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Manhattan GRE Book Review

manhattan test prepBurn all your other prep books! Well, I could confidently say this were money not an issue. The Manhattan Test Prep GRE series is so good, the rest of the books out there are basically a joke. That is not to say Manhattan GRE is perfect, though it comes close in the math portion.

Of course, money is an issue. Unlike Barron’s, Kaplan, and Princeton Review, Manhattan GRE is not a single book but a set of eight books, consisting of 1,500 pages. This arboreal decimation explains the price.

So perhaps it isn’t completely fair to compare the Manhattan GRE series to the rest. However, if you are serious about your score, and do not flinch at the price tag, then don’t waste your time with the other books.

The Layout of Manhattan Test Prep Books

Manhattan Test Prep, Manhattan GRE

Each book is based on certain concept areas you’ll find on the GRE. For instance, a complete book is dedicated to algebra. Another covers quantitative comparison and data interpretation. Within each book, concepts are broken up into chapters. Before moving on to a new concept/chapter, you can test your newfound skills with plenty of relevant practice questions. Other prep companies treat most concepts superficially and provide few pertinent practice problems.

Because Manhattan GRE is spread across a series of books, each book does not feel cluttered. While this may sound trivial, having to stare at an unruly forest of facts and figures can quickly drive one batty.

Finally, the end of each book has easy, medium, and difficult practice sets, consisting of the different revised GRE question types. By the time you get to the end of each book, you will have been exposed to the range of concepts tested on the Revised GRE, and been given ample opportunity to practice.

The Manhattan GRE Approach

With these books you will actually learn. Manhattan GRE does not resort to cheesy gimmicks or “tricks.” You will have a solid grasp of the fundamentals. The books also do not lull you into a false sense of complacency by dumbing down the test.

The Manhattan GRE Voice

The voice used throughout the series is direct and engaging. Explanations are also clear and will probably not leave you scratching your head, the way you might after reading other prep books. Basically, you feel like you are working with a smart, patient tutor.

Comprehensiveness of the GRE Prep Books

While I’ve already mentioned this a few times, I want to point out that Barron’s, Kaplan, and Princeton Review do not cover every concept and only cursorily cover many important concepts. The Manhattan GRE series covers almost anything you will see quant-wise on the test (I noticed that parabolas – an uncommon question type seen only on harder questions – were absent).

They also offer a code at the back of each book so that you can go online to take 6 new practice tests, complete with explanations! The material online is slightly more accurate than in the book, especially when it comes to text completions and sentence equivalence (I discuss this further below). I’m assuming this is because the material online was probably easier to update as they learned more about the new GRE.

Taking price into account, you may want to just pick one or two of their books to purchase– particularly question/concept types you want some extra practice on– since you only need one book to get access to their online practice tests.

The Not-So-Good Parts

The Math section, which comprised of six of the eight books, is excellent. Every concept is covered and practice problems abound. However if you are looking for a high quant score, you may already know much of what is covered in these books. You will definitely want a greater number of difficult questions.

The flaws in the verbal section, namely the text completions/sentence equivalence, are more salient. Most text completions rely on obscure words (the way the old GRE did) rather than twisted sentence structure. The Revised GRE has intentionally done away with this approach, focusing instead on a student’s ability to grasp the big picture. Manhattan GRE’s focus on tough vocab, however, may unnecessarily intimidate students and, paradoxically, leave them unprepared for the actual exam.

Manhattan GRE Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence, 4th Edition

Here’s a more in-depth review of Manhattan GRE Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence (a book that I’ve long groused about).

Manhattan test prep, Manhattan gre

Some words are far too obscure to show up on the current GRE, and many of the practice sentences are far too difficult to help those just starting out. In this recent edition MGRE has edited some sentences and removed a few difficult words (yay, no more myrmidons!). I commend them, given that every other GRE test prep book will remain unchanged — typos and all — until the polar ice caps completely melt, or the GRE changes.

Yet, in this edition MGRE does not go as far as they should. There still are obscure words — lucubrate (which is sprinkled throughout the book) and obtundity come to mind. Also tough vocabulary (though not necessarily obscure words) seems to attend every question as though the only thing the GRE tests is difficult vocabulary and not one’s ability to pick up on the general context of a sentence or paragraph, and pick amongst relatively easy words.

Most significantly, MGRE doesn’t replace questions with improved ones–questions that better reflect ETS Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence. Instead, MGRE gives us the same questions, albeit with more GRE-like language and less debatable distractors. (I spotted only one question that had been completely changed). Finally, the difficulty level of the questions and the problem sets is still far too difficult for even those at an intermediate level. The helpful strategies MGRE tries to instill would have been much better served by questions that are toned down in language and tough vocab. Likewise, an easy and medium problem set with questions that are actually easy and medium– so students can build up their skills — would have greatly improved this book.

That said, the sentences in this book will be good practice for those who are already high verbal scorers and want to improve their vocabulary, while tackling tough sentences. And for any who want to get a better feel of some of the academic language on the test, they could do far worse than trying to wrap their heads around the twisted syntax and orotund style found in many of the practice questions.

I should mention that there are some excellent questions in the mix, ones which are reflective of the GRE and will prepare you for the nuance found on the actual test. But there are also many so-so questions, a few of which are plagued by a surfeit of overly difficult words, instead of relatively familiar words in which the test-taker must pick up on a subtle distinction in meaning.

So if you are looking for a step-by-step process to become more adept at Text Completions and Sentence Completions with questions (and answer choices!) that are indicative of the real test, MGRE is not the best place to go. If you are already strong at verbal and want some extra practice–and won’t freak out over some of ridiculously difficult words–than you’ll get some mileage out of the MGRE book.

Magoosh GRE vs. Manhattan GRE (Magoosh GRE + Manhattan GRE?)

Basically, we recommend Manhattan GRE to those of you who enjoy studying from books and are looking for a good score. For those looking for a more personalized experience or top percentile scores, we recommend Magoosh GRE, which offers everything from the basics to highly advanced practice (the latter is missing from the Manhattan series.) Magoosh is also a great way to establish a solid foundation of skills for the GRE, and it also offers support for any questions you may have.

Magoosh is also better for video learners, i.e. those who want to hear and see something explained. For example, here’s a video lesson from Magoosh on special right triangles. We have similar videos for every practice question as well. Additionally, the Magoosh team responds to the questions you send to us quickly (definitely not available from any prep book!) to complete the “tutor experience”.

Lastly, Magoosh is better for those who enjoy studying on their mobile devices since you are able to answer questions and watch videos from any internet-connected device.


If price is not an issue and you’re a “book learner,” the Manhattan GRE series is the best prep book on the market. Taking price into account, you may opt for another means of prepping.


This is the eighth in a series of new GRE book reviews.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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.

293 Responses to Manhattan GRE Book Review

  1. Cristina October 17, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I am taking the GRE for the first time in February. Could you please recommend me which book can help me better in the Verbal section as a non -native English speaker?
    For the quantitative section, I was working with the ETS GRE book. Do you think that is enough? My math level is average.
    Thank you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

      Hi Cristina,

      For both the math and verbal section, it is crucial to learn the concepts and strategies that will help you on the test. As a non-native English speaker this is even more imperative, since the GRE verbal section is so difficult! Have you considered Magoosh? Our comprehensive Verbal and Math program will take you through all that you need to know for the test, and you will have over 1100 questions to practice as well as support from our expert tutors. Check it out for free for seven days 🙂

      The Manhattan books are great for math but not quite as great in verbal. I recommend that you check out our flashcards, Vocab ebook and the verbal section of our blog for tips on how to study and what strategies you can use on the verbal section. One of the most important things that you can for the verbal section is to read as MUCH as possible. The verbal section is all about your overall ability to comprehend difficult texts, so reading is the best way to improve your verbal abilities!

      The ETS book has great practice, but if you only focus on the Official Guides you will miss out on a lot of important concepts and strategies. Those books don’t really include in-depth information about the concepts and methods you need to know in order to answer the questions. I highly recommend that you use another source for math practice as well, either Magoosh or Manhattan 🙂

  2. Carmen October 17, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I want to take the GRE test for the first time in January/February. The reason I choose the GRE is because Maths is not one of my strengths, on the other hand, I am not an English native speaker. I know it is very difficult, Since I studied my undergraduate degree in English, I am used to the academic English. I downloaded the Magoosh Vocabulary app. But I am not sure if that is working for me. I learn better and faster from the context rather than a definition. I am working currently with the ETS GRE book and for learning vocabulary I use the Norman Lewis book.
    For the quantitative Part what can you recommend me? while I was looking for Information in the internet I came across so many options I don’t know what can help me to prepare for the test.
    Looking forward for your reply and your help


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 18, 2016 at 8:39 am #

      Hi Carmen,

      Happy to help 🙂 Just like in verbal, the best way to study math depends on you and your preferences. In order to excel in the math section, you need to understand all of the concepts and methods that you will need on the test. This is a big task, and requires time and effort. So, do you prefer to learn from videos or books? If you prefer to learn from videos, I recommend that you check out Magoosh. Our comprehensive GRE program includes video lessons covering all of the concepts and methods you need to know for the test, as well as hundreds of practice math problems, complete video explanations for all of the problems, and support from our team of expert tutors. You will of course have access to our verbal product as well, which includes strategy videos for all of the different types of questions you will see on the test. One big benefit of an online study program is that you can take us anywhere, and the format of our practice questions mimics what you will see on the computerized test! You can try us out for seven days to see if this approach might work for you!

      If, on the other hand, you prefer to learn from books, then the Manhattan series might be best for you! Their awesome strategy guides will take you through the concepts, but you won’t get the personalized support that you will get with Magoosh (and their package is a lot more expensive).

      The ETS books are great for practice, but they really won’t provide you with the background concepts and strategy that you need for the test!

      I hope this helps 🙂

  3. Siddhant Gupta October 6, 2016 at 1:00 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I took my gre exam on 30th Sept 2016. I scored 146 in verbal and 166 in quant. I will be taking the exam again in oct end. I think, I preformed good in RC, but really very poor in Text completion and sentence equivalence. Apart from that I lack in speed as I was not able to attempt long RC in verbal 1st section. My vocabulary is okayish. Basically, I am not able to predict the blank word on my own in short time due to which I end up looking options given in the question for finding the most appropriate blank. I need to practice TC and SE . Will Manhattan GRE Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence, 4th Edition be a good book for me or should I take magoosh GRE package ? My aim is to increase my score to 156 at least in verbal. Also, I want a perfect score in Quant. What can i do to improve my quant score.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      It sounds like you need really good, focused Verbal practice and general Quant practice. Manhattan’s GRE Verbal practice is of some use here, since they do touch on all of the different Verbal question types, including TC and SE. However, their Verbal has vocabulary that doesn’t quite resemble what you’d see on the real GRE, and their TC sentences are also less focused on grammatical complexity, compared to the real GRE exam from ETS. (As you’ve seen, Chris explores the finer points of this book right here in this post.) Magoosh– if I do say so– does a pretty solid job on TC and SE in its practice questions, and we’re quite good with GRE Vebal in general. And both Magoosh and Manhattan are good for QUants, with Manhattan having an especially rich, HUGE selection of extremely good, accurately formatted GRE QUant questions.

      So really, both Manhattan GRE and Magoosh GRE are potentially good third-party GRE resources for you. So I hope you’ll consider both our GRE practice and the practice from our fine Manhattan colleagues. Having said that, the VERY MOST IMPORTANT resource for you will be the official materials from ETS. The most recent edition– the 2nd edition of the Revised GRE Official Guide— is obviously the best. But the 1st Edition of the Revised GRE OG is also pretty helpful and reasonably accurate to the real exam. And the official GRE PowerPrep practice tests— downloadable for free– are also essential.

      So use those official resources to study for your retake, if you haven’t used them already. And even if you have used them already, give them a review. If you need additional supplemental prep materials after you’re done with the official ones, then certainly consider Magoosh, Manhattan GRE, or combination of both as potential options.

  4. Sarvan September 12, 2016 at 2:34 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Need your guidance for preparation.
    I was an average (or below average student in maths). I could only secure 66/100 in 10th grade exams. My concepts are not that clear either.

    I have about a year and half to prepare for maths.

    What would be your recommendation? Manhattan quants book or Magoosh 6-month beginner program? Please advise on verbal as well.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

      Our 6 month GRE study plan for math beginners requires the Manhattan Quants book, so I’d actually recommend both. The 6 month plan for math beginners also includes a lot of support for Verbal too. But the focus is somewhat on Quants rather than Verbal. From what you’ve told me, this 6 month program– use of Manhattan books included– will work for you. But if you read through the plan and are not quite sure, you can compare it to our other GRE study plans. With a Magoosh GRE subscription, it’s also possible to combine elements of a few of our different plans. We provide subscribers with email guidance on this, if needed.

  5. Cini July 26, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Would you mind writing a review on “Wiley’s GRE Verbal Grail 2016” & Wiley’s GRE Math Grail 2016

    Just found it on

  6. Aditya June 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

    Hi Chris I’m giving my gre somewhere in between late august early sept. last time my scores were QA 158 VA 149 AWA 3.5. Mind you the for QA i couldn’t prepare statistics part (basically no knowledge) for that I have the manhattan book and the 5lb book with only stat. and verbal left to complete. But, for verbal i need something. I’m looking to improve my score by 10-15 pts.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 7, 2016 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Aditya,

      Improving by 10-15 points is an ambitious goal. You should know that on average, Magoosh users increase their scores by about 8 points overall. While many students have increased their score more than that, we don’t see an increase of the magnitude you’re talking about very often. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest checking out our study schedules here. The plans are designed around a certain starting point rather than achieving a particular score—we want all our students to score as high as they can! That said, with the goal you have in mind, I’d say the longer you can spread out your studies, the better.

