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The 5 Best GRE Prep Courses for High Scorers

Written by: Kristine Thorndyke

With law schools now accepting the GRE, preparing for the GRE has never been more popular! Along with this popularity comes the task of deciding which is the best GRE prep course to get you the score you need for grad school or law school.

I put together this list after reviewing the most popular GRE prep courses and offer the top 5 choices depending on what you’re looking for. Keep an eye out for the final verdict, in which I identify who, exactly, should buy this course.

GRE Prep Courses Overview

1. Princeton Review: Best Overall
2. Manhattan Prep: Best for Quant
3. Kaplan: Best In Person
4. Target Test Prep: Best Value
5. Achievable: Best Personalization

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

The 5 Best GRE Prep Courses for High Scorers

Princeton Review GRE 162+

the princeton review gre prep

The Best Live Online GRE Prep Course

Read our Detailed Review of the Princeton Review Ultimate GRE

Topping our list as the best Live Online GRE Prep Course is Princeton Review’s GRE 162+ prep course option. Why? With a 162 on both the Quant and Verbal score of the GRE, you’re among the top applicants to grad school and should be able to be admitted to a top 10 school.

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.

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 ($499) if you find this to be more suitable to your schedule or budget.

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
  • 45 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 Overall
The Princeton Review GRE Prep The Princeton Review GRE Prep
$1399

Get 15% off with code: TPN15

Pros:
  • Adaptive practice questions that match the difficulty you need
  • 162+ Quant Course guarantees high math score for those who struggle
  • Competitive pricing for On Demand Course
  • User interface of practice tests similar to real GRE
Cons:
  • Courses don’t include real ETS GRE practice tests
  • You can’t confirm your teacher before enrolling in a course
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Related: Ultimate List of 37 FREE GRE Prep Resources

Manhattan Prep GRE for MBA

manhattan prep gre for mba

Best GRE Prep Course for Quant

For those who haven’t taken math classes in years, the Manhattan Prep’s GRE for the MBA course may be a Quant-heavy GRE course you need.

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.

With this class option, you will have 27 hours of either live online or live in person classroom instruction spread across 9 class sessions. What I like about Manhattan Prep’s course is that you get to read up on the instructor before enrolling in a class.

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, including the GRE Interact, which includes on-demand video lessons.

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:

  • 6 full-length adaptive practice tests and detailed assessment
  • Intimate class size – maximum 10 students per class
  • 27 hours of classroom instruction
  • All instructors are 99th percentile scorers

Drawback(s):

This is not a cheap course, but if live instruction focusing on Quant matters to you, it’s worth it.

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.

Best for Quant
Manhattan Prep GRE for MBA - Live Online Manhattan Prep GRE for MBA - Live Online
4.0
$1599

Get all the GRE prep you need.. but with an edge to prep you for your MBA - available in-person and live online.

Pros:
  • Specifically for MBA applicants
  • Extra session on advanced Quant topics
  • Includes 4 GRE prep books shipped to your home
Cons:
  • No higher score guarantee
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Related: What to Bring to the GRE

Kaplan GRE Prep In Person & In Person Plus

kaplan gre review

Best In-Class GRE Prep Course

Kaplan has the most variety of GRE prep offerings to choose from in their test prep arsenal and I’ve recommended their courses in other categories ranging from the ACT to the MCAT.

Their most popular option, and what we are going to dive into deeper here, is the In Person course.

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.

If you’re deciding between Magoosh or Kaplan, get help here with our Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE Course Review.

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 In Person
Kaplan GRE Prep Review Kaplan GRE Prep Review
$999
Pros:
  • Simulated GRE practice test in a real testing center
  • Complimentary lessons on the GRE Channel
  • Higher Score Guarantee allows for full refund of course
  • Plus add-on includes 1-on-1 tutoring & 2 self-paced math courses
Cons:
  • Full-length practice tests are not real GRE practice questions
  • No disclosed vetting on GRE teachers
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Related: Kaplan vs PrepScholar GRE Review – Which Is Better?

Target Test Prep

target test prep gre course

Best Value GRE Quant Prep Course

Target Test Prep offers on-demand GRE prep for those specifically focusing on improving their GRE Quant scores. Rather than attempting to offer all learning modalities across various sections of the GRE, they have niched down to offering one on-demand course that focuses on GRE Quant and nothing else.

This offering is definitely different than Manhattan Prep’s GRE for MBA course, which still offers the GRE Interact (their version of an on-demand course that comprehensively covers the entire GRE). The beauty of this course, however, is that it’s an extremely great value with a lot of flexibility for someone who just needs to worry about improving his/her Quant score. You aren’t paying for the extra bells and whistles or extra practice outside of the GRE Quant.

This course offers 500 HD video lessons, 3,000 practice problems, and 800 video solutions. These videos are organized into 21 chapters in quant topics such as: word problems, data interpretation, and geometry. Like pretty much any course on the market today, there are analytics that will help you to track your strengths/weaknesses and custom practice tests that can include specific skills that you are struggling on.

