View Full Version : Study Material

04-15-2005, 07:38 AM
I'd like to know if anyone here has a good suggestion as to which versions of Norton Anthologies to use to review British and American Literature? In my case, the anthologies will be my starting point, since I haven't had any overview courses in literature (only topical courses, since I majored in applied linguistics), I'll need to start studying a lot, especially of the old stuff! I think the best ones are the shorter version for Am Lit, and the one discussing the main authors for Brit Lit. And do you think the anthology of lit criticism would be a good idea to invest in? And then there's poetry as well, of course... Should I really buy all four Nortons, or are there any other options? Finally, I was also wondering whether the "Cracking the GRE Lit test" is useful, and what it contains? Whether it has a list of authors to study etc. Because even if I get the Nortons, I will never be able to study all of it (for all 4 books!!!)!
Waiting for Godot, (I hope this time, he's going to show up!);)

04-26-2005, 01:21 PM
I've just ordered "Cracking the GRE Literature Test" (Princeton Review), I'll let all of you sneaky viewers who don't post know what it's like as soon as I receive it. In the meantime, don't be shy and post something if you're thinking of taking the GRE Lit Test :) . Let's all keep each other company!!!

04-30-2005, 04:24 PM
Don't forget to study some general items of British History, such as the succession of kings! On some questions, you'll need to situate a text by saying during the reign of which king/queen it was written. Try to study each author/style in connection with the era it belongs to.

05-03-2005, 03:31 PM
You will NOT be sorry you ordered Cracking the GRE Literature in English test by Doug McMillan--it is rated by a wide margin the very best preparation for this test on Amazon.com. Better, I have it, have read it, and would credit it for giving me the nerve to even attempt the test AT ALL.

Surprise! When I took the preliminary test, I did much better than I expected. Naturally, this made "Cracking's" credibility soar with me.

One caveat: A new edition is coming out in September, probably to accommodate widespread criticism that none of the test prep materials properly address modern theories of criticism, postmodern ideas, etc.

In the US the test will not be administered again until November and December of 2005 and April of 2006 (probably; they don't actually announce the dates until August).

I figure this gives me time to cram down the Norton, since I figure they can't very well dump Shakespeare, Dickens, and Milton altogether when writing the test. Then I will immediately buy the new "Cracking" and get...well...cracking.

05-03-2005, 05:21 PM
Hi Pkkim!
I have been waiting for someone else planning to take the GRE Lit Test for nearly a month, so you can imagine I am very happy to see your post!!! I'm still waiting for the "Cracking..." to arrive, but I've already started going through an overview of Brit and Am Lit and I plan on going through some poetry first, since I don't know much about that.
I'm also planning on taking the next test (which will be somewhere in November). I figure they cannot change too much in the material to study for the test, only in the type of questions, or in the focus. So you've heard they are going to throw in more literary criticism? Let me know. And which Nortons are you using? The full 4-volume one for Brit Lit? Is it worth it? Or too much?
I'm not a TestMagic-loner anymore!!! :D [clap]

05-03-2005, 08:27 PM
Try this trick!

Go to Amazon.com, enter a search for "GRE Literature in English" and several prep books will pop up. When I did this, I systematically read ALL the reviews.

Most people liked "Cracking" but complained that late 20th century got short shrift in ALL the prep material and thus caused MUCH anguish when the real test arrived. Some of the posters sound pretty bitter, actually. (This gap is what I hope the revised "Cracking" this fall will remedy.)

Everyone on Amazon dumps all over (you'll see) REA's prep book but I stumbled across a copy in a bookstore just yesterday, and frankly, I'll buy it next time I'm in the store. It's not anything like as good as "Cracking" on the test context, it's true, but seems to contain lots of that good old practice, practice, practice.

I'm taking the GRE general test in two days, and then I'm going full-out on Literature in English. I've started (again, using amazon.com) ordering the relatively new Norton broken up into six little volumes. I figure it will remove some inner resistance (ie: excuses) to study when I can't complain that the book weighs five pounds, like the "big" Nortons!