      In terms of test prep books, for verbal review, I’d recommend the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions. The beauty of this book lies in the practice problems. Because the book is written by the writers of the GRE, its questions do an excellent job of representing the difficulty and variety of questions you’ll encounter on exam day. However, the book is not the best for test-prep strategies. If you’re looking for strategy books, I’d recommend the Manhattan series 🙂

      Now, to really improve your verbal score, we at Magoosh cannot stress enough how important it is to read as MUCH as possible. Aim to read for at least 30 minutes a day from GRE-level reading materials, such as our selections for our “GRE Article of the Month” series. Reading will help you improve your comprehension abilities as well as your understanding of vocabulary in context. Also, I’d recommend using our GRE Vocab Flashcards and learning about 10-15 new vocabulary words a day.

      I hope these suggestions help! Happy studying 🙂

      • Shane July 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for all of your informative blogs and responses.

        I’d like to score 165+ on both sections. Might you have some brief yet specific pointers?

        I haven’t prepped much, but I’ve taken two Manhattan tests: Q 156/ V 159 one month ago, and Q 161 / V 160 a few days ago. I might attribute the improvement on the second test to being more familiar with the test’s format and time limitation.

        In terms of practice tests, I have five more Manhattans and the two PowerPrepIIs. I also have Magoosh’s six-month membership. I had been planning on utilizing Magoosh for quant prep via the timed problems, whereas I’ve been supposing I’ll focus on flashcards to beef up my vocab. (I already read the Economist, so I’m relatively primed on dense reading material.) I’m more verbally inclined, perhaps in part due to being a native English speaker but also because I’ve avoided math for years. :p

        Very much appreciated,


        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 13, 2016 at 6:34 am #

          Hi Shane,

          Thanks for your message! Since you have a premium account, I’ve forwarded your message to our team of test-prep experts to give you a more thorough response than what we can provide on our blog. Look out for an e-mail from one of our test-prep experts in the next day or so 😀

          And so that you know, because you’re a premium Magoosh user, you can always send us questions through the Help button on the bottom right of your Magoosh page or by sending an email to and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible! 🙂

  7. Milan May 27, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Hi Chris, I am planning to purchase Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides. Do you think I should still buy the Manhattan 5 lbs book? Please let me know your thoughts.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

      I got this one, Chris! 🙂

      If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, the 5 lb book is a nice edition to your collection of GRE prep materials. It complements the 8 book set nicely by adding a lot of extra practice questions. And the five pound book improves on the Verbal material from the 8 Strategy guides. In the 5 lb Book, the problems with overly obscure GRE Verbal vocabulary have been corrected, so that the Verbal passages and questions are more like the current version of the GRE. For more details on the 5 lb Book, check out Chris’s reviews of the book. He reviews the current edition here, and the previous edition here.

  8. Vasundhara March 27, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Hi Chris!

    I intend to apply for an Econ Phd and planning to give the GRE in August. Since I am working, coming across the Magoosh study plans has been a life saver for me. I feel so much more confident in being able to handle the test now, especially the Quant section. I was hoping you would be able to help me out with two small question:
    1. If I buy Manhattan’s 5lb book of GRE practice problems, will I still get access to the 6 free tests? (I thought along with the ETS guide, it would make more sense to buy this as opposed to just one book on a specific topic)
    2. To be honest, I am a little strapped for cash and not sure if I will be able to shell out USD 100 for the 6 month subscription to Magoosh (even though I really want to). I was wondering if it would be possible to buy the one month subscription right now and then use it for a month at a later date?

    Look forward to hearing from you,


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 27, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Vasundhara,

      Thanks for reaching out! 🙂

      1. The Manhattan 5lb Book will not give you access to the practice tests. Instead, it has an additional question bank along with it. If you want the tests, you have to get one of the strategy series books.

      2. The team that works on the blogs here is not in charge of subscription questions, but if you email one of our admin experts will definitely be able to let you know what can be done about the subscription and when to buy it for later.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

      • Vasundhara March 31, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        Thanks a bunch for the clarification! I finally decided to go ahead with the 6 month account!

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 2, 2016 at 3:13 am #

          Great to hear, Vasundhara! Glad to have you on the team. 😀

  9. prashanth kumar March 19, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Hi Magoosh,

    I am giving my GRE exams on may 16th so i hardly have 60 days .
    could you @magoosh please suggest give some tips how should i start preparing w.r.t:
    1. study plan (which plan )
    2. buy magoosh for 6 months or 1 month ?

    and extra ,materials required ..

    Please comments and suggest you valuable reply !

    Prashanth Kumar

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 23, 2016 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Prashanth,

      Thanks for your questions 🙂

      1. study plan (which plan )
      Since you’ll be studying for about 8 weeks, I’d recommend using our 2-3-month weekly study schedule! That’ll help you structure your studies and guide you through all the Magoosh content in time for your test. As part of that study schedule, we also refer to practice problems in the ETS Official guide. We definitely encourage you to use the official guide, but it isn’t required if you want to stick to only Magoosh content.

      On the other hand, if you’re looking for a daily schedule, you could also follow our one month plan and take 2 days for every one day on the study plan. This will definitely still allow you to cover all of the topics you’ll see on the exam. 🙂 And since the 30 day plan require about 3-4 hours of studying a day, if you spread this out over 2 months, you’ll still be studying about 2 hours a day.

      2. buy magoosh for 6 months or 1 month ?

      I’d recommend our 6-month plan, as you’ll then have access to Magoosh throughout the entire course of your studies. Plus, in the event that you want/need to take a retake (which I hope doesn’t happen!), you’ll have 4 additional months to study using Magoosh 🙂 Finally, the plans I’ve recommended guide you through the Magoosh lessons videos and practice questions, so you’ll be fully taking advantage of the resources we offer during these two months before your exam.

      Extra/required materials
      Each plan has a list of required and recommended materials to use as you prepare for your exam. Please check the individual plans to see what materials we suggest 🙂 And if you have any questions on a specific resource, please let us know!

      I hope this helps 🙂 Happy studying!

    • Prashanth March 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      Thanks Magoosh !

      Well one more question so I am interested to take up the 6 month plan and want to understand mahoosh better , and as you said could assign a guide to help me through how to use it in a better way ?
      And w.r.t the timings I will be spending 4 hours every day ,what is the other required materials required ?

  10. Bhagyashree March 17, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    Hi Chris

    I have a question about the free practice test that comes with the Manhattan book. I purchased the 5 lb Manhattan book and used the code to register my product. I got access to the few online resources but unable to find the 6 free full length test on the website. I am about to appear for my GRE in few days and hence need to practice for the same. Could you please help me with this?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 18, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      Hi there 🙂

      In order to access the practice exams, you will need to “purchase” the set of 6 exams on the Manhattan website:

      When you go to your cart to check out, there is a box where you can input the code you received. Once you’ve entered the code, you can proceed through the check out process as normal to access the full-length practice exams 🙂

      I hope this helps! And good luck on your upcoming exam!

  11. Tedros January 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    You are the rock Chris!Thank you very much for your honest help to prepare students for the GRE!!

  12. Jennifer Okafor January 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi Chris!
    My name is Jennifer Okafor from Nigeria. I’ve been reading your materials and blogs online and I must say that it is very impressive. I’m happy that you’ve taken it upon yourself to help others succeed in their endeavours, particularly the standardised exams. God bless you richly.
    I just had my GRE exam yesterday and it wasn’t so good as I was expecting to cross the 300 point line. I scored 280 (Verbal 142) (Quant138). My gpa in Uni was 2.84 on 5.00 scale.
    Which schools can consider this score for graduate admission and GA as well? Do I risk applying to schools or I should rewrite the exam? Hoping to hear from you soonest.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 8, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      Hi Jennifer,

      First, I’m so sorry for how delayed this reply has been! I’m here now, but if you’ve already made a decision in the meantime, I would love to hear it. Your experiences can help other students, too. 🙂

      I would aim to retake the exam because while your score and your GPA are not signs of being a bad student, you want to give yourself some shining aspects of your overall academic profile! While applying definitely wouldn’t be a risk–the process is a learning experience in itself and you never know who might love your essays!–I believe you would be stronger if you could raise that GRE score.

      What did you end up doing? I hope things are working out for you! 🙂

  13. farhan January 5, 2016 at 6:33 am #

    Hi Chris,
    can the 2nd edition of MGRE still be used to prepare for GRE in 2016? are there any major differences in the new 4th edition?

  14. Rohit October 22, 2015 at 5:02 am #


    I have gone through all the comments and reviews, but still not able to decide on a particular book for a particular section.
    Only thing I know that 6 practice test of Manhatten are important.
    Can you tell me that which is the best book for a particular field. For example:

    RC : which is the best book out there.
    SE/SC : which is the best book out there.
    Quant : which is the best book out there.

  15. Abhishek :) August 30, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    Hello chris!

    You guys are doing a fab job, keep doing and helping GRE aspirants. Just dropping a question-
    Am going to write my GRE on OCT, i already did Manhattan 5lb, Barrons, Nova Math Bible, Manhattan Reference books, Mangoosh vocab(first 2 sections), math flash cards. Now what am suppose to do in this last month to gain confidence and high score.
    (Going to write some practice tests)

    Awaiting your reply. Cheers!!

  16. Sanjana S. August 17, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I’m writing my GRE for the first time in December, and I’m really struggling on which books to buy. I know I’m definitely getting the “Official GRE Super Power Pack”.

    My second set of books would have to be the “Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides”. Now, I’ve seen you answer this a million times – but if you could set my mind at ease – as a first time GRE-taker, would it really make a difference if I got the 3rd edition over the 4th? (note: the 3rd edition does not give me access to the six online practice tests as it a used copy)

    And lastly I want to buy the “Manhattan GRE 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems – 2nd edition”.

    These will be my main books. Do you think I’ll be prepped by December or would you suggest other books?

    If anyone else could help too, that would be awesome! 🙂

  17. ACHAL July 10, 2015 at 3:42 am #

    Hey ,
    I wanted to know about:-
    1.) How much variation is there in actual GRE score as compared to Manhattan 6 test series??? I’m having my GRE on 23rd July, and Im scoring 158Q nd 147V in these test series.Left with Ets powerprep test.
    2.) So how can I improve upon my score in any of the section with 13-14 days left???
    Plzz do mention the variation of difficulty level of manhattan test series..

    Waiting for a valuable reply asap.

    Thanks …. 🙂 🙂

  18. Angel July 7, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi, Chris! I’m taking the test in a little less than 2 months. I’ve taken it before and got V156, Q167, W4. I’m basically looking for good resources (vocabulary, books, courses, tests, etc.) to improve my verbal (to at least 160) and writing scores. Could you possibly recommend some resources for me? Thank you so much in advance!

  19. Madeleine June 21, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been studying with Magoosh for the past week and I had a question about the prep books. I was wondering how I could incorporate the Manhattan Prep books into the 2-3 month study plan. I have started the study plan but I had not realized that the McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New Gre Math book was part of the (optional) study plan. I was wondering if I could replace any the Manhattan Prep books instead of the McGraw-Hill book.

  20. Megan April 1, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Hi! I’m planning on purchasing one of the books in the Manhattan GRE series to get access to the practice tests. However, I’m wondering if the code will be invalid if I purchase a second-hand copy, since it has probably been used before by the previous owner. Would you happen to know if that is the case? Thank you.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Megan,

      Hmm..that is a good question! Perhaps, even if the code is still valid, the person who first owned the book will have already gone through all the practice tests. Give it a shot, but if not, then buying a first-hand copy might be your best bet.

      Hope that helps!

    • Oscar May 24, 2015 at 8:07 am #

      Unfortunately, each code can only be used ONCE. So if you buy a used copy with a used code, you will NOT be able to access any of the free test that comes with the purchase of a new book.

  21. Joy August 17, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I have prep’d myself with online materials and the ETS GRE Guide.I just want to brace myself up and have the get-going momentum by taking as many tests as possible.My GRE is on 25th august.Is there any GRE-style-exams study schemes at Magoosh for 1 week?

  22. Harikrishnan July 31, 2014 at 5:44 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I will be taking GRE for the first time in Nov and I am anyhow taking Magoosh.
    From the reviews it seems MGRE is the best book.
    For the 3 month preparation (3 hrs a day), will MGRE book set be helpful or is it meant for a much longer preparation?

    Thanks in advance,

  23. Yael July 19, 2014 at 7:53 am #


    I am currently studying from magoosh, the official ETS book and Barrons. I am aiming for a very high score. Should I start using the Manhattan books as well? Perhaps instead of Barrons? Or is that unnecessary?

    Thank you very much!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 21, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      Hi Yael,

      If you already have a solid base (meaning you are scoring around the mid-150’s in each section), I don’t think the Manhattan books are that necessary. What is great is the online GRE tests Manhattan offers. Just buy any one of their books and you get access, for free, to all 6 online tests. I’d recommend those over Barron’s practice tests.

      Good luck!

      • August 1, 2014 at 5:19 am #

        The Manhattan GRE tests, while they are excellent overall and probably a bit harder than the actual ETS test, tend to have very,very un-ETS data interpretations, at least compared to the 4 ETS tests I’ve taken. In those, My score on Data Int is more or less the same as my overall, with an error or two from rushing. Even in Manhattan’s 5LB book, I would get 90%+ right consistently, and I do well on Magoosh Data Int as well.

