The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a standardized test created and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The GRE is taken by students as a requirement to get into many graduate school and business programs in the United States and Canada. Graduate and business school admissions committee reviews your GRE score in addition to other metrics to assess your readiness for grad school programs.
We reviewed the top GRE prep courses based on cost, variety, and quality of study materials, student support, and more to help you find the right one to help you ace your exam. Here are our top picks.
Best Overall : Magoosh
Why We Chose It: Our choice for the best overall GRE prep course is Magoosh because of its affordable prices, solid score increase guarantee, and 24/7 student email support.
24/7 email support
Score increase guarantee
Strong customer service
No live tutoring option
No essay evaluation
Magoosh is our pick for the best GRE prep course because it offers a breadth of helpful study materials at an affordable price point. Magoosh was founded in 2009 in Berkley, California, and offers a variety of test prep courses. Today, Magoosh has served more than 1.5 million students.
Magoosh offers a premium six-month GRE prep course plan for $179 and a one-month plan for $149. Both courses include comprehensive coverage of math, verbal, and analytical writing, video lessons, over 1,400 practice questions, up to three practice tests, and a study schedule. Both courses also offer a total score guarantee of five points or more and a seven-day free trial.
The Magoosh prep course is delivered completely online. You can study anytime, anywhere on an Android or iOS mobile device or a Mac or PC computer.
One of Magoosh’s best features is its 24/7 email support for students. If you have a question at any point 24/7, you can email a qualified instructor for help. If you need help staying on track, you can also take advantage of Magoosh’s custom study schedules and study checklists that will help you stay motivated.
Best Course Selection : Manhattan Prep
Why We Chose It: Manhattan Prep wins our spot for the best GRE option for course selection because of its wide variety of GRE courses as well as one, three, and six-month course terms.
Wide course selection
Textbooks delivered to you
No score increase guarantee
Course is non-refundable
If you are looking for a more personalized GRE study prep experience, Manhattan might be your answer. We chose it as the best GRE prep for course selection because it offers an impressive roster of courses which are divided into instructor-led options and self-guided options.
Of the instructor-led options, you can sign up for Manhattan Prep’s Complete Course for $1,399 which includes live online instruction for both verbal and math content. If you feel like you have a good handle on the verbal section but need some extra help with math, you can sign up for the GRE Just Math Course for $799 or the Foundations of Math Course one-day review for $199. MBA students can also look into the GRE for MBA Course for $1,599 which includes nine live sessions that focus on advanced math.
The self-guided Interact for GRE options gives you a choice of one month of access for $299, three months for $399, or six months for $499. Manhattan Prep also offers monthly financing options if you’d like to break up your payments. If you’re interested in one of Manhattan Prep’s self-guided options you can sign up for a free seven-day trial, or you can sign up to try a live online course for free.
Best In-Person : Kaplan
Why We Chose It: The winner of the best in-person GRE prep course is Kaplan because it provides a traditional classroom environment that is supplemented by live teacher-led lessons on Kaplan's GRE channel six days per week.
Wide selection of courses
Score increase guarantee
Seven full-length practice exams
Live and on-demand lessons
Expensive course pricing
We chose Kaplan as our pick for the best in-person GRE prep course because of the great blend of in-classroom student-teacher experience which is supplemented by Kaplan’s live and on-demand lessons.
As of March 2021, Kaplan has paused its in-person classes and is offering live online courses for the time being.
Kaplan offers a variety of course delivery options including self-guided, online, and live online. The self-guided course starts at $499 and includes over 180 hours of online instruction and practice, over 40 hours of exclusive live and recorded lessons on Kaplan’s live GRE Channel, as well as seven-full length, computer-based practice exams, access to over 2,500 questions, and the most up to date GRE prep books.
Kaplan’s online course starts at $999 and includes 21 hours of live instruction, access to a private chat where you can ask instructors questions during class, and access to the GRE Channel. The live online course starts at $1,199 and includes 21 hours of core classroom instruction in addition to everything in the self-guided and online options. For an additional cost, you can also include add-ons that provide extra math help or one-on-one tutoring.
Kaplan also includes a higher score guarantee. If you don’t increase your score, then you can choose to continue your prep for free or get your money back. If you want to take Kaplan for a test drive before committing, sign up for a free GRE live online trial class.
