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What’s the Best GRE Prep Book?
List of Book Recommendations

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: June 5, 2021

A GRE Prep book helps you prepare for the upcoming test, but with so many choices before you, how do you know which GRE prep study materials are the most effective?

Here at MyGRE Exam Preparation, we have a team of educators and testing experts who spend hundreds of hours diving deep through each of these prep books in our quest to find the best GRE prep books. These study materials may help you achieve your highest score possible.

In this comprehensive review, you will learn which is the best GRE prep book to use.

15 Best GRE Prep Books in 2021

1 - Manhattan Prep GRE: Set of 8 Strategy Guides

By Manhattan Prep 8 Strategy Guides

The Manhattan GRE Prep Book: Set of 8 Guides is one of the best GRE prep books available on the market today for it’s comprehensive content in GRE subjects.

These GRE prep books are helpful study guides to the types of quantitative comparison and data interpretation questions you will see in the practice test.

The GRE practice problem types include algebra, fractions, decimals, percentages, geometry, number properties and word problems.

At the end of each Manhattan prep book, there are three sets of practice questions arranged by the level of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard.

If you have time to prepare and want to thoroughly explore each topic, this GRE prep book set is one of the most comprehensive guides available, and one of the best books to learn different concepts and techniques.

The answer explanations provided in these GRE prep books are clear in mathematical GRE questions and concepts. The verbal-focused books provide you with sound techniques and good reading practice. The practice questions on text completions and sentence structure can depend on vocabulary rather than structures, which is a potential downside when studying for the GRE.

Click this page to know more about their GRE prep course program.

Pros
  • Comprehensive with detailed answer explanations and full-length GRE practice problems
  • Contains 8 detailed books on different topics
  • Gives you access to online adaptive tests for further study
  • Clear mathematical concepts and quantitative comparison
Cons
  • Not suitable for last-minute studying

2 - Official GRE Super Power Pack

Official GRE Super Power Pack

The Official Super Power Pack books are written by ETS, the makers of the GRE test. These provide enough official GRE quantitative reasoning practice questions, verbal reasoning,  a math content review, as well as two full practice tests.

These official guides will test your overall knowledge and will provide sufficient practice for every subject.

Each guide has detailed practice questions and answers. Because they are written by the test-makers, they will help you prepare for the actual test in a straightforward manner.

Each GRE guide contains four complete full-length GRE practice tests: two in the book and two on the CD-ROM that comes with the book.

These GRE books provide detailed descriptions of the official GRE verbal reasoning section and official GRE quantitative reasoning content sections of the GRE. It also provides test-taking strategies for answering each GRE question type, offering an overview of the two types of analytical writing section tasks that are part of the test.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a full prep program for the GRE, check out our list of best GRE prep courses.

Pros
  • Written by the makers of the GRE test
  • Includes CD-ROM, included in each book
  • Includes free book of GRE practice tests for each subject.
Cons
  • Not for initial learning
  • Kindle version has formatting errors

3 - GRE Prep by Magoosh

GRE Prep by Magoosh

The GRE Prep by Magoosh has combined some of the top practice questions and answers from past test-takers, which will help you to learn exactly what to expect from the test.

This test-taking study guide has 130+ questions designed and analyzed by the best GRE tutors. The question bank is streamlined to help you understand each concept and eventually get better GRE score.

The comprehensive GRE prep book also provides in-depth explanations of answers and statistics to help you measure the difficulty level and your progress. There is also an extra GRE vocab and analytical writing section to help you improve your verbal skills.

The guide provides every test taker one complete practice test with an answer key, as well as a detailed explanation of all the answers, allowing you to check the answer key after taking the GRE practice test.

For the full Magoosh GRE Prep course review, you can check out this post.

Pros
  • Provides tips and FAQs from previous test-takers and tutors
  • Book comes with 20% coupon
  • Comes with practice test and answer key
  • Detailed explanation of answers
Cons
  • Online program not included
  • Book provides fewer questions than online program

4 - Kaplan's GRE Prep Plus

GRE Prep Plus 2020: 6 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online + Video + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep)

Kaplan GRE Prep Plus is a recent addition to the GRE prep books.

The GRE prep plus provides access to an online test you can access it from your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Practicing with the comprehensive GRE prep plus online test will help you prepare for your GRE general test as it will be taken at a test center on a computer.

Also, being familiar with the test environment and testing methods will be useful on the test day.

