Magoosh GRE Prep Course Review (2023) 

 July 24, 2023

By  Chuky Ofoegbu

Woman studying a course on a laptop

When it comes to preparing for the GRE, it’s hard to know where to start. There are tons of GRE courses that claim to be "the best", but how are you supposed to determine which is perfect for you without spending lots of money and time? 

That’s where Sojourning Scholar comes in. Our team of GRE experts have compiled in-depth reviews on all the top GRE prep courses on the market from first hand experience purchasing and using these courses over several months.

In this comprehensive review, we'll give you our unbiased opinion of the popular Magoosh GRE Prep Course, so you can decide if this course is the best GRE prep course for you.  

We've based our review from our experience studying with the Magoosh GRE self-paced course for over a month and attending their live GRE class, as well as our overall knowledge of the GRE, and what it takes to get a high GRE score.


Magoosh GRE prep is one of the most flexible and affordable options on the market. With three plans to choose from, students can decide how long they need to prepare for the GRE and how much extra support they need.

Key  Features:

  • Video Lessons
  • Optional Live Classes
  • Up to 3 Full-Length Practice Tests
  • Unlimited Ask-an-Expert Feature



Lesson Quality


Practice Questions

Score Guarantee

Is the Magoosh GRE Prep Course Right for You? 

Who we recommend the course for:

  • Students who enjoy the flexibility of studying on their schedule, either on the computer or on a mobile app.
  • Those who learn best by listening to short lessons and taking notes.
  • Self-motivated individuals with a clear goal in mind.

Who we don’t recommend the course for:

  • Students who have a hard time focusing on notes and lectures.
  • Individuals without a clear goal for their GRE preparation.
  • Students who need more personalized instruction.

Magoosh GRE Overview 

Magoosh’s GRE prep course is a self-paced online course that can be accessed for one month or six months depending on your plan. 

Resources include practice question banks, full-length tests, score predictors, vocabulary flashcards, video lessons by topic, and official practice questions.

In addition, you can upgrade to the live class options that include unlimited drop-ins. Each class offers a homework assignment for students to practice what they've learned.

Magoosh GRE prep course similarities 

Let’s discuss what Magoosh’s GRE courses have in common.

  • Lessons and resources: All three courses offer the same GRE lessons in video format  and the same number of practice questions.
  • Practice tests: All three plans include 3 full-length practice tests.
  • Score increase: Magoosh's premium plans all offer a +5 point score guarantee.

Magoosh GRE prep course distinctions 

Now that we've discussed some of the similarities of Magoosh's self-paced courses, let's explore some of the differences between the three options:

  • Access period: Students can decide if they want the 1-month plan or the 6-month plan based on how long they want to dedicate to their GRE preparation.
  • Pricing: The 6 Month Premium course is $199, the 1-month course is $169, and the 6-month with live lessons is $499. 
  • Live lessons: You can only access the live lessons if you upgrade to the most expensive package.

Lesson Quality 

Self-paced course 

The Magoosh dashboard is great for getting students started with their study plans. You'll have access to all the video lessons, practice tests, questions, and extra resources. 

To start, they recommend that you take the 65-minute score assessment. This will allow you to get your baseline, after which you can create a customized study schedule based on your strengths and weaknesses.

Video lessons are broken into four categories: Intro to the GRE, Math, Verbal, and Writing. Each video lesson is delivered in presentation mode with a voiceover from a specific Magoosh instructor. The feel of the video lessons is very much like sitting in a college classroom for a lecture. However, since each video is under 20 minutes, this allows students to take short breaks periodically and test their knowledge.

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Quant Video Lesson Roll Showing General Concept Videos

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Quant Video Lesson Roll Showing General Concept Videos

A full transcript of each video is available, and there is a section for students to take notes on each video lesson. Topics for the Intro to the GRE include breakdowns of each section, scoring range, computer-adaptive testing, study plans, and more.

Math section video lessons are broken up by topic. Some topics include general math, geometry, arithmetic and fractions, statistics, counting, algebra, and probability. 

Many of the intro lessons start at 3 minutes, while more advanced quantitative comparison questions go up to 18 minutes. In addition, each topic includes a short 5-question quiz at the end for students to check their comprehension.

