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Peterson's Review

Monday, December 11th

2023 GRE Test Prep Company Reviews

Peterson's Review 1.5 Star Rating


1.5 Star Rating
  • $49/month access
  • $45/month for 3 months access (+90 minutes tutoring & essay review)
  • $39/month for 6 months access (+270 minutes tutoring & essay review)
  • 8 full-length GRE practice tests
  • Study guides integrated into practice tests
  • Flashcards included (total undisclosed)

Peterson's primary market is the military, as they have a series of contracts with the U.S. Government to provide test prep to service members. Military contracts seem to have done little for the quality of their product; even as Peterson's offers some of the cheapest test prep, it is also all-around unremarkable. Here's what Peterson's has to offer.

Simple offerings, a good sum of tests.

Peterson's offerings are simple, and include 8 full-length GRE practice tests, study guides integrated into said practice tests, an undisclosed number of flashcards, and complete answer explanations. Their pricing reflects the amount of time that these materials are available to you. Peterson's charges the following:

  • $49 for one month of access to the aforementioned materials
  • $45 per month for 3 months plus 90 minutes of tutoring and essay review
  • and finally $39 per month for 6 months of access plus 270 minutes of tutoring and essay review

Peterson's plans end up totalling $49, $135, and $234 respectively. While generally unremarkable, we appreciate that Peterson's offers 8 full length practice tests: a significant amount.

Poor value for the price

In regards to Peterson's offerings, they just aren't very impressive; at their higher end, the price ends up being comparable to more highly-rated companies on our list, even as the quality is not. And while Peterson's does include small amounts of tutoring in their more expensive plans, they do not list the credentials of their tutors, which is slightly off-putting.

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No refunds and exploitative auto-renewal

Peterson's does not offer any refund policy, and plans with Peterson's auto-renew unless you cancel them. On top of that, Peterson's terms of service state that you have to cancel your subscription 48 hours before it is up or you will be auto-billed for another one, three, or six months. As their policies state that they explicitly do not refund any unused months, their policies seem designed to trap unwary test-prep takers into accidentally overpaying for their subpar service.

Few reviews

As most of its customer base is likely military who receive the product for free, Peterson's GRE prep has few reviews. Even so, Peterson's has earned a "D-" from the Better Business Bureau, so those who do review Peterson's often do not have great things to say.

Not recommended (unless it's already free)

Unless you are accessing Peterson's through the U.S. military portal/contracts and are receiving the service for free, there is no reason to use Peterson's for your GRE test prep. Unless you're looking to be surprised with an automatically-renewing subscription that can't be refunded, we recommend you browse some of the more highly-rated GRE prep services on our list.

What's the Best GRE Prep Service Online?

It's a critical question, because if you're headed to graduate school, then the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is an infamous hurdle that you'll have to deal with one way or another. The GRE test plays a significant role in the admissions process for many graduate programs. It serves as a standardized measure that allows universities to assess applicants' academic readiness and potential to succeed in advanced studies.

For institutions, the GRE provides an objective tool to differentiate among applicants, especially when faced with a large pool of candidates. It helps in predicting how well students might perform in their initial year of graduate school, offering insight into their cognitive abilities and analytical thinking. Moreover, the GRE can assist in awarding merit-based scholarships, helping to allocate financial aid to deserving students.

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GRE Test Prep Company FAQ

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examinations. This is a standardized test required by many graduate schools in the US and Canada. The scores that a student receives on their GRE test play a role in whether or not they are accepted into a potential graduate program. Sometimes the GRE is taken multiple times until a satisfactory score is received.
The GRE tests students on critical thinking, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. An individual score is given for verbal reasoning (130-170), quantitative reasoning (130-170), and analytical writing (0-6). The test questions consist of multiple choice, numeric entry, and essay writing.
There are six total sections on the GRE exam. It usually takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test from beginning to end. For verbal reasoning there are two 30-minute sections, each containing 20 questions. For quantitative reasoning there are two 35-minute sections, each containing 20 questions. The third section is analytical writing with two separately-timed tasks. One asks you to analyze an issue and one asks you to analyze an argument. After the third section, there is an optional 10-minute break for test-takers to get refocused for the remainder of the exam. You may be asked to complete an unscored, research section at the end of the test.
Most people would agree that you can't cram for the GRE. If you do, you'll likely get an unsatisfactory score that reflects how little effort you put in. It is recommended that you heavily study for at least 4-12 weeks before attempting the GRE. Many test prep courses are designed to help you study over the course of a year, to make sure you are familiar with the material and are able to obtain a high score on your first try.
The cost for the GRE test can vary slightly year to year. Most recently, the fee was $213 for test-takers within the United States. If you are signed up to take the GRE and need to reschedule, you'll pay a fee of approximately $50 to have the exam administered at another time.
Many GRE test prep services offer some free resources to get you started with your studies. For tutoring services or monthly subscriptions to books, practice tests, flash cards and more, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000. Some of the most expensive courses include access to materials for a year or more and usually guarantee a certain test score. They include everything you need to succeed and feel confident when you take the GRE.
Not all test prep services offer the same study materials for the GRE. You'll find a mix of resources like practice tests, one-on-one tutoring, practice essay questions, vocabulary flashcards, diagnostic tests, strategy sessions, and more. The tools that you need to get a good score on the GRE are readily available through many different GRE test prep services.
If you are unhappy with your GRE score, you can retake it every 21 days. However, you are only allowed to take it 5 times within a period of 12 months. Taking the test multiple times will not hurt your chances of getting into graduate school, since you can choose to only submit your highest score.
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Continued from above...

The GRE consists of three key components: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. These components collectively evaluate an applicant's cognitive abilities, communication skills, and analytical prowess. Such a comprehensive assessment is crucial in identifying candidates who possess the skills necessary for advanced academic work. By incorporating both quantitative and qualitative aspects, the GRE offers a well-rounded perspective on an applicant's intellectual capabilities, and offers a common benchmark for comparing candidates from various academic backgrounds and cultures.

Many institutions allocate scholarships to outstanding students as a way to incentivize excellence and attract top talent. GRE scores can play a pivotal role in awarding these scholarships, as they offer a quantifiable measure of an applicant's potential contribution to the academic community. High GRE scores can bolster an applicant's eligibility for financial assistance, making higher education more accessible to deserving individuals.

As it stands, the GRE continues to play a pivotal role in many graduate school admissions. With that in mind, the following factors can help you evaluate GRE preparation plans to achieve the highest score possible:

  • Cost: Paying for GRE test prep services can range from affordable to very expensive. Personalized instruction and tutoring can focus on specific problem areas that you've identified, but this tailored approach may cost more than you want to spend. Self-paced learning systems are more affordable, but are more generalized and rely on your dedication to study on your own.
  • Score guarantees: Many GRE test prep companies offer score guarantees but place significant caveats around actually getting a refund through that guarantee. Usually it will include restrictions around setting a baseline score (you have to have already taken an official GRE or a proctored facsimile), and completion of all course materials (which is sometimes made artificially difficult). In short, be sure to read the fine print.
  • Time: Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to study. Many students start out by purchasing pricey test-prep packages, and then find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of work. Take stock of your schedule, and choose a mixture of free resources, self-lead test-prep, or time-intensive live-online/tutored classes accordingly.

Top Consumer Reviews has done the preliminary research for you, so if you're going to be taking the GRE, and are overwhelmed by the high price and bold claims of most test-prep options, don't worry. We've found the best, most highly rated, and most economical GRE test prep options for your consideration. Before you begin studying, take a moment to browse our curated list, and find the GRE prep that best suits your budget and your needs.

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