Best GRE Prep Books (Ace 2023 Test)

Choosing the right GRE prep book can help test-takers attain high scores on the test. A lot of aspiring graduate school students must earn a good score on the GRE. A strategic plan and reliable study resources are essential to passing the GRE exam. Hence, each test-taker needs to be knowledgeable about which prep book suits their specific needs, what features to look for in a GRE book, and other guidelines to consider before finally purchasing a book.

Why use a GRE Prep Book?

Prep books provide comprehensive preparation for the GRE test. Valuable GRE prep books can help test-takers master the questions on the GRE by providing practice tests and strategies. Prep books also have a concise explanation of the correct answer provided. Adding the GRE Prep book to an examinee’s study materials will make them more confident during the actual test dates.

How much do GRE prep books cost?

Around $6 to $50 is the price range for a GRE book. The prices of GRE prep books vary from non-expensive to average to expensive. Non-expensive prep books can cost as low as $6, average prep books can cost between $20 and $50, and expensive prep books can cost upward of $50.

How many GRE prep books do test-takers need?

Only one GRE book is advised for GRE preparation. Test-takers should only purchase one GRE test prep book that contains everything they need, from test-taking strategies to practice tests. Jumping from one book to another can only be confusing, so test-takers are recommended to only focus on one or two prep books at most.

Guide Before Buying A GRE Prep Book

Consider these tips and guidelines to consider before buying a GRE prep book:

  • Assess weak areas on the GRE by taking a diagnostic test. Before buying a GRE prep book, the test-taker must first assess the areas of the GRE test they’re weak on by taking a diagnostic test. This will help them prioritize particular subjects and will help them choose which prep book suits them the most.
  • Test-takers must identify their preferred style of learning. Those who prefer visual learning can get GRE prep books with CDs, and if a test-taker already attended a GRE prep course, they can get a book specifically designed to supplement what they have learned already.
  • Consider the time left before the test day. Test-takers must choose a prep book they can read and finish at a convenient pace. This will help them focus on the essential aspects of the test and test and not over-or under-prepared for the test.r prepare for the test.
  • Consider the prep book’s features. There should be tips on how to study, strategies for answering questions effectively, and things to remember on test day in a GRE prep book. There should also be comprehensive reviews of all the GRE sections and full-length mock tests.

The guides included above are among the factors to look out for when choosing a prep book to purchase. Test-takers must consider their preferred style of learning, their test preparation time, and the content and features of the prep book.

Would an old GRE Book still be useful?

Yes, old GRE books are still helpful. The formats and content of the questions are carried over from year to year. However, getting a GRE prep book with the latest version is safer to get nearly accurate and related test samples from the current GRE exam.

Should a test taker buy GRE prep books online?

Yes, a test taker may buy GRE prep books online. Keep in mind that when buying a prep book online, the test-taker should first check the reviews and feedback of the book they want to buy.

How to select the right GRE book?

Follow these tips below for choosing the right GRE book:

  • Check the availability of practice tests. The test-taker should pick a book that features at least two practice tests.
  • Read some online reviews. To identify which GRE books are worth the purchase, the test-taker can check online for reviews and feedback on the various available GRE prep books in the market.
  • The prep book should cover the content of the GRE in great detail. If the test-taker wants a comprehensive prep book, they should look for a book that provides a thorough review of each GRE section. Analytical, verbal, and quantitative sections are all equally significant. The right GRE book should give due attention to all these test areas.
  • Check for supplemental resources. If the test-taker wants to switch up how they study, some GRE prep books can give access to mobile or online supplemental resources.
  • Consider the quality of the answers and the explanations. A GRE prep book with comprehensive explanations for each question is recommended.

Picking the right GRE book is also based on multiple factors, including which graduate program the test-taker is seeking, their current verbal skill level, and their goal scores.

What features of a GRE book must be avoided?

The features of GRE books to avoid are the following:

  • Avoid GRE books that seem to be very accessible. Books that are too open for everyone’s access tend to have low-quality content. Most GRE books with accurate and reliable content are paid.
  • GRE books containing issues with their test questions must be avoided. Assess if the GRE books have too complicated or too simple test practices.
  • Avoid GRE prep books that contain questions that are too problematic to be useful.

When looking at online reviews and feedback on GRE prep books, test-takers can identify which particular books to avoid.

What should you look for in a good GRE book?

The features to look for in a good GRE book are the following:

  • Good practice tests. Practice tests are an important aspect of a prep book since they will help evaluate the progress and weak areas of the test-taker.
  • Exam overview. A good GRE prep book must give you a thorough overview of the test structure and scoring methods.
  • Availability of test-taking strategies. Good test-taking strategies can help test-takers get a boost in their GRE scores.
  • Quantity of questions. Ideally, test-takers should choose a book that has around 2,000 test questions.
  • Question bank. Having a separate question bank is helpful. It will help test-takers to focus on specific question types for improvement.
  • Pricing. The prices of GRE prep books may vary from non-expensive to average to expensive. Test-takers should expect to pay around $50 for well-known GRE prep books.
  • In-depth content review. A GRE prep book containing comprehensive explanations for each question, as well as tips on how to answer them, is recommended.
  • Realistic practice questions. Prep books that simulate the actual GRE practice questions are recommended.

Before buying a GRE book, test-takers must consider the quality of practice tests, availability of test-taking strategies, the number of questions, pricing, quality of answer explanations, and if the practice questions are realistic enough.

