Use our reviews of the best GRE prep books to help make an informed decision on which materials will work best for you.
We have considered many factors in our ratings including pricing, number of practice tests offered, sections of the GRE covered, scoring options, year of publication, special offers, and if there is an online portion included.
Summary: We ranked and reviewed the best GRE prep books below. Check out the best GRE prep courses if you are looking for more study resources.
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GRE Prep Book Reviews
The Princeton Review’s “Cracking the GRE” prep book was published in 2020 and includes 4 full length practice tests with complete answer explanations. The book covers all three sections of the GRE and includes drills for each test section. One cool feature includes guides on how to interpret your practice test results – you will be able to gauge how you actually did while taking the practice tests!
Since time is important on the GRE, this book provides tips to help students find the best pace for taking the GRE exam. As well as offering timing tips, the prep book also offers different tactics to avoid traps that will appear on the GRE. Lastly, the book offers a massive list of key GRE vocabulary terms and exercises to help drill down this material.
It is important to buy this book new and not used. The new book will come with a code that students can use to access 2 of the practice tests that will be online and not in the book. These 2 online practice tests will offer additional in-depth score reports that the book can not offer. Students will also receive a $100 coupon to use towards the Princeton Review’s online GRE prep courses.
Serious students should consider Princeton Review's highly rated GRE Prep Course.
Best Features - Score reports and discount towards online prep courses.
Magoosh’s GRE prep book includes in-depth lessons on the verbal, math and analytical writing sections of the GRE. As well as including lessons, the book also includes over 130 practice questions. These practice questions include answer explanations by expert GRE tutors. The book also comes with one full-length GRE practice test. The practice test comes with an answer key and detailed explanations.
One cool feature about the practice questions is that you can see different stats about the practice questions. You are able to see the difficulty rating of each practice question and what percent of students answered that question correctly. The book also has a chapter on the analytical writing section of the GRE and offers different writing prompts to help with your practice for essays.
While there is no online portion offered to students, the book offers a 20% off coupon for Magoosh’s online GRE prep course.
Students looking for top scores should consider Magoosh's top rated GRE Prep Course.
Best Features - Content (450+ pages) and discount towards online prep course
Kaplan offers their GRE Prep Plus book for $21.99. The book includes an online section as well. Between the book and the online portions, you will find 6 practice tests and over 1700 questions. The book covers all 3 sections of the GRE – verbal reasoning, math, analytical writing. The book was published in 2019 so the content is up to date.
The online portion includes a personalized study plan that changes after taking the online practice tests and is based on how you perform. All practice questions include detailed explanations and are updated for this version of the GRE. Kaplan offers a higher score guarantee and will give you your money back if you do not achieve a higher score.
Best Feature – Good combination of text and online materials
The Super Power pack GRE prep book is made and distributed by ETS, the company that makes the GRE exam. The book is an “all-in-one” offer that combines multiple books into one bundle for students. This bundle includes the following textbooks:
- The Official Guide to the GRE General Test
- Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions
- Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions
The bundle includes 600 real practice exam questions, many of which have detailed answer explanations. The bundle also includes 4 practice tests. 2 of these practice tests are found online, while the other 2 can be found in the book. For the amount of content students get access to, and the price point offered, this is a great deal.
Best Feature – ETS makes this prep book and they also make the GRE exam.
Manhattan Prep prides themselves on having a 5 lb GRE prep book. This book includes over 1800+ GRE practice questions. The book also includes a free code to use to access the online portion of Manhattan Prep’s online learning platform. The online platform includes learning modules to help learn content that will need to be applied on the GRE.
One downfall to this book is that it only includes the verbal and math sections of the GRE, not the analytical writing section. This is a great book for students looking to focus on practice questions and may not be overly concerned about the concepts on the GRE.
The practice questions are grouped together by topic, so it makes it easier to study and review. The book also offers mixed practice sets to help students practice in a similar format to the GRE. The practice questions include answer explanations and step-by-step applications to help learn some of the material.
Best Feature – Number of practice questions available
Test Prep Books offers a comprehensive study guide for the GRE exam. The book was published in late 2019 so the content is fresh for the 2020-2021 GRE exam. The book includes material on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The book also enlightens students on different test-taking strategies to help improve scores on the GRE.
While this book is mostly a study guide, it also includes practice questions. The practice questions have detailed answer explanations as well. The book offers a free “Test Taking Tips” DVD for all students who purchase the book, which is shipped to the student. The overall material of this book is very clear and concise. Some prep books get wordy and confusing, not this one.
Best Feature – Updated material and to the point.
Studying for the GRE
There are plenty of GRE prep books available on the market today. When picking a GRE prep book, it comes down to personal preference. If you are someone that wants as many practice questions as possible, Manhattan Prep’s GRE prep book may be your best option. If you are looking for the most complete and comprehensive GRE prep book, you may want to consider ETS’s Super Power Pack book bundle.
A lot of these books consist of an in-text portion as well as an online portion. If you are someone who does not want to use a textbook and wants to study for the GRE completely online, check out our best GRE prep courses. A lot of these providers above offer completely online GRE prep courses. These courses may be better suited for some individuals.
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Last update: 7/26/2021