In an increasingly-digital age, online GRE prep services are becoming quite common, but Achievable GRE stands out from the rest thanks to its innovative teaching style and algorithmically-generated practice questions, among many other features.
Plenty of companies know that students are working and learning online now more than ever, so these organizations have begun crafting test prep courses that are optimized for digital platforms. As a result, finding a GRE prep course online is easy enough. Finding one that stands out from the digital noise, however, isn’t so easy.
Achievable GRE is a brand new test prep course, but they boast a high amount of instructional content and practice material, coupled with unique course features, that allow them to accomplish their organizational goal: to provide a comprehensive curriculum and a state-of-the-art instruction strategy focused on helping test-takers learn and retain information using proven psychological methods.
Here, we’ll take you through everything that makes Achievable a unique and worthwhile GRE prep option, but we’ll also let you in on where the course has room for improvement. If you’re interested in seeing how Achievable compares to our other top-ranked GRE prep courses, check out our comparison page of all the best GRE courses available today.
Please note Achievable is one of our affiliate brands, and as such we receive a small commission at no cost to you if you choose to purchase this prep course. Only use our links if you find this review helpful.
1. Personalization Algorithm
A few GRE prep programs use algorithms to personalize aspects of their courses. These algorithms often determine which concepts you study sooner rather than later based on your abilities. Only one course, however, uses an algorithm to map out the actual timing of your GRE prep in order to optimize your memorization: Achievable.
Achievable’s prep algorithm is based on psychological research surrounding memory loss; depending on when and how you first learn a piece of information, there is a specific time where you’ll start to forget that info, meaning that it’s time to review. In order to optimize your memory, Achievable’s algorithm monitors your quiz responses and other data to determine the exact time that it will be best for you to review specific pieces of information.
This means every student will get a unique personalized study schedule according to their individual memorization needs profile, which means that you’ll be studying in the most efficient way possible for you. That’s what makes Achievable’s algorithm a bit different from the rest: it creates an efficient schedule based on your memorization needs, rather than a studying order that’s just based on your starting abilities in certain subjects.
2. Year-Long Access
Studying for the GRE is a different experience for every prospective grad student. Generally, however, it takes at least a couple months for most students to effectively prepare for the test. All the top GRE prep courses include months of access, which gives you plenty of time to study, but not all access periods are created equal.
If you purchase a prep course with only 6 months of access, you may later find that your schedule is a bit more hectic than you thought, and that you won’t be able to study until four months from now. On the other hand, you could take the GRE just fine, only to find out your first attempt didn’t score as well as you’d hoped. In that case, what’s left of your 6-month period probably won’t be enough for you to study more intensively and retake the test. When life gets in the way, these shorter access periods aren’t ideal.
Out of the best GRE prep courses we’ve found, only 2 offer a full year of access: Achievable GRE and PrepScholar GRE.
With an access period like that, you can simply rest more easily knowing that if you have to stop studying to attend to other matters, or if you have to take the test a few times to get the score you need, you won’t have to worry about extending your course at an additional cost.
3. Unlimited Quant Practice Questions
If you’re trying to evaluate how much content a GRE test prep service has for its students, you can get an idea from its number of practice questions. Before Achievable released their prep course, the largest practice question banks we found were Target Test Prep GRE with 3,000 questions and Kaplan GRE with 5,000 questions. Although those are big numbers, there’s still a theoretical point where students who use lots of questions in their prep would find themselves out of material, forced to rework questions rather than face new ones, which wouldn’t contribute nearly as much to their learning process.
The Achievable GRE prep course took an entirely new approach to the practice question game for their quantitative material. They developed a database of concepts and figures that they can now plug into a question-construction program, leading to a randomized collection of unlimited GRE Quant problems. For those who know that math is their weak spot, Achievable’s practice question system ensures that they’ll always be taking on new questions using unique figures, learning the concepts behind the questions instead of memorizing the answers themselves.
4. Vocabulary Building
With their GRE prep course, Achievable incorporates a unique cluster-based vocabulary review system. Other GRE courses may throw you into verbal practice questions and wait for you to get the questions wrong before showing you the vocab you need to know. Once again, Achievable takes an innovative approach here—they include specially designed vocab review that presents words in specific clusters, which can increase your comprehension of the words’ meanings.
Learning the meaning of one complex word isn’t too hard, but the GRE uses hundreds of high-level vocabulary words that sometimes have only slightly different meanings. By putting words together in specific clusters, Achievable’s vocab review helps students learn the little differences between words that have similar sounds or connotations. If you’re looking for a new approach to vocab review, this makes the Achievable GRE course a great option for you.
