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Prep Scholar Review

Monday, December 11th

2023 GRE Test Prep Company Reviews

Prep Scholar Review 3 Star Rating

Prep Scholar

3 Star Rating
  • 7-day free trial
  • 1 year of access for $38
  • Lifetime access for $345
  • 150+ hours interactive strategies and lessons

Prep Scholar is a budget service that cuts some educational support and quantity of materials in order to offer a lower price for GRE test prep. At $38 for a year of access, PrepScholar is one of the lowest-cost services on our list.

Low cost... and surprisingly broad

At that price, you'll get all of the following:

  • 150+ hours of study materials
  • A diagnostic test that will help customize your study plan
  • 2,300 GRE questions
  • Two full length GRE practice exams
  • A progress-tracker for GRE skills
  • 300 question vocab course and math cheat-sheet
  • A grad school admissions guide
  • and a 7+ score improvement guarantee

We suppose you could pay $345 for lifetime access to Prep Scholar's materials, although the prospect of a lifetime's worth of GRE testing sounds more like a punishment than a plus.

Less materials than competitors

Prep Scholar's biggest drawback is that it only provides two GRE practice exams, where other companies' offer more study materials and practice tests. In addition, Prep Scholar does not have any kind of teacher or instructor support, even through email or chat, which helps explain the lower price.

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Guarantee caveat

On top of that, the caveat on their 7+ point guarantee is even stricter than other companies: instead of simply having to complete all homework and quizzes, you have to "achieve mastery" in the skills they define. As Prep Scholar is the one defining mastery here, and many customers have complained about the difficulty of meeting their goalposts, we would imagine there is some incentive to set the bar unfairly high.

Frequent (but addressed) customer complaints

When searching for reviews, customers frequently complain that they are charged for their product even after they attempt to cancel the free trial period. They appear to be responsive when customers complain, as evidenced by their participation on the Better Business Bureau website and their subsequent "A" rating. However, it would also appear that structurally customers are auto-charged after the free trial ends, which is certainly not ideal. In addition, Prep Scholar receives poor feedback from users on GRE-dedicated study forums, specifically citing unhelpful verbal assessment material.

Good for a budget, but not the best

If you are on a tight budget, and are choosing between GRE test prep options, then Prep Scholar is definitely a good way to access a wide range of pretty good materials. However, if you are able to afford test prep in the $100-$200 range, you would likely be better served with a more highly-rated service on our list that includes teacher/tutor support, more practice tests, or even more high-tech offerings.

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.

The Best GRE Test Prep Companies Compare GRE Test Prep Companies Compare GRE Test Prep Company Reviews What are the best GRE Test Prep Companies Best GRE Test Prep Company Reviews

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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