best gre books 2016

9 Best GRE Books 2016 – Reviews and Test Prep Guide

Raghuram Sukumar GRE 85 Comments

Looking for Best GRE Book for 2016-2017? I have seen several emails from my readers asking for the best GRE  Test Prep book and software. In this article, you will find Best GRE Books 2016, reviews and recommendations for GRE Test Takers.

  • FACT: Preparing for GRE Exam preparation takes a lot of time and effort.
  • FACT: Score Improvement come over consistent practice and effort

Some test takers prefer books over classes or to supplement classes. Some prefer to register for GRE classes in addition to books.  But, I haven’t seen any test taker without access to at least one book.  Here’re my recommended Best GRE Books for  2016 and 2017.

Best GRE Books 2016

best gre books 2016Following books listed based on the order of preference. Ratings for the books are listed below.

In addition to above three books, you can find so many other books from different publishers. Should you buy them? Keep reading.

Keys to GRE Test Prep:

  • Know your skill level ( how much you can score today)
  • Create a Study Plan (based on your target score, target universities)
  • Know how hard you can push yourself (study plan is of no use unless you know your limits)
  • How long it would take for you to reach the target score (hard work and grit)

Even the best GRE Books can take do only so much and take closer to your goals, but every test taker is limited by time and potential.  More than the choice of books, you need to know about “YOU”.

Can you set a realistic target GRE score based on your previous academic skills and performances?

One of the frequently asked question – How many GRE Test Prep books to buy?

  • 2 Books for General Strategies (Manhattan set of 8 Book and Official GRE Guide)
  • Few Test Prep books for Practice Test (5 LB Book)
  • Access to Online Full Test

Just the Best GRE Books alone will not get you to the Target Test Score.

GRE Book Reviews

  1. Manhattan GRE Prep Books – Set of 8 books (10/10)
  2. Official ETS GRE Guide – Super Power Pack – (10/10)
  3. 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems (9/10)
  4. Cracking the New GRE with DVD (6/10)
  5. Kaplan GRE Premier with Online Test  (7/10)
  6. Nova GRE Math Prep Course (6/10)
  7. Gruber’s New GRE Guide (4/10)

5lb Manhattan  Book of GRE Practice Problems (Video)

Top GRE Quantitative Books

Here are few books for GRE Quantitative Sections – Strategies, and Practice Test.

  1. 500 GRE Math Flash Cards (Manhattan)
  2. Manhattan GRE Prep Books – (Includes Books for Algebra, Word Problems, Trigonometry)
  3. Nova GRE Math Prep Course
  4. Kaplan GRE Exam Math Workbook

Top GRE Verbal Books

Here are few books for preparing for GRE Verbal section. Most students will have to spend more time on Verbal section prep than math section.

After identifying your weak Verbal sections, pickup few books to improve you specific weak sections within verbal.

  • Manhattan GRE Prep Books (Verbal GRE Guide)
  • Manhattan Reading Comprehension
  • GRE Vocab Capacity  Over 800 Powerful Memory Tricks and Mnemonics

Best GRE Test Prep Books

So, which books to buy? Following books are MUST Have’s

  1. Manhattan GRE Prep Books – (Must Buy)
  2. Official ETS GRE Guide – Super Power Pack – (Must Buy)
  3. 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems (Must Buy)

GRE Practice Test books

For Practice tests, you may have to buy Kaplan and other test prep books as you are running out to study materials.

In an ideal world, you should take 1.5 practice test every day for last 15 days before the actual test date.

That’s a lot of practice tests to take.  You need access to Full-Length tests to take during the Practice test.

When you practice with 1.5 tests (7 sections) in one sitting, you train your brain to be active for a longer duration during the test. The actual test will have added pressure. So, you need to have ENERGY and be at your 100% during the test. That’s why, you need to practice  longer during the tests.

Boosting Your GRE Score with Books

All the GRE Test Prep books take a different approach and provide different strategies to solve the same set of problems.  The key is to understand how to learn and use the strategy during the test. If you can learn that one skill, you can boost your score.

