Updated: April 23, 2021

If you’re planning on going on to graduate school, passing the GRE is one of the biggest hurdles you have to face. The GRE, which stands for Graduate Record Examination, is like the SAT or ACT for graduate school, and more than 500,000 students take it each year. The GRE has three sections — quantitative, verbal, and writing — and the best way to increase your chances of successfully passing it with a high enough score to get into graduate school is to take the preparation seriously. To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best GRE prep courses below.

Best SAT prep courses

Our Ranking Criteria

While all prep courses we’ve listed below have proven successful in preparing students for the GRE, we also wanted to make sure we included those that were easy to fit in your schedule, offered a variety of learning formats, and could be personalized to your needs.

Flexible scheduling and adaptable formats

If you’re taking the GRE, you’ve either already successfully completed your undergraduate degree or are in your senior year, and this means you’re more likely to also be holding down a job or have family commitments that can make test prep harder to fit in. That’s why we’ve tried to include courses that have flexible scheduling so you can work at the time that’s most convenient to you.

Personalized instruction

One thing that makes a GRE test prep course stand out is its ability to be customized to the needs and preferences of the learner. Maybe you prefer to read material and take practice tests on your own, or maybe you need to watch videos or have one-on-one sessions with a tutor to really integrate the information. We tried to include courses that were able to be personalized to your preferred method of instruction and strengths and weaknesses.

The Best GRE Prep Courses

Kaplan — Top Pick

Kaplan Logo

Our top pick for the best GRE prep course is Kaplan. It has eight course options, encompassing everything from self-paced study that fits around your schedule to live one-on-one classes for in-depth learning. It recommends which course you should take based on how much time you have before your test, and it has seven full-length practice tests. Some of its GRE prep courses include live classes taught by one teacher while another does Q&A in real time during the video.

Kaplan-Test-Prep Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $69-$2,299
  • In-person, online, and live online options
  • Money-back guarantee
What we like What we don’t like
  • One-on-one tutoring is available.
  • Variety of course options.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • Some of the courses are expensive.

Learn more


The Princeton Review — Best Instructors

Princeton-Review Logo

The Princeton Review is one of the most trusted names in test prep, and its GRE Prep course includes an option that guarantees a score of at least 162 or your money back. Other options include a guarantee of improving your score by at least 10 points, and there is also one-on-one tutoring available at an hourly charge. The Princeton Review’s course includes adaptive drills, which are designed to adjust the practice question difficulty in real time to your answers so you can make sure you’re hitting the areas you need to strengthen. At the end of your practice test, you get a full score analysis that lets you know what you’re doing well and what still needs improvement.

Princeton-Review Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $156-$2,049
  • In-person, online, and live online options
  • 14-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • 8 practice tests.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • Tutoring option is pricey.

Learn more


Target Test Prep — Most Affordable

Target Test Prep logo

GRE prep can cost thousands of dollars, but a quality course doesn’t have to. Target Test Prep ranks as our most affordable course on this list because it offers flexible prep options for $99 per month, but also has one-time-fee offerings that break down to be even cheaper. You still get comprehensive GRE instruction, including test-taking tips and strategies, and the platform features personalized learning options to customize your experience. You get access to more than 5,000 practice questions, 500 individual lessons, and 800 video explanations of specific questions.

Target-Test-Prep GRE Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $99-$399
  • Online and live online options
  • 5-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • Options as cheap as $66.50/month.
  • On-demand instruction.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


PrepScholar — Best Free Trial

PrepScholar Homepage

PrepScholar is a well-known test prep company that offers comprehensive GRE prep. It offers a 5-day free trial to its services, but it also has several completely free resources you can access directly from its site. These include three e-books, a GRE math workshop, and several articles on how to study and improve your score when you retest. The full paid version of the course includes an adaptive diagnostic exam, more than 150 hours of instruction, personalized scoring of the writing portion of the test, and unlimited length access.

PrepScholar Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $38-$345
  • Online and live online options
  • 5-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • Provides free resources.
  • 7-point increase guarantee.
  • Individual progress tracker.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


Veritas Prep — Best Product Offerings

Veritas Prep Logo

It’s important for your GRE test prep course to fit your needs, and Veritas Prep has something for everyone. It has a self study class that lets you download or stream lessons, and it’s great for those who are on tight schedules because it gets you ready in as little as 30 days. The live class option gives you everything in the self study and access to 30 hours of instructional material taught by those who scored in the 99th percentile themselves. The last option is one-on-one tutoring that lets you completely tailor your test prep to your needs.

