GRE Study Books (2017 Edition)
Successful students who ace the exam have one thing in common — they buy GRE study books. The difference between an average score and a top percentile score can mean the difference between getting into the school of your dreams and, well, not getting in. GRE study books are a small investment and, to intelligent students, are an easy purchase decision, considering the huge payoff of a great score.
We studied over 5,000 confirmed purchase reviews from students to compile our GRE study book list for 2017 – 2018. Using our list to pick your books will save you hundreds of dollars and days of wasted time. While we considered over 100 GRE study books, we narrowed it down to the top book for each subject.
Best Overall GRE Study Books
If you want to play it safe and catch up on all areas of study for the GRE test, you’ll want to purchase a set of books. No single book will prepare you as well as some of the sets available on Amazon, based on our findings. We evaluated the official 3 book set offered by ETS, but found that it wasn’t as comprehensive as our #1 pick.
If you want to cover all your bases with one book set, the Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides is all you need to cover all the topics in the GRE test. The first 4 books are dedicated to different areas of math and another 4 books dedicated to verbal, written and interpretation strategies.
We recommend these GRE study books to get your baseline down before you take any practice tests.
Included in this 8 book strategy guide are the following individual books:
- The Algebra GRE Strategy Guide
- The Fractions, Decimals, & Percents GRE Strategy Guide
- The Geometry GRE Strategy Guide
- The Number Properties GRE Strategy Guide
- The Word Problems GRE Strategy Guide
- The Quantitative Comparisons & Data Interpretation GRE Strategy Guide
- The Reading Comprehension & Essays GRE Strategy Guide
- The Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence GRE Strategy Guide
Best GRE Practice Test Book
Once you have your baseline knowledge from the Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8, it’s time to test your knowledge. There are a lot of practice test books available, but our #1 pick is by far the only book you will need on GRE practice tests.
With over 2,000 realistic questions, the 5lb Book of GRE practice problems is the only test book you’ll need to prepare for the GRE exam. In addition to the book, you will also get access to online practice problems and solutions. Since there are far less than 2,000 problems to deal with on the real GRE general exam, getting through this book is a sure fire way to ace the exam.
The book is intuitively broken down into sections that correspond with the real GRE test. With over 33 chapters, this book is the most comprehensive practice test book available in the market, made by a highly reputable institution (Manhattan Prep).
This book also comes with access to their online question banks, which simulates the actual experience of taking the GRE exam.
Best GRE Study Book for Mathematics
Do you need to take a deeper dive into the math part of the GRE exam? If you found during your practice tests that math was challenging, you should consider buying our #1 study book for GRE mathematics.
There are many books and courses dedicated to math offered all over The United States. The GRE Math Prep Course is a masterfully crafted book that captures a full GRE math class into a single study book.
The book breaks down GRE math study into 4 sections: Review, Practice, Test and Duals. By far the most valuable information is in their comprehensive review, which outlines exactly what types of math questions you will see, and, more importantly, how to solve them.
Best GRE Study Book for Physics
While the physics questions make up a small part of the overall GRE exam, students report physics questions as the most difficult. Fortunately for you, you can conquer the physics questions with our top pick for a physics GRE study book.
Building on the success of their first edition, Conquering the Physics GRE is both the best-selling and highest rated physics GRE study books available on multiple websites.
Actual physicists and MIT graduate students wrote this book — you can be confident in the instructions.
Also included in the book is 3 practice tests with full solutions, reviews of all the major subject areas and an additional 150 practice questions.
If you are scared of the GRE physics questions, you are not alone. Study this book and conquer your fear!
Best GRE Study Books for Verbal & Quantitative Reasoning
While practice tests are a good way to improve your verbal and quantitative reasoning, if you find your writing isn’t clear or you have difficulty understanding some questions, you may want to purchase a dedicated GRE study book (or two) dedicated to these subjects.
While we looked at several other verbal and quant GRE study books, we found that none were as comprehensive as the GRE Verbal Workbook by Kaplan Test Prep.
Not only does this book include several practice questions, it also includes: Diagnostic tools to identify where you need help, comprehensive reviews of of skills and concepts (incl. vocabulary), strategies and approaches to verbal reasoning and writing tips for your essays.
The practice tests are also substantial; the book includes 6 full page verbal reasoning practice tests.
Best GRE Study Book for Analytical Writing
Along the lines of the verbal and quantitative reasoning books, you should also grab a specific book on analytical writing. Since much of the exam is written, you can carve a serious edge by improving your analytical writing signifcantly.
In our opinion, no book has a better approach to helping students improve their analytical writing.
This book, GRE Analytics Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics, includes 60 solved “issue and argument” topics that are perfectly written, so you can compare your answers to an expertly crafted one. They also break down the essays and explain why they are perfect responses to problems you will find on the GRE exam.
In addition, there is a detailed explanation on how writing is scored on the GRE exam which gives you an important perspective on all your writing pieces.
This book is a must have for any student looking to improve their writing.