Best Free GRE Prep: 15 Practice Tests, Quizzes, and Apps


Saving money now is a big priority for many people taking the GRE, but prep books, tutors, and courses can all add up pretty quickly. Happily, free GRE prep is an excellent alternative: it can be just as helpful and effective as GRE prep you pay for — you just have to know what to use and where to look for it!

In this article, we’ll cover the advantages of using free GRE test prep resources and introduce our top picks for the best free GRE prep available today. Finally, we’ll conclude with a few useful tips on how to save money on both the GRE and your test prep.


Can You Study for the GRE Using Only Free GRE Prep?

We have a tendency to associate the word “free” with “low quality.” But the truth is, there are tons of free GRE resources that are just as good as, if not better than, costly GRE study materials. So, yes, you can study for the GRE using only free resources.

But what kinds of high-quality free GRE resources are out there? For one, ETS (the creator of the GRE) offers a ton of free GRE test prep. In general, all official GRE materials (free and paid) are considered high quality because they’re the closest you can get to the actual GRE in both content and form.

In addition to ETS, many popular GRE prep companies are beginning to lend test takers a hand through free GRE apps, flashcards, and games.

What’s really great is that free GRE resources address almost every aspect of the GRE. For example, while practice tests expose you to all sections of the exam, games and apps can target specific skills, such as vocab knowledge.

In the end, though, should you study for the GRE using only free resources? The answer is, it depends. While free resources are helpful, not everyone thinks they’re sufficient.

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Frugal test takers who are fans of self-study will likely enjoy customizing their study sessions and saving money. Others, however, might prefer to use free GRE prep in conjunction with an affordable, comprehensive resource, such as The Official Guide to the GRE General Test (about $25 on Amazon). And then some will prefer in-person guidance, which means hiring a GRE tutor or signing up for a prep course.

No matter how you decide to study for the GRE, I highly recommend taking advantage of free GRE test prep. It’s free, so, honestly, you have nothing to lose!

That said, don’t be afraid to spend money on any GRE materials you believe are worth purchasing. As long as you use high-quality GRE resources with proven track records of helping test takers get the scores they need, you, too, are sure to get a great GRE score!

Now, enough chitchat — let’s get into the resources themselves!


Flickr/JwvanEck, resized from original


The Best Free GRE Practice Tests & Questions

Below are our picks for the top five resources for free practice GRE tests and sample questions. If you want to learn more about how to use GRE practice tests or where you can find additional practice questions, check out our complete collection of practice tests and our guide to the best GRE sample questions.



A free software available on the official ETS website, PowerPrep is one of the best resources for a realistic test-taking experience. The software offers two full-length, timed GRE practice tests, as well as several additional practice questions for all Verbal and Quant question types.



  • Because PowerPrep is an official ETS resource, all questions (both stand-alone and those on the practice tests) are extremely similar to those on the actual exam in regard to form, content, and difficulty.
  • The entire interface is an exact replica of the actual GRE interface, so you’ll have no surprises on test day!
  • All time limits are the same as those on the GRE, including breaks.
  • Both tests are section adaptive like the real GRE!



  • There are no answer explanations for test questions. (However, there are answer explanations for all of the additional practice questions.)
  • You won’t receive an Analytical Writing score.


How to Use This Resource

First, take one of the two practice tests to get your baseline scores (the scores you start with before beginning any GRE prep). These scores show you by how many points you need to improve in order to hit your GRE goal scores on test day.

Then, once you’ve finished most or all of your study plan (but have yet to sit for the actual GRE), take the other PowerPrep test to gauge by how much you’ve improved and to see which areas or concepts you need to review more.

As for the additional practice questions, use these at the beginning of your study plan to acquaint yourself with all GRE questions types and to get a feel for the content and difficulty of the exam.


ETS Practice Test PDFs

In addition to PowerPrep, ETS offers two GRE paper tests you can download as PDFs. Unfortunately, they share a lot of the same questions with the PowerPrep tests, so they’re not entirely unique. One is an older test from 2011, and the other is the current test from 2012.



  • Like PowerPrep, these two tests are official resources, so all of their questions are extremely similar to those on the GRE.
  • The tests use the same format the paper-delivered GRE uses. (The paper-delivered GRE is administered only in areas where the computer version is unavailable.)
  • Each test comes with a handy answer key.



  • Questions overlap significantly with those on the PowerPrep tests. (There are some questions, however, that are unique to the paper tests.)
  • Unlike PowerPrep, the paper practice tests are not section adaptive (which is fine if you’re taking the paper-delivered GRE but not very helpful if you’re taking the computer-delivered GRE).
  • There are no answer explanations — just the answers themselves.


How to Use This Resource

Because the two paper tests are so similar to PowerPrep, it’s best to use PowerPrep as your primary source for practice tests. Once you finish PowerPrep, you can move on to the paper tests for additional practice questions. On the other hand, if you’re taking the paper-delivered GRE instead, do the opposite and prioritize the paper tests over the PowerPrep tests.


Beware of overlapping questions!


Old ETS Practice Test PDF

This official resource is an old (pre-2011) GRE practice test available for download as a PDF. Unlike the practice test PDFs above, this practice test uses the old format of the GRE and contains some out-of-date content and question types.



