The 7 Best GRE Prep Books for Effective Study

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If you’re looking for the best GRE prep books on the market today, then you’ve come to the right place! 

We’ve put a lot of time and consideration into this list of the 8 best GRE prep books and have interviewed countless students who have succeeded on the GRE. 

This is going to take just as much work on your end to make this happen, so roll up your sleeves and let’s jump into the best GRE prep books so that you can get to preparing to crush the GRE!

In a hurry? Here is the #1 recommended best GRE prep book:

TOP PICK AMONG GRE TEST TAKERS

Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book GRE

5/5

With over 1,800+ GRE practice problems in the book and online, this is a must-have in your GRE prep!

Best GRE Prep Books Comparison

TITLE

RATING

PRICE

PRACTICE 

TESTS

PRACTICE

QUESTIONS

YEAR

Manhattan Prep 5lb Practice

5/5

$$

1

1,800

2018

Official GRE Super Power Pack

5/5

$$$$

4

600

2017

Kaplan GRE Complete

4.5/5

$$$$

6

2,500+

2021

Magoosh GRE

4/5

$$

1

130

2017

GRE Analytical Writing

4/5

$$

0

65

2020

ETS Official GRE Verbal Reasoning

4.5/5

$

0

150

2017

ETS Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning

4.5/5

$$

0

150

2017

Kaplan GRE Flashcards

4/5

$$

0

0

2020

7 Best GRE Prep Book Reviews

Manhattan Prep 5-lb Book of GRE Practice Problems

5/5 Stars
5 of 5 stars

5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: 1,800+...

This is the top of our list as the best GRE prep book and also ranked #1 as the best GRE prep book overall. This GRE book is organized into 33 chapters and contains 1,800+ practice problems! 

The practice problems in this book have been created to mirror the actual problems you will encounter on the GRE in terms of style, form, and content. Rather than passively reading through prep materials, you will actually learn by doing. Through practice, students preparing for the GRE can build their math and verbal skills using simple instructions and step-by-steps. 

What sets this book apart is their 30-50 practice problems for each topic, which can help you develop an understanding of the nuance between different kinds of math problems. There are over 500 pages of just math problems alone, which can be especially helpful for those boosting their math skills. 

  • 1,800+ realistic practice problems (in book & online)
  • 33 concept chapters
  • Additional GRE Math practice 
  • Best seller for GRE prep on Amazon

Top Feature: The number of GRE practice questions

Students Should Also Consider: Their Online GRE Prep Course

Sale
5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: 1,800+...
  • Manhattan Prep (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1056 Pages - 12/04/2018 (Publication Date) -...

Official GRE Super Power Pack

5/5 Stars
5 of 5 stars

Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition

The official GRE Super Power Pack (and each of the GRE books that you can also purchase individually), are the only GRE prep books that are put out by the makers of the ETS. This makes it among the top of our list of the best GRE prep books because you get real GRE official practice tests to work with.

 We love Manhattan Prep for their practice problems and ability to build speed and confidence on the GRE, but there is still a lot to be said of working through real GRE problems under simulated GRE testing conditions. You simply cannot recreate the experience without actual problems that others have taken on the GRE.

Included in this bundle are 3 GRE prep books by ETS, The Official Guide to the GRE, Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, and Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions

  • 4 real GRE tests (2 online simulating real GRE)
  • 600+ real GRE practice questions & explanations
  • Sample essays and raters’ response
  • Better value than purchasing each book separately

Top Feature: REAL GRE practice questions

Who Needs This: All students should supplement any prep with real ETS material

Sale
Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition
  • Educational Testing Service (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 250 Pages - 04/07/2017 (Publication Date) -...

Kaplan GRE Complete 2021

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

GRE Complete 2021

Making it third on our list of the best GRE prep books for overall study is Kaplan’s GRE Prep Complete. This newer edition was released on June 2, 2020 and differentiates itself by the sheer volume of GRE practice questions

Kaplan sets itself apart from the ETS and Manhattan Prep materials because it provides tips and resources for applications for grad school. 

