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||Achievable||Kaplan||Manhattan||Economist|
T-G Choice (Best Value)
T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
Get Exclusive Discount
Get Exclusive Discount
|Subscription Length||6 months||4 months||12 months||6 months||6 months||3 months|
|Guarantee||+5 point improvement||Depends on course purchased||Retake course or refund||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 $161
- Discounts: Get Exclusive Discount
Magoosh Feature Summary
Magoosh Pros and Cons
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:
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
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 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:
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
Current Princeton Review GRE Discounts & Coupon Codes
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Price: Starting at $199
Achievable Feature Summary
Achievable Pros and Cons
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
- 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: 10/29/2021