Rather whimsically, I started at the 20th century and am moving "backwards to Beowulf" one volume at a time, buying them used at amazon.com.

05-08-2005, 08:51 PM
Hello - I'm at the tail-end of the grad school application process, and I can't stress enough just how helpful the "Cracking" book was with my studies. Don't waste money on the REA guide, and, if you can find a copy, do try to get one of the ETS study books. They're out of print, but they contain 3 old (real) tests that you can use for practice.

05-12-2005, 05:49 PM
:2cents: As far as anthologies are concerned, I'd go with Norton for American Lit and Longman for British Lit. I've found that the Longman anthologies are more thorough than Norton. Plus, used copies of the Longman anthologies are relatively inexpensive online, and that's always a good thing!:tup:

05-17-2005, 09:54 AM
Hello there!
This is my first visit @ tests magic. It's good to find many others like me. I want to write my exam in November. About study material I found a lot of information from your messages. I have just started reading the Nortons. There very little materials available where I live. I think for people like me the 4Norton volumes and the internet is a good source for GRE in Lit. I couldn't find not a single book on GRE in Lit. Though a lot of general GRE books are available. Can any one tell me if it's a good idea to write both the exams in November. Do you think it's going to be too hectic? I plan to write the general GRE by the end of November and subject GRE in the due time to be posted. What about following the undergrad syllabus of Princeton/Harvard/Yale university? I'll be very happy to receive some mails from any one.

05-17-2005, 10:23 AM
I'd like to know if there is any source where I can practice the difficult part of GRE in Lit where they ask questions on Lit analysis/grammar. I guess these are the most critical and time consuming questions? Can any one suggest how to practice them or where I can find more of these practice questions?

05-17-2005, 04:24 PM
Practice tests are in the Study Guide by ETS which you can download online: www.gre.org (http://www.gre.org) (go to Subject Test, practice material, Literature). On top of that, you can find a practice test in the "Cracking the GRE..." book (available at amazon.com) and the ETS Book to prepare for the GRE (currently out of print, but you can find it second-hand on amazon). I don't know if you can order things from amazon, maybe the transport costs are high to Bangladesh, but the books themselves are not really expensive and give a lot of information...

05-17-2005, 08:50 PM
Hello fellow Grad School aspirants...

I'm wondering if a better tactic for studying might be the Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism. I know that a relatively minor percentage of the questions (well, less than they'd like us to believe, anyway) actually relate directly to criticism & theory, but I was thinking that as far as giving more in depth criticism than is offered by other anthologies or by sparknotes, etc, this might be the way to go, as one would receive a good survey of Western Lit through the criticism in this anthology, in addition to getting all the background & analysis. I haven't actually looked at it, and thought I'd ask for some advice before I order it unseen, as it is a pretty hefty & expensive tome. Anybody have any thoughts or reccomendations?

Thanks in advance, and I'm glad this is out here for those of us who feel somewhat isolated in our interests...

05-18-2005, 05:57 AM
Thank you Cridamour for answering to my mail!

Yes, I have written to Amazon. Infact the service for the post is free of cost! It is difficult to buy things without a credit card and often things get lost by the post. So I am thinking of asking some family friends. I know it is bothersome for busy people but I can't find any other ways. I've been to Dhaka USIS and they have the ETS practice book. Thanks God! I wish they had other collections. I hope studying the 4Nortons and the Critical Theories of Nortons, Edith Hamilton's Mythology and skeeming though the internet will help. What about 20th century literature? Do you know any good internet link? Please let me know. It seems they give a lot of questions on the 20th century writers,

