Manhattan Prep GRE 5 lb Review (2024's Buying Guide)

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: February 4, 2022

Practice makes perfect, but only when done correctly. Learning skills to ace examinations is challenging, and you have to prepare well if you want to succeed. The Manhattan Prep 5 lb book of GRE Practice Problems is one of the most highly-acclaimed review materials even from years ago, but will your spending be worth it?

In this Manhattan Prep GRE 5lb review, our team has compiled all the relevant information to help you decide.

What is the Manhattan Prep 5 lb Book?

manhattan PREP 5 lb book

The Manhattan Prep 5lb book of GRE practice problems is a book of practice questions that aim to harness your test-taking skills especially in reading comprehension and answering logic-based questions.

It is one of the Manhattan GRE Prep tools from years ago that claims to give a chance to increase your GRE score.

The Manhattan Prep 5 lb Book of GRE is massive, literally weighing about 5 pounds, and it houses 33 chapters of actual GRE exam study questions and vocabulary words (based on ETS).

The Manhattan company's team of experts, composed of top GRE performers from years ago up to the present, are the ones who authored the book.

The Manhattan team has proven their credentials as students belonging to the 99+ percentile when they took their GRE.

What’s in it for me?

All in all, the Manhattan Prep GRE 5lb book has over 2000 practice questions and vocabulary words that you can use to improve your score for the upcoming GRE. Its 33 chapters have topics between the Math and Verbal subtests.

You should know that unlike other books that have long text chapters, the 5 lb book from Manhattan GRE Prep gives questions upon questions instead (has been that way since years ago). It is like one long test with many verbal and quantitative concepts rather than being boring reading material.

There is a need for you to recall the concepts when you answer even just one question from this guide. You should have already reviewed before answering the practice problems to get a good score.

Also, time yourself (recommended for many, if not all prep books) to make it feel like the real test. A good test habit is time management, and you would only get this skill if you practice well.

Manhattan GRE 5LB Book Coverage

stacked books

If you decide to get this 5 lb book from Manhattan GRE prep, you can expect to see the following contents subdivided into four unique parts inside:

  • In the first chapter, you get two mini diagnostic tests, one test is for quantitative reasoning and another test for verbal reasoning practice. There would be a total of 40 questions from these diagnostic tests (some sourced from ETS).
  • Then, another chapter would use ETS based questions, and you will get several of these. A total of about 1800+ practice questions is in the material that you can use to master every topic included in the actual GRE.
  • There are also eight mini mixed practice tests thrown after each chapter, four for quant and the other four for verbal. All in all, this portion has a total of 80 questions you can use to get your target score.
  • Lastly, you would get a chapter that has mini math drill sets that have about 100 total questions. [2]

"A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work."


- Colin Powell, American politician

1. Mini diagnostic tests

The first taste of what you should expect when you take the GRE is in the two mini diagnostic tests at the beginning of the Manhattan prep book. The two short tests are both of GRE-level in terms of difficulty, which might take too much time for those who lack the necessary skills to answer them (hence the importance of recalling your basic concepts before the test prep).

We can say that both capture the exam coverage pretty well for such a short test, and it allows you to see your strengths and weaknesses afterward (which you can work on). Perhaps the most challenging aspect is that it is self-timed, but since the whole book is, this can be like starting a good skill that can guide you in mastering the rest of the portions.

The GRE questions in these practice sets include official GRE questions (from ETS) with topics about quantitative reasoning, sentence equivalence, text completion, data interpretation, verbal practice, and other ETS official GRE sections. All of the questions also come with easy to follow explanations that are written by Manhattan experts to help you tackle the real GRE later. [3]

  • GRE-level difficulty
  • Captures GRE coverage well
  • Highlights strengths and weaknesses
  • Self-timed
  • Too challenging for some

2. Practice Tests

Then, the back-breaking work that is the actual test questions come into play. The Manhattan Prep 5lb book gives you more (literally more) questions than other reviewers; you might end up getting sick of their number.

The company's 1800+ questions cover the GRE entirety of coverage since their experts regularly update these practice problems. And, all of these are GRE-level in terms of difficulty; you will be in for a ride.

However, the experts may include some repetitive concepts, but it is an unavoidable feat, especially with the sheer number of items they have to prepare. Our team personally found this okay, though, as repetitive concepts can sharpen our techniques for those particular topics. Besides, there were not that many instances that this happened.

