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GRE eBook: A Free, Complete Guide to the GRE

This eBook, The Complete Guide to the GRE, is a compilation of the best of the Magoosh GRE blog, and we’re happy to be able to share it with you for free, via PDF! It includes:

  • An introduction to the GRE format
  • Overviews of each section (Quantitative, Verbal, Writing)
  • Recommended strategies, practice questions, and explanations for commonly tested concepts and question types
  • Links to all of our study plans
  • Suggested resources

Complete, Free Guide to the GRE - Magoosh


We hope you like it! Print it out, share it with friends, and use it as an introduction to the GRE as you’re starting out, or reference it throughout your GRE journey.

Bonus Resources:

  • If you’re willing to spend a bit of $$ on GRE prep books, please check our our list of the best GRE prep books on the market. It’ll save you research time and money.
  • Last but not least, check out Magoosh’s GRE Prep App. It’s a free Android and iPhone app that allows you to access all the Magoosh resources (lessons, practice questions, study schedules, and more) on your phone.

If you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see in the next edition of the eBook (word lists? :)) or any feedback at all, let us know in the comments!

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

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51 Responses to GRE eBook: A Free, Complete Guide to the GRE

  1. Eraj September 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Thank you guys for you EBook, it is awesome! Since there is no bookstore here in my home country and the Amazon order will take a month to be delivered to Tajikistan, your EBook and web page helping me a big time these days. Good job and time respect for you guys!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      You’re very welcome, Eraj! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kim August 29, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    How do we study GRE words? How many do we need to memorize?! I’m going crazy, there is so many words and so much material, I don’t know where to star!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette August 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      1. The perfect place to start: ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Don’t worry so much about shooting for a specific number of words– just accumulate them through your reading and by doing practice questions, since it’s more about knowing words in context then it is rote memorization, especially for the revised GRE!

      I hope that helps!


  3. Ashley August 26, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Thank you so much for this list! I’ve been listening to GRE word lists when I have my headphones on; however, the CD is a few years old and a lot of the words on your word list are not on the CD. Do you have these words on a playlist or do you know where I can download the words for a playlist? I’m having no such luck with iTunes!

    Thanks again! I truly appreciate it.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Hi Ashley,

      Unfortunately we do not have these words on CD. We do offer an iPhone/Droid app with general GRE lesson videos if you want to study on the go. As for vocabulary podcasts in particular, honestly I am not too familiar with them. The few I’ve tried were kind of tedious – though maybe that’s just my learning style :). I’d recommend going through a few and finding the one that works best for you (meaning it’s not boring and you are learning something!).

      Word-wise most contain important vocabulary; I don’t think there is a magic list that has all the words you’ll see test day :).

  4. simon August 11, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Dear Margarette
    Do you think if I want to use your materials (I am not a native so vocabulary in GRE is a big deal for me) for 3 months I will progress? My previous score was Verbal: 300 Q:740 W:3.5
    .I am so stressed out because I think GRE is not an exam for non native people.The time is so tight in the exam.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Simon,

      I think you can definitely improve using Magoosh :). Many Magoosh users are non-native speakers and out of those quite a few have reported significant increases in verbal. 3 months with Magoosh will definitely help push you well beyond 300.

      Hope that helps!

      • som August 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

        Dear Chris

        I like your site and your staffs. Plus I checked all of your plans. But 5 point?
        I mean there is mentioned that I can improve my score until 5 point. I think it is not a big progress. I need 500 at verbal and 800 at Q and 4 at writing at least. With 3 month and magoosh I can afford it?
        Thank u in advance for your time.


        • Chris Lele
          Chris August 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

          Hi Som,

          You are using the old scoring scale. The new scoring scale, 130-170, 5 points is quite a lot. Most other companies simply offer a score improvement, which means only one point. This 5 points equates to 100 points on the old scale. With a lot of work and determination, a 200-point increase is possible :).

          • simon August 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

            Dear Chris

            I deeply apologize to you.I know it is a bad habit .I am accustomed to old scoring scale. So 5 points is a lot and 200 is fantastic.If I want to increase my verbal 5 points which package of your study schedule is proper for me? My exam is in 17 November.Right now I am finishing 1100 and I am going to start 800 Essential words for GRE.Barron’s.Are they good choices? Plus, my Q is good I am going to improve it by self-study. Thanks a lot for your advice.


            • Chris Lele
              Chris August 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

              The 2-3 month study guide will work best given your time frame. You should definitely be able to finish all the Magoosh questions by then :).

              As for the Barron’s vocabulary books, both are good. The key with learning vocab for the GRE is to make sure you understand how the words function in context. So make sure to not just remember a definition for a word (that’s why Barron’s 1100 is good, because it provides a lot of context for words).

              Hope that helps!

  5. Sheik July 30, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Can You Pls send me this to my email ID..!!!?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 30, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Hi, Sheik

      Are you unable to download it using the link in the post? Which browser are you using? Let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Sheik July 30, 2012 at 10:00 am #

        Oops.!! sorry.. I can download this file now…!!
        by seeing the previous comment, thought that i couldn’t able to download..!!

        Now i got it..!!!

        Thanks Margarette.!! =)

        • Margarette Jung
          Margarette July 30, 2012 at 10:03 am #

          Not a problem, I’m glad it worked! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. sridhar July 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    pls sen d mail to my email…b’coz i’m unable to download it

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 24, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Hi, Sridhar

      Just sent you an email! ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. shahzad July 13, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    i am not able to download the ebook thought i am using chrome kindly email me

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi, Shahzad

      Check your email ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Esteban July 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    On page 17, Quantitative Comparison, in the question I argue that the answer should be D, since the The number of multiples of 49 less than 2000 is infinite (note that -49 is also a multiple of 49) and The number of multiples 50 less than or equal to 2000(note the spelling error) is also infinite.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Yes, thanks for catching that! It should be positive multiples.

