Updated April 22, 2018
What if I told you getting a good GRE score is not a tough task?
It sounds amazing, right?
All you need to do is follow the right GRE prep Material, and you will be able to prepare for GRE exam and get an excellent GRE score.
These GRE Prep Books won’t cost you thousands of dollars. You can get these prep study guides under $100. You can learn from the best GRE Prep Book and score high on your test.
But finding a “Good” GRE book isn’t that easy of a task. That is why I have created a list of the best GRE study material for 2017. After reading all these books carefully and researching, I have shortlisted top books which you can buy right now.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)
- 2 Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition
- 3 GRE Prep by Magoosh
- 4 GRE Prep Plus 2018: Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online + Video + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep)
- 5 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides) (#1 Bestseller Graduate school Guides)
- 6 The Official Guide to the GRE General Test
- 7 Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, Second Edition, Volume 1
- 8 Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions, Second Edition, Volume 1
- 9 Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests, 2018 Edition: The Strategies, Practice, and Review You Need for the Score You Want (Graduate School Test Preparation)
- 10 GRE Complete 2018: The Ultimate in Comprehensive Self-Study for GRE (Kaplan Test Prep)
- 11 500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)(#1 Top GRE book for Flashcards )
- 12 GRE Vocabulary Flashcards + App (Kaplan Test Prep)
- 13 GRE Math Prep Course (Nova’s GRE Prep Course)
- 14 GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)
- 15 Barron’s GRE, 22nd Edition: with Bonus Online Tests
- 16 Essential Words for the GRE, 4th Edition (Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE)
- 17 GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics- Book 1 (Test Prep Series) (Volume 1)
- 18 Best Gre Prep Book by Magoosh ( Absolutely Free !!! )
- 19 Wrapping it Up
The Manhattan GRE study guide sells a set of eight GRE textbooks designed by Manhattan Prep. Six of these books take care of the quantitative portion, and the last two address the verbal section.
This set of Six books is tailor-made for someone who wants to start his preparation from scratch and has absolutely no idea about the patterns of the GRE.
This GRE prep book teaches you each and every topic from the basic level, clearing any misconceptions. As a result, this is ideal for those who have been out of touch touch when it comes to quantitative portions.
The two verbal GRE study books are also good as they offer some excellent strategies. Although you won’t see a lot of questions in those guides for the verbal part, the strategies discussed are worth noting and can save some real time if effectively implemented.
All in all, this is one of the best preparation materials on the market. Cost-wise, it is slightly on the higher side, but provides a more comprehensive amount of material than most.
My rating: 4.5/5
This Official GRE super power pack bundle provides three books for Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Official guide to GRE.
These GRE Prep Books are created by the creator of GRE (ETS), so it is essential to have access to these materials. The Quantitative Reasoning book is filled with all the quantitative practice questions and answers. The difficulty level is almost same as that of the original GRE.
The Verbal Reasoning GRE prep Book contains real GRE questions that are sourced from previous versions of the GRE, providing readers with a good feel for the test. It also contains a CD-ROM, which includes a free GRE practice test. Some of the problems are overly complicated, so it will be hard to understand, but these books are a must-buy. Your GRE score will boost by using these books.
Using this book and the accompanying online program has been an excellent experience for me. It helped me to go from sweating about the test and dreading studying boring page after page to becoming a person who can commit to studying and understanding.
What immediately hits you is that this book provides down-to-Earth examples and spells everything out in plain English, so you can understand it easily. It doesn’t sound like it was written by your 5th-grade algebra teacher (snore). It has some of the best examples from the GRE and advice from expert test takers to go along with an awesome online course that makes studying fun. Overall it’s a perfect fit for someone who hates taking tests (who likes them anyway?). It isn’t perfect, but it’s great value for your money and perfect for someone who needs a simplified way of studying. Here’s what you will like and what might give you a headache if you’re a picky studier.
What I Love About This Book
This isn’t your typical GRE prep book, which drills you with questions until your brain turns to mush. Instead, it offers a practical guide to study and success. It puts you on the right track from the very start with a carefully thought-out study schedule which starts on the day you open the book and finishes the day you pass the test. It couldn’t get any easier! Here are some other unique ways this book will simplify your studies and prep you for the big test.
- Tips and FAQs– The first thing you need to know is what you’re getting into (“What?! I need to know math for this test?!”). Magoosh has compiled some of the top questions and answers from past test takers to calm your nerves and let you know exactly what to expect.
