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Trevor Klee - GMAT and GRE Expert Academically reviewed by Trevor Klee - GMAT and GRE Expert
Best GRE Prep Courses

Our team researched and reviewed the best GRE prep courses. Check out our findings below and make the best choice for you based on budget, learning style, features, and more. 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a professionally administered test that many graduate school applicants are required to take. 

Ensure you get a top score on the GRE by using one of the below GRE prep courses to prepare for the exam. Use our exclusive coupons for additional savings.

Summary: Easily find and compare the best GRE prep courses below. 

Table of Contents

  1. Our Picks for Best GRE Prep Courses
  2. Comparison Table
  3. Who Needs a GRE Prep Course
  4. Magoosh Review
  5. Princeton Review
  6. Achievable
  7. Kaplan
  8. Manhattan Review
  9. The Economist

Our Picks for Best GRE Prep Courses

Best GRE Prep Course Reviews (2021)

scroll right on mobile to see entire table 

GRE Prep Magoosh Princeton Review Achievable Kaplan Manhattan Economist
  magoosh logo Princeton Review logo Achievable logo Kaplan logo Manhattan logo Economist logo
Rating 
T-G Choice (Best Value)

T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
Pricing $894 $161
geniusGRE Save $715 off Magoosh GRE 6 month premium

TESTGUIDE1 Save an additional 10% on Magoosh GRE courses

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$499 $399
DEVGRE15 EXCLUSIVE: Save 15% off all GRE Courses with code DEVGRE15
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Get Exclusive Discount 
$199 $449 $399 $349
Subscription Length 6 months 4 months 12 months 6 months 6 months 3 months
Free Trial
Guarantee  +5 point improvement Depends on course purchased Retake course or refund Score higher or repeat/money-back None +5 point improvement
Practice Questions 1400+ 2570+ 9999+ 5000+ 1000s 5000+
Practice Exams 3 8 10 7 6 5
Delivery Options Online (self-paced) Online (self-paced), Online (live), In-person Online (self-paced) Online (self-paced), Online (live), In-person Online (self-paced), Online (live), In-person Online (self-paced)
Videos
Study Plan
Essay Feedback
Score Predictor
Support Options Email, Chat, Forum Email, Phone Email Email Email, Forum Live Video, Chat
Summary  Review Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

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Who Needs a GRE Prep Course?

Most graduate programs require the GRE for entry. The GRE is challenging, and high scores are critical. Your GRE score is a factor not just for admissions but can also influence the amount of funding you’ll receive. Many graduate programs also use GRE scores to determine scholarships, fellowships and academic financial aid.

Determining your best approach to preparing for the GRE can be tough. GRE prep courses can be expensive and time-consuming. Do you need a GRE prep course? The answer depends on a lot of factors.

Factors to Consider

  • Improvement needed – take a free GRE practice test to see where you stand. If your score needs improvement, a GRE prep course may be a good option.
  • Study discipline – if you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, you’ll find that a prep course is worth it.
  • Need for encouragement – if you need encouragement, feedback and motivation, a prep course with an instructor (either in-person or online) is a good option.
  • Learning style – if you have a history of successfully studying with books, a self-study approach with a good GRE prep book may be your best plan.
  • Budget – GRE prep courses can get expensive. If money is tight, consider our best value recommendation, or self-study with GRE prep books.

Benefits of a GRE Prep Course

  • Score improvement – the top GRE prep courses will guarantee a score improvement of 5 points or more.
  • Comprehensive study plans – GRE prep courses will help you craft, and stick to, a customized study schedule that works for you.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses – the best GRE prep courses offer advanced diagnostics to identify the topics you need to focus on.
  • Simulates actual test – the online exams included in a GRE prep course do a great job of simulating the real GRE.  Magoosh’s dashboard predicts your GRE scores and compare you to other students.
  • Quality instructors – courses that include live instructors will help you with efficient strategies, motivation, and one-on-one feedback.

Why a GRE Prep Course May Not Be Your Best Option

  • Expensive – the best GRE prep courses may be over $1,000.
  • DIY alternative - self-study using prep books may be a cost-effective alternative
  • Time-consuming – prep courses often require significant study/prep time
  • Instructor-dependent – if you opt for an instructor-led course, the quality of your instructor will be a significant factor towards your success.

