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- The GRE is similar to the SAT, testing your math and verbal skills for entrance to graduate school.
- Depending on how much time you have, there are self-paced and structured online prep courses.
- Below, find answers to FAQ and courses from Magoosh, Kaplan, The Princeton Review, and Udemy.
What is the GRE?
The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is a standardized test for admittance to graduate school, similar to the SAT or ACT for undergraduate college. It’s administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service) and offered year-round, including options for at-home testing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There are also two types of GREs: The general test and the subject test. The general test measures your critical thinking skills in math, English, and writing. Math and English scores, respectively, go up to 170, while the writing score is a max of 6, making the perfect GRE score 346.
GRE subject test scores, on the other hand, are sometimes asked for in addition to the general GRE, depending on the school. They test your knowledge in a specific subject and are available in Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. You can find free, downloadable PDF textbooks for each GRE subject test here.
How much does the GRE cost?
In the US, the fee for taking the test is $205. For a full list of the prices by region, you can look at the fees here.
How many times can I take the GRE?
According to the ETS, you can take the test every 21 days and up to five times in one year.
When should you start studying for the GRE general test?
According to Kaplan, leaving three or more months to study for the general GRE is the safest bet, though you could still fit in a good amount of prep in a month or less if you really commit. Ideally, though, you want to feel comfortable with the material to offset any test-day nervousness, according to US News.
General GRE prep:
GRE Webinars For Test Takers (ETS)
Length: 1 hour
Perfect for getting a rundown of what to expect if you’ve never taken the GRE before, this free, short webinar walks students through available GRE preparation tools and allows them to interact with a GRE representative.
GRE 1-Month Premium (Magoosh)
Length: 1 month
With one month of access, this course provides 1,400 questions and three practice tests, along with daily live classes and video lessons. It promises a five-point score increase and also lets you pause the plan if you need a break between cramming.
GRE Self-Paced Online Class (The Princeton Review)
If you want to dive right into practicing, this self-paced course offers over 61 drills, 8 practice tests, and 2,570 questions, on top of video lessons and interactive scoring that can be customized to look at factors like the topic, question type, and time spent on each problem.
GRE Prep Self-Guided Course (Kaplan)
Cost: $449; $699 for Plus (includes Math Foundations and Advanced Math)
Length: 180+ hours of online instruction and practice; 40+ hours live and recorded lessons
Split into eight sessions (five for mathematics and three for verbal/writing), this self-paced course provides seven practice exams with over 2,500 questions, as well as a simulated GRE test day to really get a feel for the experience. Once you sign up, you have six months of access to the course.
If you have 1-3 months to study:
GRE 6-Month Premium (Magoosh)
Length: 6 months
Like Magoosh’s one-month plan, this course guarantees a five-point increase (or your money back) and offers all the same content — 1,400 practice questions, three full practice tests, daily live classes, and videos. The only difference is that you have six full months of access to materials instead of just one.
GRE Prep Online Course (Kaplan)
Cost: $999; $1299 for Plus (includes Math Foundations and Advanced Math)
Length: 21 hours of live instruction, 40+ hours of additional live and recorded lessons (The Plus version includes 3 hours of one-on-one tutoring)
If you know you need structured classes to help you prep, Kaplan’s online course offers plenty of live and recorded lessons as well as the ability to ask questions privately while the class is in session (a team of instructors are there to help you).
GRE 162+ (The Princeton Review)
Cost: $2,049 for both Quantitative and Verbal; $1,499 for just Quantitative; $1,299 for just Verbal
Length: About 2 months
Promising a 162+ score for whichever section you choose to focus on (Quant, Verbal, or both), this course is broken up into 2.5 hour live classes, with eight full practice tests, 4,400 sample questions, and over 500 drills, so you can feel more confident under pressure. If your score doesn’t reach 162 (if your starting score was 156) or increase by six points (if your original score was below 156), your tuition will be refunded.
GRE 44 Hours Math Prep | Target GRE 330+ (Udemy)
Cost: $13.99 (Normally $79.99)
Length: 44 hours of video lessons
If you know math will be the biggest challenge for you, this course provides deep dives and explanations behind tricky GRE math questions, from linear questions and percentages to probability and geometry. Once you buy the course, you have lifetime access and can watch the videos at your own pace.
English Vocabulary – SAT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL (Udemy)
Cost: $11.99 (Normally $24.99)
Length: 1.5 hours of video
While not solely for the GRE, this course provides visual examples and explanations to help you remember over 100 commonly asked vocabulary words.