If you are interested in graduate school, you have undoubtedly heard of the dreaded GRE test. We understand how daunting it can be to prepare for the GRE. A GRE prep course is one of the best ways for students to raise their GRE scores.
We set out to find the best GRE prep program available. We saw numerous options, but one of them stood out to us. Keep reading to discover our top pick out of the most popular GRE prep courses.
Our Top GRE Prep Course Recommendations
1. Magoosh GRE
After reading countless positive reviews, Magoosh GRE seems to be a fan favorite of many GRE test takers. Magoosh GRE offers a 1 and 6 months access option. Their prices are on par with the Achievable prep program but for only half of the access time. Magoosh GRE offers some nice bonus features, such as a score predictor and study plans. The Magoosh prep course comes with a unique quiz mode and flashcards.
They do not offer any classroom courses, which might matter to some students. We thought the online video lessons were informative.
- Vocabulary building flashcards
- Student study schedules
- 3 full-length practice tests
- They only offer 1 or 6-month access
You can read my full review of Magoosh GRE prep course on this link.
Achievable created an online self-paced option, which we thought was pretty impressive. They offer year-long access at a reasonable price, which is a fraction of other test prep companies’ costs. While it is a new online GRE prep course, the algorithm they use for helping students learn and retain information for the long-term uses proven psychological study methods.
We liked the personalization algorithm. Achievable also offers unlimited quantitative reasoning practice questions. This is the best program that provides an all in one solution.
- Personalized study tools
- Unlimited quantitative practice problems
- Vocabulary building tool
- Instant essay grading
- No in-person GRE prep courses
3. The Princeton Review GRE
The Princeton Review is well-known in the GRE test prep courses world. The Princeton Review makes great content, but it can be expensive. The Princeton Review offers both self-paced online courses and in-person options.
The Princeton Review GRE offers 4 different GRE test prep options. They have a guaranteed 162+ GRE prep program and an add-on tutoring package. The Princeton Review also offers an online GRE prep course.
They offer a myriad of resources, but GRE test prep course materials are quite expensive compared to other GRE test prep courses.
- Tutoring packages available
- DrillSmart diagnostic quiz
- Progress reports
- Free trial
- Not for every budget
4. PrepScholar GRE Prep
This GRE test prep course is one of the only other options with a 1-year access pass. Achievable and PrepScholar are the GRE prep courses with the longest access time. This might be good for students who are unsure of exactly when they will take the GRE test. PrepScholar offers a minute by minute study plan, which we thought was immensely helpful.
- Detailed study plans
- Year-long access
- Strategy guides
- 7+ point score improvement guarantee
- No essay scoring
5. Kaplan GRE Prep Course
Kaplan GRE is one of the only GRE prep options that has self-guided, live online, in-person, and tutoring available. Kaplan GRE offers the most options, but they are more expensive than other prep courses. The Kaplan self-guided course is available in a 6-month option. The Kaplan live online course seemed to be useful to students since it gives you the attention of an in-person course without going to a physical location.
- More study options than other prep courses
- Extensive tutoring packages
- Financing options available
- Option for a free live online class
- No quant only course
6. Target Test Prep GRE
Target Test Prep offers its course online so that students can practice wherever and whenever they want. We found that this course is a good option for students who need extensive GRE math practice questions. Students highly regard this course to be an excellent GRE math prep course. The live support was useful for people who would like extra help from an expert.
- Live support
- GRE math practice questions
- Free trial for $1
- GRE quantitative only course
- No review for every section of the GRE
7. Manhattan Prep GRE
Manhattan Prep GRE is one of the most expensive GRE prep courses on the market. If you are willing to shell out the dough, it seems like test-takers see good results on their GRE score. Manhattan Prep offers live, in-person, and online prep courses. Manhattan Prep offers a GRE for MBA option, ideal for students who want to apply to business school. Manhattan Prep also offers a wide range of GRE quantitative options for fundamentals and advanced learning.
- GRE for MBA course
- GRE section specific courses
- Financing available
- Free resources
- Most expensive
8. The Economist
The Economist GRE courses are available in 3 different options. The Economist GRE course tends to run at the mid-range of the price spectrum. We found their GRE class to be full of resources such as 5,000+ GRE practice questions. They also offer an ask-a-tutor feature, which will connect a student with an expert immediately. The Economist comes with practice exams and a mobile app.
- Ask-a-tutor feature
- Mobile app
- 5,000+ practice problems
- Subscription to The Economist
- Least expensive plan lacks features
For a complete review of the Economist GRE course click here.
Choosing the Right Course
For many college students, the price might be the most important determining factor for picking the best GRE course. The best courses will be inexpensive and offer a lot of course material. When it comes to price, you will have a low, medium, and high range. The least expensive courses tend to be Magoosh and Achievable. The best mid-range options might be The Economist and Target Test Prep. The best high-end courses are Manhattan Prep and The Princeton Review. In our opinion, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get the best GRE resources.
Number of Practice Exams
Since practice exams are one of the best ways to study, we recommend choosing a course that comes with at least a few practice tests. They should be full-length practice exams, which will help you with pacing on the real GRE. The best GRE prep course option will include at least 2 GRE practice tests. It would help if you took as many as possible before test day. You can also find additional free practice tests online.
Number of Practice Questions
Practice questions can help you learn from your mistakes and offer you a chance to improve specific areas of your score on practice tests and the real exam. We recommend using practice questions as your main source of study material. Most courses will include a large bank of questions from 2,000 to 5,000 to include in a practice test. This practice test can be customized to suit your needs.
Most GRE prep programs include a guarantee. The best score guarantee is provided by Achievable, which promises the test taker a +7 score increase from their previous GRE attempt. This might not matter to a test taker who has never taken the GRE before, but it can be extremely useful for students who want their money back if they do not increase their score. Manhattan Prep does not offer a score guarantee to students.
Whatever your learning style, there is a GRE course suitable for you. The self-guided online courses are the least expensive. They are generally great for students who are self-starters. The most expensive courses are in-person since they have to pay for the classroom course and space.
A mobile app can help students study on the go. We use our phones for almost everything, and a GRE mobile app is a great way to study while on the bus or walking to class. We found the best mobile apps have some form of vocabulary building, flashcards, and video lessons.
Some GRE courses offer a grading service for the analytical writing section. Some graduate programs do not use the analytical writing portion to determine a student’s acceptance. If you apply to a program that takes the AWA section into account, it might be a good idea to have a professional-grade essay.
GRE prep time differs from person to person which is why study schedules are one of the most helpful tools for students. Some students know they need to study for the GRE but have no idea where to start. A study plan can help students stay on schedule and get results. You can find a great 5-step GRE study plan in this article.
Are GRE prep courses worth it?
Yes, a GRE prep course can greatly improve your score since you will receive help from GRE experts.
How far in advance should you study for the GRE?
We recommend at least studying for 3 months before taking the GRE. Some students might fare better with a 6 or 12-month study schedule.
Can you take the GRE without studying?
Technically, yes. You can take the test without studying, but we don’t recommend it.
What is a good GRE score?
A 90th percentile verbal reasoning score is 162. A 90th percentile quantitative score is 167. The overall average GRE score is 305.
Best GRE Prep Courses: The Bottom Line
After careful review, we found that all of the GRE courses we tried have their merits. We think the one that rises above the competition is the GRE course from Magoosh.
It is the best course for students on the go as it offers an extensive comprehensive review of every GRE section. We liked their unique score predictor and practical plans to help students get their dream score.