THE BEST GRE PREP COURSES

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From a masters, PhD, and now even a JD, the list of reasons why you are considering taking the GRE are seemingly endless. Regardless of why you are taking the GRE, there are GRE prep courses out there that will fit your needs. With the GRE having been revised in 2011 to make it more test-taker friendly, the GRE is becoming an increasingly attractive test option for the admissions of your selected program.

We are going to share 5 of the best, proven GRE prep courses that each have their own advantages and disadvantages for users. When going through this list, please consider what your learning style is and which GRE prep course caters best to that. After all, the best GRE prep course is the one that gets you to achieving your GRE score. It’s as simple as that. Without further ado, let’s look at our top 5 GRE prep courses:

 

Prepping for the GRE? Consider the best GRE prep books that made our list!

 

The 5 Best GRE Prep Courses for High Scorers

Best Live Online GRE Prep Course

#1: Princeton Review Ultimate GRE LiveOnline 

Topping our list as the best Live Online GRE Prep Course is Princeton Review’s Ultimate LiveOnline GRE prep course option. What this Live Online option means is that you will meet at a designated time for 3 hours of live instructor-led classes that are accessed online. These classes meet either once or twice a week for a total of 8 classes (24 hours of total live online classroom instruction). If you meet twice a week, you will finish your course in under 4 weeks. If meeting once a week, you will finish your course in about 8 weeks.

What you get with Princeton Review’s Ultimate GRE LiveOnline course are 24 hours of live instructor-led classes online and an additional 24 hours of pre-recorded videos that can be accessed at any time. Regarding practice materials, Princeton Review utilizes a Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) platform by section so that you can experience the GRE like you will on test day. You will have access to 8 of these computer-adaptive-by-section GRE practice tests. When taking these tests, you have the option to choose timed, double the time, or unlimited as you begin working through these questions. The practice tests allow you to mark questions that you found difficult so that you can go back to them after taking the test.

You definitely will stay busy with this course by Princeton Review, as it includes over 180 hours of online resources, including 470 practice drills and over 3,500 practice questions. Their course is strategic in helping you break through score plateaus, allowing for Drill Smart, which helps you to focus on areas that will give you the biggest score gains, which makes for much more efficient and personalized prepping. Assisting in keeping you on track towards your personal best, you will have access to an interactive score reporting tool. This score report will show you your strengths and weaknesses down to a question-type basis so that you know which types of questions require more of your focus and time.

For those who prefer taking their courses from the convenience of his or her own home or do not live close to an in-person classroom course, then this is hands-down the most comprehensive test prep option for you. You will benefit from personalized instruction from live instructor-led courses, enjoy breaking score plateaus with Drill Smart, as well as have the ability to look at score reports to see where you need to continue focusing most of your effort. This GRE test prep option from Princeton Review is effective, efficient, and even comes with the insurance of a better score guarantee or your money back.

You can try this course for free, which grants you access to one GRE Practice test as well as the accompanying score report for 14 days.

Princeton Review also offers a Self-Paced GRE prep course if you find this to be more suitable to your schedule or needs.

Top Highlights:

  • 470 practice drills and 3,500 practice questions
  • Drill Smart helps you push past score plateaus
  • Interact score reporting tool shows strengths and weaknesses as well as breakdown on the average time spent on correct questions and incorrect questions
  • 24 hours of live online classroom instruction

Drawback(s):

The questions on the practice test seem a bit easier than the actual GRE problems you will face on test day. We’d recommend supplementing official ETS exams to determine your scoring accuracy.

Final Verdict:

Princeton Review’s Ultimate GRE LiveOnline course is the most personalized live online course option on the market today for GRE prep. We recommend this course to those who do not want to invest in an in-person classroom course but still want a live classroom feeling.

Best On Demand GRE Prep Course

#2: Magoosh GRE 6-Month Premium

Magoosh is pretty new to the test prep scene, but they have already claimed their spot among the best GRE prep courses with their on-demand 1-month and 6-month courses. With an on-demand course, you have the chance to move through the content at your own speed (although Magoosh offers study schedules to accompany their course offerings).

magoosh dashboard

Suggested lessons guide you through an intro to the GRE and provide you with a general overview of the GRE as well as some test-taking strategies, then through Math, Verbal, and Writing and are based on curriculum developed by their tutors.

Suggested lessons are personalized, as they are based on your lesson progress. These lessons essentially serve as a dynamic study guide for you to be working through as you practice questions. Once you master the basics, you can see a list of more than 200 lessons that cover all of the important concepts covered in the exam.

You will access questions to work on through their Quick Practice section. The questions, written by Magoosh, can be customized by section, subject, difficulty, and time. Similar to Princeton Review, you can flag questions when working through them to go back to later. After submitting your answer, you will see the correct answer, difficulty level, your pace compared to others, as well as explanations to the question in text  and as a video explanation. If any questions give you difficulty, you can email your question by clicking the “feedback” tab and letting one of the Magoosh GRE team members know you need help. Responses will usually come back within a day.

