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Explanation Videos for Official GRE Material

Hi, everyone! 🙂

If you’re a regular blog visitor, you’ve probably often read our recommendations for official material from ETS, whether it be Powerprep software, the Official Guide books, or the PDFs of the paper-based exams. We always suggest these resources since they’re as accurate as it gets when it comes to practice material– the best questions straight from the source: ETS!

However, as a caveat to our positive reviews of the practice material, we always make it a point to let you know that these resources don’t offer much in terms of explanations, which many students have told us they find frustrating. Sometimes just a practice question and an answer aren’t enough to help you progress through your prep the way you’d like! Many students asked us to help them out with this, so we created video explanations for every piece of official ETS material we could get our hands on :).

Official Guide books

       og book

We have explanation videos for all of the practice questions– that means all of the questions in Section 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 (and 9, for the 2nd edition). Notably, no explanation for Section 7 (GRE Math Review), since those questions aren’t actual GRE practice questions, but more just review questions for a comprehension check. If you need extra help with those and you have a premium Magoosh account, you can always let us know and we’d be happy to walk you through them :).

Explanations for the 1st edition (maroon cover):

Explanations for the 2nd edition (purple cover):

Paper-based exam PDFs

pdf1       pdf2

If you’re taking the paper-based exam, then these will be perfect for you– if you’re taking the computer-based exam, the format is a bit different (fewer questions per section), but the PDFs are an excellent source of practice questions.

Explanations for the 1st edition (orange (why isn’t it maroon??) cover):

Explanations for the 2nd edition (purple cover):

For details on computer based vs. paper-based:


Powerprep tests 1 and 2

We wanted to create video explanations for Powerprep, since it’s one of our favorite resources to recommend, but it’s pretty impossible, because unfortunately, because of the way Powerprep tests are produced, it would be very tough for us associate the questions with individual explanations accurately– what may have been question #14 for you may have been question #2 for someone else.

We do have a pretty good workaround, though:

The video explanations for the paper-based PDF test (above!) have a significant amount of overlap with Powerprep questions (and includes the answers to all of the questions at the end). Because it’s a static document, it’s much easier for students to find the explanations to the questions they’re looking for. Powerprep II Test 1 is a close match to the 1st edition of the PDF and Powerprep II Test 2 is a close match to the 2nd edition of the PDF.

To find your answers/explanations, search the PDFs for your particular question, and see if it’s included in the PDF. Then, you can match the PDF question number to the explanation videos.

How to use the video explanations


When you get a question wrong, and you don’t know why, you should definitely watch the video explanation– that’s pretty straightforward. What I’d also recommend that may be less obvious is to watch video explanations for questions that you got correct as well– pretend you had to explain to someone else exactly how you got that correct answer and why none of the other answers could work. Can you do that? If not, you should watch the video explanation just to make sure your approach was correct and you didn’t just get lucky! 🙂 In my experience, reviewing correct answers is a common behavior in students who score very very well, as opposed to students who just do fairly well.

Some features only available to premium members:

  • If you find a video explanation particularly helpful, use the upvote arrow (the grey triangle) to let people know it’s a good one!
  • If you found something in the video explanation confusing, you can comment with your question.
  • If you’d like to submit your own explanation, with a different approach (highly recommended!) then you can comment with your own and we will clarify it for you.
  • If it’s a question that you really struggled with, or found particularly difficult, you can use “Follow question” to get e-mail notifications whenever someone else comments with a new explanation/question.

We hope you enjoy the videos and find them helpful! If you have any questions about these, or have any feedback, let me know by commenting below. Thanks, and happy studying! 🙂


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

10 Responses to Explanation Videos for Official GRE Material

  1. Liz September 1, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    I took the Powerprep test preview to gain some familiarity with the test. At the end, it simply showed me the right answers, but it didn’t seem to save my responses, so I don’t know how I did. Do you know if my answers are stored someplace in the ether, or if I just have to accept that I can’t score this task?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 5, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      Hi Liz! I think the answers should still be there. Try this:

      Launch the PowerPrep software
      Go into the practice section
      Select the test which you had appeared for (Timed Test 1/ Timed test 2)
      Click on Review Answers

      I hope that helps! If you can’t launch the results through the PowerPrep software, then you might have to accept that the score is lost. Good luck! 🙂

  2. qiong September 28, 2015 at 8:04 am #

    Could you consider putting the explanation video of PP2 on your own website? I know it sounds meaningless but in our country we cannot access Youtube. Even using VPN is very troublesome and low-speed. Many thanks.

  3. Richard Fouster October 19, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    Hey, could you possibly put up explanations for the ETS math review PDF? So many problem sets, so little explanation. Thanks!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele October 20, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Hmm…I thought we had put those up at some point. Have you checked Enter in the question section and the exact question number. That might do the trick. If not, I’ll try to figure out what happened to them.

      • Chris Lele
        Chris Lele October 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

        Actually, we never did make any videos for those. Our thinking was to keep the explanations more in line with questions that could actually be GRE questions. The math review the questions were more textbook like, so we decided not to do those.

        If you have a specific question in mind, let me know and I’d be happy to answer it 🙂

    • Anka October 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Hey Richard,

      Actually, I had the same problem, just wrote magoosh because I found a website were they made video explanations for free for the math review in the official guide. It’s

      Hope that help, at least for me it did! Good luck with you test (mine is on 17th of November :S)

      Kind regards,

      • Chris Lele
        Chris Lele November 3, 2014 at 11:58 am #

        Thanks for the link! That is definitely a good resource for explanations to ETS questions.

  4. Taylor May 7, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Thanks for all this info! This is really helpful, but I’m kind of confused how to make the most of these resources that ETS has published…

    Because there is so much overlap between the practice tests — e.g. according to you guys, the PDF’s are basically the same questions as the PowerPrep II Tests 1 & 2 — then, is the best way to prepare choosing EITHER the PDF’s or PowerPrep II?

    Is there any utility in doing them all, or would this skew my results since I would then be repeating questions that I have seen before?

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