Best Score Increase Guarantee : PrepScholar
Why We Chose It: With one of the best score guarantees in the industry (an increase of seven points or your money back), PrepScholar was an easy choice for the best score increase prep course.
Seven point increase score guarantee
Five-day all-access free trial
Personalized scoring of four AWA essays
PrepScholar was our choice for the best GRE prep course for score increase guarantee because it offers one of the best guarantees in the industry. If your score doesn’t improve by at least seven points on your next GRE, then you get 100% of your money back.
In addition to its great score increase guarantee, PrepScholar also offers a five-day all-access free trial that lets you try out every aspect of the PrepScholar course before committing to the program. The school also offers an all-in-one prep course experience which means there is no need for additional books or tutors.
PrepScholars all-access course includes over 150 hours of interactive lessons and strategies, a guided and customized study plan, personalized scoring of four Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) writing essays, access to thousands of GRE questions, two official full-length practice exams, and more. The all-access course is regularly $398 but as of March 2021 is on sale for only $38.
You can also choose from its lifetime option which is regularly priced at $848 but is on sale for $345. At this price, you get unlimited access to all of the course materials. Be sure to check the website to get the most up-to-date and accurate pricing information.
Best for Student Support : The Economist GRE Tutor
Why We Chose It: The Economist GRE prep course is our choice for the best student support because its Genius Plan offers students unlimited access to ask tutors questions and also offers three live one-on-one tutoring sessions and six expert essay reviews.
Up to six AWA essay reviews
Score increase guarantee
Free three-month subscription to Economist
Six-week Express plan lacks features
The Economist GRE prep course was an easy choice for best student support because of the amount of one-on-one support that students get access to within the plan. Many GRE prep courses offer additional tutoring, but it usually comes with a hefty cost. While you can still purchase additional tutoring, each plan includes some tutoring support.
The Economist’s Express plan is a six-week program and costs $349. This course offers full access to all quantitative and verbal materials, three full ETS practice tests, two expert essay reviews, and the ability to ask a tutor 50 questions. The Premium plan is offered for three months for $489 and also includes a six-point score improvement guarantee, access to four practice tests, four essay reviews, and 100 ask-a-tutor questions.
Finally, the Genius plan is for a six-month term at a cost of $699. It has a seven-point improvement guarantee, five practice tests, six essay reviews, three live tutoring sessions, two expert assessments, and unlimited ask-a-tutor questions. Each plan also comes with a three-month Economist digital subscription. Before committing, you can try The Economist GRE prep course for seven days with no commitment.
Best Intensive Option : The Princeton Review
Why We Chose It: The Princeton Review is our pick for the best Intensive GRE prep course because of its GRE 162+ course which promises maximum results in a minimum amount of time.
162+ score increase guarantee
Over 4,400 questions
No mobile app
Those who are looking to achieve a high score on the GRE should consider the Princeton Review prep course. It is our choice for the best intensive GRE prep course because it guarantees a score of 162 or higher which can help students get into some of the nation's top schools.
The Princeton Review GRE 162+ course guarantees students with a starting score of 156 or above a score of 162 or higher on the GRE. This course is available online and regularly costs $2,299 but as of March 2021 is being offered at a sale price of $2,049 and includes over 45 hours of live instruction, access to over 4,400 drills and practice questions, and eight full-length practice tests.
If you just want to focus on your quantitative or verbal score, you can sign up for the GRE Quant 162+ Guaranteed for $1,499 or the GRE Verbal 162+ Guaranteed for $1,200. You can also choose to add on personalized tutoring for a cost of $156 per hour.
The Princeton Review also offers its Fundamentals course, regularly $1,199, but as of March 2021, it's on sale for $1,099. It includes 24 hours of expert-led live instruction,180 hours of total instruction and practice, 3,500 practice questions, and 470 online drills. The Self-Paced course is also available for a regular price of $499 and a sale price of $399 with access to eight practice tests, over 60 online drills and interactive lessons, and a total of 2,570 practice questions. Check the website for the most current and accurate course pricing.
The Princeton Review has been in the business of test-prep for over 35 years and has an impressive reputation. It claims to have helped 96% of its students improve their grades, placing 80% of its students into their top college, and facilitates 5,000 on-demand tutoring sessions per school night.
