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For students hoping to get into specific schools and programs, their performance on the GRE is important. Having to retake this test for a higher score is both expensive and time consuming.
Each GRE test costs around $205 and scores are sent to the designated schools chosen by the student. Test takers will want to be prepared by reviewing all relevant content so they can be confident on test day and get a GRE test score that will open educational doors for them.
Wednesday, December 7th
The term "Magoosh" comes from an old Persian word "magush", which means one who is highly learned, generous, and wise. This cleverly-named GRE study site has been featured by many media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and WireAcademic for their excellent course content that has aided students taking the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, LSAT, and other big tests.
For anyone hesitant about paying for their services, Magoosh has a score guarantee that promises students will increase their GRE score by at least 5 points with the premium plan or they receive all of their money back. To get a really good idea of whether or not you want to commit to the full course content at Magoosh, there is a 7-day free trial that lets students test out their platform. If you like what you see, you pay for a full membership. If not, you move onto a different GRE test prep site that works better for you. It's a win-win!
2 GRE test plan options
For those who decide to buy a membership with Magoosh, there are two simple membership options to choose from. They include:
Both of the plans contain comprehensive coverage of math, verbal, and AWA. Basically, they go over everything you'll see on the GRE, so you can feel well-prepared and won't be surprised with what you see on test day. The plans are completely identical besides the length of time that a student has access to the program. If you are cramming, the one month premium course will save you a little bit, otherwise we recommend just going for the six month premium plan and having extra time to utilize all of the study content.
Straightforward and affordable
We are pleased that Magoosh has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We like that the two test prep plans for students are straightforward and affordable. The 7-day free trial is a great way for Magoosh to prove to students that they stand behind their service and know that they have a lot to offer.
People who have used Magoosh report that they did indeed increase their test score through clearly-explained concepts with Magoosh. This is definitely a good bet when it comes to studying for the GRE, and we recommend Magoosh for GRE test prep over any other site.
Target Test Prep is geared to help students improve their knowledge and score on the quantitative section of the GRE. They also offer private tutoring to students anywhere in the world over Skype or WebEx. Target Test Prep has users in 1,435+ cities all over the globe. There are many positive testimonials on their website from these users as well as other third-party sites that attest to the professionalism and effectiveness of the Target Test Prep platform.
$1 for 5 days
For just $1, students can try out Target Test Prep for 5 days to get a feel for the course and decide if they want to buy a full month (or longer) membership. Unlike some of their competitors, there is only one GRE course option for students to use, rather than multiple to choose from with different types of instruction and content. The three price options listed on the site vary due to the length of time that students have access to the material.
The least expensive GRE test prep program is the flexible preparation course for $99/month. The second option is called GRE Dedicated Study and costs $74.75/month ($299 total) for 4 months of access. The last plan is the GRE Maximum Learning Plan which comes out to $66.50/month ($399 total) for 6 months of access. At the time of this review, it showed that these were sale prices, however it seems that the "sale" is always going on and these are the standard prices.
GRE test prep program features
The GRE course offered by Target Test Prep includes the following:
Guaranteed score increase
The score guarantee promises that if a student's official GRE score does not increase after using Target Test Prep's course, they are able to receive a full refund. To qualify, a list of steps can be found on Target Test Prep's website. They include requiring the student to email in their first GRE score to the customer service team within two weeks of signing up for a course. Once the GRE is taken again, the new score also needs to be submitted within two weeks from receiving the test results. Every module of the course needs to have been completed before retaking the GRE in addition to the practice tests, example problems, reading material, and videos in order to qualify for the score guarantee.
1-on-1 tutoring available
The other option outside of purchasing a study course at Target Test Prep is to hire a one-on-one tutor for the quantitative, verbal, and integrated reasoning sections. The cost for a tutor is $300/hour and it is completely non-refundable. For specific questions on available tutors, we suggest you contact customer service directly.
Students speak highly
Overall, Target Test Prep is an impressive place to find study assistance for the GRE. Students who have used their services speak highly of the results. We like that the pricing is flexible depending on how long students want access, because it opens doors for more people to be able to use their materials.
The Princeton Review has been around for over 35 years. In that time, they have been offering test prep materials for students taking exams such as the GRE, TOEFL, ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, DAT, and others. K-12 students have opportunities to work one-on-one with tutors to get help with AP tests and review their class materials. The Princeton Review is known for being costly, but they have highly-recommended test prep courses that are worth the money.
Since The Princeton Review is considered an expensive GRE test prep site, we recommend the self-paced course for $399. The next least expensive option is $899, which will be more than many students are willing or able to spend.
