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The Best GRE Prep Books for 2020

Article by Jane Newsom. Last Updated: Friday, Jan 24, 2020.

Overview

Grad school is a huge predictor of future earnings potential. The GRE is key to admissions, and our list of best GRE Prep Books will make sure you nail it!

The GRE is an important step in the graduate admissions process. Scores are used by admissions and fellowship departments to supplement your college records and form the basis of acceptance decisions. With so much on the line, going in prepared is one of the most important things you can do. Each of the books on this list will help you understand the content, format, and other nuances of the exam.

If you just can’t wait, here’s our short list:

Best GRE Prep Books

There are dozens of great GRE books and other materials available for students looking to improve scores. Some are great… and some are not so great… We’re here to help you understand the options, and make an informed choice. The difference between a good and bad book can literally affect whether you get into the school of your dreams, so you shouldn’t take the choice for granted!

Continue on for detailed information on each book on our list of top GRE prep books below!

Official GRE Super Power Pack

Official GRE Super Power Pack
2nd Edition
by Educational Testing Service
Price:$48.70
(as of 14 Jul 20 10:05 GMT)

Pros: 3 Book bundle with tons of practice tests and questions from the test maker.
Cons: Some overlap in the supplemental material
Best For: Review ahead of test, and knowing what to expect.
Our Rating: 5 / 5

The Official GRE Super Power Pack comes out on top of our list as the single best book for GRE Prep (even though it’s technically 3 books). The package completely covers the major themes and focus areas tested in the GRE. For most test-takers, this bundle is all you will need to prepare and do well on the exam.

Key features of the book include:

  • Provides key information and the practice you need to do your best on the GRE General Test
  • Features four, complete, real GRE tests
  • Hundreds of authentic GRE practice questions with answers and explanations
  • Everything you need to know about the test, direct from the test maker

Because this is the official book, you can be sure the material inside is an accurate reflection of the real GRE questions. Between the 3 guides in the bundle, you’re sure to see boosted scores and go into the exam feeling confident!

Kaplan: GRE Complete 2020 Bundle

GRE Complete 2020
2020
by Kaplan Test Prep
Price:$71.76
(as of 14 Jul 20 10:05 GMT)

Pros: Money back guarantee from the authors.
Cons: Some practice questions aren't an accurate reflection of real GRE difficulty.
Our Rating: 5 / 5

Kaplan: GRE Complete 2020 Bundle is our runner up choice, and another awesome bundle with everything you’ll need to boost your score. If you’re familiar with Kaplan, and have enjoyed their other texts, this one won’t let you down. As you’d expect, the material is well laid out, and there are tons of great practice questions and full length tests.

A short summary of what you’ll find inside:

  • Contains GRE Prep Plus 2020, GRE Math Workbook, and GRE Verbal Workbook
  • More than 2,500 practice questions with detailed explanations covering the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections
  • Five full-length online tests
  • Comprehensive review for each GRE question type

One of the biggest names in test prep and tutoring brings you this fantastic bundle. While it didn’t quite take our top spot (it’s hard to compete with the actual test creator), we still recommend you give this a strong look before you buy.

Magoosh: GRE Prep

Magoosh: GRE Prep
2020
by Magoosh
Price:$16.99
(as of 14 Jul 20 10:05 GMT)

Pros: Thorough coverage of Math, Verbal, and Writing.
Cons: Limited number of practice tests.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Magoosh: GRE Prep Is next up on our list, and another strong GRE Prep book worthy of your consideration. It’s well put together, and contains a wealth of knowledge across all test topics. While we generally recommend one of the 2 higher up on this list due to the additional practice tests, this is still a great resource.

Some of the main features:

  • Hundreds of easy-to-follow tips, FAQs, GRE strategies, and a study schedule
  • A full-length practice test with an answer key and detailed explanations
  • A chapter on the AWA with example prompts to help you practice your essays

Magoosh is a trusted name in GRE test prep, and this book is a great choice. Whether it’s your only resource, or just a supplement to one of the ones listed above, you’re definitely better off with it than without!

5lb Book Of GRE Practice Problems

5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: 1,800+ Practice Problems in Book and Online (Manhattan Prep 5 lb Series)
Third
by Manhattan Prep
Price:$19.89
(as of 14 Jul 20 10:05 GMT)

Pros: Contains many unique tips and strategies.
Cons: Practice questions and tests aren't as good as others on this list.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

The Manhattan Prep 5lb Book Of GRE Practice Problems is another awesome resource! As the name suggests, it’s basically a huge collection of practice problems that reflect the nature and difficulty of the actual exam. This one works best as a supplement to one of the other guides on this list.

