5 Tools, Including a Free GRE Practice Test to Help You Learn the GRE Layout

The GRE can be a super stressful test. First of all, you’ve got time constraints, and second of all you need a good score for whatever program you are applying to that requires you to take the GRE. These tools, including free GRE practice tests, apps, and books can help ease the pain. They did for me!

When taking the GRE, you have 3 hours and 45 minutes for the entire test. The test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. During the test, you have the ability to skip questions, go back to unanswered ones, and change answers.

If you are wondering if you can skip questions on the GRE, we have strategies here.

Taking a GRE Practice Test Before You Begin Studying is Imperative to Your Success!

Start getting familiar with the test! Learn the GRE layout of questions, and how they are worded. The more accustomed you are to the type of questions that are on the test the better off you will be when the day comes to take the test. Take as many full-length mock GRE exams as you can handle.

ETS Super Power Pack

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Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition
  • Educational Testing Service (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 250 Pages - 04/07/2017 (Publication Date) - McGraw Hill (Publisher)

1. Free Tests – Help You Learn The GRE Layout

Take a free GRE practice test, before you start studying and implementing a strategy. By taking a free GRE practice test before starting your study strategy, you will get a general idea as to where you stand and what you should focus on. Learning the GRE layout is imperative to your success. You can find the free ETS tests (the people in charge of devising the actual GRE) by creating an account with ETS and navigating to the section that says PowerPrep Online.

Another free GRE practice test is offered by Manhattan Prep. When you take the free GRE practice test, it will be timed, and simulate the real GRE, which can help you understand if you need help with speed. Try to learn the GRE test layout and replicate a real GRE test as best as you can. Set aside the 3 hours and 45 minutes and act as if you are really at the testing center. Don’t get up and get distracted by other things when doing the free GRE practice test. I cannot reiterate this enough: the only way to truly know where you need the most help is to use the practice exams as if they were a real exam.

2. Apps for Vocabulary

Start memorizing words now. Verbal preparation and memorizing words will take a lot of time and dedication. Download the free GRE vocabulary builder by Magoosh, so you can study words whenever you have some downtime. This is a great tool to study any time you are waiting around for someone or something, instead of checking social media, you can go through some flash cards on this app. There are a number of other free and paid apps for GRE vocabulary prep. Just use whichever one works for you.

3. Online Course

This GRE online course by Magoosh will guarantee a higher score.

After you have taken one of the free practice test listed above buy the Magoosh self-study course. Every single practice question has a video and text explanation, so you can understand the reasoning behind each problem. You must put the time and effort into doing as many practice questions as you can.

Magoosh is a one-time payment that gives you access to the course for 6 months. If you commit to 6 months of almost daily study time for the GRE you should have no problem acing it. Magoosh is phenomenally set up, the user interface makes it really easy to navigate around the site. Magoosh takes all the planning out of studying for the GRE, you can just do what they tell you to do, study what they tell you to study, and you should be able to improve your old score or get a great score on your first try. Magoosh has a score improvement guarantee or your money back.

When preparing for the GRE make sure you work out your problems using a GRE whiteboard. All at home GRE tests will use a whiteboard instead of scratch paper.

How many practice tests does Magoosh have?

Magoosh provides 3 full-length practice tests. However you do get 1,400 questions, which you can choose to do as a complete test or use the questions for more tarfgeted help. If you know you need to work on math problems then you can use the questions to help you focus and improve in areas where you are weak.

4. AWA Online Essay Grader – SCOREITNOW

For the Analytical Writing Assignment use the ScoreItNow feature at ETS.  The SCOREITNOW feature will grade 2 essays which can give you an idea as to how well you do writing an essay under timed conditions. ScoreItNow can provide you with a rough estimate of how you will do on the AWA portion of the GRE. The price to use the service is $20.

Practice tests for the GRE. Studying for the GRE.

5. Books – Manhattan Prep GRE Practice Tests and More

GRE Prep 2021-2022 3rd Edition: 4 Complete Practice Test + Review & Techniques + Proven Strategies for the Graduate Record Examination
  • GRE PrepTeam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 04/12/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

You will also need some books from ETS (the people giving the GRE) I recommend getting their Official GRE Superpack set of 3 books. The answer explanations in these books can sometimes be severely lacking, which is why you would definitely want to use these alongside the Magoosh GRE prep course.

If you need more help as I did on the math portion of the GRE then I highly suggest this Kaplan book, it is what helped me score 7 points higher my 2nd time taking the GRE.

There are also plenty of places to get used GRE books for sale like Knetbooks, where you can rent a GRE book.

Take the GRE practice test before starting Magoosh,  this is so you can understand the GRE layout before beginning some hardcore studying. Memorize vocabulary words while taking the Magoosh course, watch as many Magoosh videos as you can, and use the GRE books to help solidify any areas that you are struggling with. After all of this you should be good to go! Don’t forget to take the last two free GRE practice tests after going through the Magoosh prep.  You can compare how you did before Magoosh to after Magoosh. Don’t forget to focus on any areas that you feel you are lacking confidence in.


Conclusion paragraph: The GRE is a super stressful test. First of all, you’ve got time constraints, and second of all you need a good score for whatever program requires the GRE as an admissions requirement. These tools can help ease the pain – they did for me! For instance, there are free practice tests available on sites like Kaplan that simulate what the actual exam will be like; these self-paced quizzes allow you to design your own study plan with questions tailored to suit your needs. There are also apps such as Magoosh Practice Quiz which provide quick tips from experts in verbal reasoning and quantitative problems while offering timed drills for those who prefer structure over flexibility. Finally, if books are more your style then I recommend practice tests.

If you ever thought about a career as a veterinarian learn which vet schools require the GRE. Many schools that once required it no longer do.