The GRE test may perplex some students as they get ready to sit down for this lengthy graduate’s test. Taking online tests and implementing good study habits leading up to the GRE test day can help a student to feel more confident.

What Is the GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination is often the first required step in applying to a graduate or business school. The multiple-choice standardized exam is computer based.

The GRE provides graduate and business schools with a common measure to compare applicants across the board. The test is given globally and shows the applicant’s preparedness and qualifications for graduate-level academic work.

Your academic record, letters of recommendation, grade point average and other supporting materials are weighted with your GRE score to judge you as a good candidate for the school.

GRE Preparation Online

When deciding to complete GRE preparation online, the choices can be dizzying. Some of the best online GRE test-prep programs include:

  • Magoosh GRE
  • examPAL GRE
  • Kaplan GRE
  • The Economist GRE
  • Target Test Prep GRE
  • Princeton Review GRE

An online GRE test prep program is flexible and convenient while also effective and broad in scope. The test-prep companies have up-to-date content and tailor the program to your specific GRE needs.

Cost of GRE Test Prep

The fees for GRE test prep vary widely, from free GRE prep tests to programs that can cost upward of $600. It depends on the amount of time and effort that a student has to put into the pre-test studying. Online GRE prep is much more cost effective than a tutor or class at a community college or center.

There are many sites that offer free GRE prep tests and tools. If you have a high GPA and feel fairly confident, then free GRE test prep may be a good fit. You may have to do more research and spend more time tracking down information than if you buy an all-inclusive and often expensive GRE test-prep program.

A GRE prep program typically takes a month to six weeks to complete. They generally cost about $100 per week and provide all you should need to walk into the test with confidence. A good program will present all the tools you need, point out where you may not realize you need to study more and allow you to confront that weakness.

GRE Webinars

Not sure where to start in your GRE preparation? There is a wide variety of GRE webinars that are hosted in multiple languages and across different time zones. These are ideal for students who prefer to study in their native language while testing in another country where they attend college.

A GRE webinar can break down the test, pinpoint where you may need to study most and pinpoint what tools would best suit your needs.

List of GRE Study Materials

GRE books abound in the bookstore education aisles. They are stuffed with practice exams and best test-taking practices and tools. Some of the best GRE study materials include:

  • Magoosh GRE Prep – There are more than 150 well-written practice questions to narrow down where you may need to focus your GRE study efforts. It is available online through Kindle for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

  • Educational Testing Service’s GRE Super Power Pack – This is written by the authors of the GRE exam, so you know that the content, practice questions and tests are up to date. It includes four full-length practice tests, two of which are online.

  • Barron's Essential Words for the GRE

    This is ideal for those who struggle with the vocabulary portion of the GRE. A pretest helps you to know where you need to study the most. 

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About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.