Best Value : Achievable
Why We Chose It: The Achievable GRE prep course wins as our top choice for the best value because of its $199 all-inclusive price tag and impressive features.
10 full-length practice exams
Online student community
Limited video content
Limited instructor support
Founded in 2016, Achievable is a new kid on the prep course playground that’s gaining in popularity. Its mobile-friendly platform, online student community, and affordable price make it our pick for the best value GRE prep course.
Achievable is designed for people who are on the go and have limited time to fit in studying in between their other commitments. Its all-inclusive GRE prep course option is just $199, offered exclusively online, and presented on an easy-to-use dashboard which includes an online textbook, full-length practice exams, and prompted essays.
Achievable also provides students with a limitless supply of quantitative practice problems and takes an “adaptive learning” approach to GRE study. This means that as you study, the system learns about you and creates a personalized study program to suit your strengths and weaknesses.
Achievable also offers an evaluation tool based on the GRE grading rubric which provides students with immediate, individualized, and unlimited feedback on their essays. If you feel like you need additional support during the course, you can also reach out for private tutoring help. You can also try Achievable and for free for five days; no credit card is required.
The GRE prep course that is right for you will depend on your style of learning, timeline for studying, and level of support you require. If you’re looking to the future and value an in-person classroom experience, check out Kaplan’s course offerings. For those wanting strong student support resources, Economist Tutor is a worthy choice. If your goal is to achieve a high score and get into a top school, consider The Princeton Review 162+.
Another course with a solid score increase guarantee is PrepScholar. For busy students looking to fit in study sessions while on the go, check out Achievable’s mobile-friendly and affordable course. Finally, Magoosh is our choice for the best all-around GRE prep course because of its 24/7 student email support, broad database of questions, and reasonable price point.
|Course Provider||Wins For||Cost||Course Length|
|Magoosh||Best Overall||$149–$179||1 or 6 months|
|Manhattan Prep||Best Course Selection||$199–$1599+||Varies by course|
|Kaplan||Best In-Person Course||$499–$2299||Varies by course|
|PrepScholar||Best Score Increase Guarantee||$38–$345||Over 150 hours|
|Economist GRE Tutor||Best for Student Support||$346–$369||6 weeks to 6 months|
|The Princeton Review||Best Intensive Option||$399–$1099+||Varies by course|
What Is the GRE?
The Graduate Records Examination is a standardized test created and administered by the Educational Testing Service. The GRE is taken by students as a requirement to get into many graduate school and business programs in the United States and Canada. Graduate and business school admissions committees review GRE scores in addition to other metrics to assess a student’s readiness for graduate school.
How Do GRE Prep Courses Help You Prepare for the Test?
A GRE prep course can help you prepare for the test by providing structured study plans, a wide variety of practice questions, as well as full-length practice tests. A GRE prep course can also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can direct your attention where it is needed most. Many GRE prep courses also offer one-on-one tutoring which can be helpful for students who require additional support.
Is a GRE Prep Course Worth It?
A GRE test prep course can be very beneficial for students. While it is totally possible to study and prepare on your own, many students prefer a more structured study environment.
A good GRE course can help to keep you motivated and on schedule. Additionally, many GRE prep courses offer score increase guarantees. If you participate in all of the course work, show up to all of the lessons, and your test score doesn’t improve, then you can either retake the course for free or get your money back. The exact terms of the guarantee will depend on the specific prep course you take.
How Much Do GRE Prep Courses Cost?
The cost of a GRE prep course varies based on the provider, the length of the course, and whether or not you sign up for one-on-one tutoring. You can find free online prep courses through providers like 800 Score while some of the more expensive courses offered by The Princeton Review will cost you more than $2,000.
Many courses offer monthly payment plans that can be paid in installments of three, six, or 12 months. You can also look for discounts or savings codes to reduce the cost of the course you are interested in.
We evaluated 10 different GRE prep courses before selecting our top picks. We considered factors such as cost, style of delivery, score increase guarantee, breadth of study materials, quality of instructors, student support, and student reviews. We also considered whether the GRE prep course offered personalized essay scoring and if it has a free trial period before committing.
All of our top choices are easy to use and offer comprehensive GRE prep, online learning options, and additional support and tutoring.