It may take longer for some test takers to acquire the skill. Some test takers would pick up that skill within 2 to 3 weeks of starting to study for the test.

NOTE: Score will change over the time. Don’t expect a boost in your scores overnight. If you are not seeing improvement in your score, try a different approach. Plus, prepare with a plan in mind. Know your target score and approach you are going to take to reach the target score (include how many hours to study per day).

Good luck with your GRE Test Prep.

Do come back to share your GRE Test Experience. I always love to hear back from my readers.

Comments

    1. @SM

      Yes the guidance is fabulous

      you are positive

      thanks for your view

      cheers

      easwaran

      member of premium club, happily

      1. Author

        Hello Easwaran – Thanks for being an active commenter here in this blog to help your son come to USA. We miss you. RIP.

  1. Hi,i am a student studying B.SC (PHYSICS,MATHEMATICS,COMPUTER SCIENCE)..can i do M.S in universities abroad…if i take up GRE exam….PLZZZZ reply

    1. Check out the eligibility criteria to take up GRE exam and decide yourself whether you were qualified to write GRE or not.

      Any Indian citizen who have done intermedia(i.e., 10+2) + a four year degree
      or
      A three year degree+ diploma
      or
      A post graduation.

  2. Hi,

    I took the GRE in October and got a 550( I know, depressing). I panicked. I will admit a study but very little.

    My weakest point is Math. What books should I buy (and does it matter if they are an older edition)?

    I already have the Kaplan book, What else should I buy?

    Also, I look at the book and it is so overwhelming. Where should I start?

    I am taking the GRE in March again. I would like to get at least a 1000.

    1. @Alex – Barron's GRE prep books are good for practice. Use Kaplan to learn strategies. Novapress for Maths is also good

    2. Hi Alex!

      Here is the list of the best books to buy in order to improve your GRE mathematics score:

      ETS Maths Review: This book is written by the creators of the Graduate Record Examination. It covers all the concepts asked in the actual GRE quant section with specific tips and strategies to ace the section.
      Barron’s Guide: This book looks into every minute detail of each concept and provides a wide range of practice problems for each and every section.
      Nova’s GRE Guide: This has been rated as the best book for GRe Quant section by most test takers.
      Manhattan GRE Prep books
      Kaplan GRE Maths Workbook
      EZ Solutions – Test Prep Series
      Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE Mathematics and McGraw Hill’s conquering the new GRE Maths

      Follow these and get a good score in GRE maths. All the very best!

      1. Hi Alex!

        Here is the list of the best books to buy in order to improve your GRE mathematics score:

        ETS Maths Review: This book is written by the creators of the Graduate Record Examination. It covers all the concepts asked in the actual GRE quant section with specific tips and strategies to ace the section.
        Barron’s Guide: This book looks into every minute detail of each concept and provides a wide range of practice problems for each and every section.
        Nova’s GRE Guide: This has been rated as the best book for GRe Quant section by most test takers.
        Manhattan GRE Prep books
        Kaplan GRE Maths Workbook
        EZ Solutions – Test Prep Series
        Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE Mathematics and McGraw Hill’s conquering the new GRE Maths

        Follow these and get a good score in GRE maths. All the very best!

  3. Sir,

    i just completed my B.E in I.T , i want to do my MS ….i have just started studying for my gre, i’m planning on taking my gre in jan end or feb mid , i know i will be able to apply for spring ‘11 , will it be any different from the fall ‘10 ? and After writting d exam so late will i be able to Join in Fall '09.

  4. hi

    myself ameya , i want to pursive higher study as MS in US. so i want the admission as fast as possible , so which date i have to select for GRE.

  5. hai u!! i completed b-tech in 2009, i want to appear GRE and TOEFl exams, i need the proper books for it and proper coaching centre for it , can anyone suggest the best on in hyd, AP.

    Thank you….

    1. hiiiiiiiiiii prashant

      As far as my knowledge,barrons has a good collection of practise materials…n for strategies to crack the exam,it's gud to refer barron's as well as princeton review..this will surely work..all the best..am also searching for the best books for GRE..