Included in this GRE book and online are a combined 2,500 practice GRE problems as well as timed practice sets for every section of the test. Utilizing their online computer-based testing format, you will be able to view individual performance summaries to help enable you to personalize your study plan. 

  • 2,500+ practice questions
  • 5 full-length GRE tests online + 1 printed in book
  • 1-on-1 academic support from Kaplan faculty 
  • Online videos break down question types and applications

Top Feature: Higher score guarantee or your money back

Students Should Also Consider: Their In-Person GRE Course

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GRE Complete 2021
  • Kaplan Test Prep (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1824 Pages - 06/02/2020 (Publication Date) -...

Magoosh GRE Prep

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

GRE Prep by Magoosh

Magoosh is shaking the test prep industry a bit with their low-cost alternative to the commercial test prep products that used to dominate the scene. This affordable GRE study guide makes it among the top of the best GRE prep books list for its helpful and thorough lessons in Math and AWA.

Unlike the other books that make our best GRE prep books list, Magoosh’s GRE Prep Book does not come with thousands of practice questions to work on, but the ones that they do provide (130 total) are of high quality and have pretty robust explanations. They show you the level of difficulty for each question as well as what percentage of their online students answered a question correctly. 

In this book, they provide you with a 1-month Study Schedule, but you can also find other Magoosh 2, 3, and 6-month study schedules utilizing their material. You also will have access to one full-length GRE practice test. 

  • 130 practice GRE questions and detailed explanations
  • Detailed study schedule to help you stay on track and study effectively
  • 1 full-length GRE practice test (created by Magoosh)
  • 1-month GRE Study Schedule utilizing Magoosh products
  • Stats for each question show how you compared versus other Magoosh students

Top Feature: Includes coupon for 20% off Magoosh GRE Course

Students Should Consider: Their On-Demand GRE Course

GRE Prep by Magoosh
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Magoosh (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real...

For those who are struggling on the Analytical Writing portion of the GRE, we recommend Vibrant Publisher’s GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics – Book 1. 

What you will get in this book are 65 solved essays from the pool of official Issue and Argument topics. The book provides a rubric for forming responses, strategies for interpreting the topics, as well as an approach for answering each of the essays provided in the book. You will also have the opportunity to read a sample essay as a benchmark.

Essentially, once completing these essays and having a good grasp on key points to ask yourself when reading through the issue, taking the AWA section of the GRE will be a simple and straightforward process.

  • 65 Solved Issue and Argument topics with strategies
  • New essays included
  • Scoring guides

Top Feature: Simplified method to create any response

Students Should Consider: Book 2 and Book 3 in this series 

GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real...
  • Publishers, Vibrant (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 260 Pages - 12/12/2019 (Publication Date) -...

ETS Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions,...

Included in this book are 150 real GRE Verbal Reasoning questions as well as an overview of the section itself by the actual writers of the test. When it comes to getting GRE prep materials from subject matter experts, getting it from the ETS is as close to the source as you can get.

The questions offered in this book are grouped by the GRE question type and difficulty level so that you can build your test-taking skills. Additionally, there are mixed practice sets with in-depth answers so that you can learn from each question. This is a great GRE practice book for getting the feel of the real GRE.

Additionally, you will get an overview of the Analytical Writing section including strategies, sample tasks, and sample scored essays.

  • 150 real GRE Verbal Reasoning questions as well as in-depth answer explanations
  • Created by the ETS itself
  • Tips and insight on questions from the source
  • Questions are grouped by question type and difficulty level

Top Feature: REAL ETS Verbal Reasoning Questions

Students Should Also Consider: The ETS Super Power Pack for a Better Value

Sale
Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions,...
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Educational Testing Service (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

ETS Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice...

Much of what was just said for the ETS Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions can be applied to the ETS Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions book as well. You’re going to get 150 real GRE Quantitative Reasoning questions paired with in-depth answer explanations. These questions are grouped by question type as well as difficulty.