Bottom Line - If you need a top GRE score and have the budget, a top GRE prep course is a great option.

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GRE Prep Course Online Reviews 

Magoosh GRE Prep Review 

magoosh logo

  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Choice (Best Value)
  • Price: Starting at $161
  • Discounts:
    geniusGRE Save $715 off Magoosh GRE 6 month premium

    TESTGUIDE1 Save an additional 10% on Magoosh GRE courses

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Magoosh Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Best value. Substantially cheaper than the other providers.
  • Guarantee

  • Guaranteed to raise your score by 5 points.
  • Content

  • 240+ videos. Real-time identification of weak areas.
  • Questions

  • Over 1400 practice exams. 3 practice exams.

Magoosh Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Price - best value on market
  • Unique score predictor
  • +5 point score guarantee
  • Cons

  • Relatively low number of questions
  • -
  • -

Magoosh Summary

Magoosh GRE is the most affordable GRE prep program that is accessible 100% online. Magoosh GRE is a valuable resource as it provides about 240+ tutorial videos, more than 1400 practice questions (with support videos to explain each answer), flashcards, study plans, and full-length practice GRE exams.

Magoosh offers 3 main prep programs when it comes to their GRE offerings. They are: 

  • 1-Month Premium - Self-paced course that includes everything listed above with access for 1 month. 
  • 6-Month Premium - Self-paced course that includes everything listed above with access for 6 months. 
  • Premium + Classes - Includes everything in the self-paced courses as well as drop-in classes with a live GRE expert and 30+ hours of on-demand recordings.

Since all of these programs include the self-paced course, we will be going through the features of that course below. 

The first thing you will see is the dashboard. The dashboard is where you can easily naviagte through the course. You will see your study plan listed on the left-hand side of your dashboard. You will be able to choose between various plans based on how often or how much you want to study. The study plan lists out tasks that need to be completed that day and gives you an estimated time for how long that will take. 

Another cool feature of the dashboard is the results summary section. This section outlines how you are doing within the course. You will see things like number of questions answered, your average pace, and others' average pace. You will also see an estimated score for each section on the GRE. This will update as you answer more questions within the course.

The "lessons" tab is where students will spend the bulk of their time. This is where all of the video lessons are located. The lessons are organized into 4 main categories: 

  • Intro
  • Math
  • Verbal
  • Writing

Each of those main categories is further grouped into subcategories. This organization makes it easy to follow along and focus on subjects you want to work on. 

Most of the videos are in the 8-12 minute range, but there are a couple of longer video lessons. The video lessons consist of the instructor talking over their slides. This can get somewhat boring, but the instructor does make live notes and updates to the slides, so there is a small interactive element to the lessons. 

The "practice" tab is a very useful part of the course. Students can create custom practice sessions based on numerous filters. Some of those filters include sections of the GRE, question type, subject, difficulty, and mode. Students can choose between practice mode or quiz mode - practice mode shows answer explanations after each question while quiz mode waits until the end to do so. 

This is also where you will find the full-length practice exams. These exams are a great way to prepare for the actual exam and get a better gauge of where you stand.

Answer explanations are a nice feature of this course. Most of the answer explanations include videos explaining the question. This is helpful, especially if you get stuck on a harder question and do not understand the written response.

In addition to the "practice" tab, there is also a "review" tab. This portion of the course allows you to review all previous questions you have already answered. You will be able to apply filters like difficulty, result, section, and subject. You will be able to see what percent you answered correctly, your average pace, and others' average pace. 

Under the "resources" tab you will find other helpful materials like flashcards, study plans, and other resources. 

This course is a very complete course and great for students who are looking to study on a budget. 

Actual Screenshots from Magoosh GRE Course

 

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Rating:

T-G Choice (Best Value)

Bottom Line

Great value for anyone looking for a GRE prep course with a budget.

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Savings:
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The Princeton Review GRE Review

Princeton Review logo

  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
  • Price: Starting at $399
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Princeton Review Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Fairly priced based on content students receive.
  • Guarantee

  • Depends on course purchased. All courses have some sort of guarantee.
  • Content

  • Lessons are organized well with drills and questions mixed in.
  • Questions

  • More than 2500 practice questions. 8 GRE practice exams.

