Find the Best GRE Prep Courses
Compare Reviews for Top GRE Prep Courses
|Kaplan Test Prep||Read 161 Reviews|
Kaplan has been offering students with standardized test prep solutions for over 75 years. In addition to other standardized tests, Kaplan offers over 150 hours of instruction from score-qualified instructors for the MCAT.
|Magoosh||Read 11 Reviews|
Magoosh provides GRE prep questions you can access via the Web or mobile app, with prep videos taught by experts and progress tracking through its smart review system. Access 200 GRE lessons and customized practice sessions.
|Manhattan Prep||Read 8 Reviews|
Manhattan Prep offers five different GRE prep options.You have the choice of private tutoring, live online and in-person expert-led courses, self-study video instruction and a one-day workshop, featuring live expert instruction.
|Stratus Prep||Read 9 Reviews|
Launched in 2006, Stratus Prep works to help individuals earn high scores on the GRE. Tutoring packages start with five hours of help and range up to 100 hours of instruction. Schedule a free consultation to get started online.
|Cambridge Coaching||Read Author Review|
Cambridge Coaching got its 2005 start with PhD candidates from Harvard University. Today, the company offers 90-minute GRE tutoring sessions, customizable tutoring packages, online GRE prep resources and free consultations.
|Manhattan Review||Read Author Review|
Founded in 1999 and run by Ivy League business school graduates, Manhattan Review offers private tutoring, and one-on-one and group classes for GRE prep. Choose live classes or take advantage of their free practice tests online.
|Parliament Tutors||Read Author Review|
Parliament Tutors' GRE prep takes place in your home. Choose from 10-, 24- and 32-hour GRE prep tutoring packages, and you can even ask your tutor for online tutoring hours. An academic advisor helps guide the process.
|PowerScore||Read Author Review|
In the business of test preparation since 1997, PowerScore offers a full range of GRE prep courses, tutoring and study guides. You can even sign up for admission consulting and take advantage of a free GRE math secrets seminar.
|The Princeton Review||Read Author Review|
The Princeton Review has been helping students prepare for tests for over 30 years. This company offers semi-private and group in-person GRE classes, live online classes and over 184 hours' worth of prep drills and practice.
Important GRE prep course features
Covers 6 sections
The GRE will have two sections on verbal reasoning, two on quantitative reasoning, one on analytical writing and an experimental section.
- Verbal reasoning: This covers reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence.
- Quantitative reasoning: Remember that this is no higher than 7th grade math, so there will be no calculus or trigonometry.
- Analytical writing: You will write two essays analyzing either an issue or an argument.
- Experimental: This section that isn't scored. You probably won't be able to identify it, but this is the experimental section. Normally, it will be another verbal or quantitative reasoning section, and it could pop up at any time.
Electronic versions of the test should adapt based on your right and wrong answers, just like the real test.
- Adaptive features: Adaptive features should vary by section, so you always start out with a clean slate as you move through the test.
- Scoring: The scoring mechanism should be as close as possible to the official ETS guidelines.
- Paper vs. digital: Paper tests won't prepare you for the real GRE's digital features. If you will be taking the paper test though, don't practice with electronic versions.
Mimics the GRE
Try to take the practice tests under conditions that are close as possible to the physical environment of the real test.
- Test Conditions: When you take the real electronic version of the test you'll be sitting in a booth staring at a screen for 3 hours and 45 minutes, with breaks between sections.
- Preparation: Your prep should prepare you for the physical aspects of getting tired or cramped while still maintaining your concentration.
Range of questions
One of the biggest differentiators is the sheer number of practice questions, from hundreds to thousands.
- Questions: Make sure the prep will never run out of questions and that it covers all the sections equally well.
- Scoring: The more questions you are able to successfully answer in the final test, the higher your score can go.
- Up to date: Make sure the questions are based on the most current GRE because it changes greatly from year to year.
In the past people bought a practice test and scored themselves. You need more accurate guidance on your weaknesses.
- Tutors: Look for a program or tutor who can tell you where you need to improve.
- Improvement plan: Make sure the prep can identify your weak areas and offer a plan for improvement.
- Computer programs: If mentoring with a personal tutor isn't possible, you can work with a detailed computer test to point you in the right direction.
Online or in person tests
Some students need the quiet focus and odd hours of online practice. Others only succeed with social support.
- Best option: Only the most competitive scores will help you get into your first choice graduate program. Even if you prefer to learn socially, be practical and choose what will deliver a better score.
- Pacing yourself: Remember that excelling in the GRE is really about pacing yourself to stay sharp all the way to the end of the test. Don't get distracted. The practice test and tutor should prepare you for this.
Types of GRE prep courses and study tools
Paper test prep
There are still parts of the world where paper GRE tests are necessary because there is no computer-based testing center nearby. Preparation for these tests should be done with the traditional workbooks that contain advice on question logic, full-length tests from prior years and advice based on wrong answers.
Nearly all test prep companies have a companion mobile version so that you can keep learning on the road. Though, mobile versions may not come with all the functionality of the desktop version.
Fully adaptive web-based programs are the closest simulation of the actual experience of taking the real GRE. Make sure your environment is conducive to quiet test-taking and that the practice tests respond with offers of advice on your weak areas.
These are instructor-led courses with varying class sizes, usually held in large metropolitan areas. You can take them in person, by recorded video or live in real-time with online streaming services.
Private tutors are often responsible for the largest improvements in testers' scores, simply due to all the dedicated personal attention. A motivational coach helps you control your emotional responses as well as showing you new test-taking practices. If you're not happy with your scores using one of the other methods, this is the next logical step.
Students who take GRE prep courses
This is the general public that simply wants a decent score. The goal is a decent showing in each of the 6 sections. These students may not have a lot of time to study or may not be over-concerned about their GRE scores because other parts of the admissions process may need more attention.
Many students are already in the working world when they decide to go to graduate school. Studying around work and family can be very stressful. Exam prep companies excel at solving these scheduling issues.
Repeat test takers
Everyone can improve their GRE scores through a good prep program. Many people tend to think that they can't improve their essay or math scores, but that's not true. Improving scores in weak areas is about predicting the questions, understanding how questions are constructed and eliminating distractions.
Students with test anxiety
Like any other test, the GRE comes with its own logic, and your job is to understand that logic through practice and analysis. Replace your old test-taking assumptions with new approaches and repeat them until they are habits.
High scoring students
Things get super-competitive at the top and one or two points can decide which program accepts you. Some exam prep companies specialize in incremental improvements at the high end. Remember that the GRE is not a test of knowledge, but of how well you can research and perform under pressure.
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Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
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