05-18-2005, 07:12 AM
Yes, 20th Century is really a problem. Most practice guides don't cover it, for the reason that they don't know what the people at ETS are going to ask on the GRE Lit Test. I think it is difficult to select in 20th century authors, but maybe we can start a list of authors (20th century) we think are important and not just for our personal interests, but overall. You're never going to get questions on really recent things, but you could get questions on authors from the 2nd part of the 20th century. I think the obvious ones are still included in most practice books: Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Sylvia Plath (poetry and The Bell Jar), Toni Morrison, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce, Malcolm Lowry (usually "Under the Volcano"), Maya Angelou, ... I guess some of these started in the 19th century, but were still writing in the 20th. It's difficult to give a full list of these. Maybe others should post suggestions and then we'll get to a more complete list. For the 20th Century, what you need to focus on are the masterpieces, or books generally predicting to become masterpieces. I think that you shouldn't waste time trying to get an idea of all of the new books out now (or from the past 10-20) years. I think they would only ask something that "new" if the author is an important prize-winner, e.g. Toni Morrison (1993 Nobel Prize) or so. Hope this helps!:)

05-18-2005, 09:38 AM
Hey thank you! Yes, I already have them in my list. I think looking into some course reading lists of some well known schools will help. At least I'll get to know the most important writers and who to look up for.

05-20-2005, 07:33 AM
Yes, definitely a good idea. And go over your undergraduate notes of classes in literature (if they were not too specific, otherwise, for the GRE, it's a waste of time!)

05-30-2005, 05:56 AM
Hi every one!
It's been a long time I haven't visited this page. So how's your study going on? It very hot in Bangladesh, just unbearable this summer! I was thinking if we could study together the same things. I mean we could at least speak about the things we have read. For example last week I read some important poetry from Old English. I think I have covered almost all of it. This week I have started to read the important authors of Middle English , now I am reading Chaucer. This could boost our confidence.
The other day some one was saying that the REA guide is not a good one because it does not give good explanation. I don't think it's necessary because we can figue that ourselves. Some days ago I got hold of that book, it has six GRE questions, at least I we can get a feel of the actual exam from the questions of that book.
By the way can any one tell me what edition is the latest edition of Cracking the GRE in English Literature (ETS), is it 4th/5th edition? Is it really coming up in September? Then may be I can order one for myself.

06-02-2005, 11:14 AM
Hi everyone. I recently finished my GRE general test and am now getting ready to take the English subject test this fall.
How exactly would you recommend that I use the Norton Anthologies? I have both British and American editions and the mere idea of perusing the two in depth gives me a headache.
Please give me some advice on the best way to manage my study time over the next 5 months
(Keep in mind I work full-time as well. I see it will be a difficult summer)! Thank you!

06-02-2005, 11:23 AM
I think the British one will be the most important one. As far as American Lit is concerned, you never really know what's going to be on the test. I would start with some Brit Lit. Try to get the Old Eng and Middle Eng parts out of the way. Or do some poetry. Of course, if this becomes too much, then I guess it's a good idea to move over to something you're really passionate about, whatever that may be, within the scope of the test material, of course ;) . I think using the "Cracking the GRE" as a starting point for which parts of the Anthologies to go through is probably a good idea. It's nearly impossible to say what they are not going to ask, but you can make good guesses about what they are more likely to ask... GOOD LUCK!!!

06-08-2005, 09:12 AM
Hi everyone! Those of you who are having problems with the 20th century writers I think u can focus only on the poets and novelists, just leave out the essayists and playwrights! It's just not possible to know everything. Tim Wood's 20th century novelists by routledge could be a good source of reading material. It's not a thick book and gives brief information on the writer's style, work and life. Checking the Nortons anthology of the 20th century poetry is fine. The Norton also has two volumes for comparative literature. You can go through the contents page and have some brief idea on the names of authors from different geographical area and dates as well. And the Nortons also have a single volume on criticism and theory from Plato to present. Hope this helps.

06-27-2005, 09:16 PM
Here are three versions of English in Literature full official practice tests I've seen....

GR9964 1999, current download from gre.org
GR9564 1994-95*
1 of 2 in 3rd edition "Practicing" (1996 ed)
GR9064 1989
1 of 2 in 3rd edition "Practicing" (1996 ed)
Only test 1 of 1 in 2nd edition "Practicing" (1993 ed.)

