GRE Vocab Resources 2015

Happy 2015 Magooshers! We updated this post with new resources that came out in the last year. Some are so new that they’re still in beta, but we’ve tried them out and can safely say – be glad you’re studying in 2015. Technology is on your side. Enjoy the best vocab resources of 2015!

GRE Vocabulary Builder App

Meet Magoosh’s newest app! The GRE Vocab Builder provides a fun way to quiz yourself on the 1000 most important GRE vocabulary words. Like the Magoosh Flashcards (below), the Magoosh Builder App let’s you quiz yourself on all levels of GRE vocab words. It’s available online, but you probably want to download it on your Android or iPhone so you can study ALL THE TIME. Seriously, it’s addictive.

Magoosh Flashcards

Our Magoosh GRE flashcards cover high-frequency GRE words and have clear definitions (did I mention the colorful example sentences?). The flashcards are free. You can print them out, or you can download the flashcard app, which makes learning words easy (there is some newfangled algorithm it uses that makes words more likely to stick).

MGRE Flashcards

Manhattan GRE has a useful set of flashcards. Clear definitions, well-written example sentences and interesting tidbits (such as a “backstory” on certain words) make these a necessity. Words are broken up into two levels, so you can make sure that you are studying the words that are right for you.

Barron’s 1100 Words

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For those who like the old book approach, this Barron’s vocabulary workbook is great. Learn the definition of words by inferring how they are used in context (an indispensible skill on the GRE); take weekly practice quizzes; peruse the glossary to see how each of the words is used in context (example sentences are taken from a variety of reputable resources).

Professor Word

This vocab resource is so new that the website is still in beta (as of January 2015). Here’s the gist: you save ProfessorWord to your bookmarks bar (on any device), and then when you visit a website with words you don’t know, click “Run ProfessorWord!” The app will highlight and define challenging words, and you can click on any word to see its definition. It’s free. And awesome.

Blank flashcards (

Not all the words you’ll encounter as you do GRE vocab exercises and read (see below) are in the resources above—so make sure that you have blank flashcards. makes it easy for you to make flashcards online for any words you stumble across during your prep.

Speaking of new words, instead of using a straightforward dictionary, with its dry, and often abstract definitions, try Each word gets a little story along with an example, so words are more likely to stick (it’s sort of like my Vocab Wed., posts but in condensed form).

GRE Vocab Wednesday

Every Wednesday I choose a GRE Vocab Wednesday theme, along with GRE words that fall into the selected category. For the five or six words I choose, I write a post describing the words and using them in examples. I also post a video on youtube in which I try to make the words more memorable. On the wacky-austere scale, my presentation is much closer to wacky.

Read, read, read

There is no better way to reinforce vocabulary than be encountering it unexpectedly. Since, you aren’t going to bump into the word “prosaic” as you walk down the street, a great place to see GRE words are from reading., The New Yorker, and The Atlantic are great places (all offer many articles for free online).

Don’t just read the breaking news or the sports score; choose long form stories (usually 3 pages or longer). Also, check out my Magoosh Article of the Month posts for recommended reading that comes complete with lists of GRE vocab words to look out for. And remember to have a set of blank flashcards, Quizlet or paper-based, for those unknown words you encounter.

For more study aids, check out our big list of free GRE resources. 😀


P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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14 Responses to GRE Vocab Resources 2015

  1. Wasif October 8, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Thanks a lot magoosh. You keep on being the coolest!

  2. Kimberlyn Ng May 10, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I’m currently studying for the GRE and I find the Magoosh vocab app very helpful. I’d like to have physical flashcards as well, and I’m interested in the Manhattan flashcards. However, the latest edition was published in 2012. Do you think the GRE vocabulary has changed much since then, or is it safe to purchase these flashcards?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 18, 2016 at 9:29 am #

      Hi Kimberlyn 🙂

      Firstly, in case you didn’t know, we have a printable version of our flashcards available to download on this page.