        But the Data interpretation on these computer based tests is incredibly difficult in the wrong way. For example, a question will ask you to calculate a percentage, and the ONLY way to get this percentage is adding 10 to 12 numbers by hand, even according to the answer key. The Formatting is also punishing: They will give you these HUGE data tables, often 2+ screen lengths long, and often without sufficient explanation (For example, you were supposed to infer that if 0 of a particular color of something was sold in a given week that it wasn’t available for sale!). Alternatively, they give you 3 Data Tables and expect you to do inference across all 3. My score on these data interpretation questions is sharply different from the score I get on magoosh, ETS, or even other MGRE stuff.

        All of this is to say, use these tests, they’re great practice, but just don’t get discouraged when you get a lower than expected score, because some of these questions aren’t quite the kind the ETS would ask.

  24. Arijit July 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Thanks 🙂 that was definitely an eye opener. So I brought one book from the 8 books. But how should I be able to access the online tests?

  25. Ashish June 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    For GRE, especially the maths section i plan to use the manhattan books looking at the review of the book given by you. I am totally confused for the verbal section. Accordng to your review the manhattan books are not that good for the verbal section and has such questions which won’t be appearing in the test! I want to know which is the book that I should go for the verbal section. Also my first language is English and I’m quite fluent in the language too! Please reply at the earliest!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 11, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      The Manhattan verbal books are good for strategies, but in general the questions aren’t the best (the question formats, though, are exactly the same). In general, it is tough to come up with questions for verbal sections that are on par with ETS material. That’s why most of the books are below par–including MGRE. I recommend using MGRE verbal for strategy but ETS questions for actual practice questions.

      Hope that helps!

  26. Rohan June 7, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    I would start with Congratulating Chris and the team. You guys are doing a great job here by helping those in need. Really helpful stuff.

    My exam date is 26th August. That is roughly 2 and a half Months from now. I have not prepared anything as yet and i wish to have a more than decent score to cover up for my downfall in grades in my graduation.

    So i was thinking of purchasing MGRE full set+5lb and Magoosh Premium. I have also taken a local tutor for GRE so i have access to their notes as well. I already have ETS official guide. Manhattan 1000 flashcards and Old version of Barrons (12th edition seems pretty old to me by the looks of it) and Word Power made easy.

    My question is Magoosh Video series of 200 Videos and 1000 Questions + MGRE 8 books + MGRE 5lb book + ETS (as they are the creators of GRE) is this much enough for scoring a high score ?
    And after i finish this in the last 20 days doing tests from ETS,Manhattan 6 tests,etc.

    PLEASE Suggest me more books if needed. Do i need to practice Princeton/Kaplan/Barrons/Nova,etc. as well if i am doing the above mentioned stuff?

    Im doing Word Power made easy and Manhattan 1000 words and referring to your vocab eBook. Any other source you might recommend ?

    Also i would like to know that the Magoosh 1000 questions are included in those 200 videos or are different ?

    Would like to hear from you soon. Thanking you in advance. Cheers 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Rohan,

      I definitely think you have enough material. If you do run out, use the MGRE practice tests, which you get access to by purchasing any one of their 8 guides. Personally, I think it is better to redo questions, rather than go “slumming” with some of the other material. If you really have to, I’d recommend Barron’s.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  27. Tracy March 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    I was looking into buying this book when I saw there will be 4th edition coming out in June. Do you plan on reviewing the Manhattan series again?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Tracy,

      The editions of MGRE don’t really change year to year (at least they have yet to change). My strong hunch is that MGRE is going to focus on releasing more books/adding more online practice tests. The set of 8 books, though, is basically a finished project. Unless, the test changes significantly, I’d say the MGRE book set won’t change for the foreseeable future.

      Hope that helps!

  28. pavan February 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Hey Chris!

    I gave my GRE last year with hardly any prep and scored 299 (Q 149 V 150) , I have been working on my vocab for the past two month ( have my test in April’14 ) I am looking for ways to substantially improve my Quant score and pull it into 160+ , I already acquired all the 6 MGRE books and am diligently doing all the problem sets. However,I would like to know If I need any more material apart from the 6 MGRE volumes to score above 160 or will these material be sufficient.


  29. Mila June 13, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Hi Chris,

    How come the 6 month study plan includes the purchase of books 1-6 if Magoosh on its own is fine? I am not sure, as of yet, if I am a book or online learner (have only tried book learning) but I just purchased the Magoosh software and am wondering whether I really need to purchase the manhattan books to get a good score.



    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 13, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Hi Mila,

      Magoosh on it’s own is fine. But for 6-months, there simply isn’t enough content to sustain you. Manhattan GRE is an excellent source of practice questions. The key is to providing you with enough prep material so you can get your best score test day.

      Hope that helps!

  30. Ashley June 9, 2013 at 8:31 am #


    I have the MGRE series. However, the study plans offered on Magoosh recommend using the McGraw Hill Conquering the New GRE Math. Do you have any equivalent plans for MGRE?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Ashley,

      MGRE doesn’t quite have anything that offers up comprehensive practice on the basics. Almost all of MGRE questions–just like those on Magoosh–offer GRE-level questions. So if you need help with the basics: fractions, factoring, square roots, etc. – Conquering the New GRE Math is the way to go.

      Hope that helps!

  31. Anmol May 12, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks a ton for the excellent analysis of the MGRE. I had so far been studying from Barron’s and Princeton review – looks like I need some more practice! Also, the number of practice questions in these books is limited so it doesn’t really help you learn much.
    I feel that I do not need too much background on the topics since I have been through a host of standardized tests before so I was planning to buy the 5 lb book of GRE practice problems for offline practice .
    What’s your take on this book?

    Thanks in advance for your reply!


  32. Anupum Pant April 12, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    Oh! Thank god. I was doing pretty good with drills from other books but was so disappointed with my performance in Manhattan’s verbal drills. After reading the part of your post which reveals the flaw in their verbal books, I no longer feel intimidated. Nevertheless I sometimes open it up to find new words.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Anupum,

      I glad I can allay some of your concerns. Yes, sometimes the words are much too difficult, and in a few cases the credited answers don’t quite make sense (though this is definitely rare). Regardless, you should do fine on the GRE if you can handle most of the MGRE words.

      Good luck!

  33. M.A.7 August 25, 2012 at 8:57 am #


    I intend to take the GRE general test this November. After some researching it seems that Manhattan Prep series are the best books for GRE. However most reviews (of any GRE books, in fact) focus on the maths section, which I understand is a major point of worry for a lot of people. But I have a degree in maths, and on the other hand English is my 2nd language (though I am fluent in it). I’ve been meaning to buy books 7 & 8 of Manhattan Prep (RC and TS), but after reading all these reviews I’m still left wondering whether they will be the best preparation for verbal and analytical sections? Should I buy another book to accompany them? I was going to buy Barron’s new GRE so I have some maths questions as well (I don’t want to go in completely blind!), would the combination be sufficient? I want to score in the top percentile.

    I’ve found a lot of flashcards on which I’m using. So the word list is not a major scoring point in a book for me.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi M.A.7,

      That’s a good question, and one that many have asked. So MGRE books are good, but it is true they only have two books on verbal. I’d recommend the RC book, but not the TC/SE. Supplementing that book with Barron’s is not a bad idea.

      And don’t forget Magoosh’s online offering. We have close to 500 verbal practice questions (which means hundreds of SE/TC questions). We also have sedulously developed verbal lessons to help you nail the fundamentals of SE/TC/RC.

      Let me know if you have any other questions :).

  34. Alfonso Rojas August 23, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Chris, I have a question.

    I bought only the first Manhattan book (algebra) in order to gain access to the 6 online tests, but with some practice I’ve noticed how I’m continuously having problems with Permutations and Combinations problems.

    So I figured I should get the Manhattan book where that topic is covered, as they are really good at explaining the concepts and giving a lot of exercises related. I have Kaplan (the Premier and the Workbook), Princeton Review, McGraw Hill’s Conquering the GRE and the ETS Official Guide but none of them have a comprehensive amount of practice related to those types of questions.

    The thing is I’m not really sure which book to buy, and in which one the topic is covered. I would really appreciate if you could give me a light on the matter.

    Thank you !

  35. M.A.7 August 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm #


    do you mind writing a post that gives an indication of the changes in the books you have reviewed since 2012? Where I live in amazon the Manhattan flashcards 2012 ed are three times the price of the 2011 ed, and besides 2011 editions of some of the books have kindle edition which is really helpful.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      That review should be posted very soon :). Essentially, the two volumes are exactly the same. So as long as you don’t buy the 2010 version of MGRE (which was for the old test format), you should be fine.

      Hope that helps!

      • M.A.7 August 22, 2012 at 6:08 am #

        thanks 🙂

  36. Anand August 14, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your great review. I just scored a 720 in GMAT (Q 48, V 42). What can I expect in the GRE? Whats your advice on recommended areas of study? I already have a full Manhattan GMAT set, is it worth buying some of these Manhattan GRE books. For me th only one different is the text completion deal and equivalence deal. What are the best books and online courses for text completion and verbal stuff in your opinion. What areas of study should I focus on


    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Hi Anand,

      I’d say you hit the nail on the head. All you’ll really need to practice is SE and TC. The Manhattan GRE practice tests offer some tough ones as does Magoosh. Otherwise most of the other stuff out there is too easy, or simply doesn’t reflect the questions you’ll see test day.

  37. nishanth July 30, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    hi chris..
    as you said in the above comments the manhattan book for sentence completion is not good then which book is good for SC what about princeton (for strategics) and also tell which is good book for practice is manhattan is enough for practice . means their will be enough practice sections is that book.
    can you plz give me a review on (PRINCETON WORD SMART GRE) is this book helps me on word list preparation

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Sadly, the bottom-line is none of the books out there will adequately prepare you the difficulty of questions you will see test day :(.

  38. AMIL July 29, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I am Amil Shah. I have scored 310 in RGRE which I gave on 26th june,2012
    VA- 147; qa – 163, AWA – 3.5

    I am planning to retake it on 4th sept,2012 so that I can increase my score.

    Can you tell me how different is GMAT RC book of manhattan from MGRE RC book.??

    I have GMAT RC book of manhattan. Will that be sufficient or should I buy MGRE RC book??

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 30, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      The two books aren’t that different. However, the MGRE book contains the Essay section. Not that the essays on two tests are all that different, but if you are focused on AWA, you might want to consider getting the MGRE book. If not, the MGMAT RC will help you with the GRE RC.

      Hope that helps!

  39. mdk July 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi chris i am preparing for gre .. i am not able to find Manhattan gre prep for RC , can i study from Manhattan GMAT prep books for GRE . Are there any difference between both the boos

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 30, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      The RC MGMAT and MGRE overlap a bit. The essay/AWA part (which is in the same book as the RC MGRE), however, is different. Another thing to consider is the free online test. Buying one MGRE book gives you access to six GRE tests. I’d say buy the MGRE books :).

  40. Santosh Kalyan July 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I am planning to get the Manhattan series ( one book atmost ) for the sake of Online test papers.

    I found that there are two versions: 2010 , 2011.

    I wonder if the 2010 version also gives me the option of writing 6 online practice tests of the revised version of GRE.
    This is a book which i am planning to buy, provided i get the same Revised GRE practice papers…

    (Price seems to be a factor, as 2010 version is 505 cheaper)

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi, Santosh

      We’re not too sure whether the 2010 edition will give you access to the online tests– I’d recommend contacting Manhattan GRE to make sure, just in case!


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Make sure you get the 2011 version. The 2010 version is for the old GRE test, not the Revised GRE test. Hope that helps!

  41. Manasa July 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I just need a slight clarification. Is Manhattan GRE the same as Manhattan prep?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Yes, Manhattan GRE refers to Manhattan Prep’s (the company) GRE material. I hope that helps! 🙂

  42. Harshvardhan July 24, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I am planning to take my GRE in dec 2012,and have started preparing with the help of magoosh study plan for beginner .Your review of manhattan books is really helpful as other inputs available on your site. I have a request,can you please prepare a study plan based on MGRE books.I think it will help a lot of people preparing for the test.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      HI Harshvardhan,

      I think a good approach to the MGRE tests is to work through the books, touching on the areas you are weakest on. Once you feel you are somewhat proficient in more than at least 50% of the areas, take your first test (you don’t want to take a practice test without first brushing up a bit). Afterwards take a test every week as you make your way through the books.

  43. Betty July 23, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Hey Chris,

    I have been using the online manhattan practice tests that you get access to if you purchase any one of the books. What do you think about the manhattan practice tests versus the ETS vs Magoosh practice questions? It seems alot harder especially in the text completions and some of the quant material. I just wanted your opinion because I feel like I am doing ALOT of preparation and getting bogged down by the manhattan practice exams. Thanks so much!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi Betty,

      I think the MGRE tests are more difficult than the ETS tests online. Not a bad thing – a little extra practice. At the same time I wouldn’t agonizing over Text Completions that go something like this, “The committee’s proposal against the incumbent’s recent civic rehabilitation plan to counter the former mayor’s plan of city restoration etc.” The real GRE won’t have so many twists before even a single blank.

      Hope that helps :).

