The much maligned (GRE word!) graduate record examination (GRE), put out by Educational Testing Services (ETS), induces stress, tears, and takes a couple hundred dollars out of graduate school hopefuls every year.

The test requires hours of studying, intense concentration and often a lot of money, that an aspiring graduate student doesn't have, to pass. Grad schools often use this as a barometer for determining who to admit.

"Cracking the GRE," The Princeton Review prep book, does not believe in the test's effectiveness or value. And it makes no attempt to hide its disdain. Below you will see actual photos from the book itself.

  • Before You Begin

    "You'll do better on the GRE by putting aside your feelings about real education and surrendering yourself to the strange logic of the standardized test."

  • Reading Tips

    "The creators of the GRE are going to give you short and long passages filled with tons of information that you will never be tested on. They will try to suck you into these dense, badly written science or humanities passages in order to get you to waste time and to confuse you with useless information. Your job is to read as little of the passage as you need to get started on the questions..."

  • Following Directions

    "Here are our directions:

    Directions: This is not really a test of reading, nor is it a test of comprehension. It's a treasure hunt! You can find all the answers in the passage."

  • The Experimental Section

    "When most companies want to test a new product, they provide free samples, test it on animals, or pay for some user testing. Not ETS. ETS uses you as a guinea pig to test out new questions that they will later inflict on other test takers. You pay them to do their research development, and you do it when you are at your most stressed. Thanks, ETS!"

  • Subtlety

    "Now that ETS has redesigned the GRE, the company claims that the new Verbal section will accomplish the following....

    ... While those sound like lofty and admirable goals, what they really translate into are the following changes:

    - There won't be questions that involve analogies or antonyms on this test, as there have been on past tests (and good riddance!)."


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