Guides

The 7 Best GRE Prep Courses

By Rachel Shapiro Updated January 28, 2021
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If you’re planning to take the GRE, you may be wondering if you should do a prep course first. The GRE is a complicated test. It covers subjects you may not have studied in years. Prep courses will help you brush up your skills in these areas. Plus, prep courses teach you time-saving strategies. When every minute counts, these strategies could make the difference in your score.

Not all GRE prep courses are created equally. Some courses are all online. Others have a mix of live classes and online prep. If you’re unsure about which GRE prep course is right for you, this guide will help you. We studied seven major prep courses and discovered the good and bad in them. Now, we’re passing that knowledge onto you. Read on to learn all about seven top GRE prep courses.

Magoosh logo
Best for busy professionals

Magoosh

Magoosh is an online, self-paced course that’s perfect for busy professionals who want to study for the GRE on their own schedule. Their video explanations are great for visual learners, and they have an app that allows you to study on-the-go.

Magoosh’s prep course is self-directed and online. It includes over 1,200 practice questions and video explanations. Plus, Magoosh is one of the most budget-friendly courses. Their course costs just $179 for six months of access.

Magoosh’s online dashboard is also easy to use. It includes detailed progress charts and suggested lessons. If you like working on-the-go, Magoosh has three mobile apps: one for videos, one for vocabulary flashcards, and one for math flashcards.

Most former students had positive things to say about Magoosh. Many students discussed the flexibility of the course and said the practice questions were similar to what they saw on the real GRE. There were a few negative reviews about the lack of structure, though.

Magoosh offers an online course that’s chock-full of useful materials. The course is great for those looking for a flexible online course.

Why take the Magoosh GRE course

Personalized Dashboard

The modern dashboard features suggested lessons and customizable practice quizzes.

Video Explanations

Short but helpful video explanations are included with most of Magoosh’s practice questions.

Alternate Solutions

When possible, Magoosh shows you the logical solution to a quantitative problem alongside the mathematical solution. This gives you a quick way to solve what could be a tough problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Magoosh includes questions students commonly ask with many of their practice problems. These are useful if you still have any questions after watching the video.

Review Section

In the review section on your dashboard, you can look through all the questions you answered and filter them.

Score Predictor

Magoosh’s score predictor uses real scores from former students to calculate your estimated GRE score.

Three Full Practice Tests

Many students say these tests felt similar to the real GRE.

Supplemental Material and Mobile App

On their website, Magoosh has a free vocabulary builder tool and a blog with studying tips. They also have a free mobile app with vocab and math flashcards.

Guaranteed 5-Point Score Increase

If you don’t score at least five points higher on the GRE after taking Magoosh’s course, you can get a full refund.

24/7 Email Response

If you have any questions, send Magoosh’s GRE experts an email. They’ll usually get back to you in a few hours.

Keep in mind

No Physical Study Materials

To keep costs low, Magoosh doesn’t provide any physical textbooks. Everything is online.

No In-Person Classes or One-on-One Tutoring

The course is self-guided and done on your own time.

Fewer Practice Tests and Practice Problems

Compared to many other major GRE prep courses, Magoosh has fewer practice tests and practice questions.

Time Commitment

Since you’re learning everything on your own through videos, you may need to watch them a few times. This could end up being a big time commitment.

No Essay Grading

Magoosh doesn’t have live essay grading—they just have a rubric you can use to score your essay on your own.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 4/5

Magoosh’s GRE prep course is a good online course that won’t break the bank. From the personalized dashboard to the mobile app, Magoosh’s course has tons of practice questions and useful features that will help you feel ready on test day. As long as you’re okay with working online and being mostly self-directed, Magoosh is a good GRE prep course choice.

Achievable logo
Best for self-starters

Achievable

Achievable’s self-directed GRE course is great for students who like working through material at their own pace. They also have unlimited quantitative reasoning questions, making this course perfect for students who want to work on their math skills.

Achievable’s GRE course is known for its personalized quizzes and online textbook. They’re also renowned for their unlimited quantitative questions. The course costs $299 and includes a year of access.

One of Achievable’s biggest selling points is their online platform. It’s well-designed and works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a computer. The one downside to the course is that everything is online—they don’t have in-person classes or physical textbooks. They also don’t have video lessons.

Students had positive things to say about Achievable’s course. Many students singled out their modern platform and unlimited quant questions. Most negative reviews focused on the lack of video lessons or tutorials.

With their detailed online textbook and personalized algorithm, Achievable has won praise from students. This course is perfect for those looking for a self-directed course.