      • Betty August 2, 2012 at 8:01 am #

        Thanks that helps alot! I just took a practice verbal section with Manhattan Prep and I bombed it and my actual test is a week away. Your verbal strategies definitely help but I am missing the mark however. The text completions in the manhattan practice exams seem so convoluted or it is entirely random that it throws me over the edge completely. Over studying maybe? Its so hard to determine if I should study more or just take it easy.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris August 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

          Hi Betty,

          Do not worry :). Some of the Text Completions are overly convoluted on the Manhattan study tests. Though the TCs test day will be difficult, they won’t be as ridiculously byzantine nor as random.

          If you haven’t already, take one of the two Powerprep tests. That should give you a better idea of your skills, and the actual test.

          Hope that helps!

  44. dinesh July 22, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    hi chris
    if you dont mind to give a reply………….i want to ask u one question………i have one month time to write my gre exam and i am unable to mug up with READING COMPREHENSION AND ESSAY… manhattan book on RC and ESSAY helpful to me……PLEASE HELP ME……..

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      The MGRE RC and Essay book is excellent. I do recommend it :).

  45. Kamiya July 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    HI Chris,

    I am planning to give TOEFL in 3 weeks.Could you please let me know which book and website should i refer to study.
    I am also studying for GRE since a week from Barrons and ETS.
    Could you please let me know which website has mock tests for GRE and TOEFL.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Hi Kamiya,

      As of now, we are only focusing on GRE so I can’t answer many questions on TOEFL. You can find sample questions on the ETS site though. Here it is:

  46. sravani July 21, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    Hi, I am looking for Math books.. Here I could find only first edition of Manhattan GRE. I am thinking that the concepts will not change right? Shall I buy them or should I wait for second edition books.. Is there any difference between them??

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Sravani,

      There really is no difference between the books. And no, the concepts will not change drastically :).

  47. sravani July 21, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    May I know the difference between First edition and the Second edition of Manhattan books.. Awaiting a reply soon..!!

    Thanks Chris..!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      Hi Sravani,

      The two are almost identical, save for a few typos that have been corrected.

  48. Rajesh July 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I am sorry for a totally unrelevant question. I wanted to know if the toefl pattern has changed from what it was last year (in 2011). I had attended classes in 2011 and hence not sure if the same material will hold good even for 2012. I have my toefl on 28th of the ongoing month.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 24, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      Hi Rajesh,

      Unfortunately, I haven’t been following the TOEFL as we’ve been focusing on the GRE. So I’m not sure if I can answer your question. Sorry :(.

  49. rithika July 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    do the manhattan gre e books also contain 6 online tests? is it sufficient if we buy any one of the e books to get access to the tests?

    • Ash July 23, 2012 at 6:56 am #

      Yes Rithika. Buying just one book is enough to get access to the tests.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 23, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      Hi Rithka,

      You only need to buy one book to get free access to all 6 on-line MGRE tests :).

  50. Ash July 19, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Hi Magoosh!

    I’m a 26 year old man, with almost 4 years of experience in the IT field. I always thought I could do better without pursuing MS. I still have high hopes for starting my own company or freelancing. But about a week ago, it struck me that I have a life time ahead to try all that, but if I have a shot at doing MS, this is it. GRE 2012.

    I’m stuck in an unchallenging job, bossed by untalented people, frustrated because of not being able to utilise the skills I’ve acquired through years of passionate learning. I dreamed about developing intelligent software that change the path of computing, but as of now, I just copy paste stuff in excel sheets.

    That’s the background story. My job is my limitation. But I am determined to write GRE this year. I have about two/three months to prepare. I wasted my money on an old edition of Barron’s. I wish I had found your website earlier!

    I have read your reviews and plans. I wish I could buy your premium offering, but I dont think I’ll be able to utilise it properly. Your site is blocked at work (under the block list : Real Estate! Can you believe?!). And the net connection at home is shoddy, gets disconnected frequently. As I’m on a tight schedule, I think probably I should go with a book based offline course. Right now, I’m thinking of getting the Manhattan series and the ETS official guide.
    1) Will these be enough to get a high score if I devote 2-3 hours daily for GRE? (I was an above average student in school, 98% in maths, ~95% in english)
    2) Or should I get the new Barron’s too? Any use for it if I already have MGRE?
    (For vocab, I’ll get your vocab ebook and also refer the old Barron’s)

    I know you are not running this site for charity and I’m probably of no use to you. But, I hope you would still guide me. 🙂


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Hi Ash,

      Too bad you are not allowed to “Magoosh” at work :).

      As for books, it doesn’t hurt to combine a few of the source. I’d say MGRE coupled with Barrons, studying a few hours a night, doing several practice tests, esp. the ones from ETS, should help you hit your goal (and help you do something you enjoy!).

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Ash July 20, 2012 at 2:50 am #

        Thanks Chris!

        I happened to find the following comment in a customer review in Amazon.
        “the real GRE test had statistics questions on it and the manhatten GRE
        book series does not include statistics practice”

        I’ve already ordered the books. But can you tell me whether he’s right? I didnt see you mention about it in your review. The only negative comment you’ve mentioned is regarding the Text Completion section, which I’ll skip in the MGRE books and learn from the Barron instead.

  51. nishanth July 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    hi I am nishanth
    i am a student from India and the language ENGLISH is not native for me
    and as for me the verbal section is much more harder than the quant section and as
    you mentioned above the 8book series of Manhattan GRE in which 6-books belong to quant and the rest belong to verbal is the 2 books of verbal are enough for scoring good in the verbal section
    as i am very poor in the verbal section of the gre
    can you say they are any good books for preparing for the gre (verbal) section

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Hi Nishanth,

      Not being a native speaker, you will definitely have to work hard to get a competitive Verbal score. That does not mean doing so is impossible, but no one book will be enough. You will have to use a combination of the best resources and increase your vocabulary by reading often and expansively from a range of topics.

      The following ebook will elaborate on this:

      Good luck!

      • nishanth July 20, 2012 at 2:27 am #

        thx for the reply chris
        can you suggest any book for the word-list
        because for me learning word-list’s are the most essential thing in the vocabulary section
        so plz suggest me a book! in which the whole (3000+) GRE WORD’S must be their

  52. Sid July 18, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Hi Chris
    So I stated using Magoosh recently and have to give GRE in September. I mainly need to increase my verbal scrore, quant is easy for me. In case I have time, which book do you recommend for extra practise of reading comprehension and text completion question ? Big book or Manhattan GRE books? I really want to improve my verbal score!

    Other than Magoosh, I have used ETS guide and Powerprep till now.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      For extra passages you could use Manhattan. The best practice will come from its 6 on-line tests. For even more RC practice, you can also get the GMAT Official Guide.

      Hope that helps :).

  53. Kamiya July 18, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I am planning of giving gre by last week of sep 2012.I bought barrons and ets books but I wanted to know if I would need to study any other books too.I lag a bit in verbal.Also to mention that I have started studying just 3 days back.Could you please guide me which books shall I refer and m also looking for books or courses which have lots of mock tests.
    Would you suggest me to join any courses like magoosh or manhattan since 2 months is a short period to study,If yes please let me know which one should I prefer.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Hi Kamiya,

      Courses can be quite helpful, but they can also leave students feel lost, as the teachers often teach a ‘one size fits all’ approach. I’d say study on your own first to see how far you get. If you feel you’ve hit a ceiling, then perhaps a class or a tutor would be a good idea.

      You can find a variety of study schedules here. For your test date, the 2-3 month study guide will probably work best:

      Good luck!

  54. Soniya July 15, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Hey Chris,
    I’ve roughly got 20 days left for the test.
    I’m relatively good in quants, but I’m freaking out as far as verbal’s concerned.
    Could you give me some last minute tips or books to refer for the verbal section please?
    I’m a non-native English speaker.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      Hi Soniya,

      I think the Vocab ebook is a great place for the verbal:

      In terms of last minute tips: well, what books have you been using so far? How many practice tests have you done? If you let me know the answers, I can give you a better plan of action :).

      • Soniya July 18, 2012 at 3:19 am #

        Thanks for the e-book! I’ve solved two practice tests from the ETS official guide so far.My top score on the Magoosh tests has been 310 so far. And I’ve referred to the Kaplan and Princeton books previously, and now I’m referring to the Manhattan ones.

  55. Heath July 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    First off, I want to say your website is great and I really like what you’ve done here. I am definitely persuaded to pay for Magoosh prep just because I can see that your free material is legit and there’s a lot of it.

    Second, I totally agree with what you’re saying about Kaplan. I memorized their box of like 500 verbal cards, took their online practice exam a couple days before the test and scored a 660m/690v. My actual score of 780m/510v/4 was totally flipped.

    Which brings me to my third point – I need to raise my verbal score to about 90th percentile and at least maintain my math score but I don’t know what materials are best. Obviously, my math score fluctuates pretty widely, so I’d like to be confident that I’m not flying by the seat of my pants on test day. Manhattan seems like a good resource for this, but I also don’t know if I need that much help. I was a math major so I know how to do most everything (reminders never hurt though), but my speed and intuition for traps could be enhanced for sure. Manhattan seems sufficient but unnecessary. Should I just bite the bullet? As for verbal, I have some troubz in just about every category. Whenever I mess up a SC, it’s usually because I don’t know the word, so it seems like a function of just practicing vocab. For this I’m using the GRE word quizzes on Word Dynamo, studying Princeton review’s hit parade, and I’m going to go through your book (thanks for that link by the way). As for reading comprehension, accuracy comes at the cost of speed. The author mentions everything except questions ruin me. I have a lot of old LSATs, and you’ve mentioned that those are good prep. Does practice make perfect for speed increases? Should I go so far as to buy Manhattan’s prep for reading comp? You also mentioned Barron’s was good. I already have the ETS book.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Heath,

      Glad Magoosh has been helpful thus far!

      So…for MGRE I say just pick up the Reading Comprehension book – you can get some helpful tips. The best part though is access to the 6 online tests. The math section esp. does a good job of approximating the test. All that practice will sharpen your intuition and make you less likely to fall for traps.

      Of course you’ll also get experience with RC passages, but I recommend using the LSAT ones as well (they will prepare you for the inevitable long, convoluted passage you’ll see test day).

      We’re just about to upload hundreds of TC/SE bringing our grand total to some large number. Meaning plenty of practice for you to not just practice your vocab but to parse complicated sentences that are imparting some abstract idea (I’m sure that sounds familiar from test day).

      Let me know if that sounds good, and don’t hesitate to ask any more questions :).

  56. Arti July 10, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the vast useful information that you provide here in your website. I really appreciate your help for all the GRE aspirants like me. I am very much new to GRE and am planning to take this test by mid October 2012 🙂

    Based on your reviews, I wanted to buy complete MGRE 8 books set -ebook version. But I dont see this E-book version available on the Manhattan website. Could you please provide me with the link where I could buy this Latest (3rd edition I guess!!) complete 8-book set E-book version.

    Also Could you please let know how to purchase Magoosh Verbal Package that covers the video lesssons and Questions.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      Hi Arti,

      Hmm…for your first question I’m not actually sure where to get the MGRE E-book version. Is there any way you could contact them directly?

      For your second question, the Verbal Magoosh package is here:

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  57. Varun July 10, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Hey Chris,

    I must Say well put stuff guyz. I have to work harder on verbal to lift up the score, though i have started reading magazines and stuff, but still like to see your suggestion on vocab stuff

    Manhattan essential word list prep vs Barron’s word list
    any other suggestion if better.

    Also what you have to say about Manhattan’s book apart from their math books.
    As i solely depended on the stuff for GRE preparation, not attending any one to one classes therefore need to have best stuff.
    Also is there any possibility to have one to one live chat or something with you guyz, should give it a thought, if aren’t there.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      Hi Varun,

      In a nutshell the math is stronger than the verbal. The Reading Comprehension guide is strong but I would not recommend the SE/TC guide. The 6 online tests are pretty good too.

      As for flashcards, I don’t think it really matters. Find a series that works for you, based on the definitions and the examples.

      Good luck!

  58. deepthi July 10, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    i hv taken up my exam on oct17th 2012 im very weak in verbal and not so good in quant im refering barrons 19th edition and princeton review books suggest me some good books

  59. Krish July 8, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Chris,
    Though irrelevant in this thread, i want to know the mock test series which actually simulates the revised gre other than power prep… and also how good is the KAPLAN MSTs?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      It’s hard to say which mock test does the best job outside of powerprep. There simply have not been any studies measuring students performance on mock tests with their actual scores. I can say that Magoosh users are reporting an accurate correspondence in their estimated scores and their actual scores.

      Hope that helps!

      • Jorge July 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

        I hope that’s true because I’m slamming out the Magoosh Math questions like gang busters. I’m not memorizing the answers but I suppose I may be memorizing how to approach the problems. I was looking for some independent material to practice with to make sure I’m learning techniques instead of learning individual questions.

  60. Rajesh Chandak July 7, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to enquire a few things :

    1. Whether the Manhattan’s 6 new practice tests with each book are the same for all the 8 books or there are different tests for different books? Meaning to say is it 6*8=48 tests or the same 6 tests in all the 8 books?

    2. If I purchase any of the Maths book, will it only consist of the Math practice tests or the complete GRE tests (Maths + Verbal). I assume there are 6 tests as stated above.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Good question :).

      Regardless of which MGRE you buy, you will get access to the same 6 on-line tests. So alas, there are only 6 tests. The good news – you only need to buy one MGRE book to get access :).

  61. Abhi July 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi Chris
    I have ordered the Manhattan Gre books for Text Completion and RC (third edition). Do you think this third edition of TC and SE is better than their Second edition? Also, I am still not able to decide which book to follow for maths as Nova hasn’t yet published their New gre version and buying 6 MGRE maths books seems too much of a work load and plus extra price. What should I do?
    P.S.- I am good in maths, verbal is the weaker section. I am almost done with 60 % of Barrons.

