Without a doubt, passing the GRE is a daunting challenge. The good news is that there are many wonderful resources out there that can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to score a top result. In order to find the best GRE prep book for you, take a look at the reviews of the eight highest-ranking contenders below. This should spare you both time and money — and could help save a few trees too.
Comprehensive GRE Guides
1. GRE Prep Plus 2020 (Kaplan)
Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2020 boasts over 80 years of expertise, and it certainly walks the talk. This book provides you with a detailed breakdown of every single section of the GRE from start to finish. It includes both a full-length practice test in the book and five full-length online practice tests in the same format as the real test. The online support further includes:
- A 500-question quiz bank
- Timed practice problems
- Personalized test performance reviews
- One-on-one tutoring on the Kaplan Grad Prep Facebook page
- Videos on learning techniques and stress-management skills
The guide also packs chapters on all GRE math skills and question categories, as well as options for testing different skills at various levels of difficulty.
Overall, more than 2,200 practice problems are covered and explained in detail. All things considered, GRE Prep Plus 2020 is easily the best GRE prep book currently on the market.
2. Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition (ETS)
The Official GRE Super Power Pack is a bundle of the following individual guides:
- The Official Guide to the GRE
- The Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Questions
- The Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Questions
Their main selling point is that they are published by the Educational Testing Service — the masterminds behind the GRE. Therefore, you can trust that their advice is 100% on point and that the tests are the same as the real GRE.
The Super Pack comes with four full-length practice tests — two tests in the book and another two online. It also includes:
- 600 practice questions with detailed answers
- Problem-solving techniques
- Sample essays
- Other online resources
You can purchase the guides either together or separately, with the former being more budget-friendly. All three are available both in paperback and on Kindle.
3. GRE Prep (Magoosh)
GRE Prep by Magoosh is certainly the best GRE prep book for diving deep into testing strategies and learning techniques. If you are something of a hacker at heart, you should love this resource — it can help you master all the tricks of the trade.
Like most other guides, GRE Prep offers a full breakdown of the GRE that covers all test sections and question types. These are accompanied by over 150 practice problems and a full-length practice test, all with detailed answers. Unlike some other resources, however, this one:
- Discusses common mistakes and FAQs
- Reveals many test tips, tricks, and hacks
- Has an entire chapter on the GRE’s Analytical Writing Assessment
- Includes a suggested study schedule
- Contains statistics on all practice problems, such as the ratio of test takers who answer them correctly
The GRE Prep by Magoosh is available both in paperback and on Kindle. It is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Furthermore, the guide comes with a discount coupon for Magoosh’s online GRE prep program, which features an additional 1,000+ practice problems, full-length tests, lessons, and video tutorials.
4. Cracking the GRE Premium 2020 Edition (The Princeton Review)
Cracking the GRE gives you access to exclusive online “GRE Insider” content. This includes useful, practical information on graduate programs, admission requirements, and financial aid. Another key point is that the 2020 edition offers a $100 discount on The Princeton Review’s Self-Paced GRE online course.
This guide also includes:
- Six full-length practice tests (two in the book and four online) with detailed answers
- A comprehensive breakdown of each test section and question type
- Learning and test-taking strategies
- A GRE vocabulary list with definitions, examples, and exercises
Further online resources include practice problems, video tutorials, study guides, and personalized score reports. The guide is available both in paperback and on Kindle.
GRE Math Guides
5. Conquering GRE Math (McGraw-Hill Education)
Conquering GRE Math is unquestionably the best GRE math guide you could find. Written by a math teacher specializing in GRE prep, it focuses exclusively on the GRE’s math section.
This book includes three full-length GRE math sections, as well as comprehensive tutorials on all GRE math topics, from algebra to word problems. You will also get tips on tackling all GRE math question types and up-to-date information on the latest GRE math item formats.
Of course, all of this is accompanied by hundreds of practice problems with increasing difficulty designed to mirror real-life learning processes. All in all, those struggling with the GRE’s math component are sure to love this book. Conquering GRE Math is available both for Kindle and in paperback.
6. 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep)
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, the answer to the one question that is surely on everyone’s mind is — yes, the 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems does weigh five pounds. While it is available on Kindle, if you get the paperback, you could fit in some light weight training in between study sessions.
This guide has some of the best GRE practice questions, drills, and quizzes on the market. These include more than 1,800 practice problems that cover all skill levels and question types with detailed explanations and analyses, as well as a cheat sheet with the most important mathematical formulas.
Furthermore, The 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems gives you access to Interact for GRE, an online platform with many valuable resources. These include a GRE question bank and a collection of particularly difficult questions.
GRE Reading, Writing, and Vocabulary Guides
7. Essential Words for the GRE (Barron’s)
Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE is undoubtedly the best vocabulary guide out there. It helps you learn and practice 800 key GRE vocabulary words. Some of its learning tools include:
- Definitions for all featured 800 words
- A word list to help you memorize them
- Example sentences and passages using GRE vocabulary in different contexts
- Practice problems with answers
- An entire chapter on word roots
In addition, Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE includes a pre- and post-test. These are meant to help you gauge your skills both before and after going through the guide.
8. GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep)
GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays is certainly a worthy candidate for the title of the best GRE prep book in the writing and reading comprehension category.
Naturally, it includes detailed analyses of the GRE’s reading comprehension and analytical writing components. These are complemented by speed reading and comprehension techniques for time-sensitive tasks. There are also tips on approaching different question types, avoiding common mistakes, and outlining and writing techniques.
Of course, you will also find many practice questions with answers, essay prompts, and relevant examples. What’s more, the guide gives you one-year access to online practice tests.
At the end of the day, when choosing the best GRE prep book for you, you should take into account your personal needs and circumstances. Things to consider include, for instance, your learning style, your current and projected skill levels, and your strengths and weaknesses. Two other major factors to keep in mind are, of course, your desired graduate program and educational establishment.