Why take the Achievable GRE course

Personalized Algorithm

The personalized algorithm uses research into memory loss to create customized quizzes. The learning engine monitors your study progress and adjusts your practice questions.

Progress Charts

On your dashboard, you’ll see a ‘content progress’ chart and a ‘memory progress’ chart. The content progress chart fills in as you complete textbook chapters, and the memory progress chart fills in as you do quizzes.

Online Textbook

The online textbook has over 80 sections. It was written by a GRE expert who has over 15 years of experience.

Unlimited Quantitative Reasoning Practice Quizzes

Achievable’s quantitative reasoning questions are computer-generated, and because of that, they’re virtually limitless.

Verbal Reasoning Questions and Cluster-Based Vocabulary Review System

There are over 200 verbal reasoning questions in Achievable’s course. They also have a clustered-based vocab review system with 1,500 words.

Free Online Study Materials

You can read through a few pages of the online textbook for free before buying the course. You can also try some quizzes for free.

Modern Mobile-Friendly Platform

Achievable’s online platform works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a computer.

10 Practice Tests

With 10 exams, you’ll be able to get plenty of practice in before test day.

Instant Essay Grading

Achievable instantly grades your practice essays using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

One Year of Access

After buying the course, you’ll be able to access it for a full year.

Seven-Point Score Guarantee

If your score doesn’t go up by at least 7 points, you can get your money back.

Discussion Boards

Ask questions and discuss the GRE with your peers on Achievable’s discussion boards.

Responsive to Feedback

If you ask Achievable a question, they’ll typically get back to you within 24 hours.

Keep in mind

No Physical Textbooks or Workbooks

Everything in the course is online.

No Live Classes

Achievable also doesn’t have live classes or tutoring services. They only have one course format: their online textbook.

No Video Explanations

Achievable only has text explanations with their questions. For the more challenging questions, you may have to read through the solutions a few times to understand the concepts.

Fewer Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

While they have unlimited quant questions, they have fewer verbal questions than many other GRE prep courses.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Achievable GRE has a modern platform, an informative online textbook, and tons of practice questions. The course is particularly helpful for learning math skills and vocabulary. However, their offerings are a bit limited—they only have one course format, and they don’t have as many verbal reasoning questions as many other courses. Overall, though, if you’re looking for an online course that features an innovative platform and a personalized study schedule, Achievable GRE is a good choice.

Target Test Prep logo
Best for improving math skills

Target Test Prep

Target Test Prep’s course is perfect for any student who wants to improve their math skills before taking the GRE. The course is also a good choice for those who are looking for an online course they can do on their own schedule.

If you need help with the GRE’s math section, try Target Test Prep (TTP). This course is entirely devoted to the quantitative section. It includes over 600 math lessons and thousands of practice questions.

TTP’s online dashboard is clean and modern. The course works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a computer. Many students left good reviews for TTP’s course. Some of the best reviews came from students who hadn’t taken a math class in a long time. However, some students felt that TTP was lacking material in some areas, including geometry.

TTP’s course prices range from $99 for a month of access to $399 for six months of access. While the fact that there’s no verbal prep is a big downside, if you want to zero in on math prep, TTP is perfect for you.

Why take the Target Test Prep GRE course

Comprehensive Quantitative Reasoning Prep

The course has 21 chapters and 600+ lessons that discuss nearly everything you’ll need to know for the quant section.

Over 800 Video Solutions

Video solutions are included with most practice problems. These videos are taught by GRE experts and feature time-saving strategies.

Customized Study Plan

After you complete TTP’s diagnostic test, you’ll get a customized study plan that addresses your strengths and weaknesses.

Free GRE Study Materials

On TTP’s website, you’ll find a GRE blog with useful tips and a 15-page math formula worksheet. You can also take TTP’s diagnostic test for free.

Custom Tests

Choose which chapters you’d like to be quizzed on, and decide the difficulty level of the questions.

OnTarget Learning Analytics

You’ll find a weekly progress chart on your dashboard. You’ll also see how many chapters you have left to complete.

Mobile-Friendly Platform

Their online platform works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer.

Live Support

If you have questions as you go through the course, contact an expert through the support chat box.

Live Tutoring Options

TTP’s tutors will help you study for the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

Score Increase Guarantee

If your quantitative score doesn’t go up after finishing TTP’s course, you can get a full refund.

Keep in mind

No Verbal Reasoning or Analytical Writing Course

TTP only has a quantitative GRE prep course. If you’re looking for a comprehensive course, TTP probably isn’t right for you.