When you are ready, you can work through three of Magoosh’s full-length practice tests. The drawback with these practice tests is that they draw upon any of your unanswered questions. It is wise to create 3 full-length practice tests with your questions first so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity of experiencing a few mock GRE tests.  

You probably already know that Magoosh has a ton of content on study plans, all of which can be accessed via their Resources tab.  These study plans range from 1 week to 6 months and basically everything in-between. They utilize Magoosh courses, so you can rest assured that you will not need to go out and purchase any further materials. Also in their Resources tab, you will have access to flashcard apps for Vocabulary and Math as well as their app for on-the-go practice.

If you are still on the fence about Magoosh or want to learn more about their GRE prep, you can take their free trial. You will be able to access their practice questions but will not be able to take any of their full-length GRE practice tests.

Top Highlights:

  • 200 video lessons cover Math, Verbal, and AWA comprehensively
  • Over 1,000 practice questions
  • 3 full-length practice tests
  • 5 point score increase guarantee (from your last GRE test) or your money back
  • Access to the GRE prep & practice app for studying on-the-go

Drawback(s):

There is no real difference between their 1-month and 6-month GRE programs besides the length of time allotted in the timeline. If you are looking for a 6-month GRE study program that is more rigorous, then you may need to purchase more practice tests for additional study.

Final Verdict:

Magoosh’s GRE On-Demand course is among the best GRE prep courses offering for those who want to study and practice on their own but still want comprehensive review of GRE content.  If you are not good at self-studying or prefer structured classroom-settings, this will probably not be a good GRE prep course for you.

Related: Get Ready for These Upcoming GRE Test Dates

Best In Class GRE Prep Course

#3: The Economist GRE Tutor Ultimate


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The GRE Economist is keeping GRE prep on its toes with its AI technology it uses in its GRE prep courses. This AI technology can steer individuals from former misconceptions and bad habits that lead to mistakes. Don’t ask me how this technology works, but just know that this program lets you learn at your own pace and be able to check your progress along every step of the way.

With GRE Economist’s AI system, this course breaks the one-size-fits-all mold and is able to study your knowledge, strengths and weaknesses, as well as pinpointing what false judgments are leading to incorrect answers. It then proceeds to deliver the subjects you need most at the optimal difficulty level.

When you enter your dashboard, you will have 5 sidebar options to choose from. Your Score Progress & Dashboard where you can track your progress and see where you are in your preparation.

The GRE Lessons where you can track your learning path of GRE lessons. Tests and Essays where you can take simulated tests, submit essays for grading, and see explanations for questions. Your Live Tutor Sessions where you can schedule one-on-one meetings with an instructor. Finally, the Ask-A-Tutor inbox where you can ask questions when you come across them during your practice and will receive explanations.

The user experience with this platform is super intuitive and the simulation exams are timed according to what you will experience on the actual GRE test day. You have the option to mark questions to come back to later for further review or questions.

The Economist GRE Tutor

When you have finished your simulation exam, you will receive a full score and progress report which break down all the questions you answered, marked, and how you did per section. We didn’t have a chance to finish our simulation exam, but you can see how the results would appear here:

The Economist GRE

The Economist GRE Tutor comes with a few options to choose from, Basic, Premium, and Ultimate. The Basic option does not come with a score guarantee, which makes you wonder how much confidence they have in this 1-month study plan. I recommend either the Premium 3 month (5 score increase guarantee) or the Ultimate 6 month (7 score increase guarantee). This money back score guarantee will give you a 100% course refund if you complete the lessons and do not hit the score increase guarantee for the Premium or Ultimate courses.

With the Ultimate 6-Month Course, you will have unlimited access to the Ask-a-Tutor platform, 6 full-length simulated GRE practice exams, 6 live one-on-one sessions with a GRE instructor, 7 graded essays, and over 5,000 practice questions.

The reason The Economist GRE Tutor gets recognized as the best GRE prep course for one-on-one support is because, unlike most GRE prep courses that charge $100+ per hour for tutoring sessions, the Economist GRE allows for live tutoring sessions included in their already low-cost learning platform. This tutoring can be done through the Ask-a-tutor messaging platform or through the Live Tutor Sessions where you actually can speak to a live tutor.

For those who are interested in this GRE prep course, you can sign up for a free 7-day trial to see if you enjoy the platform and if this is a good fit for you!

 

Top Highlights:

  • Over 5,000 GRE practice questions
  • 6 full-length simulated GRE practice exams (with their Ultimate Course)
  • Unlimited Ask-A-Tutor messages (with their Ultimate Course)
  • 6 live one-on-one sessions with a GRE instructor (with their Ultimate Course)
  • 7 marked essays (AWA)
  • AI technology for effective and efficient prep focus

Drawback(s):

If you are not able to devote at least 10 weeks to this course, you will not qualify for the “Score increase guarantee” with their Premium and Ultimate course options.

