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How Much Does the GRE Cost? Adding All Your GRE Fees

There are a lot more costs for taking the GRE than just the test fee. So asking “How much does the GRE Cost?” requires a little more context.

GRE cost for just signing up : $160 or $190

No matter who you are, you will have to pay to take the GRE. So imagine you sign up  without cracking open a single GRE book, and head straight to the testing center. You will spend: $160 if you live in the U.S., and $190 if you live outside the U.S. (This amount does not include transportation to and from testing center, or the much needed banana two hours into the test).

Note: As for June 2014, the cost of the GRE–for everyone–is $195.

Most people opt to do a little more than just sign up for the test. Below are some additional costs you might incur when tackling the GRE.

GRE cost for the lean self-studier (Cost: < $20)

You can only buy one book and learn quite a bit – a good plan if you are a book learning without much to spend. Don’t just pick up any GRE book. Take a look at these reviews. With just one book, you’ll probably spend less than $20.


GRE cost for the ambitious self-studier (Cost: $150 – $200)

There is a wealth of helpful materials you will want to avail yourself of, if you aim to do well. For such a student, I’d recommend the following:

1. Manhattan GRE: However many of the eight books you need from their set. Buying just one will give you access to the practice tests.

2. The 5 lbs. book for lots of practice


1. Barron’s 6 practice tests

2. Magoosh Math + Verbal (see pricing plans)


GRE cost for the classroom plan = Free – $4,000

There are free classes offered by some colleges. Typically, you have to be enrolled in the college. From what I’ve heard the classes are a bare bones meager approach, at best.

Then, there are MGRE classes for $4,000 a pop. You get access to MGRE material and methods, as well as experiences tutors who’ve score in the top 1%. There are Kaplan and Princeton Review courses, which are slightly cheaper (neither of which I recommend, based on student feedback over the last ten years).


GRE cost for a private tutor = $500 – $5,000

If you think the classroom format sounds like a mixed bag, here’s what you can expect from the tutors: Bob, whom you find off of Craigslist for $20/hr, has never taken the GRE, but once took the SAT. He tells you he is really good at math and shows you all these “tricks.”

Then there is a tutor with 15 years experience, who lives and breathes the GRE, has hundreds of glowing testimonials, and writes his/her own test questions (incidentally, you also found this tutor on Craigslist). Of course the latter tutor may cost you as much as $150/hr. Private tuition offered through MGRE or Kaplan can be even more expensive.


Class + tutor = $2,000 to $9,000

If you are very ambitious—and have very deep pockets—then this final path may describe you. To be frank, this plan—despite the cost— doesn’t always bear fruit. I have heard of students spending upwards of $6,000, only to have their scores move up by a single increment or two.

Yet if you really need to get a high score, and you notice that you are continually improving over the months, then this plan might make sense.

Ultimately, you have to see what works for you, so your GRE fees are up to you. I’d still recommend the self-study route first. If that doesn’t cut it, and you find yourself studying an hour a week, then look into a class or tutor. At that point though, expect to pay a lot more.

Check out the Ultimate GRE Guide for a complete breakdown of the test!

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

6 Responses to How Much Does the GRE Cost? Adding All Your GRE Fees

  1. vsn July 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I just subscribed to Magoosh GRE premium. Given that I want to (in fact, I have to) do really well, above the 90th percentile scores in both sections, which route would you suggest me to take? Now, obviously I can’t afford a private tutor. My meager income does, however, allow me to buy books. As far as I can tell, the second option “GRE cost for the ambitious self-studier” seems to fit my style/budget. I have Barron’s, Princeton, and Kaplan books with me already. I am not sure if the Barron’s book includes six tests with it. I am considering buying one of the Manhattan books so that I can access their tests. Will that work? I feel like i am overwhelming myself with all these materials. Am I?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 24, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      Hi VSN,

      Yes, it sounds like you could easily be overwhelmed with all that material. To simplify things, ditch the Kaplan and Princeton Review book. By one MGRE guide (get access to the tests) and with Magoosh you should be more than fine to crack the 90th percentile. The Barron’s guide maybe you could pick at for tough math questions, but otherwise I don’t think it will be of much use.

      Hope that helps!

      • vsn July 24, 2013 at 10:45 am #

        Hi Chris,
        Thanks for responding so promptly. Also, thank you for being so non-circuitous about which books to use and which ones to dump. The reason I was asking is because in one of the study plans, I saw that you mentioned ETS Official Guide to the GRE and many others (McGraw Hill, GMAT official Guide, LSAT tests, Barron’s 1100) as supplemental materials.
        By the way, do you have any plans of coming up with a daily plan for 2-3 month GRE guide? What about a Windows phone app?
        Also, since you are responding directly, I should take this chance to mention that your videos, especially the vocab ones, are fabulous.

  2. Mario February 24, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    GRE, TOEFL, SAT and so on… are a mere way to make lots of money. ETS shame on you!!!

  3. Karan February 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    That is not counting the cost of sending your scores to universities… After the 4 free ones, how much does it cost per university?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Hi Karan,

      Yes, you’re right – that can get quite costly. After the first four, each score report will cost $25.

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