Fewer Practice Tests Than Other Courses

TTP only has two full tests to try.

No Physical Study Materials

Everything is online.

No Live or In-Person Classes

They also don’t have any classes—their course is self-guided.

Shorter Trial

TTP only has a five-day trial while many other courses have seven-day trials. Plus, you have to pay $1 down while most other courses’ trials are free.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 3/5

TTP has a laser-like focus on quant reasoning, and they offer tons of resources that help improve your math skills. If you’re looking for a course that will prepare you for both the verbal reasoning and math sections, TTP may not be right for you. But if you want to just work on your math skills, try TTP. This course will leave you feeling ready to tackle the GRE’s quantitative section.

The Princeton Review logo
Best for live classes

Princeton Review

Princeton Review is perfect for students who want a GRE course with a mix of live classes and online material. Plus, with its engaging video lessons, this course is also great for visual learners.

Princeton Review has over 35 years of experience in test prep. That experience shows in their comprehensive course. They have both an online course and courses with live classes. Princeton Review’s prices range from $499 for the self-paced course to $2,229 for the GRE 162+ course with live classes.

When you log in to Princeton Review’s course, you’ll find a streamlined online platform. The one negative to the platform is it isn’t mobile-friendly. They also don’t have a mobile app.

Many former students praised the instructors in their live classes. Other students said they liked the online course’s practice drills. However, there were mixed reviews about the practice tests. Some students felt the tests were too easy.

With their thousands of practice questions and live classes, Princeton Review offers a GRE prep course that leaves you feeling ready for test day.

Why take the Princeton Review GRE course

Helpful Lessons With Videos

Most of Princeton Review’s lessons include a video with an instructor walking you through the concept at hand. You’ll do a few practice questions after watching the video.

Practice Drills Featuring DrillSmart Technology

The DrillSmart algorithm features adaptive technology that gives you questions that match your skill level. There are thousands of practice questions available.

Strategies Section

In their strategies section, Princeton Review gives time-saving tips for test day. This includes tips like ‘parking your thinking.’

Eight Full-Length Practice Tests

These tests all use computer adaptive technology, just like the real GRE.

Interactive Score Report

After doing practice tests, you can read through a score report to see where you did well and where you struggled.

Live Classes

Princeton Review has both live online and in-person classes. These classes are all taught by GRE experts.

Free Content

Before paying, try out a practice test and online lessons with a 14-day free trial. You can also do one class for free.

One-on-One Tutoring Options

If you’d like some one-on-one help, Princeton Review offers tutoring packages.

Analytical Writing Essay Grading

A GRE expert will score your practice essay and provide personalized feedback.

Live Chat

You can talk to an expert through a live chat box anytime you have questions.

Score Increase Guarantee

If your GRE score doesn’t increase after doing the course, you can get your money back.

Keep in mind

Shorter Access Time Than Other Courses

Princeton Review only offers four months of access while many other courses give six months to a year of access.

No Mobile App

Their online platform also isn’t mobile-friendly. If you try to do lessons on your phone, you’ll be prompted to view the material on a desktop computer.

No Question Bank or Customized Quizzes

You can’t create customized quizzes on Princeton Review’s platform, and they don’t have a question bank.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 4/5

Princeton Review’s GRE prep course is comprehensive and includes a mix of self-paced online lessons and live instruction. With their thousands of lessons and practice questions, you won’t have to worry about running out of practice material. Their live classes are also perfect for students who like a more directed approach to test prep. Overall, Princeton Review is a good choice for any student who’s studying for the GRE.

Kaplan logo
Best for visual learners

Kaplan

Kaplan’s GRE prep course is perfect for students looking for a mix of live classes and online study materials. It’s also great for those who learn best through watching videos. Plus, with their question bank, the course is good for students who like making customized quizzes.

Kaplan is renowned for having high-quality live classes and online content. They have over 5,000 practice questions and customized quizzes. They also have both live online and in-person classes. Their prices range from $449 for the self-guided online course to $1,299 for their course with live classes.

Kaplan’s online course is simple to navigate. Their tabs are well-labeled, and it’s easy to find your class schedule. You can also view the online lessons on your smartphone. However, the quizzes aren’t mobile adaptive so they’re difficult to do on a phone.

Many former students gave Kaplan four or five-star reviews. Many also reported that their GRE score went up after doing the course. There were some negative reviews about the practice tests, though. Some students felt they were harder than the actual test.

Overall, with their mix of online lessons and live classes, Kaplan provides a great course for GRE test-takers.