  6. This is really a wonderful blog.

    I am planning to give GRE for doing phd from US.

    Its really been like a lots of information for someone like me who doesnt know anything about the basics of admission procedure.

    THANX a TONN.

  7. hi I just want to know that how many time suject GRE in physics take place in India.And if for example I write my exam of gre on may 2010 and subject Gre physics on NOV 2010(usually exam are in that month) when will I get the score for Subject GRE and can I able to apply for top 10 university at that time i.e 2011.

  8. hi!! i wanted 2 knoe how 2 giv register my self on gre registration center……………suggest me sir……………..i will be grateful to you…………………..

  9. Sir what are the possibilities of getting admitted into NCSU or Texas A&M or Penn State University with a GRE score of 1200 and a Btech percentage of 71% ? Also list out the universities that i can probably get into….expecting ur reply

    1. You can find them but it will not be in low cost edition. You will have to pay the the actual price in rupees.

  10. Sir,
    I want to know whether the sum of 190 dollar for gre exam includes the test of subject paper too.
    And also whether in India we have the scope of giving both CBT and PBT,
    and what is the time of registration,and the entire exam based test is given on one day in PBT.

  11. Hi,

    THIS IS REALLY HELPFUL FOR ME BECAUSE IT IS REALLY TOUGH TO CHOOSE BOOKS FOR GRE PREPARATION.THANKS A LOT.

    UDAYSANKAR MALLIK

  12. I want to know the detail of GRE subject test of biotechnology.

  13. actually i have 2 questions

    1. can i write gre exam in sep 2010 to leave india in 2011

    my b-tech will be completed by apr 2011

    2. which books u prefer to study for gre to get 1200+

  14. I am preparing for my GRE exam, I need suggession, tip or any useful information that can lead to a high score. What is the bset GRE book ?

  15. most imp thing is " nobody can help you , its only you who cn do it " . cracking gre is not about craming books and all , its about your skills . your mathematical skills nd your vocabs . regular practice and dedication will make it all . for cracking gre you have to be industiour nd phlegmatic . the very frst step is to buy a barrons and start right now else u'll be too late .

  16. as you said you have a low knowledge in mathematics , basically maths is a integral part of gre . you have to extremly good in maths . for improoving maths you can refer nova . you have to be regular at maths and u have to practice a lot for building your maths skills . thanx

  17. hi sir myself rituja i have completed B.E in electrical &electronics planning for ms i have no ideaa regarding books,admission procedure,colleges ,course offered .sir plz help me out in this matter

  18. Hey,

    I just completed my second year of Engineering from Mumbai University and have just started with my GRE studies. I've joined the Princeton Review classes for it and they've advised me to take the GRE around October.

    My question is, will this be a good enough time?

    I scored 1100 on their diagnostic test (670 Math, 430 verbal).

    Also, I was wondering if their study material is good enough or not.

  19. Hi,i am a student studying B.SC (PHYSICS,MATHEMATICS,COMPUTER SCIENCE)..can i do M.S in universities abroad…if i take up GRE exam….PLZZZZ reply at the earliest.

    Abhishek Guhey

  20. hello

    U hav to appear 4 gre n toefl 4 admission in MS.

    If u need more details, call me on 09662295370.

  21. Sir,

    I'm pursuing my B.E. in Civil Engineering from Delhi college of Engineering, DCE, India. I'm in the 4th year of my degree curriculum now. I want to pursue my M.Arch(I) from one of the excellent architecture schools of USA or Canada. I'll appear for GRE this year in the month of October. What score will be good enough for getting admission in one of the top 10 Graduate Architecture Schools? What are the job prospects in USA or Canada after pursuing M.Arch(I) ? I'll be thankful to anyone who can provide me with the required information.

    Thanks

    Regards

  22. sir,

    i have to preparepare for gre exams.can you please suggest me the books for its preparation especially for the mathematics section.

    Plz reply soon!!!!

