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Heading into a GRE exam (graduate record examination) when your future college dreams are on the line is never an easy task.
And with all the study effort you put in, you could still have missed an important area. Or, like many other students, you might struggle with certain subjects.
All that can lead up to a lack of confidence and a lower GRE exam result than you deserve.
A far better approach is to use online GRE prep courses that cover everything from teaching the tough subjects and giving you practice exams to build up your confidence.
And we’ve tested the leading providers to come up with this list of best GRE prep courses.
Our Best GRE Prep Courses
The Magoosh GRE prep course is a solid platform with a great online dashboard that makes navigating training materials a lot easier.
What’s great about this dashboard is that you can quickly see what areas you have completed, and the system will recommend where you should focus your attention next.
That way, you get the most out of your time investment.
As you progress through the courses and complete exam questions, Magoosh uses an algorithm to predict your score. It’s a great feature to boost your confidence and see how you are improving.
We’d like to see more practice tests and questions, but other than that, Magoosh is a good platform.
- More than 1,200 practice questions
- Attempt 3 practice exams
- Easy to navigate online platform with recommended study paths
- Service includes text and video tutorials
- Aims to predict your score based on test prep results
- You can access it anytime, anywhere
- More GRE exam practice questions would be helpful
Achievable is another good GRE prep course pick mainly because it provides the best selection of questions across ten full-length practice tests.
Being able to go through practice exams multiple times is one of the best ways to build up more confidence.
We also liked that the regular course quizzes feed into making personalized study recommendations. If you struggle with certain questions, then Achievable will recommend focusing more time on those learning materials.
And you’ll receive instant feedback on essays based on a unique AI-based system that analyses your text to make improvement recommendations.
- More than 10,000 practice questions
- Attempt 10 practice exams
- Instant essay grading feedback for fewer delays
- Easy to use app makes learning on the go much easier
- Personalized learning recommendations based on quiz results
- Largest selection of practice exam questions
- Service doesn’t include any video lessons with teachers
3. Kaplan GRE Prep Course
Kaplan GRE has come up with a few great innovations compared to other online GRE courses. The first is an App that contains flashcards to help you memorize certain questions and topics better.
And what a lot of students like is that Kaplan GRE offers practice tests at a real test facility so that you can experience exam conditions before the big day.
The GRE test prep course also shows your progress over a total of 7 trial exams so that you can see how you’re improving and where you might be lagging behind.
- More than 5,000 practice questions
- Attempt 7 practice exams
- App-based flashcards make studying on the go a lot easier
- GRE score progress over multiple test exams provides great confidence
- Allows for a trial prep exam at an educational testing service
- It’s an expensive online GRE course but seems to have good results
4. PrepScholar GRE Prep
This GRE prep course is a good option for students who want or need to take their time with the GRE prep resources. You have access to all the materials for 12 months, which may suit some people better to pass the standardized test.
Feedback is very positive about the detail of the course materials, and you get a detailed plan to follow along to achieve the best possible GRE test score.
PrepScholar is also confident enough in their course that they provide a guarantee to improve your score by at least 7 points.
The only thing we think the company could improve is the number of trial exams on offer.
- More than 2,000 practice questions
- Attempt 2 practice tests
- You have access to all materials for 12 months
- PrepScholar guarantees at least a 7-point improvement
- Students find the study plans help them plan out their time better
- It’s a bit limited in the number of practice exams
5 . Target GRE Test Prep
What students have liked most about the Target Test Prep GRE course is the fact that it takes a different approach to deliver the materials. It’s all online, but you receive a lot of the content in the form of video tutorials.
This makes it a lot easier for a lot of people who find it difficult to study from books.
You also have the option to join live-streamed tutorials where you can ask specific questions about areas that you’ve struggled with.
The only thing we disliked about this GRE test prep course is that it doesn’t provide full-length practice exams but rather pulls a random selection from the questions database.
- More than 3,000 practice questions
- Randomized practice exams
- Includes optional GRE prep online tutorials that allow you to ask questions
- Focuses heavily on quantitative reasoning for challenging subjects
- Provides a lot of video tutorials for all subject areas
- Uses a randomized practice exam approach
Some students choose ArgoPrep because the review program focuses on practice materials to train their test-taking and analytical skills. Regardless of your ivy league school of choice, these skills are necessary.