4 GRE study programs
The four GRE study options and their prices for students include:
The GRE Quant 162+ course guarantees a score of at least 162+. This score (or higher) makes students competitive because 162.6 is the average accepted student's GRE quant. If a student goes through this entire course of 25 hours of instruction, one-on-one personalized study manager, and the 3,600 GRE exam-style questions and still does not achieve a score of at least 162, they will receive a full refund for the course.
Great customer reviews
The Princeton Review has a satisfactory A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Almost all customers who have used the platform have great things to say about their services and final GRE performance. Students say there is plenty of information through videos, text material, practice questions, and lectures to cover all the concepts on the GRE. Students also say that their GRE scores improved after using The Princeton Review, which is a great sign of their effectiveness.
One of the best
The biggest issue we can identify for students using The Princeton Review is the cost. However, the self-paced course might be the most reasonably priced option for everything that is included. If you want to try The Princeton Review, but don't want to pay nearly $1,000, the self-paced option is a good way to go. The Princeton Review has expert instructors and a thorough amount of concepts they cover to get students well-prepared for what they will see on the GRE. They are one of the best options for anyone willing to spend some money for GRE test prep.
The idea for Manhattan Prep came about in 2000 when Zeke Vanderhoek, a Teach For America alumnus and Yale graduate, wanted to find better resources for students studying for tests such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT/ACT, and EA. Vanderhoek started scouting the best teachers for course studies. His goal was to have the best and most accomplished educators in order for students to achieve academic success.
Teachers who work for Manhattan Prep have scored in the 99th percentile in whatever test they are instructing for. We like the idea of such high-quality test prep services, but we wish they made it easier to see exactly what was offered on their platform and how much each option costs.
Manhattan Prep has reached over 1 million students, taught over 16,000 classes, sold over 1 million books, and served over 190 countries. Their four courses range from $199 - $1,399, so they are one of the more expensive GRE test prep services. Students do have the ability to try out the first 15 lessons of the GRE prep courses that Manhattan prep offers for free. This way, a student gets to feel more comfortable with their decision to purchase the full course if they choose to.
4 GRE test prep options
There are four options for GRE study materials at Manhattan Prep. They include:
In addition to signing up for one of the courses listed, students have the option of paying for a private tutor to go over specific areas of weakness and set individual goals. The cost for this is between $225 and $255 per hour depending on how many hours are needed. Another paid option for students needing a refresher in a specific area would be the Foundations of Math GRE course for $199. This includes 6 hours of instruction, and a big. book of practice problems, the official guide to the GRE, 6 online practice tests, and a syllabus. Students will choose from the available schedules and tune into the online lectures.
Manhattan Prep not only provides paid study plans, but you'll be happy to know that there are some freebies to take advantage of as well. There is a free GRE practice test, GRE flashcards to help with vocab skills, a mobile app for on-the-go studying, and study guide plans. Although these aren't all that would be required for succeeding on the GRE, they are sure to give a taste for the full Manhattan Prep platform as well as some added assistance for students dipping their toes into GRE test prep.
We really like that all the instructors at Manhattan Prep are extremely qualified. The fact that all instructors scored in the 99th percentile on the GRE means they will have much knowledge to impart to students as well as tips and tricks for getting a good score.
Enthusiastic student reviews
Students have great things to say about the instructors, course material, and their performance after using the GRE test prep from Manhattan Prep. There is almost nothing negative to be found about their services, which is unusual for any company. We are very surprised to find that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) only gave Manhattan Prep a D+ rating. Typically, we would be leery of a company with such a low rating, however the customer satisfaction makes us quite confident in Manhattan Prep. At the time of the review, the BBB low rating was the result of 1 bad unanswered complaint related to a customer who bought the material used. Regardless, Manhattan Prep has earned one of our highest ratings among GRE test prep services.
Kaplan has GRE prep courses, practice questions, or one-on-one tutoring for over 80 different kinds of tests. In addition to the GRE, Kaplan's services help students studying accounting, medicine, information technology, cyber security, interior design, architecture, insurance, and many other important topics. Kaplan's services are used in over 36 countries by 2 million+ students each year.
7 GRE study programs
When preparing for the GRE, students can choose from one or more of the following study options:
Plenty of GRE material
All Kaplan courses for the GRE include over 180 hours of instruction and practice material for members. There are over 7 full-length computer-based practice tests, access to video lessons, 5,000+ practice questions, up-to-date GRE books, and an official test day experience. No doubt students who fully immerse themselves in what is offered at Kaplan will improve their test scores.
