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GRE Books Vs Online Coaching – Which is better way to prepare for GRE?
October 12 2023


Before starting the preparation the inevitably doubt that come across every GRE applicants is "How do I prepare for GRE and what will be my prep strategy?" To be honest, there are distinct ways to do it. Most students targeting a high GRE score usually either opt to prepare on their own from GRE books or go for some kind of coaching, which may be a traditional classroom program, or online.

Which is the Better Way Of Preparation:GRE Books Vs Online Coaching – Which is better way to prepare for GRE?

If you are one of them who is in a confused state Don’t worry I’d like to help you regarding this. If you’re the type of student who has a busy schedule of a 9-5 job kind of a thing or has to go to college on daily basis always study independently to being taught, and preparing for your GRE yourself. Some of the most common books used by students who prepare on their own include the official guide to the GRE, published by the ETS (Educational Testing Service – the organization that conducts the GRE), Barron’s GRE and their Math and Verbal workbooks along with Word Power Made Easy for vocabulary building. If you’re already completely familiar with the structure of the GRE online test and have taken it earlier, this might be a decent way to prepare, however, in case you’re a first-time test taker and haven’t taken an adaptive style exam like the GRE before, it might lead to some sort of difficulty during preparation.

GRE Preparation through the books-Traditional method

Doing it yourself is the least expensive way to prepare. Self-studying is the way where you can learn from your previous mistakes.

Advantages of GRE Preparation through Books

  • Studying in your own place makes you feel comfortable.
  • It is the cheapest way of studying as self-studied review books cost runs from $10-$30 with sets of books around $95.
  • A convenient time of preparation can be scheduled. Knowing your best learning style helps a lot if you utilize it in your preparation.

Disadvantages of GRE Preparation through GRE Books

1 .Time Management:

      The GRE includes 3 sections – namely the AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment), Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. In the AWA section, students get an hour to write 2 essays of approximately 500 words each, there’s only about a minute and a half to devote to each of the other questions. This includes the time taken for reading and understanding the questions. No doubt, it is a race against time that requires not just knowing the concepts, but also practically applying them instantly. With sufficient experience of solving online mock tests in the same pattern as that of the GRE, you can hope to increase both – your accuracy as well as time management skills. Lack of confidence in your test-taking ability may occur if you are not used to online mock tests.

2.Using online tools

On the GRE, test takers are only allowed the use of an online, on-screen calculator and timer. It is an important part of effective GRE prep, so you’re completely comfortable with using them on D-day and requires utmost discipline to make it work. You’ll also get to understand how an adaptive test really works. None of these are possible when you practice offline through GRE books. Live online mock tests help to incorporate these tools in the same style as the GRE in the most efficient way.

3. Doubt Solving:

No expert guidance will be there. Limited feedbacks can be expected. Though most questions on the GRE are drawn from concepts you’ve learned in high school, the way they are presented can often be difficult in testing your logical and analytical thinking abilities. Now, while the best books or study material for GRE preparation might do a commendable job at explaining concepts, they can do little to solve any doubts you might get during your preparation.  Personalized online training, on the other hand, ensures that you not only have a solid understanding of the concepts but also receive one-on-one assistance from a trainer, who can help you out with tips to identify and solve tricky questions.


Most of the best online GRE preparation programs include detailed feedback of your performance and progress, when preparing from GRE books, you can only guess how far you’ve come along. Personalized feedback is one of the most important components of highly effective GRE prep, as it’s only then, that students can get clarity on their strengths and weaknesses. They get to know which areas must be concentrate on their effective learning.

Best Books for GRE :

ETS: GRE The Official Guide to the Revised General Test

Educational Testing Services (ETS), the maker of the GRE, offers the only official guide to the test. Known as the authoritative guide to the GRE for a good reason, because it's made by the same company who creates the test, it is one of the most recommended test-taking guides. This guide has a good reputation because it can prepare you for exactly what you should expect on the test. This guide comes with four complete real tests It has hundreds of authentic test questions, detailed descriptions of Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. Content areas include tips for answering each type of question and an overview of the two types of Analytic Writing Tasks you will encounter on the test including scored sample responses with actual raters' comments. Becoming a GRE expert 

Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)

Manhattan Prep, a leader in test-taking readiness, offers a broad range of products to help you prepare for the exam. This book has over 1000 pages. It has more than 2000 questions (book and online). There are 1400+ words (for GRE Vocabulary). Highly recommended. It will cost you around $20 from Amazon. It has several detailed chapters for quantitative topics like algebra, coordinate geometry, probability, etc.

GRE Prep with 8 Practice Tests

Test Prep (Argo Brothers) A lot of practice questions. It's like a condensed form of Kaplan with useful information. Good book if you want to practice a lot of questions in 1-2 weeks. It has a lot of types as reported by some users but highly recommended. If you have any questions or if you need any clarification on any problem then you can submit a free ticket on their website (it's a free service) Improve your GRE scores with GREKing

GRE by ArgoPrep

There are over 300 pages and the first edition was launched in June 2018. It has 3 Full-Length Practice tests(one of them is online). 14 Days Online Comprehensive Prep Included with Book. There is a video explanation for online questions. Also, the book offers over 500+ practice questions for the Verbal Reasoning & Quantitative section of the exam.

Few more books to consider:

 Barron's GRE
 Kaplan's GRE

   GRE Online Coaching –Preparing GRE through Online GRE Coaching  GRE preparation online is the easiest way that most of the aspirants opt. Struggle in finding the right guidance required is another major task for the test taker of GRE. The right coaching and the right Mentor make your journey easy with fewer complications. Online training even helps in finding strengths and weaknesses. Advantages of GRE Online Coaching
  • Knowing your Strength and weakness
  • Convenient
  • One on One assistance
  • Continuous feedback
  • Flexibility during prep
  • Free content and mocks are provided
  • Saves Time and Energy
  • An effective way of learning
  • Affordable than classroom coaching
  • Reliable course material
    We hope now all your confusion is gone and you now know how exactly online preparation differs from learning from books and will be able to make a versed decision. Happy learning!  
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