  23. Sir,I am from Bangladesh.I am 3rd year Bsc student.I have 80% marks in my SSC and HSC exam.Now i have 65% marks in my 1st year and 2nd year final.I have a dream to complete my Msc from USA or Canada.Thats why i want to complete GRE.But Is it possible for me to study In North America with this result?What range of score in GRE is necessary for that?

    I am weak in English?How can I recover it?

    please Sir.Help me….

    Ayan Saha

    Dept of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

    University of Chittagong.

    Bangladesh.

    1. Dear Sir,I am Ayan.I want to do GRE within 2 year.But i am weak in english.How can i improve myself?Plz help me sir.

      Ayan Saha

      Bangladesh.

  24. hello,

    You can definately do that after B.sc.

    And I suggest you to start preparing right now.Because GRE needs a lot of efforts.

    So start preparation from today and if you need any help,contact me on 09662295370.

  25. hiii

    i got 890 in gre(q-640, v-250) and my academics 66.7% in btech

    is it enough for applying univs…. i am trying for spring 2011. do i have any chance to retake my gre xam. i have taken my gre previoously on aug 17 2010.. plz help me….

  26. Hi, I have completed B.E. from civil engineering, my math is good and i can understand every question very well by spending little time for each, but i face very vritical in verbal section, how can i prepare for same ??

    Please give me a tips for improve my verbal abilities….. Thanks

  27. hey , people i am purusoth mahendran doing my second year BTech Information Technology … i would like to know what are all the masters degree options available for me in US related to my field .. i am not too good at programming and so am not interested in software engineering .. can anyone tell me what are all the other courses and their scope ..due to my weakness in programming skills i am in a dilemma whether to go for MS or MBA …is it like only if i have a sound programming knowledge in CC++ i would get admission for MS or suggest me some fields related to IT or CSE with less of programming …i am also interested in information security,cyber forensics, multimedia technology ,and database tech .. give some info abt all these and also give me sme info abt AI (artificial intelligence).. and MY CGPA IS 7.5 till now ..suggest me some universities too

  28. Hi sir i have completedmy b.pharmacy with 72% and got a toefl score 97 can i get admission in ohio state university of columbus for doing m.s in pharmacy. i have listed universities like ohio,california state university northridge,texas arlington and indiana for reporting my toefl scores can i get an admission in any one of these universities…

  29. can u suggest me the gre scores required for ohio state,indiana ,californuia and texas universities for pharmacy m.s courses

  30. Sir,

    I completed my Masters in Physics from well reputed University in Bangladesh. My career graph is

    MS 52%

    B.Sc 50%(university rank)

    HSC 55%

    SSC 80% . I’m trying to do my MS/PhD in US. I’m confident in subject GRE. is it possible to get an admission in reputed US university with scholarship ?

    Reply will be greatly appreciated.

  31. Princeton review is excellent for strategy learning. Its essential for tactics. Please add to the list.

  32. HSB rocks all must have books are must have however I must say that the solution provided in the GRE Math Bible 9 Ed by Jeff kolby simply superb but as a suggestion i would like to say they could have also used short solution along with the regular solution to clear up the basics I think then this books will create a record in the sales.

    I just said what I felt, I'm not demeaning or praising any book.

    Vaibhav Chauhan

  33. Thank you for providing GRE preparation books.Each book for different sections will be useful……lets see……

  34. i m very weak at study because of my illusions if i thought of study for 1 hour i gradually go out of the study thing please tell me some tips so that i can overcome this weakness

  35. Recently moved to the U.S. and for the safe accommodation I must pass TOEFL

    I'm afraid to take TOEFL!

    Help me to start training?

  36. Hi,

    i have done my Masters in Biotechnology with 68% & now i got 900 in gre (270 in verbal. & 630 in Quant.). is this score is worthwhile enough so any universities in U.S which give me scholarship? plz help me out

  37. i want to prepare for gre. and i know about 20% of it. the problame is that i have just completed 10+2 level. i am 18 and weak in english as it is not my first language. so please advise me about how to improve eng .pleaseeeee!!!

