Best GRE Prep Book Reviews 2023

Preparing for the GRE is a stressful process, and picking a suitable prep book can be another added stress. Instead of wasting valuable time surfing the internet for the best GRE prep material, we have done all the heavy lifting for you. We have researched the market to find the best GRE prep book brands and chosen our top five. The products reviewed below are samples from each of these trusted brands, but you will do well to check out the others books that are not featured here should you want more options.
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Our Top Choice
Manhattan Prep 5lb Book of GRE Practice Problems, 2nd Edition
Manhattan Prep is one of the world’s leading test prep providers, and this book of GRE practice problem certifies that.
Very concise. A lot of workable exercises. Quite comprehensive.
No speed strategy. Few mixed practice questions.
1032 pages
Info NOT provided
Online resource on Kindle
Best Value
Kaplan Premier GRE Review Books + Digital Resources
Kaplan’s forty years’ experience in teaching the GRE puts it ahead of the pack when it comes to GRE prep books. This prep book gives you what you need to prepare effectively.
Detailed explanations. Quick study guide. Easy reading.
Not comprehensive enough. Could be boring.
600 pages
6 practice tests
Online resource available; DVD.
ETS Official Guide to the GRE® Revised General Test
Educational Testing Service has an unrivalled passion to advance quality and equity in education for all. The Official Guide to the GRE® works towards that objective.
Made by test makers. Has original GRE questions. Properly detailed. ETS Certified.
Not beginner friendly. Inadequate result analysis tool.
563 pages
4 practice tests
Princeton Review Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests
The Princeton Review offers a comprehensive line of books for students preparing to take a step further and Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests is definitely a top choice.
Great lessons. Relevant tips. Full length practice tests.
Unavailability of online practice source. Typographical errors.
512 pages
4 practice tests
Online resource
Barron’s GRE Test Prep by Weiner Green & Wolf
From the stables of Barron comes this test prep by Weiner Green & Wolf: a newly revised and updated manual that presents a good test overview of the GRE to get you prepared.
Good prep book for math. Comprehensive. Helpful strategies.
Wimpy on verbal. A little complicated.
624 pages
2 practice tests
Online resource

What is the Best GRE Prep Book?

After finishing this buying guide, we know you must be a stickler for excellence and we have no doubt about the success that awaits in your forthcoming exams. But before you rush off to get a GRE prep book, we are happy to announce that we put together a review of five great GRE prep books.
Our Top Choice
Manhattan Prep needs NO introduction to the diligent student. The Manhattan GRE prep book boasts of over 1800 questions written by seasoned instructors and is intended to teach you the skills required to succeed on the test. If you need a broader guide, the Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides is also available.

Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides) – Available in Paperback or Kindle

From accomplished instructors to relevant curriculum, Manhattan Prep has been certified to assist students accomplish their goals while helping them reach their highest potential.

The Manhattan Prep 5lb Book of GRE Practice Problems, 2nd Edition(Selling for $24.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) gives you 5 full pounds of workable exercises that mimic the exact format of the official GRE. With thorough answer explanations, it often details alternate approaches, and this is really useful especially if you don't understand something the first time. Here are some of its other features:
  • Over 1800 questions
  • 33 comprehensive chapters
  • Online question banks
  • Plenty workable exercises
  • Step by step explanations of every problem
Best Value
The GRE Premier 2017 is a comprehensive prep system that includes both book and mobile-enabled online components with practice questions to help you score higher on the GRE. Kaplan has other prep books that can help you too and an example is the GRE 2017 Strategies, Practice & Review with 4 Practice Tests.

Kaplan GRE Premier Preparation Book with 6 Practice Tests: Online + Book + Videos + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep) – Paperback or Kindle

Preparing for an exam must be done with the right materials manufactured by a leading faculty. Kaplan is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training, USA and is the only GRE prep organization that offers the Official Test Day Experience that allows you to take a practice GRE test at an actual Prometric® testing center so you are not surprised on the test day.

