Recommended textbooks to prepare for GRE Subject Test

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
caxton
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:49 pm

Recommended textbooks to prepare for GRE Subject Test

Postby caxton » Wed May 21, 2014 7:24 pm

Hi all,

I intend to take the GRE Subject test in Math again this year (I also will need to take the General Test but I believe that is not a problem for me; I scored 800 in the Math section last time). My problem is that I am not from a generic Math background, but I studied engineering and I think I have a strong Math aptitude.

I didn't prepare well enough for the last Math subject test (so I scored a measly 540), but while trying to prepare using the O.P. Agrawal REA text and Princeton review guides I kept on meeting some topics that required more fundamental knowledge in order to appreciate the methods used to solve the problems in the example questions. It was generally assumed that I would have had the prerequisite knowledge.

What textbooks would you suggest for a fast-paced learner, which would yet cover the pre-requisites for one preparing for the GRE subject test and/or one without an adequate formal Math background who wants to pursue a lifetime of Math?

I'll have to order the books online and they might take a while to get to me. so please your suggestions are welcome ASAP. I don't want to risk buying just any book, and thought to seek your advice.

Thanks

caxton
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:49 pm

Re: Recommended textbooks to prepare for GRE Subject Test

Postby caxton » Fri May 23, 2014 11:01 am

Any help please? There are so many textbooks I found on Amazon and I can't afford to buy the wrong one(s) and ship all the way to another continent....

Please assist / suggest?

Thanks

AndyL
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:25 am

Re: Recommended textbooks to prepare for GRE Subject Test

Postby AndyL » Fri May 30, 2014 1:37 am

I was studying the subject test last year. Here is the list of books I used, which were pretty much the textbooks for my math classes at my undergraduate institution:
1. Calculus by Stewart.
2. Elementary Differential Equations by Boyce and DiPrima.
3. Principles of Analysis by Rudin. (This book is a classic, but analysis is not a major area in the test)
4. Fundamentals of Complex Analysis by Saff and Snider.
5. Topology by Munkres. Introduction to Topology by Gamelin and Greene is also a decent one and considerably cheaper. I believe it is only around $15 comparing to over $100 for Munkres....
6. Linear Algebra by Freidberg, Insel, and another author whom I cannot remember.
7. Algebra: An Introduction by Hungerford. (Dummit and Foote book is more well-written. I suggest that).

However, Topology, analysis, and other topics are only 25% of the test, and questions are only at the most fundamental level. Use these books with caution as they cover much more materials and greater depth than GRE.

There are pros and cons about the REA book and Princeton Review book, which are pretty much all you can find on the market today. Problems in Princeton Review are much easier than those in actual tests, and some areas are omitted in their chapter reviews. They are also much more computational than the theoretical ones in the actual exam. That being said, it is still a good guideline about what you should expect on the test. REA book has many weird problems that will unlikely appear on the test, and some of them are pretty hard. Chapter reviews are well written in the REA book. I used PR as the major tool with REA as the supplement. My suggestion is that you do as many problems in the textbooks as you can on top of the REA and PR books.

One thing you should note is that there are some typos and wrong answers in Chapter 7 of the PR book. I believe there is a list of them here in the forum. You might want to search them.

I hope this served you well and good luck!

caxton
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:49 pm

Re: Recommended textbooks to prepare for GRE Subject Test

Postby caxton » Fri May 30, 2014 4:46 am

@AndyL

This is so very useful. Thank you!




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