News of additional practice materials is appreciated.

Practicing="ETS Practicing to Take the Literature in English Test"

*If you Google: "litineng.pdf" you may find online postings of old practice book.....GR9564. Alternately you can find GR9564 on some links off of archive.org, but searching ets and gre.org but there are many broken links, especially in ftp areas. Earlier versions of tests do not appear to be archived.

07-07-2005, 07:38 AM
Dear Friends,

Hope you are all fine and studying hard GRE lit . I just need to know a couple of things:
1. The six Nortons you talk of, are they very different from the previous books? Or is it just divided into 6 parts so it's easier to carry? PLease tell me because where I live there is no such 6 vol Nortons! I only got hold of the 2 vol of Brit and 2 vol American Nortons. And I also got the one vol. Critical Theory and 2 vol. of World lit.

2. Is there any webwite where I can download questions of GRE Lit? Can Erin or any one from the testmagic send me some GRe Lit questions through internet?

Thank you.

07-08-2005, 07:49 AM
1. The six-volume Norton is indeed just the normal volumes, but split up to make them easier to carry. So, you haven't missed out on anything. ;)

2. I don't think a lot of test questions are available, since the test is only organized twice a year and only paper-based, this means that ETS only makes two tests a year and they don't like to spread the questions since it's very time-consuming to make the tests and they might want to re-use some of the questions in tests afterwards. For the GRE General, there are a lot of questions available, since people take the test every day, and it's easier to come up with new questions for that one. The only tests I know of are the one on the site of ETS, the ones in the ETS book and the ones in other standardized books (which are not even real tests, but just simulations close to the real thing).

I hope this helps! :)

07-14-2005, 04:30 PM
Has anyone compared the Longman or Oxford anthologies to the Norton? I am reluctant to spend so much on the Norton anthologies if one of the others is comparable.

07-15-2005, 07:31 AM
I'm sure it would be more or less the same. If you can get an index of the Nortons, you can just check to make sure you don't skip any important authors. On amazon you can usually look inside the books and see the index.

07-23-2005, 02:08 PM
Hi everyone:

I am a big advocate of charts and lists because they can help mold seemingly unmanageable, disparate pieces of information into a meaningful whole. I suggest creating a GRE notebook, using a large loose-leaf binder where you can put all the pieces together. Make sections, organizing information chronologically. Begin by making a chart of the sweep of literature from its beginnings, focusing on what is likely to be on the GRE subject test. This chart must be the most comprehensive, since it will be the tree upon which other branches of information will be placed. Begin with the Bible and Homer and put down the siginificant works of the imagination--drama, epics, poetry, and so forth, based strictly upon chronology. After the Aeniad, nothing of significance, as far as the GRE is concerned, shows up again until Augustine, and then you can follow the timelines based upon TOC from the Nortons and the Longman anthologies. I particularly like the Longman discussions of periods and perspectives because they are short yet informative pieces that put the literature in historical, intellectual, and stylistic contexts. This can only help when doing quick identifications on the exam, based upon "buzzwords."

After making this first comprehensive chart, make sections that chronologically chart the development of poetry, drama, epic, the novel, and so forth. Also make sections for periods, movements, and important historical events that coincide. I think a historical perspective is vital to fully appreciating literature in a way that makes preparing for and taking what is essentially a Trivial pursuit-type exam not just bearable, but exciting. Bercholt Brecht can write an antiwar play in 1939 about a war in the seventeenth century that occurs during a period that sees the literary maturation of such luminaries as Donne, Milton, and Ben Jonson and the discourse of American exceptionalism, begun in the writings of William Bradford and John Winthrop. For me, the challenge is to see the connections between eras and sensibilities, and not merely to "read through" lots of "Nortonish" stuff. It makes preparing for the subject test an exciting project, not an anxiety-ridden, summer-destroying malevolent presence looming over my future professional prospects in academia. I have more to say, but I have to go shopping. Feedback, please.