5. Lots of Free Content
You may be interested in trying Achievable out, but unsure whether you want to shell out the full price before you take the course on a test drive. With Achievable, you don’t even have to sign up for a limited-time trial period—you instead can check out a pretty sizeable selection of their study material for an unlimited time.
This material includes verbal and quantitative lessons from their online textbook, plus review questions and vocab quizzes. You won’t be able to take any full-length practice tests without paying for the full course, but the quality of the content you have access to for free should be enough to show you whether Achievable is your best choice.
6. Score Improvement Guarantee
Test prep companies often guarantee their prep courses using a higher score guarantee. With these guarantees, anyone who took the test before but doesn’t get a better score after completing the course gets every penny back that they spent. Some of these guarantees are better than others, though, because a student could technically improve their score by a mere point and still not qualify for the guarantee, even though their score improvement wasn’t significant.
Achievable offers one of the most robust score improvement guarantees available, promising that anyone who takes their course will score at least 7 points higher on their total GRE score than they did on a previous test attempt. For some students, that 7 points may be the difference between making or missing the GRE cutoff score for their dream graduate school. Of course, guarantees this strong do come with certain requirements, especially when it comes to presenting previous test scores, so be sure to research everything you need to do in order to qualify.
7. Brand New Platform
With some test prep courses, you may log in for the first time only to find that you’re watching videos or reading questions that were created many years ago. As a result, you may be missing out on more updated question strategies and teaching methods, and you’ll also probably feel like you’re just not getting the highest quality product.
Achievable, on the other hand, offers a new test prep platform that’s optimized according to the most up-to-date GRE information and digital trends. To study using their platform, you’ll be using a well-designed website that works well on both desktop and mobile devices.
Because their product is so new, of course, they don’t have some of the fully-developed course material that older courses have (as we’ll discuss below). Still, the GRE testing experience changes fairly often, and the process of learning online is changing all the time, which means that a more up-to-date GRE preparation platform will probably be the best option for most of today’s students.
1. Lacks Some Material
As we mentioned before, the Achievable GRE course is a new product, and though that has its benefits when it comes to incorporating updated testing strategies and modern features, it also has downsides.
Achievable relies mainly on an online textbook for its Quant and Verbal lessons. At the time of writing, they haven’t incorporated any video or audio material into their courses yet, so this means you’ll be doing a lot of reading. This isn’t exclusively a bad thing, of course, reading is one of the most effective ways to actually retain and interact with information, but video explanations are also a great way to learn information quickly.
Secondly, Achievable hasn’t had the time to bulk out its practice reading comprehension questions yet. They have 200+ verbal questions for you to review, which is technically enough for 10 full-length GRE tests, but isn’t as much as you’ll find with older courses that have had decades to add to their verbal material.
2. One Course Format
Achievable’s GRE prep course only comes in one course format, though many of the other top GRE courses we’ve reviewed have several course options available. Using Achievable means you’ll be using a self-paced online format, which simply means that all the material is accessed online, and there’s no regularly-scheduled class session that you have to attend.
However, anyone who knows they need to interact with classmates or an in-person professor to get the most out of a course may want to look at other GRE prep courses that offer different formats. There are in-person courses, live online courses (with virtual, regularly-scheduled class sessions), and private tutoring courses that may be better suited for you.
The self-paced online format is still the best option for students with busy schedules, or for anyone that prefers the opportunity to work through material at their own unique pace. So, if this sounds like you, Achievable’s exclusively self-paced format should hardly be a problem.
Achievable GRE course is a newer face in the GRE prep world, but there’s plenty about their course that makes them an ideal option for many of today’s students. They incorporate contemporary psychological research and specially-designed algorithms into their instructional strategy to make sure that students are learning and retaining information at the optimal pace. Beyond that, their course comes with features like an unlimited quantitative question database and a score-improvement guarantee that shows you’re getting a great value for your investment.
Plenty of GRE prep courses have moved online to provide preparation that’s accessible to today’s students, but Achievable stands out from the rest thanks to their unique instructional approach and great course features. And if you’re still not sold, head to Achievable and start previewing their GRE material for free—there’s a chance you’ll find that it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
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If you’ve read through our review and don’t think Achievable is the best choice for you, there are still plenty of other GRE prep courses out there that may have the features you need. Click the link below to head to our comparison page, where we’ve made a full rundown of the top GRE prep courses available today—see how they stack up when it comes to pricing, course format, and more!
Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, and Business.com where he shares his knowledge to help others boost their careers. Bryce is the founder of more than 20 test prep websites that help students and professionals pass their certification exams.