Princeton Review Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of practice exams
  • Guarantees on all courses
  • Different types of courses offered
  • Cons

  • Only available to students for 4 months
  • -
  • -

Princeton Review Summary

The Princeton Review’s GRE prep course provides test takers with more than 175 hours of GRE prep resources online, which includes lessons, feedback, and test-taking strategies. Overall, the GRE prep course by the Princeton Review offers a plethora of quality GRE prep content and innovative tools like DrillSmart – a practice technique that selects practice questions based upon the progress of the student.

Princeton Review offers 5 different options for students looking for GRE prep. Having 5 different options is nice, but can become overwhelming. We have listed the 5 options below: 

  • Self-Paced Course - self-paced prep course where students can study at their own pace. 
  • GRE 10+ Points - a mostly self-paced course that includes some live instruction and a 10 point score improvement guarantee. 
  • GRE Fundamentals - a step up from the above courses. Includes additional live instruction hours with an expert. 
  • GRE 162+ - the most comprehensive (non-tutoring) course they offer. Includes the most live instruction and practice questions. Score of 162+ guaranteed. 
  • GRE 165+ Tutoring - the most personalized approach. Access to a private instructor and guaranteed score of 165+.

Our team took a look at the self-paced course as most of the content and features of that course are included in the other courses. You can read more about our thoughts below: 

One of the first places you will go when you start the course is the "coursework" tab. This is where all of your learning resources are housed. There are 60+ video lessons included as well as text-based lessons. The course is split into 4 main categories: 

  • Strategies
  • Math
  • Verbal
  • Essay

Each of these categories is further split into more specific topics. The course is designed in a way that makes it easy to learn and build on knowledge learned in previous lessons. 

The lessons contain video lectures from expert instructors. The instructors will go over key knowledge and strategies to help you get a top score. The instructor will be making notes on a whiteboard while giving the lecture which makes it easy to follow along and grasp difficult concepts. 

There are practice questions sprinkled into the lectures to ensure you understand the material. At the end of each topic you will find some practice drills that should be completed. You can choose to let their software choose the drills for you based on what you already know or you can choose the specific drills yourself. 

The "practice tests" tab is where you will find the 8 full-length practice exams included in the course. You can choose what kind of time limit you want to set when taking the practice exams. The exams do a great job of simulating the actual exam and will help you prepare for the real thing. 

After you finish a practice exam, you will receive a detailed score report. This score report will show you your scores for each section of the GRE. It will even breakdown each section based on how you answered specific questions and pace in which you answered questions. All questions include answer explanations so you can see why something was correct or incorrect. 

Finally, the "schedule" tab is where you will see various live online offerings. This will look different for everyone based on what specific prep course you signed up for. However, students who sign up for the standard self-paced course will have access to a couple of office hour sessions each week. These sessions are led by an expert and they will review important concepts - if you miss the live session, you can watch the recording.

Actual Screenshots from Princeton Review GRE Course

 

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Princeton Review logo

Rating:

T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)

Bottom Line

Most comprehensive course we reviewed. Great price point for content that students get access to.

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Achievable GRE Review

Achievable logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $199

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Achievable Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Great value. On the cheaper end of courses we looked at.
  • Guarantee

  • Can retake the course or get a refund if score does not improve.
  • Content

  • The lectures are in an online textbook format. Can get dry sometimes, but very informative.
  • Questions

  • Unlimited quantitative reasoning exams, 10 verbal reasoning exams, and 10 writing exams.

Achievable Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Price
  • Adaptive learning
  • Number of practice questions
  • Cons

  • No videos
  • Confusing interface at first
  • -

Achievable Summary

Achievable offers a very affordable GRE prep course. The course is offered for $199 and students will get access for 12 months. The course includes 9,999+ practice questions and practice exams for each subject and lecture materials for everything tested on the GRE. 

In total, there are 89 chapters of GRE review included in this course. Each chapter has various sub-topics that are reviewed. These sub-topics help breakdown the content into easier to digest sections. 

The chapters are in a textbook format. There are helpful charts, tables, and images to explain more concept topics, which we really liked. However, there are no video lectures included. This can be looked at as a pro or con, depending on what type of learner you are. 

Achievable prides themselves on their adaptive learning method. As you progress through the course, their system learns about you and personalizes the study program based on your strengths and weaknesses. 