- Expert Questions from Expert Tutors– Once you have your bearings, they get straight into it with 130+ questions designed and analyzed by expert GRE tutors. Not only can you test yourself with the questions but they even provide in-depth explanations and statistics to help you measure the difficulty level (and your progress).
- Teaching, Not Just Testing– Yep, it’s time to end your post-grad couch potato phase and get learning again! Comprehensive chapters on all the parts of the test work to teach you what you need to know instead of just making you run the gauntlet of question after question. There’s even an extra chapter on the analytical writing category to turn your chicken scratch into Shakespeare.
- Practice (Testing) Makes Perfect– One complete practice test with answer key is provided and includes detailed explanations for all the answers. It’s just what you need to see if you’re ready for the real thing (as long as you check the answer key after taking the test!).
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What Didn’t Blow Me Away
As you can probably tell so far from the review, I think this book is fantastic, but in the spirit of leaving a balanced review, here are some things might leave you a bit less than thrilled.
- The Online Program Isn’t Included– The Magoosh online program is a companion to the book (and I’d highly recommend it), but it isn’t included with the book. The good news? The book comes with a coupon for 20% off the full online package.
- A Bit Light on the Questions– This book has fewer exam questions than some others, which might be a problem for you if you’re looking for a test prep book that just contains a ton of questions and a key.
Well, there are my thoughts on the Magoosh GRE Test Prep book. It may not be perfect, but for my money, there’s no better way to plan, study, and conquer the big test.
As a former tutor for the GRE test, I have been through dozens of prep and review books in my time. With that in mind, let’s review Kaplan’s most recent addition to the GRE prep book arena: GRE Prep Plus 2018.
Let’s start off with one of the most important features that this new edition adds. The 2018 GRE prep book will give you access to online tests that you can complete on your computer, tablet, or even mobile phone! I cannot stress how important doing an online test on a computer is going to be for your test success.
Unlike the SAT or any other standardized tests, the GRE will be taken at a test center on a computer. Being able to familiarize yourself with the test environment and testing method will pay off huge dividends on test day. It’s clearly written and laid out and will definitely provide you with the information you need to get ready for your test.
Overall, this textbook is amazing for anyone who wants to be really well prepared and is interested in taking a bevy of practice tests beforehand.
What I Love About This Book:
This book is an extremely well-guided piece that doesn’t bore you to death. Everything you learn along the way is applied in the online tests that are provided, which makes it much easier to retain the information.
• Multiple ways to learn the information – Kaplan understands that different people learn best through different mediums. Whether you prefer reading, watching, or even talking one-on-one, Kaplan has all those. Yes, that’s right, in addition to the book you are also given access to online videos that explain every facet of the test along with one-on-one tutoring with Kaplan teachers.
• Well Sorted Questions – The layout is extremely clean. Every question in the textbook is categorized, and more importantly, comes with a difficulty rating to help you practice.
• Tests on Tests – One thing you will not feel any need for, is more practice tests. You have access to banks of tests both in-book and online.
What Didn’t Blow Me Away
• Lacking in Math – I found the mathematics portion of the book to lack the in-depth teaching that the other sections offer. While it certainly does teach you all the techniques required for the GRE, it seems to rely on teaching it to you through rote memorization of formulas rather than a true understanding of the concepts in the problem.
While this may work well for 95% of problems, the GRE loves to try and throw you off your rhythm and not knowing the derivation of your formulas could easily to lead to time-consuming problems on the real test that were better avoided.
Overall though the Kaplan GRE Prep Plus book is one of the best GRE prep books that comes with an array of resources beyond just the physical book that would ensure the success of any test-taker no matter how you learn. Packing all those extras into the price of just one book means that it is a fantastic value that will assuredly pay for itself many times over.
5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides) (#1 Bestseller Graduate school Guides)
A comprehensive GRE study guide designed by Manhattan Prep. This GRE book has questions which cover both the verbal and quantitative part. At the end of the book, you have responses to a lot of AWA topics as well which is a bonus.
As far as the verbal part goes, this book is splendid when it comes to the Reading Comprehension part but a big NO if you’re looking for some solid practice for Text Completion and Sentence Completion. The words given in the question are abstruse and are not tested anymore in the latest GRE pattern. So, for the verbal section, just stick to the Reading Comprehension.