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Quant Video Lessons 4

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Quant Video Lessons 

Verbal lessons are also broken up by topic, similar to the Math section. There are five sections related to text completion questions. In addition, there are sections of lessons focused on sentence equivalence, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and paragraph argument. 

An interesting point that Magoosh covers is reasons to avoid studying word lists for the vocabulary section. Instead, they go over flashcards, words in context, mnemonics, word roots, and other strategies that may be better for comprehension.

The writing lessons cover an overview of the AWA, the issue task, and the argument task. They also provide links to ETS resources to practice brainstorming for the essay.

Overall, the lessons are comprehensive and do a great job explaining everything clearly. However, the mode of delivery (voiceover with a whiteboard) isn't the most engaging. 

This is a good fit for those who want to feel as if they're in a classroom and listening to a lecture. However, for those who have trouble focusing on explanation and taking notes, this might not be ideal.

Based on our experience with the variety of lessons available, some of the instructors are more engaging than others. There were a few lessons that we skipped because the instructors were robotic and it was hard to focus, while others had you fully engaging and waiting for more.

Unlike the lessons on the Prepscholar GRE course or Manhattan Prep GRE that are personalized to your weak and strong areas, the lessons on Magoosh GRE take a one-size-fits-all approach, where each student who signs up for the course completes the same series of video lessons. 

However, Magoosh makes customized suggestions for different video lessons based on your progress. These suggestions appear on your dashboard.

Live classes

Magoosh offers virtual live classes led by expert GRE instructors as an upgrade to its self-paced GRE course. Students who sign up for the Live + Premium course get to join a small cohort of students in a 4-week online class environment.

Magoosh keeps the size of its virtual GRE live classes small to allow participants to get the most support and attention from the instructor. These online classes are hosted on Zoom.

There are a series of 8 class sessions totaling 16 hours of live instruction (2-hour classes twice a week. The topics on these 8-class series follow the sequence of GRE Test Strategy, Arithmetic, Reading Comprehension, Algebra, Paragraph Argument, Geometry, Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence, and Statistics & Data Interpretation

At the end of each virtual live class you'll receive personalized homework assignments to keep you on track. And in the event, that you miss a live class or you can't make it to a live class, you can always find a live recording of the class to watch at your convenience.

A sample class recording is available online for those that want to get a better idea of what the live class is like. The Magoosh instructor is on video throughout the lesson with a presentation shown on the side. There is a live Q&A throughout the course and the instructors encourage students to actively participate.

From our experience attending the virtual GRE class, we can confidently say that the Magoosh instructors are very knowledgeable about the GRE. Not only have they all scored in the 99th percentile, but they are also good teachers with lively personalities.

User Experience 

The online platform is easy to navigate, creating a positive user experience. Magoosh makes things intuitive by providing announcements on the main page of the dashboard so that you know where to start.

In addition, suggested lessons are listed on the left side. The top navigation bar has clear labels for each resource. In addition, the help chat is clearly visible in the bottom right of the screen.

Review of Magoosh GRE Practice Questions & Tests

Practice questions in lessons and drills 

According to the recent test bank, there are approximately 830 math questions, 720 verbal questions, and 17 practice writing questions. 

Since there are a limited number of practice questions, Magoosh gives you the option to reset your questions, meaning you will repeat questions you have already completed.

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Customizable Practice Questions Bank

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Customizable Practice Questions Bank

However, the custom practice allows you to build your own question sets in either practice mode or quiz mode. You can also choose if you want the questions to be a specific difficulty level or if you'd like the quiz to be adaptive.

In addition, there is a tab on the menu that allows you to jump to all of the questions you've previously answered and review them. You can flag questions that you want to keep working on and filter the review questions by difficulty level, subject, correct/incorrect answers, and your pace.

Full-length practice test experience 

There are 3 full-length practice tests on the Magoosh GRE prep course platform. The practice questions on these tests are clearly on the same difficulty level as the actual GRE. Specifically, the math questions are separated into easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels. In addition, the computer-adaptive program can adjust based on your performance. 

The concepts are directly connected to what students will see on the GRE and questions are formatted in the same way as the question on the real test. The short passages included in the verbal practice sections are the same length as those on the real GRE. In addition, the level of difficulty for reading comprehension is on point.

The practice test timings mimic the real GRE, but there are some exceptions. One thing we didn't like was that you are given a standard projected time per question. This might not be helpful when doing only a few questions at a time because you need to look at differences in pacing for each topic and difficulty level.