Veritas Prep homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $599-$7,950
  • Online and live online options
  • Money-back guarantee
What we like What we don’t like
  • Personalized one-on-one tutoring.
  • Instructors who scored in top 1%.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


Manhattan Prep — Best In-Person Experience

Manhattan Prep logo

A lot of test prep is offered online now, but if you’re someone who needs that in-person experience to get the most out of the material, Manhattan Prep is a good option. Class sizes are kept small so that you can get more personalized instruction, and the curriculum is written by the same people teaching the class. Manhattan Prep focuses on making prep classes fun and enjoyable as well.

Manhattan Prep homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $199-$1,599
  • In-person and online options
  • Free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • 6 practice exams.
  • Subject-specific course offerings.
  • No money-back guarantee.

Learn more


examPAL — Best Online Course

examPAL logo

If you know that you want to choose an online GRE prep course so that you can work it around your schedule, examPAL lets you study “at your own pace, anywhere, anytime.” A proprietary algorithm helps tailor the course material and questions to your needs, and you get real-time feedback on practice questions so you can address gaps in knowledge immediately. One-on-one tutoring is available, and there’s a money-back guarantee to improve your score by at least six points.

examPAL homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $399-$899
  • Online and live online options
  • 7-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • 4 practice tests.
  • Courses as short as 6 weeks.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


Magoosh — Best Variety of Products

Magoosh logo

If you’re looking for a wide variety of instruction materials, Magoosh has everything you need to prepare for the GRE. It lets you study on your computer or a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and it works with PC, Mac, Android, and Apple products. There are three full-length practice tests, video lessons, and more than 1,400 practice questions to make sure you’re prepared. Practice sessions are customizable and adaptable to your specific strengths and weaknesses, and there’s a guarantee to improve your score by at least 5 points.

Magoosh Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $149-$179
  • Online options
  • 7-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • Personalized test prep.
  • Works on mobile.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


The Economist — Biggest Practice Exam Library

Economist Logo

Taking practice tests is one of the best ways to pinpoint the areas you struggle with on the GRE and help you feel more confident when it’s time to take the real test. If you’re looking for a prep course with plenty of practice exams, The Economist delivers. Its Genius class offers five practice tests. The Economist’s test prep options also include interactive lessons via one-on-one tutoring, live support, and a 3-month subscription to The Economist’s online magazine.

Economist GMAT homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $349-$699
  • Online and live online options
  • 7-day free trial
What we like What we don’t like
  • 5 practice tests in Genius program.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more


Achievable — Best for Busy Schedules

Achievable Logo

Achievable is a GRE test prep course that makes it easy to fit studying into your busy schedule, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality or thoroughness to do that. The learning platform is adaptable for personalized prep that tracks how you’re learning, mastering, and retaining material so you can work on weak spots, and there are millions of unique quizzes to try thanks to the system’s question creator. The online textbook is designed with accessibility in mind and is mobile-friendly for those who are doing test prep on the go between work or family responsibilities.

PrepScholar Homepage

Need-to-knows:

  • $199
  • Online and live online options
  • Money-back guarantee
What we like What we don’t like
  • One of the more affordable options.
  • 4 practice tests.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • No in-person classes.

Learn more

Choose the Right GRE Prep Course for You

When you’re going through this list and trying to figure out which course is the best for you, you’ll need to consider several factors. We’ve listed a few of the most important steps to take when evaluating GRE prep courses below.

Calculate prep time

How much time you need to prepare for the GRE depends on whether you’ve taken the test before, how confident you are about the material, and when you need to have a score by. Those who are very strong in math, for example, may need less time since they’ll only really need to make sure they’re prepared for the writing and verbal sections. If you’ve taken the test before and are retaking it for a better score, you won’t need as much time to prep as a first-time test-taker.

Consider your learning style

Your learning style is an important part of choosing a GRE prep course that will work best for you. Most of the courses on our list have multiple formats to cater to all learning styles, but if you know that you are very strong in one area, such as visual learning, this can be a determining factor in which course you choose. If you’re not sure which type of learner you are, you can read descriptions of the different styles.

Compare costs

There’s a wide range when it comes to pricing for GRE prep courses, and your budget will be a big factor in which one you choose. You can find quick-prep courses and question banks for less than $100, but full-length prep courses with one-on-one instruction and multiple practice tests can cost up to $8,000.

