Last Updated On November 25, 2020

What’s the Best GRE Prep Course?
Read Our Detailed Reviews

Editor's Choice
Magoosh
Magoosh GREClick For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
achievable
AchievableClick For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
Kaplan GRE
Kaplan GREClick For Best Price

Getting into the graduate school of your dreams shouldn’t come down to luck in your Graduate Record Examination (GRE). But even when you put in the time and effort with GRE prep books or classroom courses, you could end up with a lower GRE score than you need. And the problem is often not your lack of effort.

There are too many GRE test prep courses that significantly underdeliver in quality and content. To help you avoid such a mistake, we’ve analyzed dozens of online self-paced programs and have managed to narrow your choice down to this list of the best GRE prep courses.

Our Top GRE Prep Course Recommendations

1 - Magoosh GRE (Editor's Choice)

Magoosh

What students seem to like the most is the type of dashboard with personalized recommendations based on your progress. The platform provides an efficient planning method, so there's no second-guessing.

The self-paced online learning style of Magoosh GRE should give you good flexibility to set aside the right amount of time for each topic and section. If you don’t do well on certain sections of the practice exam, Magoosh GRE will recommend focusing more of your time on those specific study materials.

You'll find the instructional videos short and motivating, and the practice tests, handy during random mock exams.

We also like that it gives you a regular prediction of what kind of score you’ll most likely get, which may help you decide when you’re ready.

Quick Facts

  • 3 practice tests
  • 1,200+ practice questions
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • It could offer a larger number of questions in different formats

2 - Achievable

achievable

The first thing we liked about Achievable is that everything is available online as well as an easy to use app.

It also continuously checks your progress to recommend certain areas where you may need to spend more time studying.

And by doing a regular GRE practice test (there are 10 in total), you may get a much better picture of how much you’ve improved.

Quick Facts

  • 10 practice tests
  • 9,999+ practice questions
Pros
  • All course materials available online and in an app
  • Unique personalization and prioritization for better focus
  • Offers the largest range of questions of all the GRE prep courses
  • Regular discounts available
Cons
  • Achievable doesn’t offer video lessons or tutorials

The only thing we’d like to see added to the course is video lessons on some of the more complex topics.

3 - Kaplan GRE

Kaplan GRE

What stood out for us with the Kaplan GRE prep course is that they allow you to sit one of the practice exams at a test facility. As a student, that may help you better prepare for the nerves you might have on the day.

You may also have enough tests to take along the way to see how much the GRE course has worked to improve your score.

And if you like studying on the go, during a lunch break, or while commuting, then flashcards on the app may be helpful.

Quick Facts

  • 7 practice tests
  • 5,000 practice questions
Pros
  • Option to take a practice exam at a test facility
  • The full-length practice tests allow you to track your progress
  • Many users love the flashcard app to study while on the go
Cons
  • It’s one of the most expensive GRE prep courses

4 - PrepScholar GRE Prep

PrepScholar GRE

PrepScholar GRE Course provides one of the more detailed study plans. This should put you in a position where you can start each day with an exact goal in mind.

The company is also confident enough in their past student results to guarantee at least a 7 point improvement.

Oh, and you have access to all the materials for 12 months, which is something most other GRE prep courses don’t come close to.

Quick Facts

  • 2 practice tests
  • 2,000 practice questions
Pros
  • Detailed study plans may help you stay on track
  • Comes with a +7 point higher score guarantee
  • Allows access to study materials for 12 months
Cons
  • Some more practice exams would help prep for test-taking

5 - Target Test Prep

target test prep

Many students like about Target Test Prep because a lot of the GRE course content comes in HD video format. That could make it feel more like a class or tutorial experience.

You also have the option to book into live online tutorials, which may help you better prepare for some areas where you’re struggling the most.

These prep tutorials also seem to cover a lot of the math topics, which may be a good option if this is one of your weak points.

Quick Facts

  • No practice tests
  • 3,000+ practice questions
Pros
  • Comes with the largest selection of HD video lessons and tutorials
  • Option for live online tutoring with an experienced GRE teacher
  • Many positive reviews that it may particularly help with the quantitative reasoning section [1]
Cons
  • Volume of course material other than GRE math could be improved

Unfortunately, Target Test Prep doesn’t include practice exams, and we thought that the content was heavily geared towards GRE math.

6 - The Princeton Review GRE

the princeton review

The Princeton Prep GRE may be one of the more prestigious courses that might be a good investment if you’re hoping to become an ivy league student.

Not only do you get some very good quality course work, but there are several stages where you may submit tests and essays to be reviewed by an expert.

This could help you get more personal feedback to improve your score in areas where you might need to put in a bit more work.

The Princeton Review GRE also has some live online classes where you may be able to raise specific questions that you’ve struggled with.

Quick Facts

  • 8 practice tests
  • 2,500 practice questions
Pros
  • All the practice exams are full length
  • Submit practice exams to a GRE expert for detailed feedback on strengths and weaknesses
  • Instructor-led live online tutorials available
Cons
  • You may need to come up with your own study plan and focus areas

The only thing missing is a recommended study plan laying out what you should be doing from week to week.

7 - Manhattan Prep GRE

manhattan prep

The Manhattan Prep GRE course is another one that focuses a lot on providing more formats of online self-paced learning.

Many students seem to have succeeded by watching more than 25 hours of video lessons several times to better remember the content. And for an extra fee, you’ll get access to some workshops that may focus on your weaker areas.

Manhattan Prep GRE also allows you to take a GRE practice test six times, which might be enough to see when your progress has brought you to the level you’re aiming for.

Quick Facts

  • 6 practice tests
  • 1,000+ practice questions
Pros
  • Broad range of study materials including over 25 hours of videos
  • Optional tutoring and workshops available
  • May provide enough practice tests to check your progress
Cons
  • You’ll have to come up with your own study plan

The only thing missing is a detailed study plan to guide you through all the sections.