This adaptive learning technology can be seen on the users dashboard. There is a content progress section that tracks your progress as your read each chapter and mark it as complete. When you mark a chapter as complete, the system automatically chooses specific review questions for you to review.

Users can review these specific questions in the memory progress section of their course. This section of the course is meant to help you actually learn material and continuously have the ability to review it until your test date. 

One of the coolest features is the upcoming workload feature. Their system will determine the best time for you to review a certain subject based on how much (or how little) you already know. Users can choose to follow this schedule or to follow their own schedule. 

Overall, Achievable has a nice GRE prep course. The user interface can be a little confusing at the beginning, but they have a section explaining how the course works, so you should be able to figure it out. We are not huge fans of the textbook-based learning approach, but they do a great job of explaining complex subjects. 

Actual Screenshots from Achievable GRE Course

 

Achievable logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Solid course for the price offered. Technology baked into the course is a bonus for this price point.

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Kaplan GRE Review

Kaplan logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $449

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Kaplan Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Most expensive prep course we reviewed.
  • Guarantee

  • If students do not score higher than their previous score, they can repeat the course or get their money back.
  • Content

  • 175 hours of instruction. Uses prep books and online learning format.
  • Questions

  • Over 5000 practice questions provided along with 7 GRE practice exams.

Kaplan Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • More than 5000+ practice questions offered
  • Also offer 7 practice exams
  • -
  • Cons

  • Expensive
  • No free trial
  • No essay feedback

Kaplan Summary

The Kaplan GRE prep course is the digital extension of the pioneering educational company - Kaplan – an educational company that has been in existence for more than 80 years ago. The Kaplan GRE prep course includes more than 175 hours of prep guidance and practice activities, a test question bank that exceeds 5,000 practice questions (and consists of a customizable option), and two GRE prep books, seven computerized GRE practice tests to create the most efficient and effective plan of study for each student. 

Kaplan GRE offers its exclusive GRE Channel complete with video lessons for targeted topics. And, unlike other GRE test prep courses, Kaplan GRE provides each student an opportunity to sit, in an approved testing center, for a full-length GRE practice exam, essentially recreating the actual test experience in hopes of alleviating fears of the unknown testing environment. 

Kaplan GRE offers three GRE prep course delivery methods. The self-paced version is the most affordable (at $449 for six months access), which provides students with the entire course content and teacher support throughout.

Kaplan's Live Online is an interactive distance learning platform that allows teachers and cohort members to participate in group discussions and for students to attend 20+ hours of live online learning. 

Kaplan GRE also administers in-person GRE prep courses (starting at $1,299) in about 45 states. The in-person class must be canceled within three days for a refund. The Kaplan GRE prep course offers a guarantee that the test taker will improve their score or a) be allowed to re-take the course, or b) ask for a full refund if one's rating does not improve.  

Kaplan logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Good amount of practice question and practice exams. Pricey compared to other options.

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Manhattan Prep GRE Review

Manhattan logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $399

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Manhattan Prep Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Towards the higher end in terms of price.
  • Guarantee

  • No guarantee offered for students.          
  • Content

  • Content feels bland and boring at some points. Not bad, but certainly not great.
  • Questions

  • Provides 6 practice exams. Decent amount of practice questions offered, but not as many as other prep providers.

Manhattan Prep Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • 6 practice exams offered
  • Free trial
  • -
  • Cons

  • Bland content
  • No study plan
  • No guarantee provided with the course

Manhattan Prep Summary

Manhattan Prep is owned by Kaplan, who purchased the GRE prep company about a decade ago. However, the change in ownership maintained its intuitive, easy-to-navigate GRE prep platform that provides a workable (if not bland) interface that connects students to informative and entertaining lessons, pause-able videos that allow students work through problems at their speed and detailed videos regarding the question topic and strategies to prepare for the actual GRE exam.

Manhattan Prep’s course is a self-paced adaptive learning experience that is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The GRE prep content is taught by instructors who have scored in the top 1% of all GRE scores.

Coursework for Manhattan Prep's GRE course includes GRE Official Study Guide, thousands of practice GRE questions, more than 75 video lessons, plus six complete GRE practice exams.  

