How to select and What to select:

Success to any examination depends on the depth of preparation. There is no shortcut f achieving a satisfactory result in an exam. You have to master the required difficulty bar set by any exam standards. The story goes same for GRE as well. To crack GRE and score top marks you’ve to go through a whole lot of study materials that include GRE books and sample questions. To be swift in approaching questions and correctly answering them, you need to know about the best GRE prep books on the market. So, stick till the end of this article to get familiarized with the wide domain these GRE test books offer.

You would need a high score in the GRE to get into the top universities. It is quite obvious that to score high in the GRE test you’ve to read more. Blunt memorization won’t help you muchbecause GRE is an adaptive exam which means there will be some questions, every time, which will be new and rigorously testing your reasoning and analytical skills. Various books on the market help you strategically approach the GRE examination, and all you have to know is, which book to follow.

Six Characteristics Of a Good Book:

Every GRE book in the market has one single objective, that is, to help you crack the exam.But a good book will also aim at helping you achieve higher marks along with just cracking it. A good GRE book always has certain characteristics. It is hard to find a book that’ll bear all these essential features but you can opt for a book that at least has few (maybe 2-3) of the characteristics. As a test taker, you should be aware of what to find in a book when you are searching for a good one in a lot. A good one will consist all these features:

  1. Real replica of GRE questions

  2. A good GRE book will always provide you with questions that are practical and matches the exact difficulty level of the exam. It will help you to get accustomed to the exam pattern and sharpen the skills required for getting higher marks. Familiarisation with the question type is very importantas it will allow you to focus on all the important areas of the subjects asked in GRE.

  3. Answer Keys

  4. Solving questions will be effective only when you are solving it correctly. You are already putting in a lot of effort and time in solving questions and building up concepts. Searching elsewhere for the answers will only slow down your preparation. So a good book will always have answer key printed inside. It is very important that you not only solve more questions but also amend your mistakes along with the process.

  5. Elaborate Explanations

  6. Now you’ve corrected the mistakes but that particular solution is still incomplete until you’ve understood the solving process. Explanation of the questions is just as important as knowing the answer keys. Comprehensive explanation allows you to approach a question correctly and proceed to the exact result. Thein-depth solution is the key to know where your concepts are blurry and how you need to proceed with your strategies. Thus a good book will always have answer explanations along with the answer keys.

  7. More Practice Questions

  8. GRE test books must have ample questions to solve for each and every concept included. Adequate practice will always increase your chances of getting a good GRE score. More practice means more confidence and ultimately better results. Solving just a few questions and remaining satisfied with that preparation will likely leave you behind with those who have prepared well. A test taker needs to identify those books that have a wide variety of questions included inside.

  9. Proven Strategies

  10. A good GRE book should guide you in such a way that you get familiar with almost every variable required for a good score. This includes time management, rational guesswork, shortcut techniques, question approaching skills and overall improvement in your preparation. Successfully working your way out through an examination is what strategies achieve and a good GRE book should always aim at this very point.

  11. Practice Tests and Full Tests

  12. Finally, GRE preparation without solving full-length question papers is incomplete. Solving adequate of these test papers will let you acquaint yourself with the environment of the actual test day. You will also learn how to efficiently distribute your skills and effort in the question paper and effectively recap concepts and vocabulary on that day.

Top 10 GRE Books

Below is a list of 10 best GRE prep books that have to be thoroughly prepared for GRE to obtain a high score. These books have helped many test takers, reach a better score and will also help you in that.

1. 5 lb. Manhattan Prep GRE Practice Problems

Manhattan’s 5 lb. Prep GRE Strategy Guide is a book intended for a large quantity of question practice. It has over 1800 practice questions with detailed explanations that cover every essential topic asked in GRE. All these problems are spread across 33 chapters that provide a test taker with a comprehensive practice and an essential resource to build the fundamental skills to solve both maths and verbal section. This book also includes access to an online bank of GRE practice questions and GRE Challenge Problem archive.


  1. A vast number of practice questions covering all concepts helps you not to worry about relying on other books to find GRE problems.
  2. Covers the full range of difficulty level and skill requirement. You can target and develop areas where you are weak.
  3. A detailed explanation is given for each problem. Great for question approaching techniques and ideas.


  1. Bulky book and difficult to carry around. Can become cumbersome at times.
  2. Poor formatting of E-book version.

2. The Official Guide to the GRE General Test,3nd Edition by Educational Testing Service or ETS

This is a book aimed at developing your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. The Official Guide to the General Test is an official GRE guidebook which is accurate as it comes from the makers of the GRE, i.e., ETS. This book covers the detailed outline of Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. You can rely on this book to build up your concepts and strategies. Along with the practice questions this book has four full-length test papers, two in the book and two on CD.


  1. Best for learning the problem-solving tactics. A must-have book for those standing on the initial stage of their preparation.
  2. Questions replicate the level that comes with the actual GRE test paper.
  3. A very helpful guidebook in building up your overall confidence required before starting to solve practice questions and full-length test papers.


  1. Only two practice test. This book is not helpful for those who want to solve huge quantity of questions.

3. Cracking The GRE, 2018 Edition by Princeton Reviews

Folks at Princeton Reviews have come up with this book to help you develop the skills and strategies for the GRE test. This book is very effective in giving you an eagle’s eye view of the overall preparation you need to do for the GRE.