The Kaplan Premier GRE Review Books + Digital Resources is an all in one GRE preparatory medium that gives you access to in-depth and detailed strategies, test information, and practice questions to help you score high in your GRE. Other noteworthy features of this prep book include:
  • 2,200+ practice questions with detailed explanations
  • 6 full-length practice tests (5 realistic Multi-Stage Tests available online and 1 in the book)
  • 500-question online Quiz Bank for customized quiz creation and review of GRE practice questions
  • Mobile-enabled online resources: study anywhere on any device with an Internet connection
  • Videos on stress management and the graduate school application process
  • Academic support from Kaplan faculty via its Facebook page:
Boasting of being the best and most authoritative guide to the GRE test, the Official Guide to the GRE® Revised General Test is the only GRE guide specially created by ETS that is packed with everything you need to achieve your best on the test. The Official GRE Super Power Pack 1st Edition by ETS can also help achieve that dream.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Testthis in

Being the people who make the test, only ETS can show you exactly what to expect, tell you precisely how the test is scored and give you hundreds of authentic test questions for practice! That makes this prep book your most reliable and accurate source for everything you need to know about the GRE Revised General Test.

The ETS Official Guide to the GRE® Revised General Test offers you multiple authentic test questions, so you can use actual tests to sharpen your skills and build your confidence. Coupled with in-depth descriptions of the verbal reasoning/quantitative reasoning measures and valuable tips for answering each question type, it gets you prepared in more ways than one. Check out more of its amazing features:
  • Authentic GRE questions with answers and explanations
  • Two real, full-length GRE practice tests
  • Two simulated, computer-delivered GRE practice tests
  • ETS’s own test-taking strategies
  • Official information on the GRE revised General Test
All the preparation you need for a perfect score on the GRE can be achieved from Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests, prepared by seasoned experts. The Essential GRE Vocabulary Flashcards also by Princeton Review can do the trick too.

Princeton Review Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests - GraduateSchool Test Preparation Book, Paperback or Kindle

Princeton Review is synonymous with getting results. With seasoned experts helping students, parents and educators achieve the best results at every stage of the education process since 1981, it is the ideal brand to get your heart’s desire: SUCCESS.

The Princeton Review Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests prides itself on techniques that actually work. Such techniques include powerful tactics to avoid traps and beat the test, step-by-step problem-solving guides and 9 strategies to maximize time and minimize error. Some of its other exciting features can be seen below:
  • Expert subject review for all test topics
  • Bulleted chapter summaries for quick review
  • Extensive GRE vocabulary list featuring key terms and exercises
  • 2 full-length practice tests with detailed answer explanations in the book
  • 2 additional full-length practice tests online
  • Drills for each test section—Verbal, Math, and Writing
Weiner Green and Ira Wolf combine on this stellar prep book to give you a concise test overview, quality test-taking advice and a timetable for a typical computer-based GRE test. Interested in fluent vocabulary skills? Try Barron’s GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards, 2nd Edition.

Barron’s GRE Preparation Book by Sharon Weiner Green M.A., Ira K. Wolf Ph.D – Available in Paperback or Kindle

Sharon Weiner Green, M.A., and Ira K. Wolf, Ph.D., are specialists when it comes to GRE prep books. With numerous prep books to their credit, preparing a timetable for success in any Graduate Record Examination is merely a formality.

Barron’s GRE Test Prep by Weiner Green & Wolf is a professional and comprehensive book that clearly explains nearly all questions and math contents. Featuring a diagnostic test with an answer key and answer explanations, this book is a good guide to your study and analysis of real GRE questions. Here are more incentives to get this prep book:
  • Contains a verbal reasoning review with practice questions in sentence completion and reading comprehension
  • An analytical writing review with scoring guidelines and practice exercises
  • Has a quantitative reasoning review that includes general math strategies, discrete quantitative questions, quantitative comparison questions, and data interpretation questions
  • Two full-length model GRE tests with answer keys and answer explanations
  • An optional CD-ROM that includes two additional full-length computer-based GREs with all questions answered and explained and automatic scoring
Imagine getting FREE access to Barron's Online GRE Course when you purchase this prep book. Isn’t that reason enough to add it to your cart?

How Do I Choose the Best GRE Prep Book?

We can imagine the drudgery of dragging yourself out of bed every morning once the bedside alarm clock rings. The rejection your pillow and bed feel when you leave their company and fall into the arms of the other woman, “Ms. Books”. And you know what’s worse? That feeling of inadequacy. The type that comes from knowing exactly where you stand in your prep level for a defining exam like the GRE.

