Best GRE Study Material


Picking up the right study material is a key stage in your GRE preparation process. There are tonnes of books and free online material available on the Internet, but a very few of them offer the content which can actually help you crack the GRE. Here are some good books and resources we’ve found out through our research which can help you prepare well for GRE and get you a commendable score.

(Also Read : How to Prepare for GRE )

ETS Official Guide

 1. ETS Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test

 This is a must have book for every GRE aspirant. Why? Because it is written by the makers of GRE itself! This book gives a comprehensive overview of GRE – exam pattern, structure, question types and comes with 4 practice tests as well (2 paper, 2 CD-based). The questions and practice papers are very much similar to what you’ll encounter in the actual GRE. Additionally, the official guide also provides effective strategies for each section and certain question types that a student might find difficult. Thus, you must have this GRE Bible!

Manhattan Prep

2. Manhattan Prep Set of 8 Strategy Guides

 The Manhattan Prep series is one of the most widely recommended books for GRE and why it shouldn’t be! It’s not a single book, it’s a set of 8 books that cover every important topic in depth – Algebra, Number Properties, Fractions, Geometry, Word Problems, Quantitative Comparisons, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence, Reading Comprehension and Analytical Writing. You can either buy all the books or some selective ones based on your needs. Additionally, you also get access to 6 practice tests when you buy any one of the books. These books do not focus on teaching you the usual tactics but rather on building a solid fundamental grasp through their effective explanations and a huge basket of practice problems. If money is not issue for you, burn every other book and buy this one!

Magoosh GRE Prep

3. Magoosh GRE Prep is a very effective tool if you want to prepare for the GRE on your own. This online GRE preparation website focuses on interactive learning through video tutorials and practice questions with a very user-friendly interface. It allows aspirants to choose personalized plans based on different factors such as costs and duration of preparation. Additionally, it provides several free resources in the form of eBooks and customized study plans. Students have been said to improve their GRE scores on an average by 5 points after learning through Magoosh. Thus, this is definitely a bang for your buck if you’re planning to prepare for the GRE on your own and if you prefer online learning over books.

Barron's GRE

4. Barron’s GRE

 One of the oldest publications to guide students for GRE preparation, Barron’s has always kept its position consolidated as a widely sought book for GRE no matter how many other publications come and go by. Although the level of questions isn’t challenging as the actual GRE, Barron’s GRE provides extremely useful explanation strategies as well as a solid question bank to practice the fundamentals. This should definitely be in your shelf during the early stages of your preparation.

Princeton Review

5. The Princeton Review, Cracking the new GRE

 Another very popular book, Princeton Review is widely acclaimed for its strategies to deal with the GRE Verbal Section and for students who find it difficult to deal with the GRE Quantitative section even on the basic level. That said, one of the major drawbacks of this book is the lack of practice problems. Nevertheless, this is a good resource to be referred to if you’re finding it difficult to deal with any of the GRE sections even on the basic level. Also, this is a good book for you if you prefer learning through visual aids.

Kaplan GRE

6. Kaplan New GRE Premier

 A giant and very popular company for standardized test preparation, Kaplan is a household name for GRE preparation worldwide. This book provides innovative explanations as well as numerous practice exercises on various concepts across all the GRE sections. The practice tests that come along with the book are said to be very close or even difficult than the actual GRE. However, it has also been criticized for its jumbled up strategy to deal with the vocabulary section. That said, you should definitely keep this book in your list if you are aiming to solve a large quantity of practice problems.  


Best GRE Study Material – Section Wise 

Although there are a number of books that don’t make it to our top list, there are several of them that are specifically recommended for individual GRE sections. For a better and thorough preparation approach for the GRE, we’ve compiled a list of best GRE books for individual sections we well.

Best Books for GRE Quantitative Section

1.      Manhattan  5LB Book of Practice Problems

2.      ETS Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions

3.      GRE Math Prep Course (Nova’s GRE Prep Course)

4.      Kaplan GRE Math Workbook

Best Books for GRE Verbal Section

1.      ETS Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

2.      GRE Verbal Grail – Aristotle Prep (Good for Reading Comprehension)

3.      Kaplan GRE Verbal Workbook

4.      Manhattan 5LB Book of Practice Problems (Questions harder than the actual GRE)


Best Books for GRE Analytical Writing Ability (AWA) Section

1.      Vibrant Publishers GRE Analytical Writing – Solutions to Real Essay Topics ( Books 1 and 2)

2.      ETS Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test


Best Books to learn GRE Vocabulary

1.      Word Power Made Easy – Norman Lewis

2.      Barron’s 1100 Words You Need to Know

3.      Magoosh GRE Vocabulary eBook

4.      Manhattan 500 Essential Words for GRE and Manhattan 500 Advanced Words for GRE

About Ashwed Patil

Ashwed is a prospective MS student with interests in Computer Science, Content Writing and Geography. He has secured 8 admissions out of 10 U.S. universities he has applied to. His experience with the arduous MS application process motivated him to guide fellow applicants through online articles and blogs. He has also been deeply involved in teaching underprivileged kids in his hometown, Nasik. An interesting fact about Ashwed - he likes to make imaginary countries out of someone’s personality traits!
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