  38. i am 3rd year . civil Engineering student.. i want to pursue to MS from US, UK , canada . which book should i prefer? i want to know about scholarship scheme? i have 10th :65% and my diplomo: 66% and my score in English is good above 60% , do i Need to GIVE TOEFL exam?? i want the answers to all these question.. do help me..

  39. hi , i am b.tech fresh graduate 2011, i am already placed in tcs and i am about to receive call letter in July. but i am very much inserted to do my higher education in abroad . I dont know anything about gre plan or preparation , not even how to start . please provide me solution or way so that , i can build a bright careen according to my convience.

    1. 1. Start with the Prefix, Root-Stem, suffixes chapter in Barron…. If you are poor in vocabulary or simply dont use complex words more often, then this is the chapter you wanna start with. Simply put these 10 pages will make u understand even the most complex words by breaking them up into parts. Works great with synonyms and Anotnyms.

      2. Rapidly move over to word lists. I suppose 3-4 lists a day would be helpful. More lists will simply overload your mind. Make it a poing to carry a rough book with you. Note down any unusual word that you have not encountered before in regular english use, and during further revsions just read the words from this note-book. You’ll see that by the 3rd-4th revision you’ll know all the words in the note-book.

      3. Once the word lists is over try solving the synonyms and antonyms using the wordlists and prefix-suffix-stem-root formula.

      4. By the time you finish all this – your vocab will be built up and you can easily write in great essays. I gave 4 days for essay practice.

      5. You can easily do math in 7 days time… No bid deal. Simple 8-9-10th grade math. Barrons is more than enough. But try reading from your younger sister/brothers books if u have time… hehe

      6. Although Barron is more than enough… try reading “Word Power Made Easy”. Gr8 book. Costs only 90 bucks. Will help you a lot

      Well i hope this helps you in your preps

    2. Getting placed in tcs is a great thing. After working for 2 years plan for higher education such as MS/MBA which will help you for a bright career as per my knowledge. Preparing for GRE is an easiest thing in the world.
      ……………………………….

  40. 1. Start with the Prefix, Root-Stem, suffixes chapter in Barron…. If you are poor in vocabulary or simply dont use complex words more often, then this is the chapter you wanna start with. Simply put these 10 pages will make u understand even the most complex words by breaking them up into parts. Works great with synonyms and Anotnyms.

    2. Rapidly move over to word lists. I suppose 3-4 lists a day would be helpful. More lists will simply overload your mind. Make it a poing to carry a rough book with you. Note down any unusual word that you have not encountered before in regular english use, and during further revsions just read the words from this note-book. You’ll see that by the 3rd-4th revision you’ll know all the words in the note-book.

    3. Once the word lists is over try solving the synonyms and antonyms using the wordlists and prefix-suffix-stem-root formula.

    4. By the time you finish all this – your vocab will be built up and you can easily write in great essays. I gave 4 days for essay practice.

    5. You can easily do math in 7 days time… No bid deal. Simple 8-9-10th grade math. Barrons is more than enough. But try reading from your younger sister/brothers books if u have time… hehe

    6. Although Barron is more than enough… try reading “Word Power Made Easy”. Gr8 book. Costs only 90 bucks. Will help you a lot

    Well i hope this helps you in your preps

  41. hi,
    I am b.tech final year student of computer science and going to give gre this june.
    pls help me out how to score above 1400+ and the best book to prepare.
    how can I get scholarship to study in U.S.

  42. Hi,i am b.tech second year completed student i am intrested to completet my higher studies in abroad .plz guide me how to prepare for gre and how to select the university and to how to select dates to attend for exams .plz suggest some books to reffer .
    thanking you

  43. I hope, your guidance will back me up and invigorate me to evaluate my ability better than ever. Thanks a lot for your shrewd suggestion.

  44. Hi,i am biotechnology BSc hons final year completed student i am intrested to complete my higher studies in abroad .plz guide me how to prepare for gre and how to select the university and to how to select dates to attend for exams .plz suggest some books to reffer .
    thanking you

  45. hey which book do you recommend I should buy for GRE General? I already have the Nova Math Prep book….I’m confused between Barron’s and ETS…for Revised GRE. I have the 18th edition of Barron’s. Kindly please advice. Time is running short.