See more about how Target Test Prep compares to Kaplan in our deep dive Kaplan vs Target Test Prep GRE Review.

Highlights:

  • Option for monthly billing/ cancel anytime
  • Score increase guarantee (with some fine print)
  • Live chat that responds quickly to questions

Drawback(s):

  • Lack of modality options for different learning styles
  • Not a very robust tutoring platform utilizing Zoom / WebEx
  • If you still need to review general GRE content, you’d still need to buy a comprehensive book or additional study program

Final Verdict: This is the best course for a student who already has general GRE prep in order and needs to focus on specifically raising his or her Quant score.

Best Value
Target Test Prep GRE Course Target Test Prep GRE Course
$99
Pros:
  • Affordable month-by-month subscription
  • Customizable study plan
  • Generous score guarantee
Cons:
  • No live class option

Related: Get Ready for These Upcoming GRE Test Dates

Achievable GRE

achievable gre prep

Continually reviewing the material you’ve learned while studying is essential, but you need more than simple GRE quantitative flashcards. Practice with an infinite amount of GRE quantitative exam questions. Unlike other GRE exam prep courses, we don’t have a fixed-size bank of GRE practice questions. Our system generates millions of unique quizzes with randomized text and variables from over 200+ GRE quantitative question templates, ensuring you’re learning the core concepts instead of simply recalling answers. After answering a question, you can review a step-by-step walkthrough of the math and logic involved.

Achievable uses adaptive learning techniques to create and update a personalized model of your memory, individually tracking your retention and mastery of each GRE learning objective. Our learning engine monitors your study progress and continually adjusts your GRE exam questions to ensure you’re focusing on the topics that matter most for you, improving study effectiveness while reducing overall study time.

Achievable includes flashcard-like quizzes for 250 of the most commonly-tested GRE vocabulary words. Similar to how vocab is tested on the exam itself, you’re quizzed by distinguishing different sets of words, building up your vocab base in a fraction of the time.y adjusts your GRE exam questions to ensure you’re focusing on the topics that matter most for you, improving study effectiveness while reducing overall study time

Their proprietary GRE essay grading system uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to instantly score your GRE analytical writing essays, similar to the scoring mechanisms used by the ETS. Practice your writing with hundreds of GRE essay prompts for the GRE issue essay and the GRE argument essay.

Highlights:

  • Endless quantitative quizzes
  • Advanced personalization
  • Vocabulary building
  • Instant essay grading

Drawback(s):

  • There are not as many video explanations as you’ll find in other GRE courses
  • Fewer student alumni and testimonials

Final Verdict: This is the best GRE course for self-motivated students still seeking personalized prep but are on a budget.

Achievable GRE Prep Achievable GRE Prep
$199

A full year of GRE prep access and money-back guarantee with no strings attached.

Get 10% off with code: A_TPN_DF11_10

Pros:
  • Personalized prep adjusts practice questions based on performance
  • Instant essay grader using AI is included
  • Platform is easy to use and mobile-friendly
Cons:
  • Not as many explanation videos as other courses
  • Not much variety in course options beyond on-demand format

GRE Prep FAQ

Do I need to take a GRE prep course?

While you don’t necessarily need to invest in a GRE prep course in this list, you should definitely have a study plan for the test and stick to it so that you’re studying efficiently. This can come in the format of either a GRE book set, a study guide, or from any of the GRE prep courses listed in this review.

What are the best GRE prep books?

We have a whole list of our GRE prep book favorites, but our highest-recommended GRE prep book is the Manhattan Prep 5 lb GRE book. The beauty of buying this book is that you’ll gain access to Manhattan Prep’s online GRE course. For many, prepping for the GRE with a textbook can be monotonous, which is why being able to utilize their online platform for interactive content and micro drills helps to break up the studying.

Which course is better – Magoosh or Kaplan?

Although we don’t like to prescribe courses to students, we do think that overall, Kaplan offers a more comprehensive GRE course. Have a look at our more detailed review and face-to-face comparisons on our latest Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE guide.

Which course is better – Kaplan or Princeton Review?

The biggest strength for Kaplan is the sheer amount of practice you’ll receive with your course. However, if you were looking for a specific high score guarantee, investing in The Princeton Review would actually be a better choice. Read more on the specifics to these courses in our recently published guide Kaplan vs Princeton Review GRE.

How long do I need to prep for the GRE?

Most students need between 2-4 months prepping for the GRE to be successful. If you find yourself studying for longer than 6 months, you’ll likely begin losing the information you studied at the beginning. This is why experts recommend considering your GRE test date and planning your GRE study plan to accommodate this timeframe.

Wrap Up

Picking the best GRE prep course isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t always so cut-and-dry either. We’ve spent a great deal of time auditing each of these GRE courses as well as speaking to current and past students to narrow it down to these 5 best GRE prep courses. We hope you found the perfect course that is going to match exactly what you need to rock the GRE. Good luck and let us know which course you decided to go with by commenting below!

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