Are you searching for the best GRE prep books? Check out our list of top rated study guides that we have hand-picked and read the reviews to see what our reasons are for thinking that these are the most effective study guides for preparing for the GRE test. You might also want to check out the overview we have provided on the best GRE preparation courses.
- Practice Questions
- Full Practice Tests
- Progress Tracking
- Mobile App
- Manhattan Prep GRE 8 Strategy Guide Set
- Manhattan Publishing
- Paperback / Online Program
- The Official GRE Super Power Pack
- McGraw-Hill Education
- 600+ Real Practice Exam Questions
- Paperback / CD
- GRE Complete 2017
- Kaplan Publishing
- 6 Full-Length
- Paperback / DVD / Online Program
- Cracking the GRE Premium Edition
- Princeton Review
- 6 Full-Length
- Paperback / Online Program
- Barron's GRE, 21st Edition
- Barron's Educational Series
- 6 Full-Length
- Paperback / Online Program
GRE Test Prep Book Reviews
Manhattan Prep GRE 8 Strategy Guide Set
Comprehensive doesn’t even start to describe the content that the Manhattan Prep GRE Set provides. Eight individualized guides are offered for each of the major topics that the GRE tests. The set is in its revised 4th edition currently – and offers a wide range of strategies and information in addition to six online practice tests.
However, since each topic is covered in a separate book, the guidance and information that is provided doesn’t feel too overwhelming. The following topics are included in the eight books: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence; Reading Comprehension Essays; Word Problems; Quantitative Comparisons and Data Interpretation; Number Properties; Geometry; Fractions, Decimals, and Percents; Algebra.
Due to the vast quantity of content that these eight guides contain, the set can’t help last minute crammers very much. However, for those with the dedication and time to devote to the GRE, it’s one of the best and most useful GRE preparation book sets.
The Official GRE Super Power Pack
Although it won’t win any awards for being able to provide sophisticated techniques and tips on writing on the GRE, having access to ETS materials is still essential which are the GRE’s official writers.
The discounted bundle is comprised of the Official Guide to the GRE along with two books full of GRE practice questions that are authentic for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning section. It offers a very good introduction to the GRE test, and the books also offer expert commentaries from individuals who grade the actual GRE, detailed examples for real answers that test takers provide and lots of practice. Also, the set, along with the CD-ROM that accompanies it, offers four GRE practice tests that are very authentic.
However, test-takers should be aware of the fact that the set doesn’t provide very many tricks or tips on writing the exam. Also, some of the explanations provided are difficult to understand and overly complex. That means that supplemental material such as other study guides is needed. However, given their authenticity and official nature, these books should be invested in and easily made our best GRE preparation book list.
2016 Kaplan GRE Complete
GRE Complete is now offered by Kaplan. It has been designed as a comprehensive test preparation system.
Kaplan’s top three GRE preparation books are included in GRE Complete 2016: GRE Verbal Workbook; GRE Math Workbook and GRE Premier. Combined, thousands of practice explanations and questions are provided. Test-takers are also provided with online access to a GRE Quiz Bank that is customizable and contains more than 1,000 questions; online study plans; five GRE adaptive practice tests stimulating the real test; and a DVD containing advice and information on graduate school applications and test-taking.
The highly rated GRE Premier book is the hart of the set. It is written in an easily digestible format. The main strength of the book is the testing writing strategies that it provides that are very easy to employ, along with the full-length practice test (which is on top of the 5 other tests offered by the set), and a multitude of practice materials.
This study companion is rich in features and excellent overall and is offered at an amazing value. The combination of online tools, DVD, question bank and top books provides for GRE preparation that is highly effective. With its iPad download and study resources that are mobile-enabled, the set is ideal for studying when you are on the go as well.
Cracking the GRE 2016 Premium Edition
Cracking the GRE 2016 Premium Edition by Princeton Review is a comprehensive and solid foundational book. It provides a general overview of the GRE test along with general strategy lessons and individualized strategies and tips for each of the test’s sections. Access to video tutorials online is also included in the book along with advice and two GRE full-length practice tests and detailed explanations. The book also offers access to downloadable study guides, four more online resources, and other resources as well.