And what takes it from bad to worse? Study groups. The circles which were supposed to help you learn more and understand better become the tool that reveals just how much you don’t know, and how much more others know and why you should just give up and take up that paper delivery job that Aunt Griselda told you about before. Sigh!

First, come here and have a hug. Now, chin up and face your issues like a champ. Study groups are fantastic for revision if you have studied. What you should normally get out of a study group is each person bringing their own strengths (and weaknesses) to the table. It’s expected that everybody’s weakness is eventually addressed by someone else’s strength. We’re sure you catch our drift already. You ought to have done your own bit of burning the midnight oil already, to get an idea of where you need help and the topics you have already conquered. Whatever stage you are at with your revision, finding the right prep book to put on your bookshelf will keep you on track running up to your exams.

If you were looking for a GMAT prep book, or need one of those as well, don’t panic that you’re in the wrong place. We have a review guiding you through five great GMAT prep books so you have one less thing on your to do list.
There’s a wide variety when it comes to the price of GRE prep books, our chosen five range from around $10 to $35. Because these books are relatively affordable, we don’t think you should consider anything in the “cheap GRE prep books” category. The cost of the standard prep materials is a very small price to pay for a better future. In fact, you could probably pay for two different books and double your chances at a perfect score!

In general, the more features the book offers, the higher the price. Certification is also a factor. We only know of one book that’s certified, and as you probably have guessed, it costs a little more.
Here are some must-haves for a standard GRE prep book. We discuss them in detail in the next section.
  • Difficulty level of questions
  • Volume of questions
  • Style of approach to question solving
  • ”Theme”: What is most prevalent in this book? Enough practice questions, strategies, exhaustive explanations, etc.
  • Certification
  • Any personal extras desired
Construction and Design
All GRE prep books differ in their style of approach to problem solving. While some authors take you through a step-by-step process of solving each problem, others might prefer to give you tips, tricks, and tidbits to take with you into the exam hall.

Other authors have a very friendly and warm way of writing in their prep books instead of the usual severe and humorless aura expected from books of this nature. The warm and friendly authors often go as far as giving tips to soothe nerves and retain your calm confidence before the exam.

Of course with any study material, it’s safe to say the more the questions, the merrier. If a prep book contains a large volume of questions, it means practicing as many varied questions as possible. On the flip side, voluminous questions might scare someone who’s pressed for time and cause them to give up totally, rendering the book useless.

In general, if your book checks a good number of the boxes above, whether or not the book is certified is insignificant. So don’t sweat it.
Performance and Ease of Use
Check out the overall difficulty level of your intended prep book and sections comprising the book. If it appears too easy or too difficult, then consider giving it a pass. This is critical because you don’t want to be overconfident because you thrashed the easy questions in your prep book. Neither do you want your morale bashed due to unnecessarily difficult questions from your prep. If you have the funds, consider getting two books as many books usually favor one section over the others in the area of core strengths. By purchasing two books, you even out the odds and up your chances of acing the exam.

Look out for authors that speak “your language”; something you can easily assimilate without stress. Don’t just pick off the shelf because you heard it’s the best. One man’s short ribs might be another man’s broccoli. Be smart. Additional perks different books might include are DVDs, tips on how to make educated guesses, an online faculty that can help with difficult questions, and more, depending on the author.

Some tips for taking care of your GRE prep book: keep your books on a shelf, and avoid eating on your study desk. Spills can accidentally cause damage, and not just to the books but possibly the desk lamp as well. If you need to take a break, rather than turning the book over (you weaken the binding system that way), use a page marker instead.

At the end of the day, strive to leave your prep book in good condition so you can gift it to someone else and become a part of that person’s success story, just like we hope we have become a part of yours!

Get the Best GRE Prep Book of 2023!

The fine line between success and failure in any exam lies in how prepared you are. Now that you’ve got the best information regarding GRE prep books, go ahead and pick yours. Success awaits you!

Our Top Choice
Manhattan Prep 5lb Book of GRE Practice Problems, 2nd Edition
Best Value
Kaplan Premier GRE Review Books + Digital Resources
ETS Official Guide to the GRE® Revised General Test
Princeton Review Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests
Barron’s GRE Test Prep by Weiner Green & Wolf