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What's the best online GRE prep course?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Definitely Magoosh. They have great videos to help you brush up on your stuff, and I swear by their vocab app. They separate the decks based on how common the words are, and you see the words pop up based on how well you know them. I also used a Kaplan book (got it free through my REU's GRE course, but I think it's fairly cheap if you get it on Amazon) and the Manhattan 5lb book for doing tons of practice problems. They also explain to you what ETS is looking for, and I think this is more important than anything else for the exam. I highly recommend doing the free practice exams on the ETS website; there's two and they're exactly like the real exam, so doing them as if I was taking the real thing was immensely helpful. 

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I'm currently using Magoosh and Empower and I'm finding them both useful. They both have video explanations and lots of practice questions. I'm finding using both useful as they explain concepts differently and I find having more skills in my arsenal a bonus. My only gripe is with Empower's website - it's a little buggy - there are sometimes quiz questions in which you can't actually click an answer and the script the page uses sometimes crashes (this could be a browser problem - I'm using Safari on a MacBook).


I think Magoosh is cheaper than Empower (I can't remember how much I paid for Magoosh but Empower was $99/Month). Empower gives you a free 24 hour test so I would do that and compare it to Magoosh to see which suits you best.


I've also been using lots of books to maximise my learning.

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I went with Magoosh when I retook the GRE.  While the product lived up to its promise of increasing my score by 5 points (my actual score increase was by 13 points), I don't think I would use Magoosh again in the future if I were to retake the GRE for what-ever reason.  I will most likely just stick with the Official Guide...by ETS.  


For one, some of the explanations to why they say the correct answers are the correct answers are down right convoluted, confusing, or just plain false.  And for VR, they use words and nuances of grammar that even ETS would not put on the GRE.  


No GRE test prep company can get the language quite right; none can write practice questions tricking and trapping you with such subtlety like ETS.  My suggestion is that you supplement what-ever online test prep you use with the Official Guide to the GRE by ETS (which Magoosh suggests that you do, anyways). 


By the way, you can access and download the Magoosh study plans for free (from Magoosh dot  com).  In my opinion, they are probably the best study plan guides out there, but of course you cannot access their practice problems.  Worth a look if you can supply your own practice problems (such as with various other GRE test prep books, perhaps from the local library). 


* to add*  Also, their vocab app "flashcards" is free (Android and iOS).  

Edited by Crucial BBQ
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Really? Don't get me wrong. Magoosh is good, but it strikes me as kind of generic compared to Empower. You should try both. For me though, the instructor style at Empower is night and day better, so I'm a big fan. Yeah Empower is $99 per month and Magoosh is $99 flat, but they're both way less than other courses I would have taken anyway. 


I also mentioned this in another thread too...most importantly, my scores are up across the board, and to me most surprisingly on the vocab questions. The Empower tactics show you that it's really not about the vocab, but instead it's all about the context. It's really strong.


Poiple mentioned the 24 hour trial above. That's what I had too, but on the homepage they're running a 5 day for $5 promo code right now. 


I hope that helps! Back to studying.

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