As in earlier editions, in general, the main strength of the book is the explanation it provides of the test’s verbal section. However, explanations for the math sections are often insufficient or too simplistic.
With the exceptions of the weaknesses in the math section, this book is easy to understand, well written and highly effective at helping students gain confidence in their test taking abilities.
The Barron’s GRE is available currently in a newly revised edition and a highly comprehensive book offering individualized strategies and coverage for each of the GRE’ sections (Quantitative, Analytical, and Verbal).
This guide also offers two model tests and diagnostic tests along with detailed answer explanations. Readers are also provided with free access to the Online GRE Course offered by Barron, which has such features included as a GRE study iPad app, additional practice questions, quizzes, and video tutorials.
Although the actual book might not be as easy to read as some of the other best GRE preparation books on our Top 10 list, for those who have a decent basic knowledge already of the skills being tested will be able to benefit from the approach the book takes to mastering the more difficult questions.
Others That You Should Consider
Gruber’s Complete GRE Guide (2015)
This GMAT preparation book’s author is Dr. Gary Gruber, a standardized testing expert who early on was motivated to perform analysis on test-taking techniques (re received an IQ test score that was below normal as a child, which he was able to improve dramatically later on).
Although a comprehensive GRE study guide is offered by Gruber that aims to cover each of the test’s sections, the main strength that it offers is how the GRE’s quantitative section is approached. A thorough discussion is offered along with practice problems for all of the possible quantitative questions (which include area, rate, geometry, fractions and algebra problems). Mastery of math is clearly what Gruber’s focuses on.
If you want to give your studies an added boost, you will want to be ware that Dr. Gruber is the founder as well of Gruber Prep, which is an innovative GRE prep online platform that claims it can help you improve your score.
Nova GRE Math Preparation Course
This book focuses on the GRE’s Math section only. It does a great job of breaking the constitutive elements down on the Math portion of the test.
One important thing that the book does is categorize each of the various kinds of math questions into sections of their own, like Graphs, Averages, Geometry, Fractions, etc. The makes it possible for the test taker to focus really on building their skills up for each kind of math question.
What is even better is this book breaks sample problems down into difficulty levels of Very Hard, Hard, Medium and Easy, which allows the test taker to work their way up the chain of difficulty slowly.
Although it would be nice if this guide offered more advice on strategy and tips, as well as how to avoid traps, this is overall one of the finest GRE books, and is a must have for mastering the Math section of the test.
Standardized Tests Cliff Notes Math Review
Are you worried about the math portion on the GRE test? Well, you don’t need to be, with this nearly 500 page manual of math help.
The Cliff Notes, in addition to having sections devote to every kind of math problem you could possibly run across on the GRE, it also provides a strategy that is well thought out on mastering this book’s extensive contents. The book offers a diagnostic test to test takers that have been designed to be taken in the very beginning to help highlight weak area. Then test takers will be able to focus on the areas they have problems in.
This book is very thorough and helps with building math skills up from the ground floor. This is definitely a purchase you need to make.
GRE For Dummies and Online Practice Tests
Typical of the Dummies books, this one is written in an engaging and easy to understand style. It provides a great review of all of the GRE’s components. It also now comes with full-length GRE online practice test as well as practice questions.
The difficult level for some practice questions could definitely be higher. However, this is a fun and solid book overall and is among our top GRE preparation books list.
Essential Words for the GRE by Barron
This book is an essential tool to help you with increasing your vocabulary. Itoffer an extensive 800-word list that includes the words that most frequently occur on the GRE test. It also provides instructions for learning common prefixes and roots as a way of deciphering unknown and new words; a pretest highlighting areas of weakness; word list definitions, along with practice tests for confirming the test taker’s comprehension of the new words.
The books are usefully organized into 10-word units, which makes it manageable to learn 800 new words, which might at first appear to be an insurmountable task.
We highly recommend this books as it is among the best GRE preparation books for testing the Verbal Reasoning section.