Why take the Kaplan GRE course

Detailed and Engaging Video Lessons

In Kaplan’s video lessons, an instructor stands in front of a whiteboard and talks you through the concepts. You’ll then take a quiz.

QBank

QBank features over 2,500 practice questions, and you can create customized practice question sets.

Seven Full-Length Practice Tests

These practice tests are all computer adaptive.

Over 5,000 Practice Questions

Between the QBank, practice tests, and practice quizzes, Kaplan has over 5,000 practice questions.

Live Essay Grading

You can submit up to two essays at a time, and a GRE expert will score them and give you personalized feedback.

Hardcopy Textbooks

Kaplan will send you two textbooks after you purchase their course. These work as a supplement to the online course.

Six Months of Access

This gives you plenty of time for GRE prep.

Score Increase Guarantee

If your score doesn’t go up after doing Kaplan’s course, you can get your money back.

Live Classes

With both live online and in-person courses, Kaplan has great class choices for every student.

Free Trial and Free Content

Try out a few online lessons with their 15-day free trial. They also frequently host free 90-minutes online workshops.

Official Test Day Experience

With the test day experience, you can go to a Prometric Center and take a practice test under the same conditions as the real test.

GRE Channel

There are 40 hours of video lessons on the GRE channel. They also host live video sessions here.

Keep in mind

Higher Price Point

Kaplan’s online courses are generally more expensive than other comparable courses.

No Adaptive Technology on Practice Questions

Kaplan doesn’t use adaptive technology on the questions in their QBank. They only use adaptive technology on their practice tests.

Limited Mobile App

While Kaplan has a mobile app, its offerings are limited. It only has flashcards.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Kaplan’s GRE course has thousands of practice questions and hundreds of hours of video content. Their live classes are taught by GRE experts. They’re also one of the only test prep companies to have an official test day experience. While Kaplan’s prices are a bit higher than other courses, they give you a lot for your money. Kaplan goes above and beyond to get their students ready for test day.

PrepScholar logo
Best for structured learners

PrepScholar

PrepScholar is perfect for busy professionals who prefer studying on their own time. It’s also a good choice for those who have hit a wall studying on their own—PrepScholar’s diagnostic test will pinpoint your weaknesses and create a study schedule for you. Plus, if you learn best through watching videos, PrepScholar’s video-based lessons are great for you.

PrepScholar offers an online course with advanced personalization. Every student who signs up gets a customized study plan. PrepScholar is also one of the most affordable GRE prep courses. Their course costs $38 for a year of access. They also have a $345 course with unlimited access.

PrepScholar’s online platform is streamlined and a breeze to move around. The tabs are all clearly labeled. However, PrepScholar doesn’t have a mobile app, and their website isn’t mobile-responsive. They also don’t provide any physical study materials or live classes.

Former students liked PrepScholar’s flexibility. There were also positive comments about their math section. There were some negative comments about the fact that they have fewer practice questions than other courses, though.

With their advanced personalization and easy to navigate online platform, PrepScholar is perfect for students looking for an online prep course.

Why take the PrepSholar GRE course

Advanced Course Personalization

When you sign-up, you’ll take a 60-question diagnostic test. They use this information to create a customized study guide.

A Course Written by GRE Experts

PrepScholar’s course was developed and written by top 1% GRE-scorers.

Video Lessons

Many of PrepScholar’s lessons include videos. These videos feature an instructor talking you through a problem in a voiceover.

Strategies Lessons

PrepScholar’s strategy lessons include everything from spotting answer traps to dealing with time pressure on test day.

Quizzes with Computer Adaptive Questions

In total, they have 72 adaptive drill quizzes with over 2,000 practice questions.

Progress Reports

After you start doing quizzes, you’ll get reports that show how you’re progressing skill by skill.

Five-Day Free Trial and Free Content

During your free trial, you’ll get access to PrepScholar’s diagnostic tests and all of their lessons. They also often host free hourlong math workshops.

Seven-Point Score Guarantee

If your GRE score doesn’t go up by at least seven points, you’ll get your money back.

Long Access Period

After signing up, you’ll get a year of access to PrepScholar’s course.

Keep in mind

Fewer Practice Questions Than Other Courses

PrepScholar has 2,000 practice questions, which is fewer than many other major courses.

Only Two Practice Tests

They also have fewer practice tests than many other courses.

No Mobile App

It’s also difficult to use PrepScholar’s website on a smartphone, so you can only really do the course on a desktop computer.