Quality of answer explanations 

Magoosh's GRE answer explanations are terrific. Whether you learn best by listening, reading, or hands-on practice, they have a solution for you. After you complete a test you can review all your answers and read a short explanation. 

If you are still confused, you have the chance to watch a video lesson that goes through the question step by step. In addition, Magoosh provides entire transcripts of the videos, so you can read through the full explanations on your own.

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Video Answer Explanations 4

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Video Answer Explanations

Typically, math explanations are clear-cut, so we find that students don't have as many problems with them because there are concrete steps involved. Therefore, we focused on the verbal explanations to get a good idea of the quality of Magoosh GRE answer explanations.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that each verbal question had a full video explanation that went over the standard "why is this right or wrong?" However, in addition, the instructors answered FAQs about the problems. There wasn't room for confusion because the answers were thorough, though not the most engaging.


The Magoosh help chat is powered by Zendesk and provides preset options for you to choose the problem you’re experiencing and asks for your email address as well as any attachments to support your description.

Although it says that there is a Live Chat, the hours of operation are not clearly stated. When we reached out on a Saturday, we did not get an immediate live response. They did provide an email response the following morning, and their answer was thorough.

There is also a page to submit a support question in the help center, which may appear on the FAQs for other prospective students to refer to. 

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Live GRE Class 2

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Live GRE Class  

Unfortunately, the Magoosh GRE prep course doesn’t provide a lot of motivational and accountability features. You do not get reminders outside of the app or website. However, for those who enjoy learning on their phone, the app can provide some additional encouragement via notifications.

When first signing into your Magoosh account you will be prompted to take a baseline exam with 20 math questions and 20 verbal questions. This allows the program to assess your starting point and identify your strengths and weaknesses. 

This information is very helpful because based on which answers you get wrong, you can click directly on the lessons related to that topic. You'll also have the chance to continue with additional practice questions.

Magoosh GRE Pricing 

1-month access to the self-paced online course starts at $169, while the 6-month plan starts at $199. To upgrade to the live class option, the cost jumps up to $499.

Magoosh occasionally runs price promotions on their website, where you could find the price of the live class at the same price as the 6-month premium plan, which would essentially give students the live classes for free.

Compared to other GRE prep course providers, Magoosh offers a much lower price point. The quality of the content is similar to their competition, making this a great value for students on a budget.

Other Features and Resources 

There are some additional resources included in the Magoosh GRE prep course, such as study plans, a vocabulary builder, vocab flashcards, math flashcards, and grad school admissions courses.

Another great new feature that they added is the official practice section. They include licensed GRE® test items from ETS, making Magoosh the only U.S. based test prep company that uses licensed official GRE questions on its course platform. In addition, Magoosh adds their answer explanations and sample essays. 

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Dash Board

Magoosh GRE Prep Course Dash Board

The official questions contain 4 practice sections dedicated to math and 4 section for the verbal section. These 8 sections are divided into difficulty levels and each contains 20 questions. As you complete each official practice section, you receive a report of your strengths and weaknesses, along with comprehensive explanations for each question.

The Magoosh GRE prep course is available as an app both for iPhones and Android devices. The app is great for practicing on the go with questions, lessons, and flashcards.

The Trial, Score Improvement, and Money Back Policies 

Availability of free trial 

Magoosh offers a 7-day limited free trial for the GRE prep course. The trial includes 20 video lessons and 20 practice questions. No payment information is required to sign up for the free trial.

Score increase guarantee 

Magoosh has a +5 point total score guarantee. Their policy clearly states, “If you have a Premium subscription, we guarantee a 5-point increase in your overall score.

When looking into this further, it seems there are a few requirements:

  • You must take the GRE before studying with Magoosh.
  • Your old score must be valid (less than 5 years old)
  • You must send a copy of your ‘before score’ report to Magoosh when signing up for the course.

If you meet the requirements of the score guarantee and do not improve by 5 points, students can send a copy of their ‘after score’ report to Magoosh and they will receive their money back.

One caveat is that if a student signed up for the live class plan, they will only receive the premium portion of their payment back. Meaning, the extra cost of the live class (up to $300)  is not refunded.

Money back policy 

In addition to the money-back score guarantee, Magoosh offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on their course. 