07-24-2005, 08:34 PM
Good overall advice and what's better, great encouragement. Find myself in a bit of a lull in motivation after two months of studying. While listening to some audio lectures in the car my mind drifts into wondering why I'm not studying enough, then realizing that save for my distraction, I was studying.

Latest material ...... academicmp3audiobooks.com English Lit lectures, The Iliad audiobook, and an old REA Best Test with 6 exams. I'm still saving one of the three official version to compare with my baseline practice. Nortons are still by bible(s) with help from en.wikipedia.org and Sparknotes.


Hi everyone:
....It makes preparing for the subject test an exciting project, not an anxiety-ridden, summer-destroying malevolent presence looming over my future professional prospects in academia..... Feedback, please.

07-25-2005, 03:57 AM
Poets.org has some nice discussions of poetic forms, with pertinent canonical examples, and the Modern American Poetry site also has great biographical material on twentieth century poets along with many representative texts.

07-25-2005, 12:54 PM
I am thrilled to see that I am not the only one whose motivation flags here and there--preparing for this test in isolation is indeed a challenge. It's a big relief to know I'm not the only one who (sometimes) inwardly groans at the sight of today's Norton "reading assignment" (the Victorians are not my favorites). I do it, and I'm glad when I'm done, but anyone who says this is easy is not living in reality.

To give a more balanced picture, I have made some progress that may be interesting with the following: I ordered the updated Cracking the GRE and Amazon has an anticipated ship date in late September.

I have turned up a great site where a candidate got a bunch of old tests and calibrated how frequently various works appear on the tests by number of questions. The URL is:


You can probably my first degree was in business, because I merged this list into a spreadsheet also containing all the most recommended authors from Cracking the GRE, assigned all works the right historical period, and sorted them by title so I can use Masterplots at the library to skim. Many GRE Lit veterans sing the praises of Masterplots (in the reference section at a college library), and after a few study sessions, I can certainly see why.

A helpful reading list that also has the ring of authenticity:


MIT put their literature classeware online free at:


And of course you can peek at the Norton's free at:


I was thinking of starting a new thread called "This Test is Driving Me Insane and There's Still Five Months to Go."

07-25-2005, 01:43 PM
Ok here is one that is not strictly literature, but addresses some questions on the test. Interactive grammar quizes along with instruction.

http://grammar.uoregon.edu/toc.html (http://grammar.uoregon.edu/toc.html)

While it does give ye olde english examples, might not be bad to be honed on grammer while trying to find the direct object in an 8 line passage.

08-09-2005, 05:53 AM
Latest material to come in.....Got a 15 volume like new set of Masterplots from e-bay. 1964 edition. Will save trips to the library. Best of all....under $10. Ok almost $20 included shipping.

Also...registered online for December 10th test date.

08-09-2005, 02:32 PM
You won't be sorry about the Masterplots...I'm so glad another testtaker tipped me off to them. I spend an afternoon a week with them in the nearby college library.

As for registering for December....wow! That's brave, this far out. Go, go, go!

08-09-2005, 02:53 PM
Latest material to come in.....Got a 15 volume like new set of Masterplots from e-bay. 1964 edition. Will save trips to the library. Best of all....under $10. Ok almost $20 included shipping.

Also...registered online for December 10th test date.

Great, I guess you have a date to focus on now!! It's for real. GOOD LUCK!

You won't be sorry about the Masterplots...I'm so glad another testtaker tipped me off to them. I spend an afternoon a week with them in the nearby college library.

As for registering for December....wow! That's brave, this far out. Go, go, go!

Hey, both of you were taking the GRE for credits, right? Or am I mixing you up with someone else? To be honest, I'm in a way happy I've decided not to take it, I've been so busy writing a decent research paper and preparing to retake the general GRE that I wouldn't know how to fit in the subject test... Maybe I'll decide to take it "for fun" later, it would be a good way for me to get a broad overview of English literature...

08-09-2005, 06:59 PM
Yup, Cridamour. Testing for credit.