Look for must-have features

When you’re comparing GRE prep courses, look for as many of the following features as you can find:

  • Flexible class offerings, including in-person and online formats
  • Lots of practice tests, including full-length options to get an idea of pacing, and practice questions
  • One-on-one tutoring
  • Personalized instruction and content
  • Money-back score guarantees

GRE Prep Frequently Asked Questions

What are the important dates for taking the GRE?

The GRE is offered year-round at Prometric testing locations across the country, and the test also now has an at-home testing option as well. If you’re planning on taking the test at a testing center, you will need to make an appointment for your preferred date early on, as they are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. It takes around 10-15 days for scores to be reported, and you have to wait 3 weeks before retesting. Keep in mind that you can only take the GRE five times in one calendar year, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re prepared before retesting.

Are there accommodations for disabilities?

The GRE does have accommodations for those with disabilities, including text-to-speech software and braille. All accommodation requests have to be approved by ETS Disability Services prior to scheduling a test date.

Where can I find practice tests?

The ETS website has some free GRE prep tools, including two free practice tests you can take through your ETS account.

How early should I prep?

It’s recommended to start preparing for the GRE at least four to 12 weeks before your test date. Those who need to spread out the test prep because of other obligations or just wanting to work at a slower pace may want to budget as much as four months. A general rule of thumb is that the longer you have been out of college, the more time you will need to prepare.

How many practice tests should I take before the actual exam?

It’s a good idea to take a practice test before you begin prepping to get an idea of where you’re starting from and if there are any areas you’re already strong enough to skip. You want to focus your test prep on weaker areas. It’s recommended to take another practice test toward the end of your prep course to make sure that you’re score is improving and in a range that’s going to work for your graduate program.

How long are most GRE prep courses?

Most GRE prep courses take one to two months to complete,  but this depends highly on how much improvement you’re trying to see and how much time you have to devote to test prep. If you’re just going through a practice test and a few questions, it could be as short as a weekend. However, some of the more intense courses can take 6 months or more.

Is GRE prep worth it?

Anytime you’re prepared for a situation, the outcome is likely to be better, and this is true of taking the GRE. Your GRE scores will really make an impact at your target schools if you aim to score higher than their standard range for admission.

How much does GRE prep cost?

How much you should expect to spend on a GRE prep course depends on the program, the time involved, and what features are most important to you. On the low end of the spectrum, you could pay $100 to $150, and on the high end, it could be thousands. You’ll also need to look at whether it’s more cost-effective to go with a subscription service that charges by the month or a one-time fee that gives you access to the entire course.

 

Company Cost
Kaplan
  • Online Course: $999
  • Online Course Plus: $1,299
  • Self-Guided Course: $449
  • Self-Guided Course Plus: $699
  • Tutoring + Self-Guided Course: $2,299
  • Qbank & Practice Test Bundle: $199
  • Practice Test 4-Pack: $149
  • Qbank: $69
The Princeton Review
  • Self-Paced: $399
  • GRE 162+: $2,049
  • Fundamentals: $1,099
  • GRE 162+ Tutoring: $156/hour
Target Test Prep
  • Flexible Prep: $99/month
  • Dedicated Study: $299 ($74.75/month)
  • Maximum Learning: $399 ($66.50/month)
PrepScholar
  • Best-Selling: $38
  • Lifetime: $345
Veritas Prep
  • Self Study
    GRE on Demand: $599
  • On Demand Plus: $999
  • On Demand + Admissions: $2,400
  • Live Class: $999
  • Private Tutoring
    Independent: $2,650 ($900/month)
  • Focused: $4,750 ($1,600/month)
  • Ambitious: $6,450 ($2,167/month)
  • Comprehensive: $7,950 ($2,167/month)
Manhattan Prep
  • Instructor-Led GRE® Prep Options
    • GRE for MBA Course: Starting at $1,599
    • Complete Course: Starting at $1,399
    • GRE Just Math Course: Starting at $799
    • Foundations of GRE Math: $199
  • GRE Interact™
    • 1 Month Access: $299
    • 3 Month Access: $399
    • 6 Month Premium: $499
examPAL
  • Genius: $899
  • Premium: $599
  • Express: $399
Magoosh
  • 1 Month Premium: $149
  • 6 Month Premium: $179
The Economist
  • Express: $349
  • Premium: $489
  • Genius: $699
Achievable
  • $199

Additional Resources

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