How Accurate is the GRE Power-Prep 2 Software?

Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

In the past, on many occasions I have said that there are no better and realistic full-length GRE practice exam than the 2 Computer Adaptive full-length GRE tests offered by the ETS in their Power Prep software. I also said that the only draw back of these exams is that there are no explanations given with any of the tests, which mean that you will have to think hard through a problem in case you are stumped. The good thing about the Power prep GRE tests is that they use retired GRE questions, and look & feel just like the real GRE test does. This is a great benefit especially if you are taking the GRE for the first time.

Lately I have been a little skeptical especially regarding the quantitative sections of the power prep software. In the past 3 months, exactly 109 of my students took the two mock exams from the power prep software and then took their GRE tests. On the verbal section, nearly two-third (almost 70 students) of these scored within 2 points on their actual GRE versus the power prep mocks – so we can safely say that the difficulty level and the scores of the power prep verbal sections accurately reflects the level of the actual GRE. After talking to most of these 109 students post exam, nearly all of them said that the verbal level was the same as that of the power prep – the difficulty level of the questions, length of the reading passages and the composition of the test were almost the same.

On the contrary the quantitative section is something that has become very inconsistent to that of the power prep exams. Over 75% of these 109 students showed extreme variations in their actual scores versus their power prep scores. The variations for these 75% students ranged from within 3 points to up to 6 points on the actual exam. Students said that they saw much harder questions on the actual test; lots of statistics, harsh sequences and hard data interpretation questions were prevalent in the actual exams and almost absent in the power prep tests. So lately I would say that the power prep math sections are not a true indicator – neither the score nor the level of the questions.

So my recommendation is that for the quantitative section, do take the Manhattan GRE tests as they are of a more realistic difficulty level than the power prep exams. Also try to mimic the test conditions during these mocks as much as you can – even breaks, no food, the pencil and the scratch paper. If you do that for the power prep and the Manhattan mocks, there is no reason to feel intimidated.

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Agree with the review …….Q section of powerprep is too much easy…..I also had 5 points decline in actual test from my mock score ..But at the same time I had 5 points increment in my V section.So my total was same as of mock test

  2. Avatar

    Sir, I did a Power prep practice test and got Q-170,V-149.
    I ‘ll appear for the test on 13th of april. I am also following your 30 days plan .
    Now I want to ask with these practice scores where could I go in actual gre?

    • Avatar

      Hi Junaid, I replied to you on the other forum!

  3. Avatar

    Hi, I took all Manhattan test and my Quant varied from 155,154,155,155,156,155 ..today took poweprep 2 got 151 ..?! Y is this so/?

    • Avatar

      Generally Manhattan is harder than power prep so you must look into why you got so low.

  4. Avatar

    how to take manhattan tests online??

    • Avatar

      Go to their website and purchase them to take the mocks!

  5. Avatar

    Need to improve my verbal . I scored 149 in verbal in power prep test and 170 in quants.
    Any suggestions???

    • Avatar

      Try the ETS official guides and try to work on reading passages from there. Vocab and reading are equally important to improve your verbal score!

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