In addition to the GRE prep book, Kaplan provides you with access to online videos that explain each concept and provide one-on-one tutoring with Kaplan teachers.

Kaplan GRE Prep is also available for you to check out.

Pros
  • Comprehensive guide that provides multiple learning options
  • Provides access to videos and online tutoring
  • Numerous online practice tests within the material
Cons
  • Lacks complexity in math
  • Only teaches the formula

5 - Manhattan’s 5Lb Prep GRE Book

5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

Manhattan’s 5Lb book of GRE practice is a comprehensive GRE study guide that is designed by Manhattan Prep. It contains online practice questions focusing on the verbal and a quantitative sections of the GRE.

As a bonus, the conclusion of this 5-lb book of GRE practice has responses to many analytical writing assessment topics.

The test prep book is good with reading comprehension. However, if you are looking for a solid practice on text sentence completion, this book may not be worth it as the words are not the same as the exam pattern.

One good thing to note is that Manhattan 5-lb book of GRE practice problems has provided an “Advanced Quant” section that is tougher than the real GRE, so if you want to prepare for the worst in the test, this is a good subsection of the test to practice on.

Pros
  • Detailed reading comprehension section
  • Good quantitative section
  • Has an Advanced Quant section
Cons
  • Verbal section not a good resource
  • Text and sentence completion not worthy references

6 - The ETS Official Guide to the GRE

The Official Guide to the GRE

Official Guide to the GRE is designed by the ETS, the maker of the GRE test.

This ETS Prep book study guide shows you what to expect on the test and how the test is scored. It also provides hundreds of GRE test questions for practice.

For the quantitative sections of the GRE test, this GRE prep book has various subsections like Algebra, Geometry, data analysis and more, which explains the theories you will need for the exam. The best part of the GRE prep book is the analytical writing assessment.

Pros
  • Produced by ETS
  • Good AWA section of the GRE
  • Includes GRE practice tests
Cons
  • Math subsection not strong enough

7 - ETS’s Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

gre verbal

This book by the Educational Testing Service is created for  students who have difficulty with the verbal exam practice questions.

One of the best ways to prepare for the verbal reasoning measure of the GRE revised general test is with actual GRE exam questions. That makes this GRE prep book unique.

It is designed by ETS and provides 150 actual GRE verbal reasoning questions with complete answer explanations. It also offers the best overview of the GRE analytical writing measure, complete with sample analytical writing tasks and scored sample responses.

In addition, the GRE verbal reasoning test questions are arranged according to the GRE practice questions and level of difficulty by the Educational Testing Service.

Pros
  • Similar difficulty level as actual exam
  • Good verbal reasoning section
  • Provides 150 real GRE questions
Cons
  • Best for practice
  • Cheaper quality paper
  • Some answers are not properly explained

8 - Official GRE for Quantitative Reasoning by ETS

Official GRE for Quantitative Reasoning by ETS

This book is also released by ETS. Some of the parts of this GRE prep book are the same as the main guide, but with additional 150 questions.

Overall, the GRE quant practice questions provided in this guide are harder compared to the official guide, which may work if you want to prepare for the worst.

Pros
  • Pattern up to date with the revised exam
  • Concept-based
  • Questions may be harder than main exams
Cons
  • Not for introductory learning
  • No further explanations of individual subjects

9 - Cracking the GRE (4 practice tests) by the Princeton Review

Cracking the GRE (4 practice tests) by the Princeton Review

This Cracking the GRE study guide is one of the best study books designed by the Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review book includes six full-length practice tests, thorough topic reviews, and exclusive access to an online premium portal that provides tons of extra practice and resources.

The Princeton Review also provides step-by-step problem-solving guides that offer test-taking strategies to maximize time and minimize errors. The Princeton review book also has bulleted chapter summaries for a quick review.

For their full GRE program, read this Princeton Review GRE Prep Guide.

Pros
  • Introduces strategic learning
  • Detailed explanation of GRE math concepts
  • Good AWA subsection
Cons
  • Poor reading comprehension section
  • GRE Math section is sub-par

10 - GRE Complete: Self-Study guide for GRE by Kaplan

GRE Complete: Self-Study guide for GRE by Kaplan

This set of Kaplan's GRE prep guide and study books provide six free full-length GRE practice tests and an online DVD that offers excellent advice on how to take the GRE test and tackle graduate school admissions. These features are what made the set among the best GRE prep books today.