Included in this book is also a GRE Math Review that covers the topics you’ll likely need to know for the GRE. You’ll learn about the GRE Quantitative Reasoning test content, scoring, as well as strategies and tips from the test makers themselves. 

  • 150 real GRE Math questions & detailed explanations
  • Created by the ETS
  • Questions grouped by type and difficulty

Top Feature: 150 REAL GRE Math Questions from the ETS

Sale
Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice...
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Educational Testing Service (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Kaplan GRE Vocabulary Flashcards

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

GRE Vocabulary Flashcards

Here are 500 GRE vocab flashcards that will help you build a strong vocabulary for the Verbal Reasoning test. Included on each flashcard is a synonym and pronunciation of each word.

Along with a synonym and pronunciation of each GRE vocab word, you will also get a sentence in context that will help you with your recall. 

For those who are more tech-savvy, you can also access these GRE vocab flashcards on their app! In their online portal, you will be able to also access video instruction on how to build your vocab and how to use your flashcards effectively. 

  • 500 GRE vocab flashcards
  • Can be accessed on any device with the app 
  • Can be linked to other free Kaplan GRE resources

Top Feature: App allows you to use flashcards on any device

Who Needs This: Students struggling on GRE vocab

Sale
GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
  • Kaplan Test Prep (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 502 Pages - 04/07/2020 (Publication Date) - Kaplan...

This wraps up our best GRE prep books listing. If you’re still on the fence, then we recommend starting with Manhattan Prep’s 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems.

TOP PICK AMONG GRE TEST TAKERS

Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book GRE

5/5

With over 1,800+ GRE practice problems in the book and online, this is a must-have in your GRE prep!

Thinking about enrolling in a course? Check out the 5 Best GRE Prep Courses that made our list! 

Best GRE Prep Books FAQ

What are the best GRE practice tests?

The best GRE practice tests are ALWAYS the real official tests from the ETS. You can access 2 of these practice tests for free on the ETS website

Are old GRE books still helpful?

The most significant change on the GRE was in 2011. Generally speaking, each year comes new editions for each GRE prep book. If you have an edition that is a few years old, you should be ok.  

Is Princeton Review GRE test prep worth it?

The Princeton Review GRE is ranked the top among the best GRE prep courses in our list for 2021. These live online GRE courses are extremely personalized and contain a great deal of practice. 

Is Barron’s GRE prep books good?

Barron’s did not make our list of the best GRE prep books. Students who used this GRE book ranked the questions as not being as difficult as the GRE and did not feel prepared for test day. 

Can I study for the GRE in 2 weeks?

The shortest recommended GRE prep is 1 month. We do not think you can comfortably stuff all of this content review, practice, as well as test simulations into 2 weeks. Here are our recommended GRE study plans

How Many Hours Should I Study for the GRE? 

Students generally need between 50-200 hours of GRE studying to significantly raise their scores on the GRE.

Conclusion

By utilizing this list of the best GRE prep books, chosen by REAL GRE test takers, we are confident that you will reach the GRE score of your dreams. Comment below with your experience with these GRE books or if you have any others that you think should have made the list!

One Response

  1. Thanks for posting such an informative article. This was the only article I found with pros and cons listed for each book followed by a verdict. Being a GRE aspirant, It was really helpful while finalizing my choice.
    I have personally used the GRE Analytical Writing book by Vibrant Publishers. If you really want something to prepare for all kind of questions, then this is the book for you. The most impressive feature of this book is its language. It is very easy to understand. All the issue and argument tasks are solved with detailed explanation. I really liked the idea of category based issue and argument tasks.
    After using these books, I purchased 2 more books by Vibrant Publishers. 1.GRE Verbal Reasoning and 2.GRE Master Wordlist: 1535 Words for Verbal Mastery. They didn’t disappoint me as it turned out to be value for money purchases. So just go for it!

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