The Best GRE Prep Books and Guides of 2022

For most, the first step toward entering graduate school is taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which requires a lot of studying to ensure success. This article provides a detailed list of the best GRE prep books and free GRE prep books and resources. These GRE textbooks will help you score high, which will help with admission to graduate or business school.

Read on to discover the best GRE prep books and learn about the key features of each book and their best uses. There is an overview of all the essential GRE prep sections and reasons why you should take the GRE.

Should I take the GRE?

Yes, if you want to attend graduate school, law school or business school, you must take the general GRE test. Many graduate schools require students to complete the general GRE test to be admitted to a doctorate or master’s degree.

Taking the general GRE test is rewarding because it opens the door to pursuing a master’s degree or a doctorate. According to research by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highly educated earn more. BLS also notes that employment opportunities are greater with a master’s degree or doctorate.

Common GRE Sections You Should Prepare for

  • Analytical writing section. Students should write an essay that analyzes a problem and an essay that analyzes an argument. The essay portion is always the first part administered and each essay in the GRE has a 30 minute time limit.
  • Verbal reasoning section. The verbal reasoning section in the GRE isn’t always in the same place. This section tests students’ ability to analyze written English. Students will address a text completion question, a comprehension question and a sentence equivalence question.
  • Quantitative reasoning section. This section can appear anywhere in the test and is based on mathematical concepts, including algebra, geometry, and data analysis. It tests the ability of prospective students to work with simple mathematical concepts.
  • Optional unscored or identified examination section. The unscored portion may appear in the test or as an identified exam portion at the end of the general GRE test. The unscored portion will not count towards your total GRE score, but should be taken seriously as it may affect future test takers.

The 10 Best GRE Prep Books To Get You Prepared

1.5 lb. Book with GRE practice problems

  • Best for: Practice problems

The 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems by Manhattan Prep has over 1800 practice questions designed to resemble the GRE. By purchasing this book, students also gain access to online content through Interact’s learning platform, which has fantastic online resources and interactive lessons to help students with their exam preparation.

The Manhattan Prep manual provides easy and hard questions for all GRE testing sections, although most are quantitative comparison questions. It covers the basics of math and verbal reasoning and includes detailed explanations and easy-to-follow applications for answering questions. It is for sale on Amazon.

2. GRE Prep Plus 2022

  • Best for: Strategies for creating tests, practice problems and comprehensive assessment of math skills

The Kaplan GRE Prep Plus 2022 is an excellent GRE general test learning guide that provides an expert testing strategy, a detailed answer explanation for each question, and online access to the online Kaplan test prep practice question bank.

This guide covers only basic math skills. There are five full online practice tests and after each test you will receive a detailed individual performance summary to help you build a study plan. Students also have access to one-on-one faculty support. You can buy this fantastic resource on Amazon.

3. Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides

  • Best for: Review all GRE test topics

This study material contains a book for each part of the general GRE test. It contains lessons with in-depth explanations and response strategies. This Manhattan Prep set has strategy guides for math sections, including fractions, decimals, percents, algebra, geometry, word problems, and number properties.

The Guide to Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence is a comprehensive preparation guide that teaches students strategies for answering verbal questions. The book bundle shows how students can answer various quantitative questions in the quantitative part. These strategy guides are available on Amazon.

4. The Official Guide to the GRE General Test

  • Best for: Learning basic concepts and practice questions

The Official Guide to the General GRE Test was created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the creators of the General GRE Test. This guide gives you access to two complete POWERPREP® practice tests with realistic practice questions similar to the actual test.

It includes a test strategy, sample answers to essay questions in the analytical writing section, helpful strategies, and problem-solving techniques for answering quantitative questions. You can buy this valuable GRE preparation book from the official ETS website or Amazon.

5. Official GRE Super Power Pack

  • Best for: View and maximize GRE’s overall test score

The Official GRE Super Power Pack contains three preparatory books: The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1, and Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1.

