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

If you’re thinking about taking the GRE, remember that the GRE cost includes more than just the test fee, and can be highly personalized. So asking “How much does it cost to take the GRE?” (or more likely, “Why is the GRE so expensive?!”) requires a little more context. Our list of GRE fees will help you figure out what to expect.

The fee just for signing up: $205

No matter what, you will have to pay to take the GRE. So imagine you sign up without cracking open a single GRE book, and head straight to the testing center. You will spend $205. (This amount does not include transportation to and from the testing center, or a much-needed snack two hours into the test.)

That’s assuming everything goes to plan! If you want to change anything about your appointment, the following fees apply:

Rescheduling fee: $50
Changing your test center: $50

Most people opt to do a little more than just sign up for the test, making the cost of GRE prep higher. Check out the infographic below to understand the additional costs you might incur when tackling the GRE.

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infographic on gre costs and fees magoosh

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

You can buy one book and learn quite a bit for less than $20–a good plan if you are a book learner without much money to spend. If you go this route, don’t pick up just any GRE book. Take a look at our GRE book reviews to see which one is worth your study time.

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

If you aim to do well, there are a wealth of helpful materials you will want to avail yourself of. I’d recommend the following:

  1. Manhattan GRE: You can choose however many of the eight books you need from their set. You can also access their practice tests online.
  2. Manhattan 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems


  1. Barron’s 6 GRE Practice Tests
  2. Magoosh Math + Verbal

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

You can lower the cost of GRE prep considerably with the free classes offered by some colleges. Typically, you have to be enrolled in the college. However, from what I’ve heard the classes have a bare bones approach, at best.

Then, there are MGRE classes for $4,000 a pop. You get access to MGRE material and methods, as well as experienced tutors who’ve scored in the top 1%. There are Kaplan and Princeton Review courses, which are slightly cheaper (neither of which I recommend, based on student feedback over the last 10 years).

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

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

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

GRE cost for a class + private tutor: $2,000 to $9,000

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

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

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

Additional GRE Resources

  • This post is part of a series of GRE articles aimed at helping you start your GRE prep and stay motivated throughout the process. You can access all of these articles on or offline using the GRE Prep App:

GRE study app for android and iphone

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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

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

  1. james September 9, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    This article has been quite informative. Thanks for such a nice information.

  2. W. Saha February 12, 2016 at 4:01 am #

    This article has been quite informative. I have managed to prepare a bit from the official GRE from ETS as well as from the Barron’s guide. I would like to know how important are the classroom coaching as it will be costing a significant amount. I would also like to know if I am okay if I give the test in April/May ?

    I am interested in getting into a good school for an MBA programme and that too after 2/3 years from now (as I want to gather a beneficial work experience ). It would be amazing to secure a good score right now rather than prepare an take the test while I am busy working.

    Thanks ahead.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 12, 2016 at 10:45 am #

      Happy to help! 🙂

      First, I commend you for planning ahead and taking charge of your goals!

      Classroom is absolutely not a requirement–some people like this kind of coaching just because they learn better in a classroom or need the external and financial pressure to motivate them. Test prep study is seriously personal, and you have to choose what you know works for you! 🙂

      As for an April/May date, that is just fine! That gives you a few months to prepare and then take the exam. Hopefully you can finish it and put thoughts of the exam behind you as you move into other busy parts of your life. 🙂

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

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

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

      Hi VSN,

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

      Hope that helps!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Hi Karan,

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

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