experience, this book is most helpful for students who are native speakers of English who are scoring in the range of about the 30th to the 70th percentiles--students below that range will likely need clearer, simpler explanations; students above that range will most likely need the answers to harder questions.

However, for most native speakers, I think this book is a great start and the best one on the market!

GMAT Essays

Buy this book NOW!!

Lots of examples, a brief overview of essays.

If you want some examples of what a GMAT essay looks like, this is the ONLY book on the market. This is a great resource, and has a 36-page overview of the GMAT essay that examines the topics and shows you the basics of how to tackle the essays. However, the bulk of this book is the sample essays--182 pages.

In short, if you learn by looking at examples, this is a great start!



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GRE Practice Materials

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The GRE bible, but no explanations and some questions outdated. 

This is the best source of GRE questions. It has 27 full tests! It's going to be hard for you to find, though--it's out of print.

However, it does NOT have any explanations. Click here to read more about this book...


A small version of the book above.

This is a smaller version of the title above. It has only six tests. One test is explained, but the other ones are not. Some of the questions are outdated.

GRE Strategies

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A good start, good software, but not enough for many people and some questions are too easy. 

This is a pretty good book to get you started preparing for the GRE. It has the basic strategies for how to tackle the GRE questions and lots of practice questions.

The good part about this book is the adaptive tests that come with it on CD-ROM.

However, the book is a little bit too easy--many of our students can get 600 to 700 on the Kaplan tests, but only 450 to 550 on the real GRE.

Extra GRE Verbal Practice

Buy this book NOW!! This is a good book to get if you need more practice on the verbal section. It comes with a 1,000 word list.


Buy this book NOW!! A good book to help build vocab for the GRE

This book will help you memorize the kinds of words you will see on many different tests. The words are organized into categories, like words related to law or words that are tricky.

It is well-written and intelligently presented.



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Undergraduate Admissions Guides

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English Dictionaries

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The best American English dictionary

This is my favorite American English dictionary. It is a must for all serious vocabulary preparation. Make sure that you only buy this dictionary, and not the other dictionaries that call themselves "Webster's;" this is the original Webster's and is also the most respected American dictionary.

Read more about this book...

Buy this book NOW!!

This is my favorite American English dictionary for learners of English. It has simple, clear examples, and even comes with a CD-ROM.

NOTE: This dictionary is not advanced enough for GRE preparation. It should only be used for beginning and intermediate English students.


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The TOEFL is changing formats again, so there are currently three versions of the official TOEFL available. Although there is some overlap between products, you should buy the best material for the version of the TOEFL that you need to take.




Buy this book!!

A great value. Great software, great practice.

This is a great book. It is without a doubt one of the the best books you can buy for the CBT version of the TOEFL.

It has the best TOEFL software (other than the PowerPrep, of course). You can review your questions, read explanations of the questions, read the scripts of the talks, and so much more.

Important: It does NOT come with cassettes for the listening section; you will have to order those separately order those separately.

Longman TOEFL Preparation Kit

Longman cassettes



Buy this kit NOW!!

A great source of TOEFL practice questions

This kit is a great resource for TOEFL practice. It has practice, answers, scoring tables, scripts for the listening sections, and a demo version of the computer TOEFL.

However, it doesn't have any explanations. If you want explanations, check out what we have now on Also, the computer TOEFL test is much too short. You should buy the Official TOEFL PowerPrep Software for computer practice.

Buy the Official TOEFL Test Preparation Kit

Buy this book

If you cannot find the 1998 Kit, this kit is also very good. However, just like all other TOEFL materials, this book does NOT include explanations. If you want explanations, TestMagic is putting them on our web site. Click here to see what we have now.

Buy the TOEFL Practice Tests, Volume 2

Buy this software NOW!!

This software is GREAT! And it's FREE. You really need to practice with this TOEFL software before you take the test! Otherwise, you might be surprised by the difference between the paper TOEFL and the computer TOEFL.

However, it has NO explanations and you CANNOT review your answers after you finish the test.

Some people have problems hearing the sound ("voice"). If you cannot hear the sound in the TOEFL PowerPrep, check out the TOEFL PowerPrep sound fix.

Download the Official TOEFL PowerPrep Software for FREE

  Buy this book!!

Lots of practice, inexpensive, a little bit outdated.

If you need more practice, this is a good book, too. And it is pretty inexpensive!

This is the new edition with software. Finally! 

Buy the Barron's TOEFL Preparation

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