Pkkim, not sure about the brave part. Figure it gives more time than November. If I don't do so well, I can decide to try to retake in April. As it is for credit, I don't have to worry about multiple tests appearing on the report to the college.

The Masterplots was the one missing piece from the library. For excerpts of older stuff there is gutenburg. I have a variety of Nortons--Classical, Medieval, American, English. The three ETS practice tests, "Cracking the GRE" and old REA book with six tesst. Kinda like the Idiot's Guide to American Literature as well. Also listening to academicmp3audiobooks.com lecture. Plus all the great web material everyone has provided in prior posts.

On the back shelf, behind the useful books are now...Bullfinch's myths, and Jack Rudman's book, and a couple duplicate versions of ETS material and versions that duplicate later versions.

Thanks God for e-bay and half.com. No way I could've accumulated half the books (Masterplots aside) at retail.

Also watching some DVD versions of Shakespeare. Probably a waste of time for sole purpose of GRE Lit, but won't hurt. May help. And beats staring at a blank tv screen, which is about what I'm ready for at the end of the day.

08-10-2005, 05:20 AM
It doesn't compare with Masterplots, but Sparknotes 101 does a great job at what sparknotes in general do: helping time-challenged or lazy readers skirt the margins of necessary texts in order to pass superficial, multiple-choice tests. Its concise synopses of 150 canonical works of prose and drama is a real time saver for those who are really pressed for test prep time. It doesn't cover poetry and it is sketchy on 18th and 19th century fiction. Still, all of the works it does cover are essential to know because they are (according to sparknotes editors) the most frequently taught works.:2cents:

08-13-2005, 02:04 PM
Dear Cridamour and everyone,

It's so good to know you guys are reading so hard! And u have so much resource ( DVDs, MP3s, e-shopping, credit cards to order things, etc. & etc.) to help u remember so many things in such limited time. I feel deprived! Where I live there's not much to help me out. So I am trying to brush my undergrad syllabus;I'm painstakingly reading the penguine literary terms, the 4 Nortons, Wordsworth Companion to Lit, Hamilton's Greek Mythology, and what ever I can get hold of including the net to browse through the summeries/plots of great/important/dead/alive writers/poets/dramatists/ essayists ( since the masterplots/sparks notes are not available here).

Cridamour, you seem the wisest. But would u plese tell me why aren't u writing the GRE Lit? I thought u were applying at Yale/Concordia etc.? Isn't it a requirement there? Writing research paper is a wise thing to do ...I think it adds credit for getting assistantships/ fellowships/TSships.

I am really worried about my application process. Here is a brief list of things i need to do ---
1. study for GRE gen & GRE LiT, TOEFL, TSE ( I heard this is very important for those who want a TAship from the 1st year of admission and which is genrally not given to internationl students in the first year, 60/60 in TSE helps to get a TAship and I need to go for this TSE test since I cannot afford myself without finanlcial help)

2. publish a few research papers ( at least two) somewhere in my home country ( it's very important for getting a TAship)

3. fill in the registration forms of all these ETS tests and run to the bank to get bank drafts and send them in time.

4. finally fill in the application form, write my statement of purpose letters, prepare a good CV, collect reference letters from my uni professors ( which requires so much patience I heard) and then send them before deadlines

I am so worried that I hardly get time to study as I work full time in some uni as a fresh lecturer. I have decided to write GRE Lit in Dec 10, TOEFL & TSE in mid Dec and GRE gen in late Dec. I really don't know if I can get 600 in GRE lit, 700 in GRE verbal, 5.5/6 in GRE writing, more than 280 in TOEFL, 6/6 in TWE and 60 in TSE and manage to publish at at least two research papers by DEC. Do u think I can manage all this within this short period of time? Is it very hard to get admission in mediocre universities?

Can some one give me some HOPE? Is this possible? Or am I aiming too high? I need to do well because my previous records are not so great. But this time I really want to work hard to make my application and CV look good and work to improve my academic career.