These GRE prep books are good in verbal preparation, but the practice question type in the quantitative section of the test is easy. However, the six full-length practice tests provided with these prep books are comparatively easier than the official GRE, but the verbal section offers tough practice questions.

Pros
  • Essays may improve your writing skills
  • 6 free GRE practice tests
  • Includes an online DVD
Cons
  • Quantitative questions lack difficulty
  • Verbal questions tougher than actual exam

11 - 500 essential words: GRE vocabulary flash cards

500 Essential Words GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards

Manhattan Prep and its GRE instructors have released the most comprehensive set of flashcards available through this GRE prep book. The 500 Essential Words is the first of a two-volume set of GRE flashcards.

The flashcards are designed to help the student develop a lasting understanding of each word. It contains a word network with definitions, usage, synonyms and more.

Pros
  • Good way to learn vocabulary
  • Covers all high-frequency words
Cons
  • No phonemic spelling
  • Only one-half of the full set

12 - GRE vocabulary flashcards + app (Kaplan prep test)

GRE Vocabulary Flashcards + App (Kaplan Test Prep)

Kaplan's GRE preparation experts developed these flashcards with a spontaneous design. This set of flashcards comes in a small box but provides one of the best number of vocabulary, analysis and examples.

Based on students' feedback, you may experience how the app can take your studies on the go and simplify every aspect of the GRE test verbal category.

Pros
  • Compact and portable
  • Has a companion app
Cons
  • Not meant for long-term studying for the GRE

13 - Nova’s GRE Math Bible

Nova’s GRE Math Bible

Unlike other GRE prep books on this list, Nova's GRE Math bible is designed for the old pattern.

Based on our review, you won't see the best number of practice questions, but the book is good at building concepts.

Every chapter starts with basic concepts, with practice questions divided into an easy, medium, hard, and very hard level.

To strengthen your math further, take a look at our GRE math studying tips.

Pros
  • Good for building concepts
  • Difficulty level is categorized
  • Contains in-depth answer explanations
Cons
  • Designed for the old GRE pattern

14 - GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays

GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays

This GRE study guide is one of best GRE prep books for reading comprehension, so you won't find a lot of practice questions.

What you'll find are many analytical writing assessment samples that will give you an idea of how to approach the AWA section of GRE.

As per several past GRE-takers' feedback, the way the book structured its essay is exactly the way you should write it.

Pros
  • Several AWA samples
  • Comes with detailed answer explanations
Cons
  • Limited number of questions

15 - BARRON’S GRE, 22nd EDITION

BARRON’S GRE, 22nd EDITION

This Barron's GRE prep book contains good quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE that are worth reading.

While this book provides you with two full-length practice tests with answer keys, the practice questions at the end of each topic are not that helpful when compared to the real GRE.

It also offers access to two additional online practice tests with explanations for each practice question type.

You can read our review of the Barron's GRE prep book to learn more.

Pros
  • Comprehensive vocabulary
  • Good quantitative section
  • Each question type includes explanations
Cons
  • Not the best study guide

What Makes a Good GRE Prep Book?

A good GRE prep book showcases test-taking strategies and provides tips that will help you stay on track and score high on the test. It should contain practice questions that are similar to real GRE questions, so you can effectively assess yourself based on the difficulty level. To solidify your understanding of the test prep material, the best GRE study guide should offer in-depth and clear answer explanations, along with actionable exercises for easy test navigation.

In looking for a GRE book, here are some things to consider:

  • Book Layout
  • Quality of Questions
  • Number of Questions
  • Tips and Strategies
  • Pricing
  • Comprehensive Answer Explanations
  • Personal Factors

And The Best GRE Book Is...

Based on our in-depth review and students' feedback on the best GRE books, we recommend Manhattan GRE set of 8 strategy guides as the best GRE prep book.

We like that it contains in-depth content overview for each topic. It also includes full-length mock tests with a detailed answer explanation.

Our team was quite impressed with the online adaptive tests and the clear presentation of quantitative concepts. The test-taking tips and strategies also make preparation more streamlined and straightforward.

By Manhattan Prep 8 Strategy Guides

Our #1 Recommendation

Manhattan Prep GRE: Set of 8 Strategy Guides

  • Comprehensive with detailed answer explanations and full-length GRE practice problems
  • Contains 8 detailed books on different topics
  • Gives you access to online adaptive tests for further study
  • Clear mathematical concepts and quantitative comparison
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
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About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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