A wise man once said, ‘The more I practice, the luckier I get.’ You would agree with him if you are a college student. Many of our students have experienced the same. The more GRE practice tests they took before the actual test, the higher they scored on test day.
We recently did a quick survey among students as to find out why most of them fail to get a score of their dreams. And the most obvious answer was that most students don’t take their GRE practice tests too seriously. The vast majority of students don’t take more than one practice tests, and this results in a lower overall score on test day, because they are simply not fully ready to take the test. So, how do you practice better? Where do you find resources and practice tests for the GRE?
There are so many test prep companies out there providing GRE practice tests. Both paid and free versions are available for you on demand, but then again, too many options is not too good. So, we have compiled the list of quality and free practice tests on the internet, and also a guide on when and how to take each of these tests. This is a comprehensive list of all good, free GRE practice tests that you will find on the internet.
An Important Note
Before we move on to the list, there is something you need to know.
You probably don’t have to take all 33 tests. Though we have given an extensive list of GRE practice tests, you may choose to take whichever tests you’d like. We’ve provided brief reviews of each test, and based on your research and our reviews, choose only those tests that you think are important to you. If you have a lot of time on your hands, go ahead and take all of them, if possible. But if you have a lot on your plate already, and you need a quick practice test or two, choose whatever you think will work for you, based on what you read below.
If you would like to know more about a particular test, we’ve provided links to each test. Go to their respective websites to find out more, if you want.
Top GRE Practice Tests
Now if you’re a busy student, or a working professional, or if you have limited time on your watch, here are the five most important and the most useful practice tests you could use. These tests are not only free, but are also as good as the real GRE, which helps you gauge the toughness and the pattern of the test.
ETS PowerPrep GRE Practice Tests (Rating: A++)
The PowerPrep is a set of two free practice sets provided by ETS, the makers of the GRE. Since it is the creators themselves who are providing these practice tests, the PowerPrep is by far the best source of practice you can get for the GRE. The questions on the PowerPrep are those that have previously appeared on real GRE tests, so you can exactly know what kind of questions to expect on test day, and also how difficult the real deal is going to be. The user interface is exactly the same as the real test, so if you can get a hang of the PowerPrep, things will be easy for you on test day, as you don’t have to sweat the small stuff like the tutorial section, or how to mark and skip a question, etc. Also, it is a widely accepted truth that your final GRE score won’t differ much from what you get on the PowerPrep; it is that accurate.
CrunchPrep GRE Practice Test (Rating: A+)
The full length tests on CrunchPrep are extremely close to the GRE, and mimic the real test. This practice test is highly recommended as a pre-study test or a diagnostic test, because the questions are pretty much up there in terms of quality, and at the end of the test, you will get a very comprehensive analysis of your performance.
This analysis includes crucial statistics like skill data, performance review, and question analysis, which give you detailed statistics on your accuracy, time management, weak areas, etc., and you’ll also get a very accurate score prediction as well. This analysis is very vital to your GRE prep, especially if you are planning to take a diagnostic test and prepare a study plan based on its results. In addition to this, your AWA responses on the test will be graded for free, and you will have a comprehensive idea of your test performance.
Without a doubt, this is the one test you need to take in addition to the PowerPrep, if you want to get an idea of the real GRE test.
ManhattanPrep GRE Practice Test (Rating: A+)
The ManhattanPrep practice tests are really good, and popular among GRE test takers. This test is widely used as a diagnostic test, because of the quality of questions that it has. Also, at the end of the test, you will be given an analysis of your performance. Although this analysis isn’t as thorough as with the CrunchPrep test, it still helps you understand where you stand, with respect to your score. The user interface is pretty smooth even for a first timer, which makes it even easier to take the test comfortably.
Kaplan GRE Practice Test (Rating: A)
The Kaplan practice test is somewhat close to its Manhattan Prep counterpart, and the question quality is really good, but Kaplan tests are widely regarded as one of the toughest you will encounter during your prep. The questions on this practice test are slightly tougher than those you will see on the real GRE. Hence, your scores tend to be slightly lesser than normal, and there is nothing to worry about it. In fact, getting yourself acquainted to tougher problems only makes you better.
Princeton Review GRE Practice Test (Rating: A)
The Princeton Review practice test is again, somewhat close to the Manhattan Prep test, but the questions are comparatively on the easier side. Though the quality of the questions is good, you may sometimes see a higher overall score, since the questions are relatively easier than, say, the Kaplan or the Manhattan practice tests. Hence, your scores tend to be slightly higher than normal, and you should not take the scores for granted. Otherwise, the Princeton Review test is a great source of practice for your GRE, and the user interface is pretty decent too.
Additional GRE Practice Tests:
If you are one of those lucky ones who have lots of free time, or if you have a good 2-3 months to prepare, here are a few additional resources available on the internet that allow you to take the test for free. But remember, it is in your best interest to finish all the five Priority practice tests mentioned above, before you plunge into the additional tests. While these tests are useful for practice, you cannot measure your performance thoroughly like you can in, say, the ManhattanPrep test. But still, the level of difficulty doesn’t change much when compared to the actual test, so they are a good way of testing yourself.