I am thinking of applying first to some mediocre universities and then after the first year of course work maybe tranfer to some better university.That's why I am trying to select universities that have a late deadline ( first week of Feb) but has areas of my specialization ( which is postcolonial literature)! Is this possible ? So that I can get more time to study for GRE gen and publish some of my writings. Do you think this a realistic ambition? I My worries are killing me. Please advice.

08-20-2005, 09:04 AM
Hello hello and welcome to TM! :D

First of all, yes, I was the one to demand that the GRE literature test would be included in this forum, and now I'm not taking it... Crazy? I know! Since I'm applying to Comparative Literature programs, I don't need to take the test. Some universities recommend you to, but most just mention the GRE General.
Now, about you, since you're planning to apply to "mediocre" universities, I don't think you should stress too much about everything. I think you can drop the two articles, they are not a requirement, and it seems rather impossible to get 2 published in such a short time, unless you have already written them and you only need to find a willing journal to publish them. Of course, it's great to publish something, but it's not a requirement, so you'd better focus on the basics before doing this. If you find you have enough time to squeeze it in, good, if not, don't worry. You should definitely do well on your GREs, because they can determine your $$$ in those schools, this also goes for the TSE (however, it is not required everywhere). Make sure to spend enough time on writing your SOPs. Don't worry about the TOEFL, you should do fine. The target scores you mentioned are valid for people trying to get into top 15 programs, so there is no reason for you to stress about reaching them. Your TOEFL target should be around 270; GRE verbal should be around 600 (if you're applying to lower ranked programs AND you are a foreigner); I don't know about GRE lit or TSE, but you don't need the maximum score on those. I don't think even people applying to the top 5 universities get maximum scores in those, so...
I think that for the GRE lit, the material you're using is good. Don't worry about other people using other sources. You're never going to be able to prepare for every question, and most of the material is the same anyway, whether it's a Norton anthology or any other.
Good luck and for any other questions, feel free to post!!! :D

08-23-2005, 05:10 AM
Dear Cridamour and all,

Hey, thank you for your useful suggestions! I realize I was not very practical in many ways. About publications..may be it is not a requirement but it does add credential for foreign students and their eagerness to be enrolled in graduate school for doing research. I have completed one, it just needs a little fine tuning and the other one is half way through. In America they don't ask for really high grades in TOEFL but I have seen in Canadian universities they ask for really high scores, may be because they don't ask for GREs! And I heard it is very hard to pass in TSE ( the passing score is 50 ). Is that true? I saw some of the forum mates discussing how unfair the ETS can be regarding ETS. Many people who had English medium background ends up getting poor scores. I wonder why. Anyway, thanks for inspiring me again, now I will give more emphasis to my GRE preparation and not worry at all about TOEFL/TSE.When are you writing the general GRE? I intend to write GRE Lit in 10 December and GRE general in the first week of January. Please wish me good luck and I wish you and everyone in the forum good luck too!


09-21-2005, 02:53 AM
Anybody have the latest "Cracking the GRE Literature Test" 5th Edition by Princeton Review? Wondering if the test is updated or if there is new material from the 4th edition. Thanks. Mike

09-26-2005, 09:34 PM
Ok...quite on the topic. Stopped by the bookstore this weekend and paged through the latest "Cracking the GRE Literature Test" 5th Edition by Princeton Review. Didn' t seem like much is new from prior edition. Didn't do a side by side comparision, but test questions looked familiar if not the same. Doubt that it's worth buying the supposed "revised" edition. Love to hear an alternate opinion if any one has reviewed both. Thanks. Mike

09-27-2005, 09:26 PM
Dear Friends,
I am being more ambitious than most here, because I am taking the test on 12 th Nov. 05... As I have a Masters with English literature from a pretty good university in India, I am being sort-of overconfident perhaps... However, I am really concerned about my knowledge of History of American Literature. Does anyone know about a short and sweet book which will help me give a broad outline of it?