Guaranteed higher score
As the GRE is modified every few years, the Kaplan study course adapts to these changes to keep their content relevant to the most updated test. Kaplan guarantees that you'll get a higher score on your GRE if you are taking it again after becoming a first-time Kaplan student. If you don't score higher than your baseline proctored exam score or official test score, they will either let you continue using their platform for free or give all of your money back. This should be reassuring for students paying a lot of money to use Kaplan's program.
We were concerned to see that Kaplan only has a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The main reason for this seems to be that there are complaints from students that paid money and adjusted schedules for live and/or in-person test prep classes that were later cancelled due to low class enrollment. However, if we just look at Kaplan's course material and the reported effectiveness, they receive overall great responses from students who found success here.
Our main reason for giving Kaplan an average rating is that we found them to be more expensive when compared to other services that have GRE test prep courses. If you have other resources you can use for GRE material before taking it your first time, that might be a better starting place. If you've tried other GRE study programs that you are disappointed with, we definitely see value in the Kaplan experience. If you need to improve your GRE score and aren't concerned about the cost of their services, Kaplan is a good place to go.
GREMax is operated by a company named TestMax Inc, which was founded in 2010. This company not only offers GRE prep materials, but also study help for the LSAT and Bar exam. Their platform operates on a mobile app that can be downloaded for free from either the App Store or Google Play. This allows students to study on-the-go from wherever they are.
App organized efficiently
The features on the mobile GREMax platform include 1,000+ practice questions with detailed concept explanations, and over 4,000 GRE vocabulary flashcards. The app is divided into four sections: verbal, vocab, writing, and quantitative. Within each category are sub-categories that are further divided into individual lessons, mentor exercises, and drills. There is much to be learned from this simple and straightforward app.
For each section of the app, there are a few study options that are free. For example, in the verbal category, there are 15 lesson examples, 6 mentor exercise examples, and 6 drill questions. This gives students who downloaded the app for free an idea of how all of the materials look and work. To unlock full access to the app, there is a $9.99 monthly subscription or $19.99 fee for a 6-month subscription. This is extremely affordable for such easy access to GRE study material.
Track your progress
As you go through all of the lesson material, you can view your progress on your account. It shows how many questions you've answered and how close you are to your goals. Students get to choose their own daily goals of how many questions between 1 and 50 they want to accomplish. Lesson progress helps students see how far they've come and stay motivated to make it all the way through the practice questions, flashcards, and drills. There is also an analytics feature that gives you a quick overview of your performance on each section to see how well you're doing overall and what areas you need to work harder in.
Not much student feedback
TestMax Inc. receives an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, which is great. The GREMax prep app has 4.5/5 stars in the app store, however it only has feedback from one user. This user reported over a year ago that the app had glitches and errors that caused the app to crash periodically. Hopefully, since some time has gone by since this was an issue, the app is updated and no longer has these problems. If you do run into issues, the GREMax GRE prep site has both an email address and phone number to reach customer support.
Bits and pieces
Some of the other GRE test prep sites out there have full-length practice tests for students, which we see as a huge benefit. This app is meant to be more simple and give quick bits of information to users as they squeeze in their studies here and there. Although we like the idea of such a convenient GRE study app, more serious students might want more extensive material that gives them a feel for what the actual GRE will be like. GREMax is extremely affordable, so we recommend trying it out in addition to any other platforms you choose to use for studying for the GRE.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test required for admission for many graduate schools in the U.S. and Canada. It was first established in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Essentially, the score that a student receives on the GRE measures the student's readiness for graduate or business school.
In this 3 1/2-hour test, students are tested on their abstract thinking skills in the areas of vocabulary, mathematics, and analytical writing. The test scores are sent to graduate schools to help them with admission decisions. Students are assessed in their algebra, arithmetic, geometry, grammar, and multi-source data analysis skills. The GRE is a long test, so it's not something that students will want to have to retake multiple times.
The best way to secure a high GRE score is to study all the relevant content ahead of time so you know what to expect. This might come in the form of watching videos, working with a tutor, taking practice tests, and answering practice questions. There are many online resources that offer all of these things specifically for students taking the GRE. Most of these programs come at a cost, but it will be worth it when you receive a satisfying test score.
There are a few GRE test prep services to choose from out there. Before buying a membership for one of them, we suggest you keep the following criteria in mind:
To help you find the best GRE test prep service, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of options. We hope this information helps you feel confident and successful when you take the GRE!
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