Best GRE Prep Courses for 2021
- Academically reviewed by Trevor Klee - GMAT and GRE Expert
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
- Our Picks for Best GRE Prep Courses
- Comparison Table
- Who Needs a GRE Prep Course
- Magoosh Review
- Princeton Review
- Manhattan Review
- The Economist
Our Picks for Best GRE Prep Courses
scroll right on mobile to see entire table
|GRE Prep||Magoosh||Princeton Review||PrepScholar||Kaplan||Manhattan||Economist|
T-G Choice (Best Value)
T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
|Subscription Length||6 months||4 months||unlimited||6 months||6 months||3 months|
|Guarantee||+5 point improvement||Unhappy with score, you can repeat course free||+7 point improvement||Score higher or repeat/money-back||None||+5 point improvement|
|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)|
|Support Options||Email, Chat, Forum||Email, Phone||Email, Forum||Live Video, Chat|
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.
GRE Prep Course Online Reviews
- Test-Guide Rating: T-G Choice (Best Value)
- Price: Starting at $179
- Discounts: Get Exclusive Discount
Magoosh Feature Summary
Magoosh Pros and Cons
Magoosh GRE is the most affordable GRE prep program option that is accessible 100% online. Magoosh GRE is a valuable resource as it provides about 240+ tutorial videos, more than 1200 practice questions (with support videos to explain each answer), flashcards, study plans, and full-length practice GRE examinations.
Magoosh GRE is accessible on all computers and digital mobile applications, as well.
Magoosh’s GRE preparation course provides regular email support every day, all day. It offers GRE preparation support, a score improvement guarantee (5+ points improved, with a money-back guarantee), and the option of customizing a schedule that meets the test taker's needs.
Magoosh’s prep course includes a detailed real-time assessment that highlights areas in need of improvement and the suggested time to allot towards studying.
Magoosh GRE offers a free 7-day trial (with a no questions asked refund policy) and a course that can be canceled at any time, for any reason. Test takers will find Magoosh’s 6-month program (On sale for $179) the best bang for the buck, although the company offers one-month access, just before the test, for $149.
Through extensive data analysis, Magoosh’s team of educators evaluate a test taker’s performance based on current and historical score comparisons that ultimately offers the test taker a score prediction for the next time they sit for the GRE, based on this statistical analysis.
See our complete Magoosh GRE review for more details.
Current Magoosh GRE Discounts & Coupon Codes
- Test-Guide Rating: T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
- Price: Starting at $399
- Discounts: Get Exclusive Discount
Princeton Review Feature Summary
Princeton Review Pros and Cons
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 Drill Smart – a practice technique that selects practice questions based upon the areas of improvement highlight by a test taker’s answers.
As a test taker’s abilities improve, Drill Smart adjusts each question’s difficulty to enhance a student’s chances of maximizing their GRE score. The Princeton Review’s lessons are straightforward and customizable, although a video professor is always available to help guide the test taker to the desired lesson or exam strategy.
Live chats with professors and cohort members offer opportunities for group discussion or further explanations of the topic at hand.
The Princeton Review offers in-person courses, online classroom courses, and self-paced courses. The least expensive Princeton Review GRE Prep course is the self-paced, comprehensive version, offered at $499 (often on sale for $399) for both Math and Verbal modules.
Other versions come with unlimited access to the Princeton Review's live sessions and original content. Additionally, there are more than 2,500 practice questions, more than 60 video lessons, more than 60 Adaptive Drills, and eight practice tests. A GRE expert reviews the course student's written essay as well.
Princeton Review's satisfaction guarantee is unmatched by any other program. Course students are permitted to re-take the course if they are unsatisfied with the after-course score. Plus, if a test taker's rating does not improve, they will be issued a full refund.
For a more in-depth review with screenshots of the actual course, click here.
Current Princeton Review GRE Discounts & Coupon Codes
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Price: Starting at $345
PrepScholar Feature Summary
PrepScholar Pros and Cons
Since 2013, PrepScholar GRE Prep has operated from Cambridge MA. The PreScholar GRE Prep program was designed by Harvard and MIT PhDs to be the first test prep program that offered truly customizable features to GRE test-takers across the global.
Since its inception, PrepScholar GRE Prep has risen and is considered among the elite GRE test prep sites in the world, with effective, affordable options.
PrepScholar GRE Prep offers students more than 200 hours of instruction and simulated GRE practice tests using a game-based application that eliminates the need for rote learning. This GRE Prep course begins by personalizing the plan of study, which allows test takers to define a specific GRE score as their goal, or the study style that best suits each GRE prep student.
The PrepScholar GRE prep course helps students evaluate their areas of strength and those in need of improvement by completing questions that will determine a student's profile diagnostically.
PrepScholar students receive digital (email or text messages) study reminders, updates, and student progress reports to help refine the GRE prep course to maximize a student's effort on the actual GRE exam. The course provides each student with a personalized study plan every week and up-to-date feedback through the personalized coaching aspect of the PrepScholar GRE Prep Program.
PrepScholar GRE Prep offers an impressive 5-day full access period and a 7-point GRE score improvement guarantee.
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Price: Starting at $449
Kaplan Feature Summary
Kaplan Pros and Cons
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.
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Price: Starting at $399
Manhattan Prep Feature Summary
Manhattan Prep Pros and Cons
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.
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Price: Starting at $349
The Economist Feature Summary
The Economist Pros and Cons
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.
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Last update: 6/22/2021