McGraw-Hill GRE Practice Test (Rating: B+)
A good way to practice the GRE, McGraw-Gill offers only one free test on their website. The test is somewhat close to that of Princeton Review, but your scores can be considered as real. There won’t be much difference in the overall scoring, except for a couple of points in each section, if not more. Plus, there are explanations for each and every question on the test, so you can compare your answers after the test.
Peterson’s GRE Practice Test (Rating: B)
4Tests.com GRE Practice Test (Rating: B)
Testden GRE Practice Test (Rating: B)
All the three tests above are quite similar to each other, be it the quality of questions, the closeness to the actual GRE, or how helpful they are to your overall preparation. In comparison, the McGraw-Hill GRE Practice Test fares slightly better, when all the aforementioned criteria are considered, which is why we have given them a B.
Other Practice Tests:
Normally, we wouldn’t recommend students to take more than ten practice tests if their test date is 2-3 months away. But, we are aware that a small percentage of students book a slot 6-12 months ahead. For those of you who belong to this category, it’d be useful to have more practice tests at your disposal so you can alter your study plans accordingly. Here are 24 additional free tests available on the internet that can come in handy at times, but we would recommend that you take the results of these tests with a pinch of salt, as they aren’t as close to the real GRE as others. Use them only to practice time management and other test strategies so you’ll be more confident on test day.
Optional: My GRE Tutor Practice Tests (Rating: C+)
My GRE Tutor offers 4 free practice tests for the GRE. These tests are based on the older version of the GRE, i.e. before the format change happened. So, you will see some question types that are not in any way related to the GRE, such as antonyms and synonyms, etc. You can skip such questions and continue with the rest of the test.
Optional: GRE Guide Practice Tests (Rating: C)
The GRE Guide tests are as many as 20 in number, all of which are free. Though the tests aren’t as robust as some of their counterparts from other test prep companies, taking 20 practice tests will do you a world of good, because you will be thorough with the test format, and time management. Also, since you have way too many choices, you can experiment with some test taking strategies and see how things work out. But, one important thing to remember is, your scores will be somewhat inflated, so you shouldn’t take them too seriously.
How and When Should You Take These Tests?
Now with so many GRE Practice tests at your disposal, you would need a solid plan as to when to take which of these tests and how to interpret the results and analyses they provide. If you are going to take all the 33 tests, you will have to mix the order up a bit, so you’ll have them uniformly spread throughout the course of your preparation. We have a basic plan prepared for you, and we assumed that you are going to take all 33 tests. But if you are planning on taking only a few of those, feel free to modify the plan accordingly.
As most of you would agree, before anyone starts preparing for the GRE for the first time, they should know what to focus most of their energy on. It simply doesn’t make sense studying everything, including the stuff you already know pretty well. But then again, knowing something well isn’t enough in a competitive exam like the GRE. You should also know how fast you can solve a particular question. So, how do you know all that?
This is where the diagnostic test comes into play. As we already mentioned, a few of the tests in the above lists also provide you with a complete analysis of your test performance. This analysis is the key to identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Once you’ve take one of these tests, you’ll understand, thanks to the analysis, where you are perfect, where you are lagging, where you are taking more time to get the answer, and where you are taking a long time and still failing to get to the answer. Which is of immense help to you initially, because it is according to this analysis that you are going to decide on a study plan.
So, here is what we recommend:
- Take the Manhattan Prep practice test first, and gauge your performance. Prepare a perfect study plan based on the analysis report, allotting more time to the topics in which you are frequently going wrong, or topics that you are not very confident about.
- Take the Princeton Review and Kaplan at least 2 weeks before your test day, so you’ll know how much you have improved, and what else you need to concentrate on, in the coming few days. Since these two tests provide you with analyses, compare them with the analysis from the Manhattan test and check whether there are improvements in your performance. Based on this comparison, decide what you are going to study during the next few days.
- During the last one week before the test day, take the two PowerPrep tests. Make sure you take the first one at least 5-6 days prior to the test day, and the second test a day or two before the final exam. Since the PowerPrep is as close as you can get to the GRE, you can understand your performance thoroughly, and also get an idea of how much you may score on the GRE. Also, if there is any final review needed, you can do so, based on the results you see on the PowerPrep tests.
- Now, we strongly recommend that you take these five tests, irrespective of how many days you have before the test. Whether you consider taking the remaining 28 tests, is completely left to you. If you have lots of time to prepare, these tests can come in handy, when taken at regular intervals. For example, if you have at least 12-15 weeks of time, you can take 2 tests per week and constantly measure your performance. But as mentioned previously, the test scores should not be taken seriously. These tests are only for practice, and analysis, but not a testament of how you will score on the actual test.
Now it’s Your Turn
So, as you can see, there are a lot of practice tests at your disposal, and if you are willing to go the distance, you have all the resources to do so. However, if you need any assistance regarding these practice tests, or you would like to know how you can spread these tests between your study schedule, ask us in the comments, and we’ll be happy to help you out.
Also, we did our best in finding out the best free GRE test resources online. But if you think we missed any quality GRE practice tests, let us know in the comments section. We’ll be happy to review them and add to the list.