Only One Course Format

PrepScholar just has one course format: their online, self-guided course.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 3.5/5

If you’re looking for a self-guided GRE prep course, try PrepScholar. Their course features more personalization than many other GRE prep courses, and they offer tons of helpful lessons and practice questions. There are some negatives to the course, including the fact that they only have two practice tests and just one course format. But by and large, PrepScholar’s course is a good budget-friendly option for anyone looking for an online GRE prep course.

Manhattan Prep logo
Best for learning by doing

Manhattan Prep

Manhattan Prep is perfect for students who learn best in a small class with lots of hands-on instruction. Plus, this course is perfect for visual learners who enjoy watching and engaging with videos. The course is also good for students who learns best through doing practice questions—with over 100,000 questions, you won’t have to worry about running out of material.

With over 70 lessons and 100,000 practice questions, Manhattan Prep has the most material of any GRE prep course. They’re also one of the only courses to provide interactive videos.

Manhattan Prep’s online courses range in price from $299 for a one-month pass to $499 for a six-month pass. If you’d like to take a course with live classes, these start at $1,399.

Manhattan Prep’s online platform has a modern design, but it does take a little while to learn how to navigate it. They also have a mobile app with over 1,000 more questions. Plus, if you’re doing a course with online classes, Manhattan Prep will send you a set of textbooks.

Students had good things to say about Manhattan Prep’s course. There were some negative reviews about the practice tests—some students felt they were harder than the actual GRE. Still, the majority of reviews were positive, with many students singling out their instructors for praise.

Why take the Manhattan Prep GRE course

Three-Step Lessons With Interactive Videos

Most of Manhattan Prep’s lessons include an interactive video taught by an instructor. As you go through the video, you’ll answer practice questions.

Over 100,000 Practice Questions

This is by far the most practice questions of any major GRE prep course.

Six Full-Length Practice Tests

These tests are all computer interactive.

Small Classes with Knowledgeable Instructors

Manhattan Prep keeps their classes small so you get more face-time with their GRE expert instructors.

Physical Textbooks

If you’re taking a live class, Manhattan Prep will mail you a set of textbooks.

Seven-Day Free Trial and Free Content

You’ll get access to all of Manhattan Prep’s lessons during the trial, and you can do one practice test. They also frequently offer free classes.

Mobile App With Supplemental Content

There are over 1,000 more practice questions on Manhattan Prep’s mobile app.

Private Tutoring

Manhattan Prep’s tutors are all top GRE scorers.

Keep in mind

No Refund Policy

Once you buy the course, you’re locked into it.

No Score Increase Guarantee

Manhattan Prep is one of the only major GRE prep courses that doesn’t have a score increase guarantee.

More Expensive Tutoring

While their tutors are top-notch, their prices are a bit higher than other courses’ tutors.

The Final Grade

Overall rating: 4/5

Manhattan Prep offers an interactive and engaging online course with tons of practice materials. Plus, they have top-notch live classes with instructors who earn high praise from their students. There are some downsides to Manhattan Prep, including their lack of a score increase guarantee. But overall, Manhattan Prep’s online and live courses are great for students who want to ace the GRE.

Important features to consider

Every GRE prep course has features that differentiate it from other courses on the market. Some have more practice questions. Others offer engaging video lessons. When it comes time to choose a course, these are the features you should try to zero in on.

Online dashboard

Most of the courses we covered have easy to navigate online dashboards. This is important since you want to spend your time studying, not trying to figure out where the practice questions are located.

Walk through videos

The course’s video lessons should be engaging with instructors who are GRE experts. These instructors should explain concepts in a clear, succinct way.

Practice questions

The course should have practice questions that range from easy to difficult. There should also be explanations for how to solve the questions.

Practice tests

Taking full practice tests will give you a sense of what test day will be. Look for courses that have at least a few practice tests.

Instructors

If you’re taking a live class, see if you can find some reviews of your instructors. An instructor can make or break a course.

What you get if you upgrade

Most GRE prep courses have plans at different price points. If you choose to upgrade, you’ll typically get a few more features than you would with a basic plan. Here are a few of the things you may get if you choose a pricier plan.

Personal tutor

If you want one-on-one, personalized help, a tutor could be a good choice.

Live classes

Live classes are good for students who like a more directed approach. Be sure to look into class sizes before choosing a course.

Longer access period

If you don’t want to feel rushed, look into courses with longer access periods. This will give you ample time to study.

More video lessons and practice questions

Some courses provide more practice questions and video instruction if you choose to upgrade.

Frequently asked questions

Are GRE prep courses worth it?

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