For GRE test takers, Kaplan and The Princeton Review are two reputable and familiar publishers with highly regarded GRE preparation books. So should I choose Kaplan or The Princeton Review for the GRE test?

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Why is GRE Preparation material necessary?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test used as graduate admission requirements (Master or PhD) in the natural and social sciences in the United States. A high GRE score is the goal of many people applying for graduate school. But without a proper study plan and the right material, this will become difficult. Fortunately, with the help of quality GRE preparation materials, doing well on the exam is absolutely not far-fetched.

Choosing the best GRE prep book depends on many factors, including:

  • The graduate program the candidate intends to apply
  • Skills that need improvement
  • The difference between the current score and the desired score

Currently, Kaplan and The Princeton Review are two of the most reputable publishers with highly regarded GRE prep books. So should I choose Kaplan or The Princeton Review for the GRE test? The article will compare two books: Cracking the GRE Premium Edition (The Princeton Review) and Kaplan GRE Prep Plus.

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Should I choose Kaplan or The Princeton Review for the GRE test?

The Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE Premium Edition

The Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE Premium Edition test prep guide contains all the sections of the exam in a single book. Since this book is written in an all-in-one fashion, it is not so detailed or in-depth. Instead the book provides a concise overview of the topics, which can save your study time if a perfect score is not what you are aiming for.

This guide focuses less on quantitative math and more on the verbal portion of the test. Therefore, this book will be less beneficial for mathematics and engineering undergraduates.

The Princeton Review material also includes:

1) 6 full practice tests (including 2 in-book and 4 online)

2) Access to the online resource “Premium portal”

3) Chapter summaries for faster review

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Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus

Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus is also a test prep material that covers all sections of the exam.

But unlike the former book, it focuses more on the math sections of the test. This provides perfect support for Math and engineering undergraduates.

In addition, this document focuses more on test taking strategies to improve your performance on exam day, which can make you more confident, reduce stress and get the best score possible.

In addition, Kaplan’s also includes “Smart Reports” that help you identify sections of the test that you are weak in. This allows you to focus your efforts more on what is needed to improve and make better progress

Kaplan’s materials also include:

1) Over 2,200 practice questions with detailed explanations

2) 6 practice tests (5 online and 1 in the book)

3) 500 online questions bank to create customized quiz

4) mobile-device-support online resource

5) “Smart reports” to identify your strengths and weaknesses

The main flaw in this book is that the example questions are not really exam-like. You may be surprised during the exam when some questions are not in the same difficulty level as the examples in the book.

The Princeton Review Kaplan
Pros – Better than Kaplan’s in verbal sections

– Chapter summaries for better overview

– More in-depth math sections

– “Smart Reports” are useful to identify the parts that need improvement

– Effective test-taking strategies

Cons – Math sections are not as detailed – The non-math sections are not as in-depth

– Some questions are less exam-like


Although both are GRE test prep materials, each publisher’s book has its own strengths. Cracking the GRE Premium Edition by The Princeton Review is a great choice if you are looking for a GRE study book for the verbal portion of the test, while Kaplan GRE Prep Plus will be the right material to increase your score in quantitative math. Therefore, depending on your field and the skill that needs improvement, you can choose for yourself the most suitable material to be successful in the GRE exam.

For more:  GRE exam process – A place to share all the experiences of Test Prep exams (SSAT, SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, etc.) for students preparing to study abroad. If you have any questions, please contact us directly via email or hotline for free advice.

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