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Choosing the Best GRE Test Prep Course

All the top GRE prep course companies offer a variety of high-quality training options to meet many different student needs. However, some companies separate themselves from the competition in key areas. These lists help quickly identify the standout performers in several important categories.

The 4 Best GRE Tutoring Services

All major GRE prep companies offer both in-person and online GRE tutoring services. The best-performing companies offer a variety of flexible plans to satisfy a wide range of student needs at reasonable prices. If you expect to utilize tutoring services as part of your GRE preparation, consider these top companies during your research.

The 4 Best Online GRE Prep Courses

Online GRE prep courses make a terrific study option for any student. Most of the best companies in this category provide two types of online courses: a live online course and an on-demand course. Live online courses utilize course delivery software to connect you, your classmates, and your instructor in an interactive online environment. On-demand courses enable you to access archived video lectures and comprehensive course materials at any time to complete the course at your own pace.

The 3 Best GRE Practice Test Providers

Completing a series of full-length GRE practice tests is a standard component of the GRE preparation process. Practice tests help you get accustomed to the pressure that comes with taking a nearly four-hour timed test. Your practice test scores indicate how far you've progressed in your preparation and in what specific sections you're having the most and least success. The best GRE prep companies in this category offer six to eight practice tests, which is sufficient for most students. Perhaps most importantly, these companies provide you with useful post-test diagnostic reports to help you better understand your performance and how to improve going forward.

What GRE Test Prep Course Features Matter and Why?


GRE Course Delivery covers the different methods used by GRE test prep providers to deliver instruction and course content to students. The category includes traditional classroom teaching, live teaching delivered online, and prerecorded teaching delivered online or by DVD. The GRE Course Delivery category ranks among the most important for many students. It is of critical importance to students who desire a specific delivery method due to home location, scheduling, or a basic learning preference.

  • Live Online - You can take GRE test preparation courses through live streaming video online.
  • On-Site - You can take GRE test preparation courses at on-site locations.
  • Streaming Video - GRE test preparation courses are available through prerecorded online videos.

GRE Practice refers to the materials containing sample exam questions given to GRE prep test students. The most important component of this category is the full-length practice test. Full-length practice tests enable students to experience a nearly four-hour test under strictly timed conditions. Quiz banks are another key element of the GRE Practice category. Quiz banks enable students to focus on specific types of questions in isolation, getting the focused training they need to master each part of the GRE test. GRE Practice is a very important part of choosing a GRE test prep company since it is so essential to basic skills development and provides a way for students to build confidence in their abilities.

  • Free Online Practice Test - The company provides access to a free online practice test.
  • Free Proctored Practice Test - The company provides access to a free proctored test at an on-site location.
  • Full-Length Practice Tests - The company provides full-length practice tests.
  • Practice Question Bank - The company provides access to a test bank of practice questions.
  • Practice Test Reports - The company provides feedback after completing practice tests to identify areas of improvement.

GRE Custom Instruction includes learning options that GRE courses offer to students who are looking for specialized help. GRE tutoring is the primary component of this category. GRE tutoring includes both in-person and online options, and usually provides a focused, one-on-one learning experience. Although many students in GRE prep courses get sufficient help in a standard course, some students benefit enormously from the personalized attention that one-on-one tutoring offers. Online tutoring options are especially important to students who don't live near an in-person tutoring service. The GRE Custom Instruction category also includes refresher courses, which are designed for students who have already completed a standard course.

  • Custom Study Strategy - The company provides a custom study strategy or study schedule.
  • Online Tutoring - You can receive GRE tutoring online via webcam.
  • On-Site Tutoring - You can receive GRE tutoring at an on-site location.
  • Subject Refresher - The company offers instruction that focuses on a specific portion of the GRE.

Learning Materials refers to the study tools and learning exercises GRE courses give students to aid them in studying GRE concepts, vocabulary, and strategy. The Learning Materials category includes flash cards, workbooks, study guides, interactive games, and online quizzing tools. Students who are looking for all-in-one GRE prep courses usually place a lot of importance on the Learning Materials category. However, since these kinds of items are readily available from third-party publishers, other categories often take precedence in the search for the best all-around course.

  • Blog - The company publishes a blog that discusses content relevant to the GRE.
  • Books - The company provides books/workbooks to help you prepare for the GRE.
  • FAQs - The company provides a list of answers to GRE-related frequently asked questions.
  • Flash Cards - The company provides flash cards featuring GRE material.
  • Forum - The company provides an interactive forum where users can post questions and answers.
  • Interactive Games - The company provides online interactive games to help you learn the material.

Student Support covers the various ways in which GRE prep courses provide students with the individual help they need to achieve their full potential on the GRE test. Student Support includes email and telephone communication between students and GRE instructors or tutors. Student Support also includes special programs that guarantee student satisfaction by granting the ability to retake a course if a student is unhappy with their test performance after the first course attempt. While some students complete a full GRE course without once making use of Student Support resources, it's important to have the option available in the event that it is needed.

  • Email - You can reach your instructor or tutor via email for assistance.
  • Free Study Guarantee - The company allows you to retake classes for free if you do not receive a higher GRE test score.
  • Live Chat - You can reach your instructor or tutor via live chat for assistance.
  • Money-Back Guarantee - The company offers a money-back guarantee if you do not receive a higher GRE test score.
  • Phone - You can contact your instructor or tutor by phone.
  • Social Media - You can contact the company with questions through social media websites.

Admissions Prep centers around the extra services that GRE prep courses offer to help students prepare for the graduate admissions process. Common services in this category include application preparation assistance, informational seminars, and interview coaching services. Some students find a lot of benefit in these services. However, since they are strictly supplementary, few students rank the Admissions Prep category above categories that focus specifically on test preparation.

  • Admissions Seminars - The company holds events or seminars to discuss the admissions process and strengthen your candidacy.
  • Application Assistance - The company provides guidance and input to help improve your application.
  • Mock Interviews - The company provides mock interviews to help prepare you for admissions interviews.

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