Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Aikya1
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:28 pm

Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Postby Aikya1 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:13 pm

Hi all,
I am thinking of buying Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions for my practice. I noted very high reviews on amazon.com
It is also much cheaper than other books.
If anybody has used this book, can you please share your reviews / experience of using it? Does the level of difficulty of practice tests and questions match that of the actual PGRE?

YF17A
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:42 am

Re: Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Postby YF17A » Mon May 09, 2016 8:00 pm

Hi,

This is one of the authors of Conquering the Physics GRE. I was intrigued to notice there was another book on the market, so I bought a copy for myself to take a look. I'm very disappointed in the result - it looks like they just cribbed AP Physics prep material and didn't really make an effort to tailor the book for the more advanced Physics GRE. In particular, there are no questions or review material on the following topics: quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, special relativity, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, or lab methods. Together these topics make up nearly 50% of the test, so you would be severely underprepared if you only used this book. I encourage others to check out the book and make your own decision, but in my own (admittedly biased) opinion the Sterling Test Prep book does not pass muster. (They are also apparently unaware of the connotations of making their front cover purple...)

Aikya1
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:28 pm

Re: Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Postby Aikya1 » Tue May 10, 2016 2:36 pm

Hi YF17A,

Many thanks for the reply. I noticed the very same thing about the missing topics. I, however was concerned more about the difficulty level of the practice questions in the book. They seem easy, simple substitutions of a formula or slight variations of it which I fear will not be in the case in the actual PGRE exam.
Just wanted to point out that Conquering the Physics GRE is extremely inaccessible in my country,(which is a big surprise as it is the most emerging markets in the world and most books that help prepare for competitive exams are easily available in all major cities). Even amazon.com, with one of the best delivery mechanisms, show a delivery date at least 2 weeks post the date of order.
Hope you would look into that.

YF17A
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:42 am

Re: Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Postby YF17A » Tue May 10, 2016 9:37 pm

Hi Aikya1,

Thanks for pointing out the issue about inaccessibility of the book through Amazon. We are actually looking into alternative distribution methods for future editions - which country are you from? This will help us make some decisions about publishers, etc. Also, we make individual chapters and practice tests from our book available for sale on our website, www.physicsgreprep.com. If you've already bought the Sterling book, you're probably well-prepared for classical mechanics and E+M, and might only need the more advanced subject reviews.

Would you also consider writing a review of the Sterling book on Amazon? I'm worried that many of the positive reviews do not accurately reflect the mismatch between the level of that book and the level of the Physics GRE, and I'm not allowed to write a review myself because of my status as author of a competing book. I agree with you about the difficulty level of the questions - while ours may run a little hard, theirs are certainly below the level of the test, and in fact the book seems to be based on a non-calculus high school curriculum suitable for the AP Physics test.

Aikya1
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:28 pm

Re: Book review: Sterling Test Prep GRE Physics Practice Questions

Postby Aikya1 » Wed May 11, 2016 3:37 pm

I most certainly will, write a review of both : the Sterling Book and Conquering the Physics GRE, but only after I appear for my exams and get my PGRE score.
I am from India.
Once again thanks for the reply.




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