Based on our research and the Magoosh website, this is a no strings attached offer. 

As per their policy, “If you’re unhappy for any reason, email us within 7 days of purchasing, and we will give you a full refund.

Which Magoosh GRE Prep Course Should You Get 

After reviewing Magoosh's three options for GRE prep, we've determined that your best bet is the 6-month premium plan without live classes. The 1-month option is simply not enough time for most students to properly prepare for the GRE, and since the 6-month plan is only $30 more, it's an easy decision.

The reason we advise against the live classes is that even though it says unlimited drop-ins, there are only 8 scheduled classes. In addition, if you do not improve by +5 points, you don't get your money back for the cost of the classes. 

Meaning, that if you want a guaranteed +5 point increase, the 6-month premium plan is well worth the $199.

How Does the Magoosh GRE Prep Course Compare to Other Courses? 

When deciding if Magoosh GRE prep is right for you, it can help to compare the offerings to those of other test prep companies. Below, we provide some quick comparisons between Magoosh GRE prep and its competitors. In addition, check out our overview of the best GRE prep courses for a quick comparison.

Magoosh GRE prep vs The Princeton Review GRE prep 

  • The Princeton Review offers a 14-day free trial vs. Magoosh’s 7-day trial.
  • The Princeton Review typically offers more expensive plans. For instance, their self-paced course is $499 vs. Magoosh’s $199.
  • The Princeton Review includes 8 full practice tests, which is significantly more than Magoosh’s three.
  • The Princeton Review's score guarantee for the self-paced course does not include a refund. Instead, they offer you to retake the course at no extra charge, while Magoosh offers a full refund if you don't improve by at least 5 points.
  • Learn more in our review of The Princeton Review GRE Prep

Magoosh GRE prep vs Kaplan GRE prep 

  • Kaplan offers a hard copy of their GRE prep book while Magoosh is entirely online.
  • Kaplan's on-demand course is $449, which is much higher than Magoosh's $199 6-month premium plan.
  • Kaplan offers 7 full-length practice tests, while Magoosh only offers 3.
  • Kaplan has a money-back guarantee if students do not score higher after taking the course, but they don’t have a minimum point increase, whereas Magoosh ensures students improve by 5 points.

Magoosh GRE prep vs PrepScholar GRE prep 

  • PrepScholar offers two full-length practice tests, which falls short of the three full practice tests available with a Magoosh GRE prep plan.
  • PrepScholar offers a 1-year access plan, allowing students double the time to prepare.
  • PrepScholar’s 1-year plan is less expensive than Magoosh’s 6-month plan, but their lifetime access plan is more expensive.
  • PrepScholar's limited free trial is only available for 5 days vs. Magoosh's 7-day free trial.
  • PrepScholar offers a 12 month access period and an unlimited prep plan, while Magoosh's prep plan is limited to 6 months. 
  • PrepScholar boasts a +7 point score increase guarantee, compared to Magoosh's 5 point increase
  • Learn more in our full PrepScholar GRE review

Magoosh GRE Prep FAQs  

How many verbal and math questions are included in the Magoosh GRE prep course? 

At times there are over 800 verbal questions and over 900 math questions. However, Magoosh does say that the numbers fluctuate depending on product updates and reviews, but there will never be fewer than 700 questions of each type. Currently, it appears that there are just over 800 math questions and 700 verbal questions.

Is Magoosh good for GRE prep? 

Magoosh is great for GRE prep depending on the student. For instance, if you are someone who isn't self-motivated or you don't have the time to dedicate to studying, then Magoosh won't help you. If you put in the time and effort and use all of the resources available, the Magoosh GRE prep course has the potential to boost your total GRE score by 5 points or more.

Is Magoosh worth buying?

The 6-month premium Magoosh GRE package is well worth the cost. However, we have doubts about their $499 live class plan, mainly because the extra money put towards the live class doesn’t apply for the score guarantee refund.

Is Magoosh harder than the actual GRE?

Magoosh questions are on average, equivalent to the questions on the real GRE. In addition, with the newly-added official practice questions, students can work on the ETS licensed questions and compare them to the other Magoosh-generated questions to see for themselves.

Chuky Ofoegbu

With almost a decade of experience pursuing higher education in the United States, I fully understand the pain points foreign students endure. I created this website to help foreign students successfully navigate their way through the challenges they will face while living in the United States.

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