Anyone who's looking for a really great book on English Lit. from 14 the Cen. onwards (with just about 250 pages)- try to get An Outline of English Literature ed. by G.C.Thornley (Published by Orient Longman). I have found it immensely useful for NET/SET tests which are a norm in India these days. I know there's an "Outline of American Literature version of Orient Longman too, if someone can find it.

Thanks and all the best.

09-27-2005, 11:00 PM
I picked up a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Literature." Found it at discount bookstore, but new it's only about $17. Mike

10-02-2005, 05:56 PM
Just got the new one (released 9/21/05) and do far, I can see few (if any) differences from the previous editions of "Cracking the GRE Literature in English Test."

The trial test (which in some ways is what so many test takers want MOST!) is exactly THE SAME AS BEFORE. Ouch!

So don't buy the newest one hoping for a new test...didn't happen.

04-03-2006, 07:55 AM
I took the GRE Lit in December. Scored 74%. I hadn't been a Lit major. I was going for a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a major in Philosophy. Anyway....I decided to add English Literature as a second major. I need two more classes in Philosophy and two more in Literature and I'm done.


04-30-2006, 03:44 PM
Congratulations, Mike! :tup: So, one more semester, or are you taking classes part-time?

05-04-2006, 11:09 AM
Hey Cridamour, I'm hoping to complete in the next year. My approach is part-time, but, thanks partially to slow business, I was able to complete 34 semester units in the first year. Maybe I can finish within a semester. The 4 courses are all self-paced. If business picks up, I don't have to turn down work. Mike

05-06-2006, 11:37 PM
Wow, Brown! I'm very impressed! That's great!:tup:

I'm still waiting for the April scores. I know you can call and find out earlier, but I only really started getting impatient in the last week or so, and I figure I can wait another week for the scores to come in the mail.

Even though I don't know yet how this test came out, I already miss studying for it, sick as that sounds. It was fun, and there's always *so* much to cover that you literally never run out of interesting things to chase down.

I guess pretty soon we'll have a new crop on this board studying for the November/December exams. By then I'll know exactly how I did, and can vouch for my study plan...or not.

05-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Well, any future visitors to this board can feel OK about using my study plan, because the scores arrived in the mail today, and I got a better score than I dared ever hope.

You could get in most anywhere with it, I think; anyway, the plan definitely works.

Sad to leave you guys, but best of luck to everyone with their future plans once this test is in the past. I really enjoyed hanging out here--it kept me going during the long, long months of studying.

05-08-2006, 06:00 PM
Glad to hear you did well!!! I still feel glad I didn't take it, though I presume I'll start feeling sorry when I start studying for my main literature exam (English/American) at Brown! :)
Good luck finishing up your degree! It's really great to hear stories of people combining work and study successfully; a great inspiration for people who are considering going (back) to college years after finishing high school! People who take the alternative way tend to do better in college and will usually take away more from their college years. :tup:

08-03-2006, 12:07 AM
I don't know how helpful this is, as much of the information is from my prior posts in this community or at Live Journal, but I've posted my experience with the GRE last December at:

In addition to shameless links to Amazon, there is a short quiz in the multiple choice format of the GRE. Sorry for such a short quiz. Most of my effort was in developing the Quiz application for an Ethics Exam with the idea that by developing a quiz in the style of the exam, I would be less threatened by the exam itself. If the questions seem lame....give me some of your own to include. Happy to make more quizes. Please, though......don't send actual test questions or copyrighted material.

BTW...The Ethics quizes are at.....

Anyway....I would love feedback.

08-28-2006, 07:09 PM
Here's a site with some really good material including quizes, though the site is still under construction. I haven't browsed the whole site but seems to be pretty complete up to Middle Romantic period.


Doesn't seem to be much activity in the "study materials" section. Anyone taking the test in the coming year?

cool cat
07-10-2016, 06:42 AM
I don't know if this was an old post, but I am preparing for the lit exam. Are the anthologies enough? I have all the anthologies, but am really short of time. I am now skipping onto the actual imaginary lit and not so much the historical part. Any advice?