The GRE prep course guides students through a learning stage, a reinforcement stage, and a test stage with consistent student feedback. Manhattan Prep offers a 7-day free trial to give students an experiential opportunity using the Manhattan Prep interactive platform. There are three access periods from which to choose – One-month access at $249 (or $22/month), Three-month access for $349 (or $31/month), and the Six-month access program for $399 (or $36/month).

Manhattan Prep is one of the few GRE Prep companies that do not include a higher score guarantee. 

Manhattan logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Somewhat bland course. Will get the job done but may be a struggle for some students.

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The Economist GRE Tutor Review

Economist logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $349

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The Economist Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Middle of the pack in terms of price.        
  • Guarantee

  • Guaranteed to raise your score by 5 points
  • Content

  • One-on-one sessions are unique to this course. Also provides 6-essay markings and 100 tutor questions.
  • Questions

  • Over 5000 practice questions provided and 5 GRE prep exams.

The Economist Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Large number of practice questions
  • 5 practice exams offered
  • -
  • -
  • Cons

  • Students only have access for 3 months
  • No study plan for students
  • No videos (this could be a pro or con depending on learning style and what you are looking for)

The Economist Summary

The Economist GRE Tutor offers mobile-friendly GRE prep coursework, which helps to improve those preparing for an upcoming GRE. The Economist GRE Tutor courses provide online access to practice exams, one on one sessions with tutors, more than 5,000+ practice GRE questions, essay reviews, practice exams that cover the GRE areas of Writing, Verbal and Quantitative analysis. 

The Economist offers three time-related options for the GRE Tutor. The number of practice exams, one on one sessions, essay markings, practice exams differs and depends on the period a student is willing to enroll. 

The 1-month Basic plan, at the cost of $229 offers – 3-practice exams, 3- one-on-one sessions, 3-essay markings, and 25 tutor questions. The one-month plan does not provide a GRE score improvement guarantee.

The 3-month Premium plan, at the cost of $349 offers – a 5+ point score increase, 5-practice exams, 5- one-on-one sessions, 6-essay markings, and 100 tutor questions. The one-month plan does not provide a GRE score improvement guarantee.  

The 3-month Premium plan, at the cost of $529 offers – a 7+ point score increase, 6-practice exams, 6-one-on-one sessions, 7-essay markings, and unlimited tutor questions. The one-month plan does not provide a GRE score improvement guarantee.  

Economist logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Number of practice questions and content offered make this course a little better than average.

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GRE Prep Courses FAQ

Are GRE prep courses worth it?

GRE prep courses are a great way to learn new material and refresh yourself on old material. Some factors to consider might be your budget, learning style, and self-discipline. GRE prep courses will help identify strengths and weaknesses, simulate the actual test, and provide a study plan.

Which online GRE prep course is best?

After reviewing numerous courses, we found that Magoosh and Princeton Review were the best GRE prep courses. Magoosh was our choice for best value while Princeton Review was our choice for the most comprehensive course.

How much does a GRE prep course cost?

GRE prep courses can range anywhere from $179 to $449. Magoosh offers a great GRE prep course for a great price. Students can purchase Magoosh for $179 and will get access to the course for 6 months.

Is the GRE test difficult?

The GRE test may be difficult to some students and not as difficult to others. The best way to ensure the GRE test is not difficult is by preparing the right way. GRE prep courses are a great way to test your knowledge and learn new material.

Is Princeton Review GRE test prep worth it?

Princeton Review is one of our top picks for best GRE test prep. Princeton Review was ranked as our most comprehensive GRE prep course. Students can purchase the prep course for $399 and have access to the course for 4 months.

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Last update: 10/29/2021

Our Review Process 

We take our recommendations very seriously. Our team inspects various prep courses to find the best of the best.

We look past all of the marketing and fluff of these companies and look for features that ACTUALLY help users.

Our dedicated team of reviewers take many factors into consideration when reviewing prep courses.

We are always updating our reviews to reflect changes in the marketplace.

We take pride in remaining as unbiased as possible. All of the courses on our lists are the best of the best.

We are excited to announce our new ranking factor for most of our prep course rankings - Social Score.

This new (proprietary) ranking factor was developed by our data science team and takes into consideration what people are saying about the courses on the internet. A truly UNBIASED opinion. 

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