List of the Best GRE Prep Books

If you wish to know what benefits and lessons you will get from the best GRE prep books, below is a table containing the features of the best GRE prep books:

1. Manhattan Prep GRE: Set of 8 Strategy Guides
  • Contains a comprehensive overview of every GRE topic
  • The complete set has the following books: Algebra; Fractions, Decimals & Percents; Geometry; Number Properties; Word Problems; The Quantitative
  • Access to online adaptive tests included
2. ETS’ Official GRE Super Power Pack
  • Written by ETS (makers of the GRE)
  • The difficulty level of questions simulates the actual GRE’s pattern
  • Practice questions with comprehensive answer explanations
3. GRE Prep by Magoosh
  • Contains strategies and tips from tutors and past test-takers
  • Includes practice tests and answer keys
  • Comprehensive answer explanations
4. Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus
  • Provides access to an online test
  • Provides numerous online practice tests within the material
  • Gives access to videos and online tutoring
5. Manhattan’s 5Lb Prep GRE Book
  • Provides online practise questions that focus on the GRE’s verbal and quantitative sections
  • Thorough reading comprehension section
  • Advanced quantitative section
6. The ETS Official Guide to the GRE
  • Contains hundreds of GRE test questions
  • Created by the ETS
  • Good GRE analytical writing assessment
7. ETS’ Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions
  • Mimics the difficulty of the actual GRE
  • Includes 150 realistic GRE verbal questions
  • With comprehensive answer explanations
8. ETS’ Official GRE for Quantitative Reasoning by ETS
  • The questions may be more difficult than the actual GRE
  • Updated pattern
  • Includes 150 realistic GRE quantitative questions
9. Cracking the GRE (4 practice tests) by the Princeton Review
  • Contains 6 full-length practice tests
  • Comprehensive topic reviews
  • Includes thorough explanation of GRE verbal section concepts
10. GRE Complete: Self-Study guide for GRE by Kaplan
  • Features six comprehensive GRE practice tests
  • Contains an online DVD
  • The verbal section provides tough practice questions
11. 500 essential words: GRE vocabulary flashcards
  • Specifically designed for vocab question types on the GRE
  • Includes high-frequency words
  • Every word has definitions, usage, and synonyms.
12. GRE vocabulary flashcards + app (Kaplan prep test)
  • Portable way of studying for the GRE vocabulary
  • Has a complementary mobile app
13. Nova’s GRE Math Bible
  • Practice questions are categorized based on level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, and very hard level)
  • Provides thorough answer explanations
14. GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep)
  • Good for Analytical Writing Assessment practice
  • Includes comprehensive answer explanations
15. Barron’s GRE, 22nd Edition
  • Features two full-length practice tests with answer keys
  • Has good quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE
  • Comprehensive vocabulary

The table above contains the various GRE prep books available in the market with their respective features.

What are the top 5 GRE books for a better score in 2022 and 2023?

The top 5 GRE prep books that can help you get a better test score are as follows:

  1. Manhattan Prep’s 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
  2. ETS’ Official GRE Super Power Pack 2nd Edition
  3. Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2021
  4. Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides
  5. Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE 2021

The five books mentioned are the five best GRE prep books to have in 2022. If you’re aiming to take the GRE this year, make sure to add these books to your GRE preparation essentials.

The Pros and Cons of the Top 5 GRE Books

The following are the pros and cons of each of the books included in the top 5 list:

1. Manhattan Prep’s 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
  • Best-seller for several years
  • Features more than 1,800 realistic practice questions
  • Analytical Writing topics are included
  • Vocabulary practice questions are limited
  • Fewer flashcards
  • Prep books focus more on reading comprehension and less on text or sentence completion.
2. ETS’ Official GRE Super Power Pack 2nd Edition
  • Contains 600 realistic practise questions with comprehensive answer explanations
  • Created by the makers of the GRE
  • Features 4 real GRE tests with 2 simulated computer-based test
  • Prioritizes practice questions and full-length tests
  • Some answer explanations can be overwhelming
  • The Kindle version may have formatting errors
3. Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2021
  • Features access to online tests
  • Practice questions are categorized as per the level of difficulty
  • Features 500 question quiz bank and 2,200 practice questions with full explanations
  • Prioritizes formulas
  • Less focus on the concepts
  • Quant section can be lacking to some students
4. Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides
  • All the topics of GRE are covered by the set of 8 books
  • Features 6 online tests
  • Effective in boosting
  • Higher price than other available GRE prep books
  • Might not be suitable for students reviewing at the last minute
5. Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE 2021
  • Features high-frequency GRE words
  • Comprehensive vocabulary with more than 20000 words.
  • Vocab flashcards can help memorization of words with ease
  • The cards do not feature a phonemic spelling
  • Only focuses on vocab

Students reviewing for the GRE should weigh the pros and cons of each prep book before finally buying one. Remember that the GRE books you choose must fit your personal needs.

What is the difference between books and GRE Prep Courses?

Books and GRE Prep Courses serve the same purpose: to prepare students for the GRE exam. However, they differ in format and approach. Books provide a self-paced study option, offering strategies, practice questions, and content reviews. They’re cost-effective but require self-discipline. On the other hand, great GRE Prep Courses, often online or in-person, offer structured lessons, interactive sessions, and personalized feedback, but at a higher cost.