There are five parts in this book that are divided into

  1. General Strategy
  2. Verbal Section
  3. Quantitative Section
  4. Analytical Writing
  5. Practice Tests

This book also contains four full-length test papers, two in the book and two online.


  1. Well-presented study tips which are easy to implement.
  2. Comprehensive answer keys at the end of each chapter that are helpful to correct small mistakes.
  3. Online test questions resemble actual GRE questions.


  1. Lack of in-depth analysis of the quantitative section, which makes to rely on other books for this purpose.
  2. Some printing mistakes in maths section.

4. Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides

This is a set of 8 books that are devoted to each of the significant areas of GRE's domain. Among these eight books, there is one which exclusively concentrates on the reading comprehension and strategies about essays. Along with the eight separate books, it has 1-year access to 6 Manhattan Prep GRE exams papers. The list of 8 books is:

  1. The Algebra GRE Strategy Guide
  2. The Fractions, Decimals, & Percents GRE Strategy Guide
  3. The Geometry GRE Strategy Guide
  4. The Number Properties GRE Strategy Guide
  5. The Word Problems GRE Strategy Guide
  6. The Quantitative Comparisons & Data Interpretation GRE Strategy Guide
  7. The Reading Comprehension & Essays GRE Strategy Guide
  8. The Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence GRE Strategy Guide


  1. Best set of books to master your question thinking ability. You require this strategy to correctly approach any question.
  2. Crisp & precise guides and concepts. Easy to master and revise.
  3. Separately dedicated books for each major areas of the exam. This is helpful to let you concentrate on each area individually.


  1. Questions are not properly organized. Sometimes it can get frustrating to navigate through the papers.
  2. Some of the straightforward concepts are complicated by graphs and charts.

5. Barron’s GRE, 22 Edition

Barron’s GRE is again a book aimed at overall GRE test-taking strategies. There are answer keys and explanations for each test paper. This is one of those books that have general math strategies, discrete quantitative reasoning, quantitative comparison questions, and data interpretation questions along with practice questions in sentence completion and reading comprehension. Buying this book will grant you access to 2 full-length online GRE exam paper with appropriate answers.


  1. Strategies are written in such a simple way that you can prepare them even at the eleventh hour (maybe just a few weeks prior) to the GRE exam
  2. A fantastic verbal section with definitions of around 3000 words.
  3. Concepts are clearly written with a comprehensive explanation.


  1. Some mathematics questions are harder than the actual GRE quantitative section.
  2. Maths section is somewhat poorly formatted.

6. McGraw-Hill Education Conquering GRE Maths, 3rd Edition

This is a book intended to boost your basic math skills. The book helps you with developing problem-solving techniques, comprehensive analysis of a wide range of practice problems and makes you learn all the necessary quantitative concepts. Along with hundreds of mathematics problems you'll also get three full-size GRE question set that mimics the difficulty level of the real test.


  1. Great book for beginners, starting their maths preparation for GRE.
  2. Fundamental explanation is given for every question. Easy to understand.
  3. More than enough question to furnish your basic maths.


  1. This book is only for basic mathematical concepts. You’ll need a book with advanced math techniques in it to get a good score in the GRE.

7. GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topic by Vibrant Publishers

This is a collection of two books. The first book is intended to furnish your analytical writing skills. There are essay writing strategies and sample essays for completely new twenty-five Issues and twenty-five Arguments.The second part helps strengthen your writing abilities and build up your confidence.


  1. A wide variety of approaches used; from the first-person point of view to using historical and literary references.
  2. Each essay is a part of ETS official essay list.
  3. Some very good essays included inside, gives you an idea of what the actual GRE Analytical Writing looks like.


  1. Sample essays don’t have concrete supporting arguments.
  2. Only one page of tips and tricks per section.

8. GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards by Manhattan Prep

Flash cards are a fantastic way to master the vocab section. This book has 500 essential words included in the cards. There is also another section of 500 advanced words sold separately in the same flash card manner. Each card has one word infront and its definitions, synonyms, and usage at the back.


  1. Best way to learn new words. Easier to retain them in the memory than by reading a vocab book.
  2. Have words of various difficulty levels. You have an all-around preparation in the vocab section.


  1. Can seem to be priced very high.
  2. Not of much use, if you want to cover a wide range of words rather than just 500 words.

9. GRE Prep by Magoosh

This is a book by a company named Magoosh that offers over a thousand practice questions and video explanations, full-length tests, and hundreds of helpful lessons prepared by their subject experts. There are over 130 online practice questions and detailed answers along with 1000 plus questions inside the book.


  1. Easy to read and understand the wordings and concepts given inside.
  2. Every major and minor aspect of the GRE syllabus has been covered.
  3. A well-organized book with useful questions along with its answer key and comprehensive explanation.


  1. Lack of examples associated with each chapter.
  2. Some of the explanations are not satisfactory. You might find them poorly managed.

10. PowerPrep Practice Tests by ETS - Free

These practice tests by ETS help you prepare for the final GRE test day. You have to access this test only after you’ve finished with your concept and skill building part. They are free of cost, and you will get them only after you’ve registered for GRE with an ETS account. These question sets are the exact and most accurate replica of the actual GRE exam. This PowerPrep set includes two full-length timed tests.


  1. You can learn how to use the online calculator
  2. Understand the various question types and the difficulty level that comes in the exam.
  3. Gain knowledge about scoring procedure.


  1. You might have to end up buying the PowerPrep Plus Online which will cost you $39.99. Solving just two full-length question paper might not make you feel comfortable with your preparation level.