      And to answer your question, the last major changes to the GRE were made in 2011 with the release of the current GRE. The vocabulary has not changed much (if at all) since then, so yes, it is safe to buy the Manhattan flashcards to help you prepare 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  3. Shakil May 6, 2016 at 3:46 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I am using magoosh premium for the GRE. I have stared learning vocab from the magoosh vocab ebook as it’s interesting way to develop vocal. But there are some words in the usage of the gre words that I don’t know. My question is should I learn those words that I don’t know from the book even its been used in the usage or description of the GRE words?

    Thanks in advance..

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 9, 2016 at 2:02 am #

      Hi Shakil 🙂

      Firstly, it’s awesome to hear that you’re enjoying our Vocabulary eBook! 😀 Yes, you should definitely learn the secondary definitions that are provided for the vocabulary words you review during your studies. This is because the GRE will test you on secondary definitions. So, we specifically place these in our flashcards, to make sure students don’t forget about them. My suggestion is this: when you come across a word and it’s definition is truly completely different from the definition you already know for that word, do some more research. Check another or to be sure you’re not missing a secondary definition.

      You can see the importance of knowing these secondary definitions in various posts on our blog To get an idea of the words with important (and sometimes not obvious) second definitions, definitely check out the following posts 🙂

      Secondary Meanings of Vocabulary Words
      Vocabulary Double Meanings

      I hope this helps! 🙂

      And by the way, as a Magoosh Premium user, you have access to our e-mail support. For more prompt answers to questions about lesson videos, Magoosh/ETS practice problems, and study tips, you can write us at or use the green Help button on the bottom of your screen when you’re logged into Magoosh. 😀

  4. Priyesh July 18, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    Hi.. chris i am following your advice for vocabulary.
    Please can you tell me that using MGRE and MAGOOSH flashcards are good enough for prep?
    And what about Barron’s essential word for gre 3rd edition and merriam webster Dictionary of synonym and antonym?
    Are they good?
    Would you recommend it for my verbal prep?
    I am looking for 160+ score in verbal.
    thanks 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Priyesh,

      To start off the MGRE and Magoosh flashcards are good. Once you’ve learned those words you can cross check that with Barron’s (there is quite a lot of overlap). The dictionary of synonyms and antonyms seems a little tedious, but after prepping with these other resources, you could take a look. But a word of caution: thesauri lump words into category without making note of important nuances–nuances the GRE cares about.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Osman Haider May 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Chris

    I am an ardent follower of your blog & it is helping a lot in my gre studies. I really want to

    thank u from the depth of my heart 🙂

    I have a question….. I have already downloaded ur free e-book on vocab flashcards…but

    I have seen u also have an online flashcard(with 1000 words–may be which differs from

    the book 🙁 )… In the manhattanprep they also offer a flashcard(essential & advanced)

    which is also free….Now I am wondering which Flash card should i read??? Yours online

    one or manhattanprep???

    Thanks In Advance.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Osman,

      Good question! The Magoosh flashcard vocab is drawn from a variety of Magoosh resources, including, but not limited to, the ebook words. I’ve taken words from the Magoosh product, vocab Wednesday, and also thrown in words that I felt were high-frequency but had yet to make an appearance. Additionally, I chose not to include some of the words from the ebook, words I felt were not that common. Basically, you are getting a host of new words with the flashcard app.

      With the Manhattan Prep flashcards you are also getting many great word, lots of which overlap with the Magoosh flashcards. I’d say get both decks (ours is free). When you are done studying, you’ll probably know closer to 1,500 words, which would make you quite strong vocab-wise come test day.

      Good luck!

  6. Manish A. April 9, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Nice post as always.Very usefull tips indeed. I have been learning words with context (thanx to the mnemonic technique + flash cards) lately…Hey is it empherical to remember the context associated with the every single word every time? i tend to forget the context associated with the word ,as i learn more and more words! (though i remeber the meaning associated with the word) 🙁

    p.s: i building my own set of flash cards with definetion and context of the word.

    Manish A.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 28, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Manish,

      Good question! Learning the exact context for every word would be quite onerous :). Have a general sense of the context is helpful though. And those words that are a little more subtle, pay more attention to those in terms of context/usage (e.g. concede, confer, reconcile, etc.).

      Hope that helps!

  7. Courtney April 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Are there any resources available to learn and study latin roots/endings of words? If so, do you think its a worthwhile approach with limited time left before my test day? (ah!)

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