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PrepScholar GRE Review
Our in-depth review of the PrepScholar GRE prep course and study materials
Relatively new to the GRE prep arena, PrepScholar has previously made a name for itself with its highly-rated SAT and ACT prep courses. With an algorithm that optimizes your study plan by adapting to your level of knowledge and one of the most approachable price points in GRE prep, the new prep option from PrepScholar has immediate appeal. But does the success they’ve had with their SAT/ACT packages mean that their GRE prep course is worth considering? Our team evaluates the PrepScholar GRE package in this detailed review to answer just that question and more.
As this is a lengthy and detailed review, above find helpful jump-to links to quickly navigate this article. Hopefully by the end of this review, you’ll have a good idea of whether PrepScholar is the right choice to help you prepare for the GRE exam.
Evaluation Of PrepScholar’s GRE Coursework
Right off the bat, it must be noted that PrepScholar’s GRE prep course is 100% online. If you are one of those students who learns best with in-person classes or live online instruction with a teacher and classmates, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
With that being said, PrepScholar has some great features, with its primary strength lying in its adaptive technology. Starting with a 60 question diagnostic exam, PrepScholar utilizes an algorithm to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and customizes a study plan specific to your individual needs.
We were really impressed with the adaptive nature of PrepScholar’s blueprint. With an action plan that changes based on your skills and knowledge, you can utilize your time more efficiently by concentrating more on the areas where you need it the most, and less on areas where you have developed understanding.
And just because PrepScholar’s cost is low (more on this below), it doesn’t mean that their prep course necessarily falls short in regards to quality. Their instructors are all 99th percentile scorers on the GRE, and their interactive lessons are designed to provide you with a realistic learning experience, challenging you more as your skills and knowledge increase.
We found their 50+ video lessons to be extremely well-designed, with the instructor providing explanations to the problems while making notes and showing graphics as they walk you through the concepts.
That said, the video production quality is pretty weak and the videos lack true engagement, being a little dry (especially compared to Princeton Review and Kaplan). However, the content is rock solid and I had no qualms with the substantive material being taught in the lessons.
PrepScholar’s user interface is sleek and simple to use, with tabs at the top so you can easily get to the dashboard, strategies, and progress tracking. The dashboard provides you with a picture of the current and future weeks’ assignments and quizzes, as well as your weekly progress.
The strategy section provides some helpful tips on how to attack the problems and help you to identify important information as well as nonessential text in the questions. While we didn’t find these strategy tactics all that impressive, we did like the inclusion of tips, recaps and warnings that were found in blue and yellow text boxes along the way.
Tracking your progress is super easy, thanks to the color coding used to indicate your level of mastery. You can quickly see if your understanding of a topic is core (basic), advanced, or mastered, simply by looking at the green, purple and gold lines that you see when you open your progress tab.
This might not be a big deal to some, but I really liked that feeling of accomplishment as I watched my progress lines change colors as I gained a better understanding of the GRE content. I was, however, disappointed that it lacked a mobile app, but was happy with the overall interface nonetheless.
PrepScholar GRE Pricing & Course Options
PrepScholar offers two prep packages, their “Best-Selling” and “Lifetime” courses. The Best-Selling (with an access period of 1-year) has a list price of $398, while the Lifetime (with an unlimited access period) lists at $848.
That said, PrepScholar often offers some RIDICULOUSLY STEEP DISCOUNTS on both courses. So ridiculous, in fact, that as of the time of writing this review, the prices were as low as $38 and $345, respectively.
These are some crazy discounts, making this an attractive option for cost-conscious students. The Magoosh GRE course is very affordable as well though.
Pricing and course options current as of date of publication.
No Mobile App?
As mentioned, PrepScholar GRE is a 100% online prep program that can be easily accessed from your computer or mobile device. As such, it’s no surprise that there are no books, flashcards, or other tangible study materials.
We find it odd, however, that course content is not available via a mobile app. This might not be a bone of contention for some, but our team can’t wrap our minds around the fact that they don’t have a mobile app given they are 100% digital.
Then again, with such a low price point, we can easily overlook it’s absence from their prep.
The quantity of practice questions (2,000+) and the amount of practice tests (2) that are included with your PrepScholar course is somewhat overshadowed by those of their competitors.
As far as numbers go, they are in a different league than Princeton Review (with 3,500+ practice questions and 8 practice tests) and Achievable (with 10,000+ practice questions and 10 practice tests).
Nonetheless, the quality of the practice questions and answer explanations, as well as the full-length practice exams, is really very good.
We found the questions to be highly realistic of real GRE questions in terms of question length, difficulty and content. In addition, the accompanying problem explanations are very thorough and well-written to clearly articulate the underlying concepts being tested.
As such, we don’t think PrepScholar GRE should be overlooked as a good review course, especially considering that the questions adapt to your ever-changing grasp of the material.
PrepScholar GRE Score Guarantee
To compliment their crazy price discounts, PrepScholar is so confident in the effectiveness of their GRE prep course that they offer an industry best score guarantee. Simply put, if after taking their course you fail to score at least 7 points higher than your previous GRE score, they will refund your money 100% back, no questions asked.
Of course, that means you must have already taken the GRE exam for this guarantee to be valid, but we find this to be a pretty astounding, no-risk score guarantee. For the record, Magoosh and Princeton Review offer score guarantees as well.
Verdict: PrepScholar GRE Course Review
In our opinion, PrepScholar GRE is all about the “CustomPrep” algorithm that they use to optimize your study plan. It was our team’s favorite feature by far. By customizing a prep plan specific to your needs, you are able to make the best use of your time by concentrating on your weaker areas, and spending less effort on topics you understand.
For self-studiers looking to pay just a fraction of the price charged by big name competitors, you need not look further than PrepScholar for your GRE prep. Between the quality of their practice questions and the expertise of their instructors through on demand lessons, we think they offer a solid set of study resources.
If there is a downside with PrepScholar GRE, it’s probably that the amount of practice problems and practice exams doesn’t quite measure up to those offered by its competitors. That, coupled with the fact that there are no supplementary study materials, might make some students hesitant when considering PrepScholar as a study option.
But PrepScholar’s offerings don’t come with the same hefty price tag as some of its competitors, making it attractive to budget conscious, self-motivated students. Whichever way you look at it, our team believes that it is a highly effective course with great value, which is why it takes an honorable mention designation on our list of the Best GRE Prep Courses here.