Lastly, there are some questions that we have found to lack a comprehensive enough explanation, which we had to supplement with internet and book research so we can understand the topic. Your reading comprehension is what matters and at times, understanding the explanation is not enough. In particular, the sentence equivalence. [3]

To learn more about the best GRE practice tests visit this link.

  • More than other GRE reviewers
  • Covers the entire GRE topic
  • GRE-level difficulty
  • Some repetitive concepts
  • Lacking explanations

3. Mini mixed tests

The next section of this GRE book includes even more GRE question types. This time, each mini mixed exam is composed of both quant and verbal concepts.

These mini-tests can help harness your flexibility as a GRE test-taker, allowing a rapid switch of recall from quant techniques to verbal knowledge. The tests also cover even more topics and thus is an avenue for more practice time.

However, note that the switching of items from quant to verbal and back can get confusing. Our team thinks that some might find this section just confusing rather than helping them become more flexible. The length of these GRE test prep materials are too short, not cementing the skills (verbal or analytical) it is trying to help you develop.

You have to pour your efforts and prepare well before diving into this section, which is why it probably came after those vast number of practice GRE questions. [3]

  • Harnesses flexibility
  • More GRE topic coverage
  • More practice room
  • Too short
  • May be confusing

4. Math Drill Set

Just when you thought this Manhattan prep GRE book couldn't give you any more practice questions, the last portion is a math drill set to harness your quant skills more.

Manhattan prep wants to deliver more content to test-takers, until the back of the book, there are questions for you to answer. The questions are rigorous and challenging and have extensive coverage of almost all basic Mathematics concepts that might come out in the GRE.

There is also a dedicated portion for discussing the answers to shed light on where you might have gone wrong. Manhattan Prep gives helpful tips and techniques in this section that can help you answer those problems that may not be similar to those asked in the reviewer.

However, for those who do not have an excellent background in the questions covered, the explanations might be unclear for some items. Again, you have to have already studied and recalled some basics before answering.

And, the items can be repetitive with that from other parts. But, they are still good practice and only take an insignificant amount. [3]

  • Helpful tips and techniques
  • Rigorous and challenging
  • Extensive coverage
  • Unclear discussion
  • Repetitive with other portions

Real Student Results from Taking the Manhattan 5LB GRE Prep Course

We wanted to find out whether students who took the Manhattan 5LB GRE 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 Manhattan 5LB GRE 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 Manhattan 5LB GRE prep course, their percentage improvement in test scores was small. For example, one student achieved only a 15.0% improvement in score, while another saw less than a 6% improvement.


Manhattan Prep

Baseline (Before taking the course)
After studying the course
Student 1
Student 2
Smallest Improvement
Student 3
Largest Improvement

GRE Logo

How Accurate Is the Manhattan Prep GRE?

The only criteria we can use to decide if a prep test is any good is its accuracy.

If your scores on the prep test are much different than those you get on the real exam, then maybe something is wrong with the prep test, or maybe even the book you are using.

As we did with every other prep test on the market, we conveyed a simple experiment to decide how accurate Manhattan Prep is.

To do so, we needed help from 3 students who were using this book to prepare for the GRE. After taking the prep test and recording their results, they took the official GRE too.

Here are their results in both tests:


(Test score
GRE Test
Student 1
Student 2
Student 3
(Test score
GRE Test

GRE Logo

From what we can see in the table, Manhattan prep is 96-97% accurate.

You may think this is a good accuracy result, but since we did the same experiment for other prep tests as well, we can say that this is lower than average.

So, is the Manhattan Prep 5lb GRE book worth it?

As much as we believe you can be successful with an excellent self-instructed reviewer like the Manhattan Prep 5lb GRE, our team still finds online review courses with live classes more helpful. This reviewer is a good book for practice questions since it’s similar to ETS, but it can only do so much.

Hence, our team still recommends the online Magoosh review than this material. It provides a comprehensive approach to learning the fundamentals before jumping to good practice tests.

You can clarify your questions when learning the concepts behind the question answers. With the Magoosh review course, you also get a study tracker that shows progress and the remaining topics you have to study. The choice is yours to make.


Our #1 Recommendation

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  • 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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