Key Features:

  • Over 1800 practice problems covering every topic
  • Targeted practice with easy to follow explanations
  • Take it to the next level with access to their on-demand learning platform.

If you feel like you already have a good handle on the form and structure of the test and want to forgo some of the guides with more strategies and in-depth reviews, this is a phenomenal choice!

Test Prep Books: GRE Prep

GRE Prep 2020 & 2021
2020 Edition
by Test Prep Books
Price:$15.76
(as of 14 Jul 20 10:05 GMT)

Pros: Contains many unique tips and strategies.
Cons: Practice questions and tests aren't as good as others on this list.
Our Rating: 4.0 / 5

GRE Prep iis our final recommendation. Even though it’s last on our list, it’s still an amazing resource that’s worth your consideration. The contents include some excellent test taking strategies that will help you raise your score on the GRE.

The book has 4 main sections:

  • Test-Taking Strategies: Learn the best tips to overcome your exam!
  • Comprehensive Review: Our review goes into detail to cover your exam.
  • Practice Test Questions: Practice makes perfect!
  • Detailed Answer Explanations: Figure out where you went wrong and how to improve!

Understanding the latest test-taking strategies is essential to preparing you for what you will expect on the exam. A test taker has to not only understand the material that is being covered on the exam, but also must be familiar with the strategies that are necessary to properly utilize the time provided and get through the test without making any avoidable errors. This book is excellent for that aspect, and the reason we highly recommend it!

GRE Exam Details

The GRE is designed to showcase your skills in areas which are most applicable to graduate and professional schools. The GRE General Test is accepted at thousands of grad schools, including both law and business.

The test is broken up into 3 main topics as follows:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing

Because entry into grad school can be such a critical inflection point in life, it’s strongly in your interests to perform as well as possible. A good GRE prep book can make the difference between a good and bad score, and prepare you for what to expect. One of the biggest factors in boosting a score is preparedness. Don’t go into your exam without a complete understanding of what to expect.

GRE Topics

Verbal Reasoning

This section measures the student’s ability to analyze and draw conclusions from text, and understand and reason about it effectively. You’ll demonstrate that you can distinguish between major and minor points, decipher literal and figurative intent of the author, and understand relationships between concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning

Here, your ability to understand and solve problems using mathematical models will be put to the test. You’ll need to apply concepts from algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and data analysis.

Analytical Writing

This section will test your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. You’ll have to articulate and support complicated concepts, with supporting evidence and reasoning.

Exam Scoring

You’ll get 3 scores reported back to you for the GRE General Test, one for each of the 3 sections listed above.

Both the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored individually on a scale of 130-170. The scores are based on the number of correct responses to the questions (there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so be sure not to leave any blank).

The Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6. Each of the 2 essays is scored by at least 1 human (possibly 2 if a computer generated score diverges from the human one significantly).

GRE Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does A GRE Prep Book Cost?

Prices for a good GRE prep book usually ranges between $20 and $50.

Which GRE Prep Book Is Best?

Our recommendation for most students is the Official GRE Super Power Pack.

How should I start preparing for the GRE?

As with most exams, the key to success is to start early and review thoroughly. Dedicating a little bit of time each day is a better strategy than trying to jam in marathon sessions over the course of a few days. Create a study plan, featuring text review, practice questions and tests, and then stick to it!

How Can I Raise My GRE Score?

The best way to raise a GRE score is to understand the test format, and the types of questions you should expect to encounter. A good prep book with high-quality prgreice tests is the best way to know what’s coming your way on test day.

Wrapping Up

Grad school is a major predictor of long term earning potential, and is shown to reduce unemployment rates. Making sure to put your best foot forward to prospective schools with a high GRE score is a critical part of the admissions process.

GRE study guides are shown to help raise scores and prepare students for what to expect on the exam. We’ve rounded up some of the top choices on the market, and outlined some of their strengths and weaknesses above.

Our pick for best GRE prep book is the Official GRE Super Power Pack. It’s made by the same people who design the tests, so you really can’t go wrong.

Whatever your circumstances, supplemental review materials are a key part of ensuring success on the exam. We’ve listed some of the best resources available. Good luck!

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