Category Archives: study guide

The Russian List

I spent all of today and most of last night going over all of my GRE lists and taking practice tests. This is one of those ongoing projects that won’t end until pretty much the evening before the exam.

I know my GRE posts are some of the least popular with everyone, but I *did* promise to finish out my lists/study guide. Here is the last one in the series, focusing on all the Russian authors who may make a brief appearance in the exam. Very short list.

Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, and maybe The Brothers Karamazov

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and maybe The Death of Ivan Illych

Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita, and maybe Pale Fire

Boris Pasternak – Doctor Zhivago (maybe)

Nikolai Gogol – Teras Bulba, Diary of a Madman, The Nose, and The Overcoat

Alexander Pushkin – The Bronze Horseman, The Stone Guest, maybe Mozart and Salieri, and Eugene Onegin.

Anton Chekhov – Three Sisters, The Marriage Proposal, The Death of a Government Clerk, The Lady with the Dog, and maybe Ivanov

As for the rest, I don’t think they will appear. I know several of these works are very long. If you haven’t read them already, now would not be a good time (especially if you are taking this test in the fall). Look them up and familiarize yourself with the different author’s styles and themes. For the short stories, some of them are very quick reads and would actually be a good way of getting a sense of each author.

I was going to make a French list as well, but really, just read a bit of Honore de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust and maybe some Guy de Maupassant and you should be fine for the exam. I haven’t seen anything on Gustave Flaubert, Alexander Dumas, Albert Camus, Jules Verne, Jean Paul Sartre, Moliere, or any of the other ones really. In fact Victor Hugo was only mentioned in one of the answer choices, and he wasn’t even the answer. The same for Maupassant, and Balzac came up twice. In the world of the GRE the others don’t seem to exist.

Of course this doesn’t mean they won’t be on the version of the exam that is actually given, but considering their appearance in all practice versions, if they do show up, you may miss one or two questions. Which is probably the least of anyone’s worries.