This online GRE prep program has over 100,000 practice questions with supplemental videos on analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.
They also offer a printed guide with limited access to the online program, if you’re not keen on getting the full GRE prep course.
- More than 100,000 practice questions
- Attempt 3 practice exams
- Extensive practice tests give you a full-length exam experience
- Self-paced program with offline and online options depending on your study style
- Gain access to over 400 hours of video resources
- Some resources may be too basic for some
Choosing The Right Course
GRE prep courses vary a lot in pricing.
Some of that comes down to a major educational brand being behind the course. What we find more important, though, is to only pay more if the service is actually better.
Even if you’re aiming to go to a prestigious graduate school, nobody will know or care about what organization helped you get a good GRE result.
If you’re going to pay a higher price, make sure you get access to tutors and live tutorials.
2. Total Practice Exams
All the above GRE test prep courses include some form of practice exam. But just one or two might not be enough to boost your confidence.
We prefer seeing five to eight practice tests, as this will allow you to see your progress from week to week.
3. Number Of Practice Questions
You also want to make sure that the company you choose has a large database of practice questions. Most test-takers will quickly get used to questions and recognize repeated ones.
That won’t help with your preparation, so always try to go for a larger number.
The more diverse the questions are, the more they will challenge you to memorize the answers.
Some GRE prep courses will come with a guarantee to provide you a minimum increase in score. This is particularly interesting for a test taker who has sat a GRE exam but hasn’t achieved the desired results.
With a guarantee like a minimum 7-point improvement, you could have more confidence that the GRE course is suitable for your needs.
5. Delivery Method
Pretty much all GRE test prep courses will provide online digital text content for the different subject areas. But what sets some of them apart is the use of video lessons and tutorials in online GRE prep.
If you prefer the old-fashioned approach, then you might want to check if you can get your hands on GRE prep books.
6. App Platform
This is where you’ll often find some huge differences in GRE test prep.
With a good smartphone app, you can gain a lot of freedom when it comes to studying while on a commute or simply having some spare time.
The app should also provide a good dashboard that shows you what progress you’ve made, as well as providing a way to go through sample GRE questions.
The more innovative the content is made available, the easier the studying will become.
7. Grading Support
Some companies offer an AI-based service for checking essays. These can be great for checking grammar, spelling, and the choice of vocabulary.
But it often takes a bit more to get into the graduate school of your choice.
If you think you need more help with essays, then aim for one on one tutoring options, as well as an online course that focuses on critical thinking skills.
8. Study Guide
Surprisingly, not all GRE test prep courses come with a study guide that recommends a path through all the course content.
That can make it a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re just getting started.
Some of our top recommendations above include an algorithm that constantly checks your quiz answers and trial exam results for areas where you need to do more work.
You can use this to then allocate more time to certain areas where you’re still struggling a bit.
Are GRE prep courses worth it?
Yes, GRE prep courses are worth it. They are one of the best ways to make sure you study the right material and memorize the correct answers. Students also find the online learning style speeds up the process to get to a test date.
Can I prepare for the GRE in 20 days?
Yes, some people can prepare for the GRE in 20 days, but this would require spending most of the day studying. It might not be the best idea to push to such limits when your educational future could depend on it.
What is the best GRE score?
The best GRE score is 170 for each of the verbal and quantitative comparison sections and a 6.0 for the analytical writing score. However, not all colleges and majors require a perfect score.
What is a bad GRE score?
A bad GRE score is one below 145 for the verbal and quantitative topics. For the written part, it’s a score of 3.5 or lower.
Can you take the GRE without studying?
Yes, you can take the GRE without studying. However, because the exam covers many different areas that are often taught over many years in High School, it’s not a good idea to try this out.
Make The Right Choice For Your Educational Future
With this list of best GRE prep courses, you should be in a much better position to get the results you need for the school and major you’re aiming for.
Our personal recommendation is Magoosh because it offers the most comprehensive GRE prep materials and practice system.
Most students we’ve had feedback from have highlighted the easy-to-use platform as a major plus point because it allows them to study at any time and anywhere.
Set up your account today and see how big a difference it will make.