Updated August 20, 2020
If you’re not interested in some of the older, bigger GRE prep names out there—such as Kaplan and The Princeton Review—you’re probably looking for a unique and less expensive alternative that can help you crush the GRE. PrepScholar is a smaller, newer company than those two names, but it has really established itself as a dependable prep service with cutting-edge technology that brings spectacular GRE results. Their GRE prep course includes some of the best course features available today, which enable them to accomplish their organizational goal: to give students a remarkably effective prep experience through a customized course curriculum.
There’s plenty that makes PrepScholar stand out from the rest of the pack, and we’ll go into all of it here. We’ll also go through the things that might make PrepScholar a less-than-optimal option for certain students, so stick around to make sure you learn all there is to know about PrepScholar’s GRE online course. But first, here’s what makes PrepScholar GRE a great course option for today’s prospective graduates.
Please note PrepScholar 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. Course Personalization
All of PrepScholar’s courses provide their students with a personalized curriculum—that doesn’t just mean you decide when you study, although your study schedule will be entirely up to you. When you first start your PrepScholar GRE course, you’ll take a diagnostic test that evaluates your current ability level with dozens of specific GRE skills. From there, an algorithm which PrepScholar has named CustomPrep designs your entire GRE course, presenting lessons and quizzes in an order that is most likely to give you high score increases as soon as possible.
Out of all their features, this is the one that PrepScholar is most proud of. At the time of writing, you are able take all your GRE lessons in any order you like, but the order that CustomPrep puts them in gives you easier, highly impactful lessons at first, before bringing you to harder lessons that result in less noticeable score improvements. Where other test prep companies take a one-size-fits-all approach to GRE prep, PrepScholar is an industry leader in personalized learning thanks to their CustomPrep algorithm.
2. Cheapest GRE Course
Quality GRE prep courses can cost anywhere from $200 to $600 and beyond, but at the time of writing, PrepScholar GRE costs only $38! For a GRE prep course with a year of access, that price is unbeatable. PrepScholar’s more expensive GRE course has a fairly competitive price, too—their unlimited plan gives students years more of access to their GRE material for only $345, while plenty of other courses charge the same (or more) for only months of access. Beyond the course access, PrepScholar also has score guarantees and personalized lesson plans that even the most expensive courses don’t provide. When it comes to features, PrepScholar provides good value for your money, and their current $38 price is one of the best prices available for GRE prep.
One thing to note, though, is that one of PrepScholar’s cons (which we’ll discuss later in this article) is a lack of general material. So while the $38 price is great for a prep course, there are other GRE prep options that provide a bit more content and unique features such as flashcards without breaking the bank—check out our review of Magoosh GRE to see what we’re talking about.
There are a few course features where PrepScholar GRE is closer to the middle of the pack, but their course guarantee is far from average—it’s the best out there. Take their GRE prep online course, and you’re guaranteed to score 7 points higher on the GRE. That’s a pretty dramatic difference, enough to potentially move you from the bottom 50% of test takers to the top 25%.
If you don’t see that score increase after completing PrepScholar’s GRE program (instances like these are pretty rare), you can get all your money back, or even gain access to the course for another whole year. When compared to the guarantees offered by other top-ranked GRE prep courses, PrepScholar’s takes the cake, making it a great option for those who need to see drastic GRE score improvements.
4. Free Trial
If you’re interested in using PrepScholar’s course to study for the GRE but aren’t sure that you want to commit, it’s not a problem—you can easily take it for a spin for free. The free trial for their GRE course lasts 5 days, and unlike with other companies, you’re able to access every aspect of the course during this period. Others will limit your access to a certain number of questions or features, but PrepScholar’s trial lets you check out all the course has to offer, at no cost to you.
5. Progress Reports
It’s hard to make progress when you don’t know where you’ve come from or where you’re going; this principle applies to a lot of things, but it certainly applies to studying for an exam like the GRE, which has a pretty complicated structure that can be difficult to navigate. PrepScholar makes sure that you’re constantly informed about which GRE skills you’ve improved in, and by how much—their course will send emails to remind you about your study schedule for the week, and from your student dashboard, you can always access a progress report page that shows you how close you are to mastering certain skills.
Remember, these skills aren’t broad—they teach you everything you need to know about specific GRE question styles.