The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Practice Questions books contain 150 unique quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning practice questions with detailed explanations on how to answer them. Students also have access to four full tests structured like the real exam.

6. GRE Prep by Magoosh

  • Best for: Review, Practice Tests, and Study Strategies

Magoosh’s GRE Prep book is a comprehensive study guide with a detailed study schedule and frequently asked questions. This book has more than 130 practice questions that cover all sections of the GRE test and includes details about each question, such as the level of difficulty.

Part of this book also includes tips and examples for improving analytical writing skills. There are plenty of extra practice options because it includes a practice test, an answer key and extra tips. You can find the Magoosh GRE Prep book on Amazon, with the Kindle version generally being much cheaper than the paperback version.

7. Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep, 2022

  • Best for: GRE maximizing overall test score.

The Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep includes detailed GRE testing strategies potential students can use to avoid traps and get the highest possible score. Students will review key content in this guide and get an in-depth explanation of math concepts.

The Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep is available on Amazon. With the purchase of this Princeton content rating guide, you get access to online video lessons, seven practice tests, in-depth explanations, and feedback once you complete each practice test. Those who purchase this textbook also receive a discount on the online Princeton review preparation course.

8. GRE Complete 2022L 3 Book Set

  • Best for: Improving verbal and math skills, and practice questions

Kaplan’s GRE Complete Study Guide is another great resource that includes three detailed study preparation guides with over 2,500 practice test questions and comprehensive answer statements for the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical writing sections. These textbooks include one printed and five full-length online mock exams.

This guide will help you improve your math, quantitative and verbal skills. Online content also includes two mini online tests and video explanations for each question type. You can purchase this comprehensive review guide on Amazon.

9. GRE Preparation 2022 and 2023

  • Best for: Test strategies and study strategies.

Test Prep Books’ GRE Prep 2022 and 2023 provides students with a detailed overview of each component of the general GRE test. This comprehensive preparation book has practice quizzes for every difficulty level and full answer statements for every problem question.

Students receive a study preparation plan and the best test-taking tips to prepare for and pass the GRE exam. There is a chapter in the book for each test section to help you improve quantitative, verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. You can purchase this comprehensive overview at the official Test Prep Books website.

10. McGraw-Hill Education Conquering GRE Mathematics

  • Best for: Increase math score and develop problem solving skills

McGraw-Hill Education’s Conquering GRE Math preparatory book provides a comprehensive overview of essential topics in the quantitative reasoning section, including geometry, algebra, number properties, and arithmetic. This is a comprehensive math tool, but you should find supporting preparation material if you need difficult questions.

Students can improve their problem-solving skills by answering many different math questions, and many practice exercises help students learn how to best answer the questions. This detailed tutorial guide is available on Amazon and contains three tests with answer keys.

Free GRE Books and Resources to Prepare

  • Khan Academy How-to Videos: Free Preparation for the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Measure
  • ETS Free GRE Full Practice Tests
  • Magoosh GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
  • Full Manhattan GRE Practice Test
  • Princeton Review Full Free GRE Test
  • GRE Prep Course 2 by Skill Share

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best GRE Prep Books

How long does it take to take the GRE?

The time allowance for the GRE is three hours and 45 minutes. Some testing centers encourage students to arrive 30 minutes in advance of the exam day. There are specific section durations and a 10-minute break during the GRE test.

How much does it cost to take the GRE?

The cost of the GRE is $205. There are options to request in-depth scoring reports, but there is an additional cost. There are also additional costs associated with moving or changing the test location. You can find an overview of all fees on the official ETS website.

How many points are possible on the GRE?

The quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning sections of the general GRE test contain 340 possible points, and the analytical writing section is scored from zero to six.

Can you pursue a graduate program without taking the GRE?

Yes, you can attend specific graduate programs and graduate schools without a GRE test score, although most graduate degree schools require students to take the GRE general test.

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