Prepping for and taking the GRE is a lot of things––exhausting, scary, stressful, frustrating––but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
I took the GRE in September 2021, and throughout my months of preparation, I found a ton of amazing online resources to help me through the process. Though the GRE itself will set you back about $200 without a fee waiver, there are tons of free resources to help you prepare without dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a prep course. I’ve gathered up some of my favorites here!
GregMat is one of the most highly recommended GRE prep websites across the internet, and Greg is well known for his high-quality prep materials and dedication to making GRE success accessible without spending a ton of money. While his main program costs $5 per month, which includes live classes, recorded classes, study plans, and problem-solving videos, he also offers a variety of great free resources. These include Verbal lessons, Quant lessons, vocabulary lessons and quizzes, and essay lessons.
Free Practice Tests
Taking practice tests is one of the best ways to get familiar with the GRE and put your knowledge into practice. There are many free practice tests available across the internet, including two official practice tests offered by the ETS (the company that creates and administers the GRE) that can be found on their website. Manhattan Prep, Kaplan, Princeton Review, and many more websites also have free full-length practice tests.
Magoosh Vocabulary App
Magoosh is known as one of the most affordable test-prep services (when compared to companies like Princeton Review or Kaplan), but they also offer one of the most highly recommended GRE vocabulary apps. If flashcards are your thing, this is a great option to learn lots of vocabulary in a convenient way.
Similar to Magoosh’s vocabulary app, there are tons of GRE Quizlets that others have made public. These are not just limited to vocabulary, although there are certainly quite a few of those. There are also Quizlets for Quantitative Reasoning as well. I’ll also take this opportunity to plug my own GRE vocabulary Quizlet, in which each word is paired with a gif that reminded me of the definition. These flashcards made me laugh a lot and really stuck in my mind, and I found them astronomically more useful than just reading long and boring definitions.
This calculator closely mirrors the one that you’ll actually use on the test, whether you take the GRE at home or at a testing center. Practicing with this calculator can be really helpful to learn to efficiently use only the functions you will actually have during the exam.
Official Essay Resources
The ETS has published every possible essay prompt for both the Issue Essay and Argument Essay. Though it would be a pretty daunting task to memorize every prompt, using the prompts to write practice essays or get an understanding of what you might see on the exam can be really useful. Additionally, the ETS has graded samples of both Issue Essays and Argument Essays.
Sam Fold, the host of the VictorPrep podcast, goes through four vocabulary words per episode, describing their meaning, using them in a sentence, and providing a mnemonic. Something about his clear descriptions, mnemonics, and memorable sentences makes it so easy to learn GRE vocabulary while listening to the podcast. For months, I would put this podcast on wherever I went and learn vocabulary on the go.
GRE Snacks, on the other hand, focuses more on the general experience of taking the GRE, including strategies for approaching each section, how to beat your nerves on test day, how to decide when to schedule your test, and more. I didn’t listen to this podcast as religiously as VictorPrep, but I found many of the episodes helpful for coming up with new strategies and overcoming some of my mental blocks while taking the exam.
Sample Study Schedules
Figuring out how to manage your time while studying for the GRE can be as daunting as preparing for the test itself. This website has a variety of sample study schedules for many different timeframes, with an outline of which topics to study on which days and how to space out practice tests.
ETS also offers a comprehensive review of all of the math that you can be held responsible for on the exam. While the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section focuses more on your ability to reason through complex questions, rather than testing your knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, knowing the foundations of the math you’ll need to know can be incredibly helpful.
If you have any free or affordable GRE prep resources you would recommend, let me know in the comments!
Online assessment that looks much more friendly than the GRE via Max Pixel