For the Quantitative part, this is probably the best GRE prep book you’ll get in the market. This textbook covers each and every topic as extensively as any book can and has brilliant explanations after the end of the questions too. In the end, you have a section of Easy, Medium, Hard questions too which should help you to judge as to where you stand.
There’s also an “Advanced Quant” section which is, of course, tougher than the real GRE, but if you’re looking for something above GRE just in case to be prepared for the worst, then you can practice that as well although, that’s completely your choice.
Overall, this book is perfect for quantitative practice but lacks when it comes to Verbal.
My Rating: 4/5
The GRE is designed by ETS ( Educational Testing Service ). So, when ETS comes up with a book, you have to follow it. This test prep book primarily contains all the conventions which you need to know for the GRE test. For the quantitative section, it has various subsections like Algebra, Geometry, Data Analysis, etc. which have all the theory which you need for the examination but the best part of this book is the AWA part. It has all the responses which will fetch you a score of 6,5,4,3 etc. So this gives you an idea as to what quality of writing ensures you a good AWA score which is vital.
My Rating: 4.5 /5
Aspirants complain about the difference in the level of questions which they encounter in the GRE compared to when they’re practicing from different sources. This book is the solution to all those problems. This GRE test prep book has 150 REAL GRE questions. Yes, REAL. All these questions have been taken from the experimental section which we encounter in the exam and have been categorized as “Easy,” “Medium” and “Hard.”
One of the best GRE prep books to prepare for verbal reasoning.
My Rating: 5/5
This book was also released by ETS recently keeping the new pattern in mind. Although, some part of it is the same as the main Official guide. But, the new 150 questions offered in this book are superb.
They are harder compared to the main official guide, and that’s how the new GRE will test you as well. Most of the questions test your concepts, so this book mainly prepares you for the exam in the best possible way which is why this is a must buy without an iota of thought.
My Rating: 5/5
Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests, 2018 Edition: The Strategies, Practice, and Review You Need for the Score You Want (Graduate School Test Preparation)
This GRE study guide is a pretty decent book which Princeton Review has come out with. The strategies given in this book are pretty useful. The drills after every new strategy are also very helpful. Level-wise, it’s the best GRE prep book in the market by any means, but if you’re just looking to learn strategies, then this might be the book which you would surely want to have a look at.
The Free GRE practice test provided with this book are nowhere close to the real GRE. The only good thing about these practice tests is that they do grade your AWA section, something which only Princeton does.
1) GRE Premier
2) GRE Math Workbook
3) GRE verbal WorkBook.
It also includes 6 Free GRE practice test + online DVD with excellent advice on how to tackle GRE test and graduate school admissions. This GRE study guide by Kaplan is a pretty handy one when it comes to Verbal preparation, but the type of questions they have for quantitative portion are pretty easy.
The real GRE Quantitative offers much more challenging questions. So, this book is a strict no if you’re looking to improve your quantitative section. The six practice tests provided with these books are again nowhere near the real GRE as the verbal section offers pretty tough questions, and the quantitative ones are pretty easy. So, it’s a total mismatch.
The six practice tests provided with these books are again nowhere near the real GRE as the verbal section offers pretty tough questions, and the quantitative ones are pretty easy. So, it’s a total mismatch.
My rating: 3/5
500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)(#1 Top GRE book for Flashcards )
This book has an excellent collection of GRE Vocab Flash Cards. There are a lot of aspirants who can’t memorize more than 500-600 words, so this book mainly covers all high-frequency words. A decent one to have if you’re running short on time or just want to keep the vocabulary part to 500 words. This study book is one of the best GRE prep book for vocabulary.
My rating: 5/5
I remember the long nights at the university library, sitting up making flashcard after flashcard on little blank notecards, catching an unintentional buzz from the fumes of my Sharpie, and for what? Just to sleep through the test the next day! Nope, nope nope. It’s time to move on to bigger tests and better prep, and that’s exactly what I’ve found in Kaplan’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards. The minds at Kaplan have combined the knowledge of GRE experts with intuitive design and an amazing companion app to provide the complete package for a price that can’t be beaten. So drop the note cards, put down the Sharpie, and let’s get into this review of GRE Vocabulary Flashcards.