Final Verdict:

For those who groove on technology and e-learning from home, this is the absolute best valued GRE prep course. Live one-on-one sessions add a bit of humanity to this course and make it a well-rounded GRE prep course for those who prefer to study at home.

Best In-Class GRE Prep Course

#4: Kaplan GRE Prep In Person & In Person Plus

Kaplan has the most variety of GRE prep offerings to choose from in their test prep arsenal. Their most popular option, and what we are going to dive into deeper here, is their In Person course. Their In Person courses come in two options: In Person and In Person Plus.

What you get with both the In Person and In Person Plus GRE packages are 21 hours of live classroom instruction, which meet either once a week for 7 weeks or twice a week for about 3 weeks. 4 of the 7 classes are devoted to Quantitative Reasoning and the remaining 3 classes are spent working on Verbal Reasoning.

In addition to the live class time, you will have access to 180 hours of online content and instruction and practice. You can work on more than 5,000 practice problems and a Qbank. Kaplan’s questions are not official GRE questions but are some of the most realistic among the companies. You will be able to practice taking 7 full-length computer based tests as well as have a chance to take a simulated GRE test at an actual GRE testing facility!

What you will get if you opt for the In Person Plus option is an additional 3 hours of one-on-one coaching with a GRE expert. This coaching is not in-person but rather utilizing live online technology. These tutoring sessions can be really useful for asking questions and working on chosen practice questions.

The instructors that are chosen to lead these GRE classes are among the best and have proven ability to make class fun and interesting over the course of the 3-hour sessions! They all are high scorers and ranked in the top 10th percentile of their GRE test date. The locations of these courses span across 43 states are generally held in middle-sized and large cities.

Top Highlights:

  • Higher score guarantee or your money back
  • 5,000 practice problems and Qbank allows for personalized quizzes
  • 180 hours of online content and instruction/practice
  • 21 hours of live instruction
  • 7 full-length practice computer GRE tests
  • 1 simulated GRE test taken at an official testing location
  • 4 prep books

Drawback(s):

These are premium-priced courses, coming in close to $1,300, but Kaplan does offer a tuition assistance program of up to 60% off for those who qualify for financial aid.

Final Verdict:

This course is for anyone who intends on being a high scorer and prefers a structured, classroom setting.

Best GRE Prep Course for Quantitative Reasoning

#5: Manhattan Prep GRE Just Math

Thus far, we have reviewed our favorite overall GRE prep courses for categories such as On Demand, In Class, Live Online, and One-on-One. We wanted to take a moment to discuss Manhattan Prep’s GRE Just Math course because we think this can be extremely helpful for those who may not have taken any math classes in years. Given that you will need to draw up Algebra, Geometry, Fractions & Decimals, and other Math skills, some people would really benefit from taking this specific course.

Oftentimes, depending on what you studied in college, you may need more help in one section of the GRE and less in another. For those who may have graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, it’s likely you did not take as many mathematics and analytical courses as those who received a Bachelor of Science. That said, you may not need to spend much time on Verbal Reasoning and or Analytical Writing but would benefit greatly from taking just a math portion course for the GRE.

This is where Manhattan Prep’s GRE Just Math course comes to play! With this class option, you will have 12 hours of either live online or live in person classroom instruction of up to 4 classes (3 hours each). The course instructors for the Just Math are all 99th percentile scorers and many have impressive backgrounds including PhDs and MBAs, and more. Before enrolling in a class, you are able to view the teacher’s profile and see what other students are saying about their teaching ability.

manhattan prep just math

The class size is deliberately small, with classes maxing out at 10 students.

What you will get in this course are 6 GRE Math strategy guides for Algebra, Fractions, Decimals, & Percents, Geometry, Number Properties, Word Problems, and Quantitative Comparisons & Data Interpretation.

You will work through over 2,300 practice questions between two resources: The Official Guide to the GRE and The 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems. Both of these books make it in our 7 Best GRE Prep books list.  

In this course, you will receive a suite of online resources. You can access 6 full-length adaptive practice tests as well as detailed assessments for progress tracking. All classes are recorded so that you can watch them on-demand later. You will also be able to work on challenge problems.

Highlights:

  • 2,300 Quantitative Reasoning practice problems
  • 6 full-length adaptive practice tests and detailed assessment
  • Intimate class size – maximum 10 students per class
  • 12 hours of classroom instruction in just math
  • All instructors are 99th percentile scorers

Drawback(s):

This is not a cheap course, especially considering it is just focusing on one section of the GRE.

Final Verdict:

This is the best course for those who need to score high on the Quantitative Reasoning section for your dream program or for those who are struggling on the Math section.

Considering a GRE Tutor?

Varsity Tutors offers affordable online and in-person GRE tutoring that is recommended by 98% of customers.

Are you considering one of these GRE prep courses? Let us know your decision-making process by commenting below!