Best GRE Prep Courses

If you plan on attending graduate school, there is a tremendous chance that as a graduate school applicant you will need to sit for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a professionally administered test that assesses a test taker's cognitive aptitudes needed to earn a graduate degree successfully.

GRE Prep courses are designed to give a basic refresher on relevant subject matter material but also prepare a test taker to use strategies to optimize their GRE effort.

Use our reviews  of the 6 top GRE prep courses to make your choice based on budget, learning style, guarantees and more.

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. PrepScholar
  7. Kaplan
  8. Manhattan Review
  9. The Economist

Our Picks for Best GRE Prep Courses

Best GRE Prep Course Reviews (2020)

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

T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
Pricing $894 $179
Get $715 Discount
$499 $399
Get 20% Discount
$345 $449 $399 $349
Subscription Length 6 months 4 months unlimited 6 months 6 months 3 months
Free Trial
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
Practice Questions 1200+ 2574+ 2300+ 5000+ 1000s 5000+
Practice Exams  3 8 2 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 $179
  • Discounts: Available Here

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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 1200 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
  • No in-person/tutoring available
  • No essay feedback

Magoosh Summary

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.

magoosh logo

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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The Princeton Review GRE Review

Princeton Review logo

  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
  • Price: Starting at $399
  • Discounts: Available Here

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Princeton Review Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Fairly priced based on content students receive.
  • Guarantee

  • Students can repeat the course for free if unhappy with score received.
  • Content

  • Over 175 hours of GRE prep resources. Includes innovative tools like Drill Smart to increase studying efficiency.
  • Questions

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

Princeton Review Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of practice exams
  • Availability of Instructor-led options
  • Different types of courses offered
  • Innovative tools
  • Cons

  • No complex study plan available to students
  • 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 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. 

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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PrepScholar GRE Prep Review

PrepScholar logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $345
  • Discounts: Available Here

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PrepScholar Feature Summary

  • Price

  • $345 for unlimited access to the course.
  • Guarantee

  • Highest point improvement guarantee of any course we reviewed.
  • Content

  • 200 hours of instruction. Profile diagnostics on students to determine which areas need more help.
  • Questions

  • Provide 2300+ practice questions but only 2 practice exams.

PrepScholar Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • +7-point score improvement
  • Study plan available to students
  • Unlimited subscription length
  • Cons

  • Only 2 practice exams offered
  • Expensive when you look at everything offered
  • -

PrepScholar Summary

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.

PrepScholar logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Similar to Magoosh in terms of features and content. Little more expensive.

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Kaplan GRE Review

Kaplan logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $449
  • Discounts: Available Here

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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
  • Discounts: Available Here

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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
  • Discounts: Available Here

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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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Last update: 5/1/2020

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