Mastering question styles this way gives you great insight into how the GRE works, so instead of just making progress in your ‘Reading’ ability or your ‘Geometry’ ability, you’re actually familiarizing yourself with specific test questions and seeing exactly how close you are to perfecting them.
6. Year-Long Access
Just like with their guarantees, PrepScholar excels when it comes to the access lengths of their courses. PrepScholar GRE includes 1 year of access, which is the longest course access period available out of all the top GRE prep programs. A year of access gives you more than enough time to study for and take the GRE as many times as you please, but if you somehow still aren’t getting the score you need, there’s another option.
You could choose PrepScholar’s unlimited GRE package, which gives you years of access to all their GRE prep material. For those who are looking to take the GRE down the road, taking advantage of this option while it’s on sale would probably be a great move.
7. Best Instructors
One final feature that makes PrepScholar stand out is its staff of GRE instructors. The people at PrepScholar who are designing your practice questions, lessons, and question explanations really know their way around the GRE, in large part because each and every one of them has scored in at least the top 1% of test-takers.
This team of 99th percentile GRE experts guides you through each and every question type with the highest amount of detail possible. Not every course employs pros as qualified as these, so if you’re looking for test-savvy educators that know what they’re doing, PrepScholar GRE is definitely an option for you.
1. Less Material
When looking at how much material a GRE course provides, we look at things like their number of practice questions, practice tests, and essay reviews. PrepScholar provides over 2,000 practice questions with their course, which is far from the lowest out of the major courses we’ve reviewed, but it isn’t as much when compared to Kaplan GRE’s 5,000 questions, for example. They also only provide 2 practice GRE exams; The Princeton Review, on the other hand, provides up to 8 practice tests, but they are designed by the prep company itself.
The practice exams PrepScholar uses, however, are certified by ETS (the designers of the GRE), so they’re computer-adaptive and highly similar to what you’ll find on test day.
When it comes to essay review, PrepScholar instructors can grade your GRE essays for the AWA section, but only if you have their more-expensive unlimited GRE package. With the 1 year package, you won’t get access to this resource, though courses like ExamPal GRE include essay review with even their cheapest GRE products.
PrepScholar doesn’t have the most practice material out of the best GRE courses, but when it comes to studying for the GRE, quantity isn’t everything. It’s pretty rare that students find themselves running out of practice questions when there are thousands to go through, and at the end of the day, the quality of material you’ll get with PrepScholar is still pretty high. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive course options out there, though, take a look at higher-ranked GRE courses to see which ones have the depth of material you’re looking for.
2. Lacks Mobile App
For the majority of GRE students, preparing for the test will be part of an already-busy schedule. This makes having a mobile-optimized GRE course a desirable feature, and while PrepScholar’s program will work on your mobile phone, it doesn’t come in the form of a mobile app.
You’ll still be able to take quizzes, track your progress, and learn lessons on-the-go, but the experience won’t be quite as perfect as you’d find with courses that do come in mobile versions. So if you’re a student that won’t have access to a full-fledged computer when you’ll be able to study, this may be something to keep in mind.
3. Course Options
The GRE courses PrepScholar sells don’t come in a variety of formats, though they do have multiple formats for their other courses. These formats include live online courses where students are part of a virtual classroom, in person courses, and even private tutoring options. With PrepScholar’s GRE courses, however, you’ll only be learning in a self-paced online format.
For most students, that won’t be a problem, as you can study whenever and wherever works best for you, rather than having to adhere to a strict class schedule. If you know that talking with a specific instructor is the best way for you to learn, though, you may want to look at other GRE courses that have the class format you’re looking for.
When compared to other courses, PrepScholar GRE doesn’t have the highest amount of practice tests or course format options, but its positive features make it a good overall option for today’s GRE students. This course emphasizes personalization where others use a one-size-fits all approach, and the amount of time that you have access to their GRE material is the best we’ve seen.
When all is said and done, course personalization, a 7-point score improvement guarantee, top-quality instructors and a year-long access period make PrepScholar’s GRE prep course a standout solution for students hoping to crush the GRE. And if you want to see for yourself, you can always take advantage of their free trial to see what PrepScholar is all about—we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
If you think that PrepScholar GRE might not be a good fit for you, there are plenty of other GRE courses out there that can provide exactly what you need. Go to our comparison page of the top GRE courses of 2021 to see all their features and prices; we’re sure you’ll find something that’ll help you do your best on the exam.