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Whether you're a first-time GRE test taker or you've taken the GRE before, studying with a GRE prep course that's the best fit for your learning style is essential to your success. This one decision could truly make or break your GRE score goals.
But you may not have the time to try out several GRE prep courses, especially when you have a limited time to prepare for the GRE. So, to help you find a GRE course that's well suited to your prep needs, we've purchased and spent weeks thoroughly reviewing several GRE prep courses on the market.
After reading this in-depth review article, you'll be able to identify a GRE prep course that can help you achieve a high GRE score and gain an admission to your dream graduate program.
Our GRE Prep Course Winners
- Best Overall: The Princeton Review
- Most Flexible: Magoosh
- Most Affordable: PrepScholar
- Most Adaptive: Achievable
- Best for Business: Manhattan Prep
Each of the winners is explored in detail in the sections below. The reviews include the key aspects of each prep course and the pros and cons.
Best Overall: Princeton Review
Hands down, Princeton Review offers the Best GRE Prep Courses, mainly because they have so many options. Just like their GRE prep book, these courses were originally designed for high-achievers. However, the courses also have options for people with different skill levels. The one problem with the live classes is that the class size tends to be large compared to other companies, but even that can’t set TPR back. The questions perfectly mirror the difficulty of the real test and the video lessons are engaging. Plus, you have so many choices to find the right fit for you! For instance, take a look at some of the following courses which are available in person and/or online and come at a range of price points:
Best Bang for Your Buck: GRE 10 Points+
Our top choice: Guaranteed 162+ Score
Best for the Experts: Guaranteed 165+ Tutoring
Best for Beginners: GRE Fundamentals
Most Flexible: Self-Paced Course
Now that we've covered our top choice for the best GRE prep courses, we'd like to review the winners in some of the other categories. The following courses were great for their specific area of focus:
Most Flexible: Magoosh
Magoosh offers students the option to gain access to all of the best GRE prep content for either one month or six months, depending on the plan they choose. In addition, the best option is the Magoosh Premium + Classes. The GRE online classes by Magoosh are drop-ins for students who like to work in groups. Those who choose the Premium + Classes plan will get access to unlimited live drop-in classes for six months for $179. On their site, they give an example class schedule for the week, which includes 5 classes for the week. Topics range from AWA Argument Essay: How to Identify and Analyze Flaws, to a live Algebra Workshop.
Most Affordable: PrepScholar
Prep Scholar has a few different plan options, but the most popular choice is $38 for one year of access. If you want unlimited access, you can upgrade to the $345 plan, which has the added benefit of personalized scoring for four essays. The company offers a score increase guarantee, over 150 hours of interactive lessons, and even a free 5-day trial so students can decide if this plan is right for them.
Most Adaptive: Achievable
Achievable GRE prep might be a lesser-known company, but it is growing quickly due to its advanced technology. The cost is $199 for a full year of access to the adaptive learning environment. They use machine learning to instantly grade essays and their memory tracking software helps students study more effectively. Think of this as the “smarter” way to study. Achievable includes an infinite amount of GRE math questions, an online textbook, and 200+ verbal questions.
Best for Business: Manhattan Prep
The longest GRE prep course offered by Manhattan Prep is the MBA-focused program. This is great for students who are focused on business and want their GRE scores to be competitive for that population. Even though the cost of the course is high ($1,599), one excellent feature is that Manhattan Prep offers 0% APR financing for their courses. This can bring the monthly cost of the MBA-focused GRE prep program down to $134/month.
Other Good GRE Prep Courses
There are tons of GRE prep courses available out there, and even though we tried to objectively rank the best options, not everyone likes the same methods. Below we include a couple of Honorable Mentions that fell short of making it in the "best" category but are nonetheless high-quality GRE prep courses:
Target Test Prep is a subscription-based program, with three plan options. First, there is the GRE flexible preparation for $99 /month. Then there is the GRE Dedicated Study for $299 for four months. Finally, there is a six-month access plan for $399. The only real difference between the plans is the payment structure. While the monthly subscription requires multiple payments, the other two plans have a one-time billing structure.
For a limited time, you can save 30% on all Target test Prep GRE plans using our exclusive discount code SojourningScholarGRE30.
Kaplan offers the GRE prep online course for $999, an on-demand course for $449, and an in-person course for $1,199. While the options are definitely flexible, the major problem I noticed with the Kaplan courses was a tech issue with the actual site related to having too many tabs open. I had to close most of the tabs on my computer to even access the pages with the details about the courses, which probably isn’t ideal for students who are trying to refer to a bunch of resources to study.
How We Picked the Best GRE Prep Courses
We chose the best GRE prep courses based on certain criteria. We considered all of the following factors when ranking the courses:
- Cost - Some students want to find the most affordable GRE prep course (the most bang for their buck).
- Structure/Format - Whether students prefer in-person classes or online, there is certainly a GRE prep course that will meet their needs.
- Flexibility - The number of course options/plans available to students is also an important factor in rating GRE prep courses.
- Score Guarantee - Everyone loves when there's a score guarantee. Many of the courses that we rated will guarantee some sort of improvement in a student's score.
- Specialization - Depending on what you studied in undergraduate and what you’re looking to study in grad school, you might need to focus more on specific aspects of the GRE. Some of these courses have paths geared towards different areas of study.
- Personalization - How does the course adapt based on your progress? If you’re struggling in a specific area, does this GRE prep course allow you to personalize your study plan?
- Resources Available - Practice tests, question banks, online classes, videos, textbooks, and more
- Time Commitment - These courses can range from one month to a year depending on the path a student chooses.
At Sojourning Scholar, we know that the GRE can be a barrier to attending graduate school. So many students get overwhelmed by the difficult exam and the amount of prep they need to put in to get a good enough score for their dream schools. In fact, lots of students will try to look for grad schools that don’t require the GRE first, which can limit your options a lot, because the test is daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be.
It is also worth noting that the GRE is not the only factor that contributes to grad school admission decisions. Admissions counselors nan consider everything, from undergraduate grades, recommendations, and research experience, to work experience and more.
Whether you decide to study on your own, check out the best GRE YouTube channels, use one of the best GRE prep books, get a tutor, or enroll in one of the best GRE prep courses, there are plenty of ways to boost your score on the GRE. Set the bar high for yourself and learn what you are capable of achieving.
If you are trying to figure out what your optimal GRE score should be for your target graduate program, check out our article on What is a good GRE score? In this article, we review and analyze the average GRE scores by year, state, school, and more.
Best of luck in your GRE preparation!