    • Rohan July 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Abhi,

      Even I am planning to buy MGRE (3rd edition) books. Could you tell me from where you have bought those books?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi Abhi,

      The MGRE books have not changed from the 2nd. to the 3rd edition. As TC/SE book is the one in which MGRE lacks the most it is disappointing to learn that it has not changed one bit. Out of all of their books, this is the only one that I do not really recommend. It’s full of obscure words and the many of the sentences are stylistically off (some answer choices don’t even quite fit).

      For Math, I would recommend the MGRE books, esp. the online tests, which has plenty of practice. Then there is also Magoosh. We have plenty of questions, and lots of difficult ones. All very up to date with the current format of the tests.

      Let me know if you have any other questions :).

      • Abhi July 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

        alright thanks.. but then where should I prepare from SE and TC ?

        • Chris Lele
          Chris July 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

          For books, Barron’s is probably the best for SE/TC. Of course there is always Magoosh. We are about to release a whole new spate of SE/TC questions bringing our total to over 300. And that doesn’t include those questions that are part of our excellent video lessons (lessons that help you learn the strategy in how to approach these questions).

          Hope that helps!

          • Rohan July 5, 2012 at 5:26 am #

            Hi Chris,
            What about McGraw Hills Conquering verbal ?

            • Chris Lele
              Chris July 7, 2012 at 10:00 am #

              Hi Rohan,

              I am only now aware of it :). Thanks for letting me know, and I can add this to my list of future book reviews.

  62. James Brown July 1, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Hello Chris, I’ve been consistently scoring in the 80th percentiles on the manhattan gre practice tests on both the quant and verbal sections. I’m feeling pretty confident (taking the real deal on the 21st of July), but do you know how accurate a predictor of score on the real gre the manhattan gre practice tests are?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      James Brown,

      I wish I had better data on this. From the small sample size, MGRE tend to be a little more difficult. Meaning if you are scoring at the 80% you may actually do better on the test. Again, this is based on about the half a dozen or so people who’ve provided feedback.

      Hope that helps!

  63. rohan June 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Can you do the book review for New GRE, Miller’s Math?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      Hello Rohan,

      Miller’s Math, which is published by REA, is a must avoid. True, I have not seen this particular book, but REA has such a poor reputation, year after year, test after test. In fact, REA is the single worst test-prep publisher. Sorry to sound so harsh – but I feel I must warn others :).

      • Rohan July 3, 2012 at 9:50 am #

        Thanks Chris for the reply. For maths I am planning to do magoosh video + question sets, Manhattan GRE books, McGraw hill’s conquering maths, but I need more practice as I am aiming for 170/170. Could you tell me about some more useful resources.

  64. BARNADIPTI June 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    i went through almost all the suggestion but still please tell me which books to buy for GRE..for the general test.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Well…I would recommend the Manhattan Series and the ETS guide. For books, that’s all you’ll really need :).

  65. Michelle June 17, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Hello! So happy to find a very thorough review of these books. I’ve been trying to narrow down what test prep books I want to use exactly over the last few months.

    I’m receiving a scholarship for a PR GRE prep class so that is going to be my first plan of attack (which includes a PR book). Of course, this class only last about 6 weeks and then I want to supplement that with more studying.

    I was thinking of buying the following books. Math will be a weak point for me, but I’m an English major so I have a bit more confidence about Verbal and Writing sections (although I know you can never prepare enough). Anyways, on to the books:

    1. Manhattan Book series. I am debating whether I want to buy all 8 or just the ones that focus on the quantitative section…

    2. Cliffs Math Review for Standardized Tests

    and then my PR review book.

    • Jorge June 19, 2012 at 11:58 am #


      I was debating on buying all the Manhattan books too. Instead of getting them all I just bought two to try them out first. They’re okay but cover only the basics. I’m glad I didn’t purchase the whole set!

      Currently I’m using Magoosh + ETS guide (mostly for practice questions and review the magoosh video solutions for all the questions) + Nova Math Book (old but still lots of practice questions). I also made some flash cards for rote memorization of some formals ie: arc length.

      Save yourself some cash and buy one of the books first before getting the whole set.


      • Chris Lele
        Chris June 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

        Hi Jorge,

        Yep, that’s pretty good advice. Find the area in which you need the most help with the basic. Buy that MGRE guide (you’ll get access to the free online tests). And only if necessary, need you buy any follow up books.

        Thanks for your insight :).

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Michelle,

      Jorge is right (see comment below). Just buy a book or two in quant from MGRE (you can still access the free tests). The PR class should help you with the basics, esp. in conjunction with the Cliffs book. If you still need extra practice, there is always Magoosh :).

  66. prh June 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Hi Chris

    I found your website very useful for research on GRE , I hadnt seen this website during my GMAT prep , well I gave GMAT twice landed with overall score 600 both the times . I am relatively good with quant(usually score around 47 raw score) but I find GMAT verbal to be very tough , more so with adaptive format I found that everytime I get a 600 level question right the next one would be 700 level and I would make a mistake . That apart I studied all strategy guides of Manhattan GMAT , I have taken all Manhattan GMAT tests and scored between overall score of 660 -680 . I have no motivation to take GMAT again

    Now I would like to ask your advice on two things .

    I would like to try GRE (applying for mix of b-schools and other graduate programs) . Having done GMAT quant prep what more do I need for GRE , do you recommend buying Manhattan GRE strategy guides ? I will buy the official Book published by ETS . GRE Nova is required and what verbal books do you recommend apart from the Official guide ETS .

    Secondly , is GRE verbal , keeping aside the myraid of vocab list , as tough as GMAT verbal ? Meanwhile I will start watching videos of magoosh too

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      For your first question: Prepping for the GMAT will help you greatly on the GRE. In fact, the questions on the GRE are easier, so, as a Q47 GMAT, you should have no problem.

      For your second question: the GRE verbal can be more difficult than the GMAT verbal. It depends on your vocab. RC is similar, though the passages on the GRE are not as formulaic as those found on the GMAT.

      For both, it is a good idea to buy the ETS book. As a Magoosh user you should get a lot of exposure to tough Q questions as well as some tough Text Completions/Vocabulary.

      Hope that helps :).

      • prh June 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

        Chris , Thanks a ton

  67. Adetoun June 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    You’ve said that the MGRE prep doesn’t cover parabolas which is where I am currently stuck in my Math review, What would you recommend for learning about this question type. I realize that this is a harder concept and I cannot seem to find a prep guide that goes into enough depth for me to fully grasp all this function.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi Adetoun,

      I think the best way to learn about parabolas is to use some on-line math tutorials (these are free and are typically intended for high school students). For instance, just end in parabola in google and you will have access to plenty of such sites. Here you will be able to learn the basics, and for the GRE, that is all you will really need.

      Hope that helps!

  68. Leila June 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I have three months to prepare for my GRE exam. I am aiming for a perfect Quant score and a decent Verbal score. I am a college level Math tutor by profession so I know the concepts inside out. However I am bad with computer based – timed tests and end up making a lot of careless errors. I would appreciate if you can recommend some prep material that would improve my speed and accuracy.

    I know I am buying Magoosh Premium- I really need those practice questions! Should I buy Manhattan Quant set too even If I am good with concepts?

    You have mentioned that Princeton Review is good for strategies. However I feel like some of their strategies especially for Quant are -frankly speaking- really lame if you are aiming for top percentile…for example ‘Plug-ins for basic algebra’ and ‘Low Hanging Fruit principle’. With that said, I can see how they would help people with weak math backgrounds. Can you please comment on it?

    -Should I give up on Princeton and just stick to ETS, Magoosh and maybe Manhattan? Will that be enough?

    I am flexible about verbal but 80 + percentile would be ideal 🙂 English is not my native language so my vocabulary is limited (not that I am any better with native tongue). I did my undergrad from a well known school in US and aced my writing courses so I am hoping that 80+ percentile is not an unrealistically high goal for revised GRE verbal- *fingers crossed*.

    – What do you think about Manhattan Essential and Advanced Vocabulary?
    – Is it enough if I just use ETS, Manhattan and Magoosh for verbal too?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette June 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi, Leila

      It looks like you left the same comment on the New GRE Book Reviews post, Chris will respond to you there 🙂 Let us know if you have any other questions!


  69. Nana June 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    thank Chris for your answer:)
    By the way, I would like to ask. I aim for the max in Math, and I also a little bit good with Math cause I studies continuously math from high school and several course in my university as well. Which more books you would recommend me to aim for the maximum in Math ( I already sign up for the Magoosh prep courses and plan to buy the Math book of Manhattan as well). I will take the GRE test in middle of next August. Thanks in advance:)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 9, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Well, I think you’ve got most of the materials for a great score :). Make sure to pick up the Official Material by ETS. If you exhaust these you may also want to pick up a copy of the GMAT Official Guide (though half of the questions do not pertain to the GRE, you still get close to 300 that do).

      Hope that helps 🙂

  70. akanksha June 7, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    thanks chris 🙂

    Is there much difference between reading comp. First Edition and the Revised one (Manhattan series)? Coz i purchased the First edition by mistake 😀

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm #


      It happens :). I wouldn’t recommend the first edition, because the Revised test covers the new question format. I wouldn’t say the first edition is totally useless (most of the general techniques should apply) but def. get the second edition.

      Hope that helps :).

  71. manish June 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    hi, among 8 MGRE books ,which one you prefer should i buy?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi Manish,

      That really depends on the area in which you need the most work. No book is really “better” than the other, but depends on the needs of the user. For instance, if you struggle on Reading Comprehension, then pick up the RC book.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  72. Nana June 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    hi, I want to buy some of book of Manhattan collection, but as I checked on amazon, the latest one is the second edition from Jun 2011. Do they still contain the strategy for the old GRE because the revised one was on August 2011? Would it be a problem if we use such old book because until July 2012 that we have the new collection.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi Nana,

      The MGRE book release in August of 2011, the second edition, is for the Revised test (it is the book I’ve reviewed above). So you don’t have to wait till next month for the MGRE book :).

  73. akanksha June 6, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Thats right. But if i want to do more exhaustive practice ,which book or rather which study material would you refer? i want to be more thorough with my concepts. Should i use gmat books ? will that be a good option ?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Hi Akanksha,

      You are correct, in that there is no one book. For RC material you can use GMAT or LSAT official material. Again, try to use as much official material as possible (GRE, GMAT, LSAT).

      Hope that helps!

  74. Jorge June 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I signed up with you guys over the weekend and am getting a lot of use out of your material so far. I’m looking to crush the quant section of the GRE but I have a lot of polishing I need to do until I reach that goal. I’m an engineer so I’m comfortable with math but I haven’t done GRE style problems in a while. What would you recommend I do to compliment the magoosh material so that I have the best chance to do well on the quant portion of the exam?

    I was thinking Manhattan books but you had mentioned that they’re not that difficult and I don’t want to under prepare.

    Thanks for your help!


    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

      Hi Jorge,

      I’m glad you are enjoying the product :).

      As for a complement, I think the Manhattan GRE is pretty good quant-wise from a mock-test angle. That is the books are mainly strategies and fundamentals, but the free online tests (free, once you buy a book – only one, you don’t need to buy the entire set) are filled with challenging questions to help hone your quant chops for test day.

      Book-wise, Nova offers a lot of practice problems. The downside is the book is for the old GRE, so you don’t have the new question formats. You do get some challenging problems.

      You may also want to consider using GMAT material. Nova’s is good, as in Manhattan GMAT, and of course there is always the GMAT Official Guide. The Data Sufficiency question type is not relevant to the GRE, but you should get plenty of mileage out of the Problem Solving questions.

      Hope that helps :).

  75. akanksha June 5, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    hey chris,

    After reading your book reviews i bought manhattan’s gre (reading comp. and essays). A good book for strategy though i couldn’t find enough practice material inside. Can you tell me which book to refer for practising reading comprehensions??

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Akanksha,

      True, the books do not contain much practice material. If you look at the back, however, there is a code. Enter the code into the website and you have access to 6 tests. That equals a lot of practice material :).

  76. Nana June 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    hi, do we have them in ebook? Also, Can I ask is the Magoosh GRE prep the same as the content of the book collections so that we just need to buy GRE prep or the book collection? Thanks.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      That is a good question: i’m not sure if the Manhattan books are available in Ebook form. You might want to contact them directly if you can’t find anything on-line.

      As for the Magoosh GRE prep, we are all computer-based. We don’t have actual, hard-copy books (besides our ebooks, which of course aren’t hard-copy:)).

  77. Nana June 4, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    hi, I want to buy the collection of 8books of Manhattan to practice for my taking GRE in next 2 months. I aim high for the Quantitative part. Where should I buy them. Can I buy in I am in Europe.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Hi Nana,

      I believe the Manhattan books are all for purchase on Amazon, including You should not have a problem buying these books there :).

      • Hope May 7, 2014 at 12:38 am #

        Actually does have the books (at least the set of 8) but will not ship to Europe-only within the UK.
        I myself am in Spain and Amazon Spain has them listed but they are not available for purchase yet. I don’t know why…It’s really unfortunate. I am still looking for a place in Spain/Europe to find the Manhattan books. If someone finds a place let me know. Amazon US does not ship to Europe.

  78. roy May 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    hi chris

    I have give several practice tests and I’ve not been able to finish the verbal section in time. I leave 3-4 questions in the reading comprehension questions because the allowed time finishes. What should i do about that? I have gre after on month.


