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Barron's GRE Test Prep Course Review (2024 Update)

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: January 24, 2022

If you’re nervous about taking the GRE, then you might have looked into some GRE prep courses. If so, then you know that they can be costly. We decided to check out some inexpensive options for college students on a shoestring budget.

Barron’s GRE prep is also a big name in test prep books, so we decided to give their course a try to come up with this Barron’s GRE test prep review.

What is Barron’s GRE Test Prep?

Barron's GREtest prep

Barron’s GRE test prep is a GRE preparatory course designed for students looking for on-demand access to study wherever they feel most comfortable.

It has similar features to other courses, but for a fraction of the cost. It uses an adaptive learning strategy to give students a more pinpoint idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

Barron’s GRE prep offers a free trial that includes a basic account. You won’t have access to all the course material, but you can have a sneak peek before buying the whole thing.

Pros
  • Free trial
  • Budget-friendly option
  • On-demand access from anywhere
  • Adaptive learning technology
Cons
  • The app is only for iPad
  • No in-person or live course options

Things To Consider

Course Options

using a laptop

Barron’s GRE prep course only offers online, on-demand access. They don’t provide any in-person or live online instruction classes.

If you're looking for an in-person course, then you might want to check out Kaplan GRE Course or Magoosh GRE.

Barron’s offers a free trial that consists of a basic account. You will have limited access to some course materials for 12 months.

The full paid course offers all of Barron’s study materials for 12 months. You can use them anywhere and at any time. Barron's also has prep book you can try out here.

Study Materials

student and teacher during an online class

For being such an affordable option, Barron’s has many materials that come with their paid GRE prep course.

The main course content consists of 25 hours of video instructional lessons, explaining the concepts and questions in detail.

They also offer 50 hours of video solutions that use actual GRE questions to present solutions to problems.

You will get 75+ text lessons to read on your own terms. Barron’s provides 4 full-length GRE practice tests and a bank of 1,000 GRE practice questions.

Once you sign up, you will be given a diagnostic exam to determine where you should focus your studies.

Adaptive Learning

man reading books in the library

Most modern GRE prep courses use some form of adaptive technology. We thought that Barron’s had a solid algorithm to help students identify their problem areas.

The learning algorithm monitors the student’s progress by providing harder questions if you get the correct ones.

The algorithm starts with a diagnostic test. Once complete, the course will suggest videos and lessons to target the areas you need improvement.

That means less time studying things that you might already know. You will also get personalized study plans based on your performance.

Barron’s Skill Report shows you an analysis of every question type and how you scored.

Pricing

One big advantage of Barron’s GRE prep course is that it is reasonably priced.

It is significantly cheaper than other prep courses that we reviewed.

The 12-month access pass should be enough time for most students to prepare for the GRE without paying to extend their course.

We were also impressed with the free trial.

Read More: ASU GRE Prep Course Review

Potential Downsides

One downside to Barron’s prep course is that it is only offered online in a self-study format. You won’t have access to live teachers or instruction. It can be a bit more challenging to have your questions answered immediately. Another downside could be that there are fewer materials provided for studying.

Real Student Results from Taking the Barrons GRE Test Prep Course

We wanted to find out whether students who took the Barrons GRE test prep course saw a real improvement in their GRE test scores.

Accordingly, we had students take a GRE prep test before and after taking the Barrons test prep course. We obtained each student’s Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning results from each test and compared them to determine a percentage improvement.

Although students saw their GRE test scores increase after completing the Barrons GRE test prep course, their percentage improvement in test scores was slight. For example, one student achieved only a 12.8% improvement in score, while another saw less than a 6% improvement.

 

TEST SCORE PREDICTOR (QUANTITATIVE + REASONING)
Baseline (Before taking the course)
After studying the course
Improvement
 
Student 1
322
340
5.6%
Smallest Improvement
Student 2
298
336
12.8%
Largest Improvement
Student 3
312
338
8.3%

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How Accurate Is The Barron’s GRE Test Prep?

As you know, one point can decide if you are going to pass or fail your GRE.

That is why the prep test is a key element of every prep course. But the question is: "How accurate is it?"

To test the accuracy of Barron's Prep compared to the actual GRE, we decided to give it a try and compare the results.

Three students gave their best learning only using Barron's GRE Test Prep Course and shared their prep test scores with us.

Then, they took the official GRE, and we were able to see how well the scores held up.

Here are the results:

QUANTITATIVE REASONING
Before
(Test score
predictor)
Real
GRE Test
Score 
%Accuracy   
Student 1
170
170
100% 
Student 2
168
169
99% 
Student 3
169
167
99% 
99%  
VERBAL REASONING
  Before
(Test score
predictor)
Real
GRE Test
Score 
%Accuracy   
163
160
98%
154
159
97%
159
157
99%
98%  

GRE Logo

As presented, the accuracy is really high.

The Barron's GRE Test can truly give you a picture of how well you can do the official GRE.

Still, don't take it for granted, because as we saw, scores on the prep test can be 1 or 2 points higher than on the real exam.

FAQs

How much does it cost for Barron’s GRE prep course?

You can get 12 months of access to all of the material for around $99.

Do I need to buy any additional materials to supplement the online course?

No, all of your materials are provided online when you purchase the course. Barron’s offers GRE study books that you can buy on Amazon or other book websites, but they are not required for the online course.

Can I review the videos in any order?

Yes, you can review any video that you like by navigating using the “All Topics” page on your course dashboard.

Is Barron’s GRE Prep Course Worth It?

After our review of Barron’s GRE prep course, we think it is a good option for students who want an inexpensive course. It is ideal for motivated and self-starting students to study whenever and wherever they want. We thought that it did have a few drawbacks, however. We still think that there is a better alternative.

We would recommend Magoosh for GRE test prep. Magoosh offers better resources and more course options. Even if it is slightly more expensive, we still think it’s worth it. The vast test material options give you an edge when it comes to effective studying for the GRE.

Magoosh

Our #1 Recommendation

Magoosh GRE

  • The dashboard is easy to use with recommendations for study focus points
  • Easy to follow written and video instruction
  • Offers a score predictor to help you assess your progress
  • Good for both comprehensive and last-minute study
  • Structured with clear and flexible lesson plans
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