UCSD GRE Prep Course Review (2024's Complete Guide)

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

Are you an undergraduate student at the University of California San Diego? Are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree within the next year? If so, this GRE prep program might be a good option for you. We decided to check it out and see if it is worth it for UCSD students than traditional commercial GRE prep courses.

You might be surprised to find out all the resources that UCSD offers.

What Is UCSD GRE Prep?

ucsd gre prep

The UCSD GRE prep is a preparatory course offered through the University of California San Diego.

It is free for current UCSD students, but they will be required to purchase the course textbook.

UCSD took a different approach than some other colleges since they offer their own GRE prep course instead of partnering with a third-party.

Benefits And Highlights

UCSD offers a comprehensive GRE prep course for current students. If you are not a current student, you can pay for the course. They offer a couple of different options for students.

You will also have access to career and graduate school advisors at UCSD as well. This GRE course is offered online and live online. It will not count for any course credits for current UCSD students. The course is offered through the UC San Diego Extension program.

  • Free for UCSD students
  • Online and live online options
  • Payment options for non-UCSD students
  • Taught by UCSD instructors
  • Textbooks purchased separately
  • Strict attendance policy

3 Factors To Consider Before Enrolling In UCSD GRE Prep

thinking female student

1. Course Options

UCSD offers two different course options, including online and live online instruction. UCSD developed their own GRE prep curriculum that focuses on studying the tactics that test makers use to create the GRE. We found their approach to be unique and beneficial.

UCSD instructors will cover strategies for taking the GRE, verbal, and quantitative questions. Students will also receive additional GRE resources, which will help them develop a study plan outside of the classroom.

You can access the online course materials at any time from any place. The live online version will be taught by UCSD instructors once a week for 4 weeks. Each class is 4 hours long. You will receive 16 hours of video or live instruction in small classes with experienced instructors.

Related Post: Recommended GRE Practice Tests

2. Requirements

The main requirement to receive the course for free is you must be a current UCSD student. Non-students can pay for the online or live online course for $500. These GRE prep courses are offered on a very limited basis, so non-students may need to register in advance. They are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Once you are enrolled, you must show up for the first class or be dropped from the course without a refund. If you wish to drop the course in advance, you need to notify student services 5 days before the course start date. You will need to purchase a textbook separately for the course.

3. How To Register

To register for the UCSD GRE prep course, you can visit their website and add your desired course to the cart. You will then be brought to a checkout page. If you are a UCSD student, your cart will show a balance of $500 until you sign in to your UCSD account.

After you’re signed in, it will show a $0 balance. For non-students, you will continue to the checkout page and input your payment information. For University of Florida students, they also have their own prep course on this page.

Real Student Results from Taking the UCSD GRE Prep Course

We wanted to determine whether students who took the UCSD 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 UCSD 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.

Students saw only a small increase in their test scores after taking the UCSD GRE prep course. For example, one student achieved only an 8.4% improvement in score, while another saw less than a 6% score increase.


UC San Diego

Baseline (Before taking the course)
After studying the course
Student 1
Larger Improvement
Student 2
Smaller Improvement

GRE Logo

How Accurate Is The UCSD Prep?

The UCSD recommends taking the Magoosh practice test after studying their materials.

So, to test the accuracy of both the UCSD prep and the Magoosh practice test, we decided to take both the official GRE and the Magoosh prep.

Here are our results:

  • Magoosh GMAT: 31-39 Quant, 26-34 Verbal
  • Official GMAT: 35 Quant, 39 Verbal



UC San Diego

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

GRE Logo

As you can see, for the Quant section of the test, the Magoosh practice test wasn’t very accurate at predicting our scores.

Potential Downsides

One possible downside of this course is it’s not free for people who are not currently enrolled at UCSD. You can still purchase the course as a non-student, but we think it is rather expensive for the number of instructional hours given.

Another downside is that you must buy the GRE textbooks separately. GRE Prep Club, on the other hand, is a free website that you can also try.

Here are some of the top GRE prep books we’ve reviewed.

People Also Ask

Group Study

Should I take this course or another third-party course?

If you are a UCSD student, then we recommend starting with this course since it’s free. It won’t hurt to have a free course under your belt. If you feel you need additional practice, you should sign up for a third-party course like Magoosh or Kaplan GRE Test Prep.

Do you offer private tutoring?

Yes, UCSD offers private tutoring for students that are enrolled in the GRE prep course. Depending on the number of hours you need, you might have to pay extra for tutoring hours outside of the course instruction hours.

Should I Enroll In The UCSD GRE Prep Course?

Based on our review of the UCSD GRE prep course, we think it is an excellent option for current UCSD students who are looking for a free opportunity to boost their GRE score. For UCSD students that need additional GRE practice, you might want to supplement this course with another option.

For non-UCSD students, we recommend skipping this option and going with Magoosh GRE prep. They offer more practice tests, real GRE questions, and an easy to use online platform.


Our #1 Recommendation

Magoosh GRE Prep

  • 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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