  9. Nicolas July 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    In your train problem on page 17, the trains are moving in “the same direction,” relative speed is 20mph. They may or may not cross paths, depending on which train is ahead at the beginning of the problem. Assuming the train in the back is moving at 70mph, they will cross paths in 15 hours.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Nicolas,

      Are your referring to the ebook above? I do not see any train problem on pg. 17.

      • Nicolas July 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

        Sorry; it’s page 17 overall, but it’s 16 per the ebook’s own numbering.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris July 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

          Got it!

          Well, you are definitely right :). That’s a major typo on my part. Thanks for catching it.

    • Esteban July 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      I think that the problem should say they’re heading in opposite directions, that’s the way the solved it next.

      • Chris Lele
        Chris July 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

        Yes, that’s also another typo :).

  10. Sagnika July 2, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    I tried downloading the GRE big book and the GRE Magoosh vocab ebook….but neither of the links are working ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ :(…..I’m working on Internet explorer and do not have chrome. Please help!!!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette July 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi, Sagnika

      I just sent you an email with the PDF files for the eBooks (included the Math Formula eBook, just in case), though I would still recommend downloading Chrome:

      I hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Praveen June 25, 2012 at 5:24 am #


    I was introduced to this website by my friend a week back.As i started going through the blog, i wished if all this content was available in a single place and it actually is.I doff my proverbial hat towards the work you guys have put in and i thank you all for the help and contents you’ve assembled in this site.


    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette June 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Hi, Praveen

      I love the phrase “doff my proverbial hat”– I have a feeling GRE vocab isn’t a problem for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re glad you like the eBook, feel free to let us know if you have any other questions along the way!


  12. gaurav May 16, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    vocabulary is the main concern for me.i haven’t enrolled with you till now and looking for vocab oriented one.suggest me something .
    Thakn you sir

  13. abhay May 5, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    thanks a lot. Really appreciate your efforts.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette May 7, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      You’re very welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. KLReid April 26, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    Does the new ebook download for a Mac? I have tried to download twice and all I get is solid lines.

    • Bhavin Parikh
      Bhavin April 26, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Hi – We just tested it and it looks like it doesn’t download properly on Safari or Firefox. The issue seems to be with the Preview PDF viewer on a Mac. If you install Chrome, it should download properly. Alternatively, if you can find another PDF viewer it may work. I’m sorry about this.


    • Bhavin Parikh
      Bhavin April 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi – We’ve looked into the issue some more and it’s a font issue on Macs. Chrome has the font built in which is why you can view the eBook in Chrome on Macs, but otherwise you’ll see the horizontal bars. We’re working on updating the eBook with a font that should work on both Macs and PCs. Sorry about this and thanks for letting us know!


    • Bhavin Parikh
      Bhavin April 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi there – we’ve updated the fonts in the GRE ebook and it should now be Mac compatible. I’m sorry for the trouble!


      • klr May 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

        Just downloaded your ebook and it is great. Thank you for fixing the problem so quickly.

        • Bhavin Parikh
          Bhavin May 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

          No problem! Let me know if you notice anything else that doesn’t seem right and we’ll get right on it!

  15. Lucia April 18, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I would like a set of medium -difficult – really difficult questions. Easy questions and basics are easy to frind all over the internet. What is not that easy are questions to practice for people who want to achieve a perfect score.

    For example, data sufficiency excercises are super simple in the Power prep and the official guide, but can really get involved in the actual exam (happened to me!)

    Also, series questions take a lot of time if you dont know tricks.

    Also, you might want to make use of drawings and images they are a great learning resource.


    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette April 18, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      Hi, Lucia

      More challenge questions, right? We love those as well! Also, series is one of those “top-scorer” concepts, too, so maybe an entire “Advanced concepts” or “Challenge questions” section would be best. We’ll also make it a point to add more diagrams and images, for both Math and Verbal. Thanks for the suggestions!


    • Bhavin Parikh
      Bhavin April 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi Lucia,

      I noticed you’re a premium member of our GRE product ( We have quite a few difficult and very difficult questions there, hopefully that will give you the practice you’re looking for. In fact, many student say that our math questions are a little harder than what they see on test day ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  16. Sally April 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    This is awesome! Now I can study without needing the internet! Thank you!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette April 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      You’re welcome, glad we could help! There are more to come ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Aparna April 13, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Word Lists! Word Lists!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette April 13, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      They’re getting assembled this very minute, so we’ll definitely be adding them to the next version (or maybe making a separate book altogether, since it’s getting to be quite long!). Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to include! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Aparna May 1, 2012 at 7:28 am #

        Also I worked with a book called “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis (pretty famous book) and it made learning new words so easy.

        It basically broke down the word list into different sections based on the meaning – for example, how to compliment friends, different types of characters. And then each section explained the words, its roots and similar derivations. However, it had a very limited collection of words ( definitely not enough for GRE prep). Maybe the Magoosh wordlist can be categorized too?

        • Margarette Jung
          Margarette May 1, 2012 at 10:36 am #

          Yes, we’re big fans of the Norman Lewish book ๐Ÿ™‚ Our lists are themed as well, I think it makes it easier (and less boring) to learn words that way!

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