    • roy May 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm #


    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Roy,

      It is okay to leave a few questions blank, esp. if they are RC. Think of it this way, if you rush to finish the exam, you will miss many questions you would otherwise get right. At the same time, there are ways to speed up. Perhaps this post on how to approach Reading Comp. will be helpful:

  79. Jana May 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I will be taking the GRE for the first time in August (3 months from now). I have a strong background in math as I am majoring in physics but I know that the math I see in my courses is very different than the math in the GRE test and I need refreshing on certain topics. I am looking to score in the top percentile for the math quantitative part of the test, will the Manhattan series be enough? The price is not an issue, I think I’ll also purchase the Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test and Barron’s New GRE Flash Cards (do you recommend any other set of flash cards? The Barron’s set includes 250 verbal cards, including definitions, antonyms, and sentence-completion practice and
    250 math cards, including 75 math facts, 25 math strategies, 65 multiple-choice questions, and 65 quantitative comparison questions, 10 multiple-answer questions, and 10 numeric entry questions ) Would the Barron’s set of Flash cards make up for the flawed sentence completion part of the MGRE? Would 3 months be enough to master the quantitative part? I am aiming to apply for top universities in the fields of engineering and physics.

    Thank you!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Jana,

      The MGRE and the Official Guide should be enough for quant (you get the six on-line tests as part of MGRE). If you run out of material, and you want more practice questions, Magoosh has some of the trickiest quant questions in the industry.

      For a competitive verbal score, flashcards alone are the tip of the iceberg. 250 is also a little meager. I know MGRE has 500. You may also want to check out our Ebook: in addition to many word lists, there are helpful posts upon how to go about learning vocabulary:

      As for the flawed SC, the one’s in Barron’s book are okay. I have not yet seen the ones on the flashcards (I better review those soon :). We are also in the process of releasing hundreds more SE/TC questions – some of which are us difficult as the hardest ones on the actual test.

      Let me know if I answered all your questions :).

  80. Sharada May 28, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Hey Chris,

    Few days ago i signed up for a PR class for GRE and after I signed up I came across your blog and it is amazing and I love all your advice and tips. But what I was wondering is that I just recently ordered the MGRE books as well as the ETS book and I was wondering if the practice from these books as well as my PR GRE class prep would be sufficient in helping me achieve a high score since I am more of a class/book learner than an audio visual learner. I am an engineering major and I am aiming to score 160 or above on both the quant and verbal. Thank you so much.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi Sharada,

      Thanks for the kudos :).

      I definitely think that your prep should be enough. As long as you are using your material wisely, i.e. you are not just plowing through practice questions, but you are learning why you missed a specific problem so that you thoroughly understand that problem. Work on weaknesses instead of focusing on strengths, and that should help you achieve your score.

      Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions :).

  81. jay May 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    hey chris

    what do you think is better for increasing vocabulary for gre – books on etymology (like ‘word power made easy’ by norman lewis) or the wordlists in gre books. Also there are books ,like barons gre, which do not provide a wordlist at all.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      Hi Jay,

      A combination of etymology and GRE words would be great! You should also check out our vocabulary Ebook. Many helpful hints/approaches/mnemonics etc.

      Hope that helps :).

      • jay May 30, 2012 at 5:04 am #

        Thanks. that was like a really good link. The meanings have been explained in a fun way. I’ve been looking for something like this since the past week. I found the kaplan top 180 wordlist in the workbook, but it is nowhere close because the only way (i could figure out) you can learn the kaplan list is by blindly mugging it up.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

          Hi Jay,

          I’m happy you are enjoying the Magoosh E-book. Making vocab fun is the best way to make it stick :).

          • jay June 1, 2012 at 5:25 am #

            Hi chris,

            Could you give me link/ links to other free material which magoosh provides, which could be helpful for verbal reasoning/ quant?


  82. Amandeep May 27, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    One friend of mine is having Manhattan GMAT books set, I am preparing for GRE, how different is the content of GRE prep book compared to GMAT, which prep books of GMAT can I refer for GRE, and most important thing is he is giving them to me very cheaply.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Amandeep,

      The MGMAT do overlap with the MGRE, but more so with Quant than with Verbal. With Verbal only reading comp. overlaps (so I would buy the MGMAT reading comp. book).

      For Math, Data Sufficiency does not appear on the GRE at all. So many of the problems in the math series books simply won’t apply. At the same time, you’ll miss out on the new GRE question types, if you only use MGMAT for Quant. That said, Geometry, Number Properties, and Word Translations should be helpful.

      Hope that helps :).

  83. Blue May 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Thanks Chris

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      You are welcome :).

  84. Apurv May 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm #


    A little late in my GRE prep to ask this (9 days to D-Day).

    I plan on giving full length test in the last few days.

    Have 4 Manhattan CAT’s remaining. Do they accurately represent actual GRE test?
    Scores in the two I attempted (not sure if i should count on them):
    164 Q 160 V.
    164 Q 163 V.

    Attempted ETS Powerprep tests also:
    750-800 Q 430-530 V (before starting prep).
    — Q 570-670 V (last week, only focused on verbal)

    Really panicking now. Hoping to touch the 330 mark.
    Plan to give free Princeton test tomorrow and after that Kaplan’s free test.

    Could you please tell me if these test are similar to the actual GRE exam?
    Anything else I could attempt?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      Hi Apurv,

      It’s tough to say how accurate MGRE CATs are. We just don’t have a large enough sample size of students who’ve reported back their actual scores after taking MGRE CATs.

      One thing I can say is the content of the MGRE tests is a much better indication of the test, especially the verbal questions.

      Both the Princeton Review and Kaplan are off the mark. The PR are far too easy, and Kaplan, on Verbal esp., is so far off the mark, I tell students that practicing with its questions is more likely to do harm than good.

      Hope that helps! (And good luck :)).

      • Apurv May 26, 2012 at 12:03 am #

        Thanks Chris! 🙂

    • kuldeep May 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

      hey chris

      i am preparing for gre for 2months and my quant-160-169/170, and verbal 145-150/170, i am doing good at kaplan math workbook practice tests and also amd preparing vocab from verbal workbook of kaplan, but i am not sure weather kaplan test resembles actual gre or not. and also i ve manhattan series, ets-official guide,kaplan maths workbook,kaplan verbal workbook,and i also have kaplan gre premier i almost finshed each book and i am going to give exam around 15th of july, but i ma little afraid that these content and book is good for cracking the gre exam and from tommorow i am going to strat princeton review…i am just concern about level of gre questions in the actual test… i am expecting 320/340 bbut i want to increase my score, and i am giving 18hours each day to gre with 2 hours of toefl study is that enough or i need to put more efforts..

      • Chris Lele
        Chris May 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

        Hi Kuldeep,

        Wow, you are definitely studying a lot each day :). So you definitely don’t want to waste your time – Kaplan’s questions do not do a good job of approximating actual questions (in fact in the case of Verbal, Kaplan does a very poor job).

        To really find content that mirrors the difficulty of questions found on the actual test, the only two who come close are MGRE and Magoosh.

        If you haven’t checked us out before, give us a go 🙂

        And let me know if you have any other questions :).

  85. Brian May 25, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Thanks to you and all the team. I am a Magoosh subscriber and will be recommending Magoosh every chance I get. I worked through each lesson and through every math/ verbal question at least twice; on the verbal side I worked through the questions about ten times until I maxed my stats on two separate efforts to show 100% prior to test day. On the math side, I moved through all problems twice, but left 175 questions incorrect. On test day I had a good day and scored 154Q and 166V. I am in pursuit of PhD admission in history and while I am happy with these scores; however, at this point I need a 330-combined score to feel like I finished what I started when I started out by wasting my time with Kaplan.
    Magoosh has become part of my daily life, from review of the blogs, vocab Wednesdays, and completing problems over and over again until unfortunately now I recognize the right answers immediately on the verbal side by just looking at the sentences–I can’t help it–I have memorized much of the verbal unintentionally.
    I need your expertise on meeting my goal: I want to take my Q score from 154 to 164 to hit my 330 goal. Certainly the first step for me is the completion of the math questions I left on the table (the 175 that I answered incorrectly on multiple attempts–the questions/concepts I clearly didn’t understand). I believe that completing this will get me close to my goal, but what else do you recommend? I have not used the Manhattan GRE books and after considering your review I imagine you will recommend that for me. Is the Manhattan GRE math material challenging-enough to prepare students for 164+? I know a 330 is a lofty goal, but Magoosh is in my opinion the industry standard for GRE study prep and I am entirely glad I found you on a web search 8 months ago! Please let me know what you think.


    P.S. Would really enjoy some of your explanations on the math side — your explanations on the verbal are personal and make students feel like you are the personal tutor — and invaluable personal feel to Magoosh. As a final side note: Magoosh predicted my score perfectly–my scores were right in the predicted range!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Hi Brian,

      Wow, it is great to hear how helpful we have been in helping you prep for the GRE. And congrats on your Verbal score :).

      For the Math side, you are right 🙂 I would definitely recommend the MGRE series. There are enough tough questions, especially spread out over the six tests, so it won’t feel like you are wasting time (the way it did with Kaplan :).

      Going through the 175 questions you missed on Magoosh would be a good idea. As you implied, you really want to understand why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers incorrect.

      For even more questions, you can always use GMAT material. Sure, it doesn’t cover all the question types found on the GRE Quant, but you do have hundreds of problem solving questions on the GMAT Official Guide. You can also download a free GMAT test from (I’m assuming you’ve taken the PowerPrep test from GRE).

      Anyhow, let me know if that makes sense, and feel free to keep peppering me with questions. And at any point, drop a line and let us know how your prepping is going. I definitely want to make sure you hit your goal this time around :).


  86. FA May 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    It looks like a new MGRE is coming out in early July – am hoping they release it sooner…do u think that is a possibility??…also thinking the new MGRE will be a better version…do u think so or should i go ahead and get the 2nd edition. July is too far away although I do want a great score…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      I’m not sure if they will rush the book to press. The only significant improvements will probably be in the SE/TC book. So go ahead and buy the 2nd Edition :).

      • FA May 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm #


        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

          You’re welcome!

  87. Blue May 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Chris ,
    i have a question. Recently , i am going to buy Manhattan books as you said they are at better quality than others. I want to get better marks in Quantitive part. Also you said , GMAT math is tougher than GRE math. So should i buy MGMAT quant set or MGRE quant set for my preperation? which Manhattan quant set is better or beneficiary for my GRE quant prep?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi Blue,

      For GRE prep definitely stick to GRE materials. GMAT encompasses Data Sufficiency which is not found at all on the GRE. And the MGMAT will not contain any of the new question types on the RGRE.

      Hope that helps :).

  88. Prithvijit May 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    You reviews and following discussion have been really helpful so as to select “right” material, I have am above average in Math (i.e. I know the basics well) and I would need a perfect score in Math for my PhD admission which book would you recommend?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 14, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Hi Prithvijit,

      I’d recommend you hunt down as many practice questions as possible, always focusing on any area that is not as strong as the others. NOVA offers many practice questions. You should also use GMAT material: The Official Guide, MGMAT, Magoosh (we have GMAT too :)), NOVA, etc.

      Good luck with the perfect score!

      P.S. – have you seen our perfect score challenges?

      • Prithvijit May 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Hey Chris,

        Thank you! I would definitely look into the GMAT books… 🙂

  89. Katherine May 10, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve found this page to be extremely enlightening and helpful! I am planning on taking the GRE and am interested in an online live class. I’m basically deciding between Kaplan and Manhattan. Do you have any thoughts on which may offer a better class? I know you think very highly of the Manhattan books. A friend of mine took a Kaplan class and said she was not very impressed because it taught to the lowest learner. Would Manhattan provide a more stimulating learning environment?
    Thank you!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Katherine,

      It’s hard to say, as I’ve never taken either class. Material-wise MGRE is clearly the winner. The instructor standards for Manhattan are very high. I know, from past students, that Kaplan hires teachers with little experience and not very high test scores. Finally, I’ve never – and I don’t mean to necessarily slander Kaplan – but in all these years doing this, I’ve never heard a good thing about Kaplan’s classes from my students. True, many of my students come to me because they didn’t do well in the first place. But still…

      • Katherine May 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

        Thank you very much for your opinion. Think I’m going with MGRE.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

          You’re welcome – I hope the class works out :).

  90. Talha May 7, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Hi chris,

    I recently bought the Magoosh gre premium plan and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Since I did not want to leave out any preparation options I have decided to also prepare from Manhattan Prep gre books after reading your book reviews on it. However I already have the Manhattan Prep gmat books (the 8 guides) which a friend of mine gave me. I was wondering if I can prepare the quant section for the gre from the gmat books. (this ll save me money :-)) Do you guys think it will be ok? Thanks

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Talha,

      That’s great you are enjoying the Magoosh GRE program. As for the MGRE math guides, I’d say that MGMAT guides couple with Magoosh will cover everything you’ll probably encounter in just the MGRE guides alone.

      With MGMAT, the math is a little more advanced and the section that deals with Data Sufficiency does not pertain to the GRE (though make sure you use Magoosh to practice with the new question types).

      Hope that helps :).

      • Talha May 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

        Thanks Chris for the prompt reply. What about the verbal section? Since the RC is common to both the gmat and gre, can i also use the mgmat books for just the RC? Thanks a ton.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

          Yes, the RC has good overlap. Again, as long as you are practicing with the new question types (which abound in Magoosh), the MGMAT RC books works well :).