8 - Economist

The economist

The final one of our best GRE prep courses comes from The Economist, which provides test takers with access to tutors. Many students have commented that this may have helped them overcome study problems that could have reduced their test scores.

There are a total of 5 GRE practice tests, and you have access to over 5,000 questions. You’ll also be able to submit essays for review. The feedback you receive includes actionable recommendations on how to improve your writing skills.

Quick Facts

  • 5 practice tests
  • 5,000+ practice questions
Pros
  • Access to real tutors to help with specific problems
  • Good selection of practice tests with a decent mix of sample questions
  • Essay reviews may help you better focus on weak points
Cons
  • The materials don’t include videos of important topics

The only thing we were missing is a library of videos, especially for some of the more complex topics.

8 Factors to Consider

Here are the main focus points that we looked at during our research.

1. Price

price

While investing in your future career success shouldn’t come down to just money, you’ll notice that there are big differences in the prices of the above courses.

In some cases, the GRE test prep courses are more expensive because of the prestigious organizations that provide them.

It’s kind of like buying branded sports gear and paying extra for a certain logo.

But keep one thing in mind.

Once you get your GRE exam results, nobody will know what program you used to improve your GRE scores.

2. Number Of Practice Exams

This is one of the more important features to focus on for two reasons. First of all, the more times you can go through a GRE practice test, the more confident you should get in answering the questions.

We’ve heard from so many students who were very nervous about taking the test. They all said that going through multiple full-length practice tests showed them that they were able to get a good score.

With a short amount of time to prepare for the GRE, the most important thing examinees can do is quickly take a practice test to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses. “

– Arvin Vohra, founder of the Vohra Method.

Secondly, taking multiple practice tests will show you how much your score has improved from week to week or month to month. It’ll give you a good picture of when you’ve done enough work to take the real exam.

3. Number Of Practice Questions

questionnaire

Some people think that the more questions there are, the more repetition of the same questions will come up.

But you’ll be surprised to see how even a small change in the wording of a question and answer could improve how well you retain the correct information.

It forces your brain to pay more attention to the exact wording to come up with the right answer.

The more practice problems you get to work on, the more flexible you’ll become at dealing with the questions on the real exam day.

4. Score Improvement Guarantee

We like seeing a program that comes with a score improvement guarantee. It shows you that the course providers are confident in the content they have created. And the guarantee usually shows a score improvement that is at the low end of the average they see.

Now, you do have to be careful in how you interpret this. It’s no excuse to put in less work just because your chosen program has a high guarantee. The guarantee isn’t going to improve the results you achieve if they aren’t high enough.

Recommended Article: How To Prepare for the GRE

5. Course Delivery

Every student has a different learning style, and self-paced online learning should provide a few different content delivery options. What we like to see is some of the more complex materials like verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and GRE math offered in video tutorials.

Having someone talk you through certain concepts is possibly one of the best ways to understand and memorize them. Another important factor is an easy-to-view dashboard of all the sections you need to cover. And some courses provide recommendations on the dashboard based on your weekly progress.

6. Mobile App

mobile app

Now, it’s easy to access online GRE prep course content on your phone if it’s on a webpage.

But a designated app might make things a lot easier.

When you launch the app, you’ll see exactly what you need to cover each day, and it should give you a progress report as well.

Some of the course providers have also come up with innovative solutions like digital flashcards.

If you have 10 minutes to spare on a lunch break, or you have a long commute, then spending time to do some repetition might make a big difference.

7. Live Tutorials And Grading

These are sometimes included with the more expensive courses or available as an extra.

Here’s the thing.

Sometimes, you might get stuck on a problem, and no matter how many times you read over the content, it just doesn’t sink in. All it might take is for a tutor to take you through a GRE section step by step to get that lightbulb moment.

And while digital grading services have become better, they often lack the human touch to pinpoint exactly what you should be doing to improve your writing skills.

8. GRE Study Schedule

Whether you’re planning to study for 2 or 6 months, you need a plan to break down all the work. Unfortunately, not all course options come with a study guide, which means you would need to break this down yourself [2].

Ideally, you should choose an online course that continuously checks your progress from the studied content and practice tests to show you where you may need to spend more time. It could help you make much better use of your time and significantly improve your success rate.

FAQs

Are GRE Prep Courses worth it?

Yes, GRE prep courses are worth it, especially if you need a specific score to get into the graduate school of your dreams. The courses are specifically designed to prepare you for the type of questions you’ll encounter on test day.

How far in advance should you study for the GRE?

You should study between 4 and 12 weeks in advance of the GRE. However, if you have a busy work and life schedule, then you may want to give yourself up to 6 months to improve your chances of success.

Can you take the GRE without studying?

Yes, you can take the GRE without studying, but this may not give you much more than a passing score. If you need a specific score for your chosen graduate school, it’s best not to take any chances and put in extra study time.

What is a good GRE score?

A good average GRE score for math is 152, and for verbal 150 [3]. Students need to check what their chosen school requires as a minimum score, as this could be very different between schools.

And the #1 GRE Prep Course is...

Out of the best GRE prep courses that we reviewed, Magoosh was the one that we kept using to compare others.

One of the main things you need to do when studying for the GRE is to spend a lot of time going through practice questions and exams. This is one area that Magoosh stood out the most.

But you might also find you make better use of your time preparing for the GRE by taking advantage of the study recommendations on the Magoosh platform. We like how the personalized dashboard provides recommendations based on an individual's progress.

If you want to maximize your success rate, then try out Magoosh today and improve your chances of getting into that graduate school you’re aiming for.

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
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of November
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