Best GRE Prep Books

Getting a good score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not easy, but it will help you get accepted into a quality graduate program. You will need to master the subjects included on the test including: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

You will be spending many hours studying with your study materials, so it’s crucial to find the right ones. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of GRE preparation books on the market.  So how are you supposed to find the one that’s best for you? ExamPrepBooks has personally researched and reviewed every major GRE book on the market to make things easier for you. The comparison chart below will help you figure out which ones best fit your needs.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options

GRE Books Manhattan GRE ETS GRE






COMPANY  Manhattan Prep GRE  Kaplan GRE Premier 2017  Official Guide to the GRE  Cracking the GRE Premium  Barron’s GRE
PRICE  $82.27  $24  $20  $28 $11.12
PAGES 1,500 600 576  560  608
FORMATS Paperback, Online Program Paperback, DVD, Online Program Paperback, CD Program Paperback, Online Program Paperback, Online Program
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Internet Access Internet Access CD runs on both PC & Mac Internet Access Internet Access
FLASHCARDS Available on Amazon
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review

Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides, 4th Edition


Manhattan Prep provides by far the most comprehensive Test overview when it comes to GRE books. Their books were written by 99th percentile GRE instructors and contain detailed lessons and strategies covering what candidates will face on the exam.

Each of the 8 books are dedicated to a topical area of the test and include: Algebra; Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; Geometry; Number Properties; Word Problems; Quantitative Comparisons & Data Interpretation; Reading Comprehension & Essays; and Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence.

Not only does Manhattan Prep give students 1500 pages worth of well organized material, this set also comes with 1 year of access to 6 online practice exams. This is a great resource for those who want a more thorough GRE study guide and can dedicate the time to it.


Kaplan GRE Premier 2017 with 6 Practice Tests


Kaplan, a world leader in creating study materials, has delivered some great content with their GRE Premier 2015 offering. With Kaplan you get much more than just a book.

When purchased students will get 2,200+ practice questions with explanations, 6 full-length practice tests (5 online, 1 in the book), Mobile enabled online resources, online study plans, a DVD to help you manage your studies, and academic support. Another great feature is their 500 question online QuizBank, in which customized quizzes can be taken and reviewed. Kaplan also offers a slightly different Kindle Version along with other free apps and online resources.

Considering all of the added online content and resources that Kaplan offers, this 600 page book provides the most added value when it comes to the more consolidated GRE prep books.

ETS: The Official Guide to the GRE, 2nd Edition


If you are looking for the most authoritative guide to the GRE, this is probably your best bet since it is written by ETS (the writers of the GRE Test). Readers of this book will have a most accurate idea of what to expect on their GRE Test and have access to hundreds of authentic test questions to study from.

This book also offers 4 full length practice tests (2 in book, 2 on CD-ROM), which will really give someone a great understanding of what to expect as they come from the test makers themselves. As for content it covers content for the major areas of the GRE including: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing with scored samples.

This book may not provide as many practice questions, exams, or additional resources as some, but those who have it will have access to the most authentic and authoritative GRE study content available. ETS also offers a Kindle version.

The Princeton Review: Cracking the GRE Premium Edition with 6 Practice Tests, 2016 Edition


Another renowned education company with a another great GRE product. Much of their book is focused on test strategy and breaking down questions. They do have drills for each test section including: Verbal, Math, and Writing.

Their strength seems to lie in preparing students for the the verbal and writing sections of the test, as their math explanations could be more thorough. They do have vocabulary flashcards offered separately for those who would like access to their verbal content alone.

The premium edition includes 6 practice tests (2 in the book and 4 online), of which the online tests give thorough score reports for students to really see where they need to improve. Their online portal also gives access to video tutorials on testing strategies, study plans, and essay samples. The Princeton Review also offers a Kindle version.

In general, as in previous editions, the book’s main strength lies in its explanation of the verbal section of the test. For the math section, however, its explanations are often too simplistic or insufficient.

Barron’s GRE


Barron’s GRE also covers the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the test for nearly half the price of other prep books. That being said it doesn’t have as many full length exams and may not be the easiest to follow.

Included with the book is a diagnostic exam to begin with and learn areas for improvement. There are also 2 full length practice tests with answers and explanations provided. Barron’s also includes additional online content  including: study plans, video lessons, additional practice questions, and skill reporting to track your progress. They do have an iPad app, but be weary as the app reviews are not the best.

Barron’s provides a good amount of content at a lower price, but their courses may be more difficult to follow if you aren’t already familiar with many of the concepts covered. If you are looking for something inexpensive and already grasp a lot of GRE concepts, this may be a good book for review.