  91. sai May 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    hey chris,

    how are the strategies given in manhattan gre for Text completions and Sentence Equivalence?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 7, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Sai,

      I think the strategies are pretty good, but the questions themselves rely too much on obscure vocab. The SE/TC questions on the computer-based test tend to be more GRE-flavored.

  92. Holly May 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    My daughter provided me with a list of GRE publications she wants, including the Manhattan strategy set. My question: How much better is edition 2 than edition 1? (I can get the first edition for about $60; the second edition costs about 50% more.) She has several other must-haves, and I’m not, as parents are so fond of saying, made of money.On the other hand, I do want to help her get into grad school, and I don’t want to be penny-wise and pound foolish. (If there were a cliche section, I’d tutor her myself!)
    Thank you.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Holly,

      Actually, the 1st Edition GRE guide is for the old GRE test. So you definitely want the new one, even though it is significantly costlier. The old guides, while not totally unhelpful, don’t take into the new question formats on the test.

      Hope that helps :).

  93. aj May 2, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I scored 1120 in my gre last year after studying for 10 days.
    I want to try again in 3 or 4 months and my target score is 1450. I believe I can get 770 plus in math and 600 plus in verbal. What material do you recommend for me?
    I was thinking magoosh and Manhattan math guide. What do you think?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #


      The Magoosh Manhattan combination is definitely the best way to go. With all the helpful tips and practice material (questions, mock tests, etc.), these two sources will help you hit your goal of 1450. And don’t forget the Magoosh blog too :).

      Anyhow, let me know if you have any questions along the way.


  94. Steve April 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    Any thoughts on the EZ solutions series of books? I have heard they are very strong for the quant section.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Honestly, I’ve never heard of them, so thanks for putting them on my radar :). It doesn’t seem that it has been released yet (so no reviews). So sorry, I couldn’t be more helpful. Do you plan on preordering the book?

  95. sakib April 26, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Hi Chris,

    i believe my math,verbal and analytical skills are not good enough for international standard test such as GRE, GMAT,SAT.English is not my first language and i achieved a band score of 7.5 in IELTS. Therefore, how should i start my preparation for these test buying only manhattan series books are enough or i also need to buy Manhattan GMAT and Veritas Prep book.Plese let me know if there is any book or series of books to improve specially in analytical or math(from basic to advanced).thanks and waiting for your prompt reply

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Sakib,

      If you are studying for the GRE, I’d only recommend using GMAT materials if you are scoring in the top percent. You will be fine as an international student, using just the MGRE series.

      If you do get to the advanced point in Math, I’d recommend Magoosh’s GRE product (we have some of the most difficult questions out there!). And don’t forget to use official material from ETS.

      Good luck!

      • sakib April 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

        Thnks chris

  96. karthik April 24, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Hi this is karthik. presently i am pursuing 3rd year of my i am planning to take gre in august 2012 . i am planning to join manhattan review for gre coaching. ut i am confused between manhattan review and princeton review. which will be the better option.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      Hi Karthik,

      I would do as much research on-line as possible. See if you can talk to former students. One thing I can objectively say is that MGRE has more rigorous standards for prospective teachers. A MGRE teacher will likely have a higher GRE score than a PR teacher.

      Hope that helps :).

  97. Akshay.S April 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Thank you very much for the prompt reply Chris! I just placed an order for that.
    I dont know if I am asking too much here, I’ve been preparing on AWA and I recently gave a mock test. It would be great if I could get my issue & argument essays analysed by somone from Magoosh. Is that possible? I can upload it for the readers too in a comment page if you think thats feasible…
    Again, thanks a lot for your inputs Chris. Appreciate it.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Hi Akshay,

      Actually, we do not read/critique essays :). Of course, I am always happy to answer questions relating to the issue/argument, and provide helpful tips :).

  98. Akshay.S April 23, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Hi Chris, I was about to order the Manhattan GRE book on RC/essays. There are a couple of links that gets me confused. Can you pls help me out over here.
    Below are the two links, pls do let me know which one to pick from..
    The one you have depicted here is by Manhattan gre, gmat. Looks like there is another one exclusively by Manhattan gre?

    link 1:–&_r=vnu63vD8ZNyKu6WF%20Dj02w–&ref=b7af0ca2-bbae-481d-8cb3-308f832953e9

    link 2:–&_r=vnu63vD8ZNyKu6WF%20Dj02w–&ref=b7af0ca2-bbae-481d-8cb3-308f832953e9

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Akshay,

      The first link is for the more recent edition, so I would definitely get that one (and it’s cheaper :)).

  99. Alex April 9, 2012 at 6:49 am #


    I am looking for more text completion/sentence equivalence than what is found on Magoosh. I am a visual learner and I remember the answers so I cannot practice with these questions as often. The Manhattan series seems to be the most promising in this area but is still lacking. Is there another book that has better TC/SE practice?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi Alex,

      The only book I would recommend–besides ETS material–is Barron’s…however I do so only as a last resort, as there is nothing really else out there that is even halfway decent.

      For practice on old Sentence Completions you can also pick up the old GRE Official Guide by ETS. Sure, you don’t have any newfangled three-blankers or SE questions, but the questions are challenging and sophisticated.

      Hope that helps!

  100. Michael April 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    HI Chris:
    I’m preparing GRE now, and I have 2 books as below:
    1. ETS’s Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test
    2. Princeton Review: Cracking the New GRE 2012

    But, a friend think these will not enough for me, i.e. cracking the new gre was not enough in verbal
    He recommended “Verbal Workout for the GRE” or “Kaplan New GRE Verbal Workbook” for enhance the verbal section, but I have find “Manhattan GRE Prep (COR)” also have published about verbal, and I can’t decide what should I buy…?
    like “Reading Comprehension & Essays” or “Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence GRE Preparation Guide 8”

    Please give some recommend for me
    thanks a lot~


  101. duruvash March 24, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    i’m a beginner in gre i want to master vocabulary ,i have gone through your review for manhattan but i’m confused please suggest me the best that helps me for my gre exam .i already have princeton review and ets official guide.

  102. ranchoram March 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    which books to buy for verbal and math sections,plz brief it along with name of specialised books for each section

  103. Gaia March 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    First of all, this blog is incredibly helpful! I’ve been scouring the Internet for a decent source of new GRE information and this blog is a veritable gold mine.

    A quick question:

    I previously purchased the MGMAT book series. However, now I am preparing for the GRE. To avoid redundancy, what books should I purchase from the Manhattan GRE series to supplement the MGMAT verbal/quant books I already have? Basically, I am assuming that the math doesn’t change nor the reading comprehension between both tests (GMAT and GRE). Would this be a fair assumption?

    Also, as a suggestion to your blog readers, some excellent novels to improve vocabulary: Pride and Prejudice (any Jane Austen novel really) and the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Gaia,

      Thanks for the kudos :).

      Great question! The math overlaps significantly – though you can avoid the Data Suff. altogether. Verbal I would say the same techniques apply, but you should definitely be sure to pick up the ETS GRE guide to practice with GRE RC passages (the format is different and the range of passage is greater. You get the dry academic passages and you get other passages that are more encyclopedia-esque.

      As for books, I literally just recommended Pride and Prejudice yesterday to one of my SAT students. I qualified that by saying that females tend to love the book, whereas males tend to go more for the Count of Monte Christo (though many enjoy both books). I’ve never read the Anne of Green Gables series but I have a friend who is hooked.

      The key of course is a great read with lots of vocab words. I think this topic definitely deserves a blog post: Great Classics and GRE Vocabulary.

      Thanks for the inspiration :).

  104. sumanth March 20, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    hiii mangoosh, i have my gre on may 14 i.e i have roughly 50 days ..can you suggest me some tips ,how to start my preparation ?

  105. Srikrishna March 20, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been taking Manhattan’s new GRE CAT tests.
    How do they calculate the scores? Is some sort of scaling done? I’ve noticed they do some sort of upward scaling. And how accurate are these scores?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Hi Srikrishna,

      I’m not actually sure which scale they use. To the best of my knowledge ETS hasn’t released the breakdown of scores, i.e. how many wrong answers equals any given score.

      That said, I’m not really sure how accurate these tests are. I think we will need a lot of data over time to see how well the MGRE tests correlate. For now the best indication of your score is the PowerPrep tests.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  106. Arun March 11, 2012 at 10:51 am #


    I was kind of “lost in the woods” until Mike`s 90 day GRE study plan(Verbal Focused) surfaced.. This Plan acts like a guiding source and I have decided to follow it.

    But, Mike mentions the use of Manhattan Series (Vol 7 & 8) and Vocab flash cards. These books are pretty expensive. Currently I have the following resource.

    1. Magoosh
    2. Official Guide
    3. Barron`s

    Can`t I just manage with these. Do I really need to get Manhattan series. Would Manhattan`s GMAT series help ? Or, could you suggest any alternatives to Manhattan.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Arun,

      Sure, you can definitely manage without the MGRE resources. Barron’s is by no means terrible, as my review indicated. I would recommend at least buying one MGRE guide. That one guide will give you access to all 6 on-line MGRE tests. Those tests are very helpful from a practice standpoint.

      Hope that helps :).

  107. Khansa March 1, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    Hi Chris,

    There is a website named who are selling 3 ebooks for GRE Math called

    Winners’ Guide to 99 Percentile New GRE Math

    Winners’ Guide to Core New GRE Math &

    Math Question Bank for New GRE Winners

    Can you let me know if these guides are as good as they sound?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris March 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Hey Khansa,

      I looked over the math and the questions look okay. One thing I didn’t see amongst their math problem set was quantitative comparison questions. The questions in the ebook may be okay. I recommend buying just one book and seeing if the questions are similar to those found in the GRE. If so, then go ahead and purchase the others.


  108. Zac February 29, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Hi Chris,
    can you already give some feedback about the NOVA Math book vs. Manhatten GRE?

    Also I have the NOVA Math Prep Course for the old GRE and wanted to ask, if this is a disadvantage over the 2012 edition, if I am aiming for a 162+ quant score?

    Thanks a lot for your advise

    Best regards


    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Zac,

      From what I gather, Nova has not released a book for the New GRE. At least, I can’t find any 2012 on amazon. As for the 2011 Nova’s, it was mediocre verbal-wise for the old test. Now, it’s just mostly irrelevant.

      Quant-wise – which you care about – I’d say the 2011 Nova book is a good question bank. Def. some harder stuff. The explanations are pretty awful. And if half the battle to the GRE math is answering the question quickly, then Nova does not offer many helpful strategies.

      Manhattan GRE, is for the New GRE, so it already has a one up. That it is pretty strong across the board makes Nova pretty obsolete.

      Hope that helps!

  109. CarolVR February 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Hello again Chris,

    I forgot to ask you one more question, I have a bunch of GRE books for the old version of the exam do you think they could be helpfull in math and verbal or should I just throw them away and buy new books?

    Thank you.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      I would only keep the old books if they are ETS books. The practice questions were written by the creators of the test. Sure the test has changed, but much of the logical required to answer questions, esp. RC, haven’t.

      As for the rest – bonfire time :).

  110. CarolVR February 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Hello Chris

    I’m an international student and I need some help to find the best preparation for the reading comprehension and writing section since I find them very difficult, so do you have any suggestion for a good and easy to understand book for these parts of the exam.

    Thank you for your Help!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      For the best take on the essays, I’d recommend Manhattan GRE’s Essay book.

      For Reading Comprehension, MGRE is pretty good. Magoosh is also excellent for RC – our lesson videos will help you develop an effective approach. The 100+ questions will help you refine this approach.

      Barron’s also isn’t too bad for writing – the rest of the book is okay.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  111. prakash February 22, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    hi chris,
    I have my GRE in june 4th 2012, but my weakness is the verbal section. I want to improve it, so I downloaded 1500 words from and am almost done with 300 words. It would be great if you could suggest some books for verbal….as you said, Manhattan GRE text completion and sent enqiv contains very obscure words and i heard that the Kaplan verbal workbook would be easy compared to the actual GRE test…can you help me choose a correct gre verbal book to practice? 🙂 thanks in advance

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Prakash, has Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion questions that are as difficult – and in some cases even more difficult – than those you’ll find on the Revised test. Have a look at:

      I’m sure you’ll find our content very helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask me any other questions!

  112. Glenn February 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I picked up guides 7 (reading comp) and 8 (text completion/sent equiv) of the Manhattan series. Your suggestion that guide 8 relies too much on obscure words seems right to me. At least, I hope you’re right! I’ve been studying for verbal through Magoosh for about 3 months, and it’s been most helpful. I just started working through Manhattan’s guide 8 and much of the vocab seems much more difficult / obscure. I felt pretty good after doing Magoosh mock exams until Manhattan hit me with their obtuse vocabulary. Do you think it’s still worthwhile to work through the book perhaps while taking the vocab with a grain of salt?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Hi Glenn,

      Oh yes, those words are definitely obscure. But MGRE adapted – in their on-line tests they do a far better job of mirroring the Revised GRE. The good news is each book comes with a code that allows you to access the tests for free.

      As for the book, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to run through the MGRE Text Completions, mainly to make sure you can pick up on sentence structure and the non-obscure word that would fit in the blank.

      Good luck!

  113. jyothesh February 12, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Hi chris,

    I am preparing for gre, and I need some material for verbal section; can you please provide some material for me?

    thank you

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm #


      Check out our free Magoosh trial. Sign up on If you sign up you can access hundreds and hundreds of questions.

      Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  114. Sarah February 10, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    I took the GMAT but i did really bad in the test the math was hard and the time wasn’t enough to finish it . is the math in the GRE easier than GMA? and im good at memorizing vocabulary – will this help me in the GRE vocabulary?
    please advise me 🙁


    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 10, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Hi Sarah,

      The math on the GRE is definitely easier – however, it is no cakewalk. To score in a competitive range you still have to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals and be able to think quickly. The complexity of the questions (the trickiness etc.) is not as bad as the GMAT, and the candidate pool taking the GRE, is filled with fewer quant jocks to skew the curve.

      As for memorizing vocab…doing so will def. help on the GRE. However, you want to have a strong sense of how those words function in context. Coughing up a pat definition from Barron’s 3500 list, say, won’t help much.

      Hope that helps!

  115. yayDNA January 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm #


    I have studied for the MCAT a few times and am now looking to take the GRE. Therefore, I am able to study on my own for standardized testing.I am mostly worried about the verbal section of the GRE because my vocabulary is not as extensive as it may need to be. I have no experience with the format of the GRE exam. Do you provide that with the magoosh online experience or do I need to get other books to learn about it? I have a strong math background, and I feel that I will only need refreshing. I have the money to purchase the manhattan books, but I am unsure about their sentence completion section. Do you have a suggestion about how to determine what will work best for me? I see that your online practice is on sale now and I would like to purchase it while on sale.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      The Magoosh product focuses on how to attack questions and how to answer specific questions (we have hundreds!).

      But really speaking it’s pretty straightforward. Buy the GRE official guide by ETS and spend half-an-hour learning about the format of the test. Follow that up with an actual GRE test (it’s at the back) and you should have a solid grasp of the format.

      Then of course it’s just a matter of practicing. If you feel you are confident on strategies, and only want practice questions, then I don’t think Manhattan GRE is necessary.

      Finally, from a vocab standpoint, here are two posts I wrote. Hope they help!

      • Alex January 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

        Thank you! Does the review on the magoosh website provide enough math refreshers, like formulas and strategies, and verbal strategies so that I would not need to buy a book?

        • Chris Lele
          Chris January 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

          Yep, we do have a few things on our blog that you will find helpful. For Quant here is a litte cheat sheet.

          For verbal, you can definitely cruise around the blog. You will find general strategies/tips for the various sections (RC, Sentence Equivalence, etc.) There are also vocabulary posts featuring high-frequency words.

          Hope that helps!

          • Alex January 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

            It does! Thanks!

  116. Sarah January 29, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Hi Chris

    I’m an international student applying for a business graduate school. I’m concerned about whether to take the GRE or GMAT. By the way, I’m not that good at math, and I heard and read online that the verbal section on the GRE test is really hard. From your experience and knowledge which test do you recommend for an international student, and do you think 3 months will be enough to prepare for the test? What is the best book for either test?

    Thank you

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 30, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Hi Sarah,

      You are correct:

      GMAT – difficult quant
      GRE – difficult verbal (esp. for non-native speakers)

      I recommend downloading a practice test for the GRE ( and one for the GMAT (

      Afterwards, determine where you rank percentage wise. If the scores are about the same, go for the GMAT. It still carries more weight, b. school-wise, than does the GRE.

      If your GRE score is higher percentage-wise, then I would recommend spending your three-months prepping to take it.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  117. Zahid January 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi Chris, awesome! Thank you very very much for your kindness and great suggestions. <<<< Zahid

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      Your welcome! Best of luck!

  118. Zahid January 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you very much for your long response and patience, but you didn’t touch on my second question…

    (I am planning to do GRE in Sept.2012 and my native language is not English, I am not so good in English I got 6.0 in IELTS; this is my standard stage in English. But I want to complete my M.Sc in Electric Power from University of Southern California. So, how can I prepare for GRE and get a good score?)

    I’m very frustrated over whether or not I can succeed at the GRE. Another point is the need to get the latest edition of every book – if someone gets the Manhattan GRE book now, he or she might lose something new or a current topic from their next edition; especially those who are planning do their GRE exam 6-8 months or more later. If I sign up for Magoosh online Premier, is it enough? How else can I start my preparation for GRE? Please give your great and kind suggestion.

    I am waiting for you suggestion to start my GRE preparation. Thanks

    Best regards,


    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm #


      As someone whose native language is not English I commend you for your initiative. The GRE is very, very difficult for non-native speakers – many such students have faltered, so you’re not alone :).

      I definitely recommend reading in conjunction with learning vocab. The new GRE is no longer a raw vocab test. Rather it tests your knowledge of words in context.
      For instance, Newsweek and Time magazine are good places to start. Look words up when you don’t know, even if you recognize them but can’t quite define them.

      Don’t worry about the editions. If anything Manhattan GRE, out of all the paper books, is the most up-to-date. Our product might be slightly newer but in terms of ‘timeliness’ I don’t see much of a difference.

      Magoosh alone should be helpful for verbal. But a lot of that depends on if you are a video learner. If it works for you, remember to read a lot, so that you are learning academic English – which is more advanced than TOEFL English.

      Hope that helps!

  119. Zahid January 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm #


    Honestly, I am very confused that which book is better because you said Manhattan GRE is better and some other blogs i.e. Happy School recommend other books like Kaplan new GRE premier 2011-2012, but I need the right path… I am planning to do GRE in Sept.2012 and my native language is not English, I am not so good in English I got 6.0 in IELTS; this is my standard stage in English. But I want to complete my M.Sc in Electric Power from University of Southern California – it’s my dream. So, how can I prepare for GRE and get a good score? Need your great and kind suggestions please.

    Best regards,


    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi Zahid,

      Thanks for your message. I think you bring up a good point: who do you trust on the Internet, typically when there is conflicting information?

      Let’s compare reviews:

      Here is an excerpt from happy schools:

      “Kaplan GRE Books are well known in GRE Test prep market. Some test taker might not like the way book are presented, be it Kaplan or GRE. Understand your need and find the right test prep books.
      Its not possible to buy all the available GRE Test prep materials in the market. Barrons and Kaplan have good reputation for their GRE Test prep books.
      Both Barrons and Kaplan have published book for New Revised GRE.”

      Apparently, he is recommending Kaplan because it is well-known. He then goes on to say Kaplan (and Barron’s) has a good reputation. According to whom? My experience with students who only used Kaplan before coming to me, as well as GRE tutors, in no way supports this assertion.

      In all, his review is very vague. Does he at any point discuss the content in the book? No, he sticks to generalities. To say that Kaplan has good strategies is an example of where he is making a general assertion without backing it up with any specifics.

      After reading this post, the only information I’m really getting is Kaplan is well-known and, according to a shadowy somebody, has a good reputation.

      Hardly a ringing endorsement.

      My reviews make general assertions about each specific section, and back up each assertion with specific examples. I essentially dissect the content on every part of the test. Not surprisingly my posts are much longer.

      I also balance the positive with the negative, providing a view that is comprehensive and nuanced. He does neither.

      Who would you trust?

      Well, to answer that question, email the happyschool blog and see if he (or she) can give you any specifics for why you should choose Kaplan.

      My advice to you is to use Manhattan GRE over Kaplan. The difference in quality is so vast that to say Kaplan is better is downright laughable.

      Let me know if you have any other questions regarding what is best for you.

      I’m happy to help!

  120. Shahid January 16, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    Hey Chris!

    I’m planning on giving the new GRE around August 2012. I have seen your video review and I’ll probably stick to the Official GRE guide and another book. Should I go for the Barron’s 19th edition or the Manhattan series? You mentioned that the verbal section in the Manhattan series is flawed. How is it compared to the Barron’s (or any other for that matter)?
    Also, is there a “word-list” in the Manhattan series?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Overall the Manhattan series is soooo much better than Barron’s. In the one area of SE and Text Completions, Barron’s is okay.

      Consider giving us a try. We offer a free trial – and I personally recorded all 300-plus verbal videos so I can attest to their quality.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  121. F00z January 12, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Chris, what do you think of electronic version of these books? the price of ebooks is significantly lower. $20 per books(print) vs $8.99(ebook from store) or $9.99(iBooks)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      That’s a great question! In terms of price, it is definitely a winning proposition. However, I’ve never learnt in workbook form on an e-reader. The ability to scribble on the paper is lost, and I wonder how much that will affect the overall experience. At least working with scratch paper could somewhat make up for this.

      • F00z January 13, 2012 at 10:40 am #

        Yes I am leaning towards buying print version because its easier to work with. Also your article shows the price of the books to be $180 and not $118 which is what manhattanGRE site shows.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris January 13, 2012 at 11:29 am #

          Hmmm, that’s weird. I must have made a mistake. I will make the necessary changes in the post. Thanks for pointing that out.

      • Sunny Sun March 31, 2012 at 6:53 am #

        Hi Chris,

        It’s Sunny again. I’ve purchased the ebook version of MGRE book 7, and I am happy to share my review here:

        1. train you to read GRE articles and practice on the
        2. changeable text size.
        3. provide hyperlinks of each chapter, in-action problem and solution.
        4. way cheaper than the paperback version.
        5. can’t take notes on there obviously. but it’s a pro because you can’t underline or circle in the text during the actual GRE anyway. lol

        1. have to install Adobe Digital Edition in your computer, create an Adobe account, active it, download the urllink file from MGRE under your Student Center page, and then open the urllink and download the file using Adobe Digital Edition. That’s the ebook you need. (yeah, the procedure is tedious, and I’ve encountered activation failures, but I eventually solved it.)
        2. need to authorize computers and mobile devices during ADE activation. ADE only authorizes up to six computers and mobile devices to read the downloaded ebook 🙁
        3. The page number does not match with the paperback version. And the location of the page number in the text changes when changing the text size even though the number of total pages doesn’t change.

        Overall, it’s a great substitute if you only focus on the material and want to quickly get used to the computer based exams. I prefer to read everything online and type my essays in some noisy public area, so my eyes and mind will get use to it when it comes to the real GRE test 🙂

        • Chris Lele
          Chris March 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

          Sunny Sun,

          Thanks for the great review :). I think many will find it helpful. So it sounds like most of the cons are related not to the content but to the electronic format (which always a lot of hiccups at first).

          Thanks again for your review :).

          • Sunny Sun March 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm #


            Yes, you are right! They are cheap for a reason. lol It’s not very user-friendly and definitely not a good choice for the people who don’t have much experience of tackling software. But the content is the same! So think carefully before purchasing.

            By the way, here’s the tip when you encounter ADE activation errors: Open your clock time, then the time zone and check if the time on your time zone is the same as the country where you are. After adjusting the time try to activate again. That should solve the problem.

            You are very welcome Chris, I am just happy to share my review in the Magoosh group 🙂



          • Sunny Sun April 1, 2012 at 12:06 am #

            man, it’s a horrible software, I was wondering why MGRE uses that. lol

  122. Vaisnavi January 12, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    That sounds better because the entire series of manhattan prep is quite costly as compared to ur site. Another question i want to ask u is tht am confused whether critical reasoning questions comes from the verbal section or not.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 13, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      For the Revised GRE, critical reasoning is part of the reading comprehension section. Unlike the Manhattan GMAT series, which has a separate book from critical reasoning, the Manhattan GRE series combines the two in one book.

  123. Vaisnavi January 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I got all the sectional gmat quant books of manhattanprep,is it sufficed fr gre quant??

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Great question! The GMAT goes beyond the GRE in math, esp. in terms of question difficulty, so you will learn more.

      One area where there isn’t overlap is the data sufficiency. The GRE has quantitative comparison (QC), that, while easier, may necessitate that you practice this question type.

      If you don’t want to purchase the entire series, you can have access to hundreds of QC for you to practice from in the Magoosh GRE product. Unlike Manhattan GRE, we are completely computer-based. All instruction is by video.

  124. John January 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Hello Chris,

    Great Review!

    Just had quick question, You mentioned a CD – Does it come with every guide? Secondly, does it have any updated text completion questions ?(ones with twisted sentence structures rather than obscure vocabulary based questions)


    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi John,

      Actually, it’s not a CD but a series of practice tests. To access them you have to scratch the back of the book for an access code (you only need to buy one book to get all the tests, which is great). The on-line tests have the twisted sentence structure and so are more up-to-date than the SE/Text Completion book. The overall quality of the tests is pretty high.

  125. Julia January 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Manhattan is top on my list, as is Nova’s GRE Math Prep Course (would love to see a review on that one), but your review of the verbal section concerns me. Is it bad enough that you would recommend only purchasing the Quant sections for Manahattan? And another book for Verbal? I’ve always considered myself strongest in Verbal, but in looking at the GRE official site and their sample questions, I definitely need some serious work. What is your strongest recommendation for verbal practice?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Hi Julia,

      The best prep for verbal is the ETS material. I recommend purchasing the book, which comes with the a mock test. Get a feel for those questions and you should be ready.

      As for Manhattan GRE, I think the Sentence Equivalence/Text Completion book was rushed to print. As a result it doesn’t really mirror the test. I think most of the words will end up freaking people out. The good news is Manhattan GRE did a much better job with Sentence Equivalence and Text Completions on their mock tests.

      Also give Magoosh a try. We have a free trial, which you can get a sense of our verbal content.

      As for NOVA math, it is next on my review list!

      • praneeth July 24, 2012 at 6:50 am #

        The 3rd edition is out have they corrected the errors which you are talking about and many people say that quants in manhattan is bit on easier side compared to actual gre how far is this true.

      • mdk July 25, 2012 at 7:48 am #

        Hi chris i am preparing for gre .. i am not able to find Manhattan gre prep for RC i was wondering can i prepare RC from manhattan gmat book

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