What Makes These Cards Awesome
This set of flashcards might come in a small box, but as they say, good things come in small packages! The sheer amount of vocab, analysis, examples and more packed into this set is worth the price alone, but then when you experience how the app can take your studies on the go and simplify every aspect of the verbal category of the test, you’ll realize what a great deal this is. Here are some of the features that made me a believer.
- Tons of Words– The GRE is no walk in the park, so you’ll need to know some serious wordage for the test (and if you didn’t know that “wordage” is a real word, you may need these cards!). This set provides a whopping 500 cards, so it’s sure to be the only one you’ll need.
- Comprehensive definitions, descriptions, and more– Kaplan clears things up by providing not only a definition but also synonyms and full sentences using the word in context.
- Compact and Portable– These aren’t the flashcards your first-grade teacher used to hold up for the whole class to see. They are made with convenience in mind. Each card is about the size of a business card, so you can easily take a stack to the gym, store them in your bag, or even keep some in your wallet.
- An Amazing Companion App– The app is included with purchase and takes your studies to a whole new level. All the physical cards are also in the app along with innovative ways to categorize them and quiz yourself. For example, you can make different decks based on how difficult you find some words or on which words you’ve memorized and which you haven’t. All you need is a phone or a tablet and you’re ready to go.
A Possible Concern
- The Paper Quality– Some people might expect thick, laminated cards, but these are not. The quality is just fine for a typical study or work environment, but you might not want to take your cards on your cross-country skiing trip.
Kaplan’s GRE Vocabulary Flashcards might not be perfect, but they are certainly everything I needed to master my vocabulary needs for the test. I highly recommend this flashcard/app combo to anyone looking to start or augment their GRE studies.
This book is designed according to the old format of the GRE. You won’t see any numerical entry questions in this book but to be honest, that doesn’t matter as this GRE test prep book is undoubtedly the best when it comes to building your concept.
Each and every chapter starts with basic concepts and the questions are categorized as “Easy,” “Medium,” “Hard,” “Very Hard.” These four categories take care of every aspirant. For someone who’s aiming a 155/170 in Quant should only master Easy, Medium. For someone who’s aiming, 160-165 should learn Easy, Medium, Hard.
For those aiming a perfect 170 or a 167+ should take even the Very Hard section seriously because they have the kind of questions which you can expect in your 2nd part of Quant after you have done well in your 1st, thanks to the adaptive nature of the test. All in all, this GRE guide is just about perfect for someone who wants to build his concepts and then look to apply those in quality questions.
My Rating: 4.5/5
This GRE study guide probably has the best strategies for solving GRE Reading Comprehension section. Each and every type of Reading Comprehension questions have been taken care of in this book. This GRE preparation book doesn’t have a lot of questions but then the book was never meant for it. Also, at the end of this, you have many AWA sample in this book which gives you an idea as to how to approach the AWA section of GRE. The way they have structured their essay exactly the way you should write an essay.
My rating: 4/5
This GRE book by Barron is a pretty good one if you’re looking to building your base of knowledge for the GRE. The techniques provided to solve Quant and Verbal section are commendable.
But, the level of questions at the end of every topic are again not very challenging when compared to the real GRE. So, I would suggest this study material to those who are looking to build their base. Once that is done, then you can probably move onto some other book to practice questions.
My rating: 3.5/5
This GRE preparation book by Barron has 800 high-frequency words. The choice of words is pretty impressive and you’ll encounter the phrasing written in this book in the main GRE too.
The matching and sentence completion exercise for all the word lists helps you in retaining those words. A proper analysis of essential word roots is also done in this Gre preparation material which is a unique and useful feature. All in all, It is a best study material for someone who has time on his hand.
My rating: 4/5
This is a decent book that will teach you how to write test prep essay. You will be taught about how to think on both the side of an issue so you will get an accurate idea of how to write and formulate an essay from scratch. One negative of this book is that all the essays are written in the same style. So, you won’t be exposed to different styles of the essay.
In GRE you will get marks for your style also. The book does not have different essays for various GRE AWA scores. This book also doesn’t get into detail about what AWA scorers are looking for.
Best Gre Prep Book by Magoosh ( Absolutely Free !!! )
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Wrapping it Up
I hope you enjoyed our review of some of the best GRE prep books. You don’t need to buy all these books to ace GRE. Usually, 2-3 GRE books are more than enough. If you think any book should come with this list, or you need to review it by us, then do comment below.
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