    Thanks.

  46. hi,im a btech(2011) pass out.I want to take the new gre. Im placed in infosys and i have my joinning in december.Please do suggest how to prepare for quant and verbal,how to make a intial move.

    1. Hi!

      To get a high score in GRE verbal section:

      Practice reading comprehension questions a lot. The most important part while practising is to review the solutions of passages after you have attempted them and understand why all answers are wrong.
      Better suggestion is to take the verbal test without any preparation so that one can get to know about their weak areas in verbal section.
      Make a flash card and prepare a list of vocabulary words and try to remember the list while attempting an exam

  47. Hi.. Im pursuing final year b.tech biotech student.. i have been preparing for GRE since a month.. i would like to know how important is academic score because i have only 56%.. will it be helpful if i score really good in GRE and TOFEL? How much score is a ‘GOOD’ score? will i be able to get admission in a decent college? will i have issues with visa? I would be glad if someone would be able to clear my doubts..
    Thank you..

    1. Author

      Good GRE Score – As High As you can get. 340 is the Top Score. So, there’s really nothing like 300 is enough, when you can score 40 more points.

  48. What is the best gre study guide 2012? I’m looking to buy Kaplan, ETS REvised GRE book and Cracking GRE 2012.

    1. The Best books if u r starting from scratch …
      1. ETS Official guide..
      2. Manhattan Gre Books(all 8)
      3.Buy either Manhattan(both basic and advanced) or Kaplan flash cards set..
      try to perfect the above material… it is more than enough..
      also by buying Manhattan gre books you will get access to 5 full length practice tests..

      P.S. I would advice you to go against kaplan gre books… as the strategies are too drab and ineffective..

    2. You got the list of Best GRE Study Guide 2012 right.
      1) ETS Revised GRE
      2) Kaplan (or Barrons New GRE)
      3) Manhattan GRE Guide

    3. kaplan for basic review.
      manhattan all 7 from basic to advance.
      kaplan math workbook.
      kaplan verbal workbook.
      and lots of practice test

  49. The Cliffs Notes GRE with CD-ROM is the best book on the market! I bought it because I really needed updated practice material with the new 2011 types of questions. What a great surprise. Not only was the book updated with the new GRE question types, but the math review was excellent. One chapter introduced the new math question types (and had plenty of practice examples), but the best part was the next math chapter that helped me with “math review.” I forgot how to answer some math problems, but the review was really clear and easy to understand. I also appreciated the extra practice tests on the CD-ROM. This is the book to buy for the new GRE!
    Good Luck!

    1. but that books does not provide enough info on GRE. Like , questions are really easy in this books but level of questions in actual GRE is different. See the official guide. However, this book is good for basic but for complete idea you have to buy and practice on kaplan or manhattan.

      1. I just took the GRE and the level of difficulty in the Cliffs GRE book was right on. I found a lot of mistakes on the Kaplan book. The Official Guide is great for sample problems only!

  50. Author

    Start with Manhattan GRE Books. They have several Full Lenght Test Books

  51. Hi Raghuvaran sir!
    It’s good to see you back again with one of the best and useful article – “9 Best GRE Books 2015- Reviews and Test Prep Guide.” This is really a very helpful article for students like me who are preparing for GRE exam. Providing a list of the best GRE books 2015 and also including the list of top GRE Quant and verbal books is also huge helpful. Thanks a ton. Thanks up for this amazing article.

  52. Please tell me,
    I am pursuing MA in History and for further studies like Ph.D I am planning to study abroad , i just want to know that I am eligible for GRE or not?

  53. Hello everyone,
    I have a doubt about the edition of books we refer,I bought official guide of GRE and TOEFL(from amazon) but the edition is 2012 ,if i study using this books will I cover required knowledge or will I have to buy the new edition(which obviously cost too much 🙂

    1. Author

      TOEFL – you can use the same book.
      GRE – Latest edition contains new practise test in addition to contents from 2012 edition.

      You can use the book you have as well.

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