  • Though based on the old version of the GRE, this resource is an official full-length practice test, so it’s still fairly similar to the GRE in terms of difficulty and structure.



  • Because of how old the test is, many of its questions are out of date. For example, Verbal no longer tests analogies and antonyms, and Quant now focuses more on real-life situations and data interpretation.
  • It uses the old scoring system (200-800).
  • The Analytical Writing section is basically irrelevant, as its prompts are no longer in use.


How to Use This Resource

Because the test is pretty old and not totally relevant to the current version of the GRE, it’s best to pull apart this resource for additional practice questions. You can use all of the Quant questions but only the following questions for Verbal:

  • Section 2: 4-6, 17-27
  • Section 4: 2, 5, 17-27


Now, this GRE practice test is old, but I don’t think it’s this old …


Manhattan Prep Practice Test

Created by Manhattan Prep, this full-length, computerized practice test is robust, high quality, and extremely similar to the GRE, making it one of the best unofficial GRE practice tests currently available online.



  • This test offers realistic practice questions and follows the same basic format of the computer-delivered GRE.
  • Like PowerPrep, this test is section adaptive.
  • The built-in timer gives you a realistic test-taking experience. You can also increase or pause time on the test (which I don’t recommend doing, as it can break your concentration).
  • The overall interface is fairly similar to that of the GRE. All of the buttons offer the same basic functions, including “Review” and “Mark,” and the on-screen calculator is nearly identical to the one on the GRE. The images below highlight the similarities between the Manhattan (top and left) and GRE interfaces:





  • You must create a Manhattan account to access the test.
  • Some of the questions on the test are repetitive or use vocab that isn’t typical for the GRE.


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How to Use This Resource

After you take a PowerPrep test and get your baseline scores, use the Manhattan test sometime during the middle of your study plan as a way to gauge whether your GRE scores are improving or not. You can also use it for additional Verbal or Quant practice questions.


A cat prepping for nap time.



Another unofficial resource, the CATPrep GRE practice test is a solid test available for free online. Unlike the other tests we’ve discussed so far, this practice test is not a full-length test but rather an abbreviated version (technically, it’s a demo for a full-length test) with a total of 25 Verbal and Quant questions.



  • Though not as similar to the GRE as the Manhattan test, this test uses a fairly realistic GRE format and contains GRE-style questions for both Verbal and Quant.
  • Unlike Manhattan, you don’t need an account to access this test!



  • As previously mentioned, this is an abbreviated test: there are only 25 Verbal and Quant questions in total instead of the usual 80 (the total number of Verbal and Quant questions on the GRE, excluding any experimental or research sections).
  • The toolbar with all of the buttons is located along the bottom of the screen instead of along the top.
  • There are too many Reading Comprehension questions and not enough Sentence Equivalence or Text Completion questions. Of the five questions in each Verbal section, four are Reading Comprehension!


How to Use This Resource

I recommend using this practice test for additional practice questions, especially if you’re lacking math practice. Because the bulk of the Verbal section is Reading Comprehension, you’re better off using this test for Quant practice and a different test for vocab practice.

You can also use this test if you can’t set aside enough time for a full-length practice test but still want to quiz yourself using a GRE-like format.




The Best Free GRE Games, Flashcards, & Apps

GRE games and apps are handy resources that are great for on-the-go studying and brief refreshers, while flashcards are an excellent tool for drilling difficult-to-remember GRE concepts, such as vocab and math formulas. Here’s our list of the top six free GRE games, flashcards, and apps.



Ready4GRE is a highly rated GRE prep app available for iPhone and Android. Unlike other free GRE apps, this one offers a myriad of high-quality study materials, from vocab flashcards and quizzes to concept-driven lessons. The home screen consists of a virtual path of various Verbal and Quant lessons, which you must complete in a specified order to unlock subsequent topics.



  • This is a robust app that lets you customize your study sessions by choosing one of two study modes: the “Smart Guide” teaches you specific topics in a predetermined order, whereas the “Browse Topics” function lets you select and study topics at random.
  • There are more than 400 quality vocab flashcards featuring pronunciation guides, definitions, example sentences, connotations, and tips on GRE usage.
  • It gives you estimated Verbal and Quant scores and keeps track of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • The leaderboard feature creates a competitive, game-like atmosphere and motivates test takers to study more often.



  • Though parts of the app are free, the premium version (with all features) costs $29.99 — a pretty steep price to pay for an app.
  • Users have reported glitches, crashes, and freezing.
  • Certain questions appear to repeat on practice tests.


How to Use This Resource

Ready4GRE is a good app to use on the go or at home if you’re craving a fun and simple way to review important Verbal and Quant concepts. Although it shouldn’t replace your major study methods, this app is an excellent supplementary resource you can use for a variety of purposes, including warm-ups, cool-downs, vocab memorization, and general content review.


Unfortunately, GRE games aren’t as fun as blowing bubbles.


GRE Prep

Created by Varsity Tutors, this free GRE prep app for iPhone and Android offers less structure than Ready4GRE but makes up for it with a much larger assortment of quizzes and practice tests, many of which contain dozens of questions. You can also use this app to locate a GRE tutor in your area.



  • This app contains more than 300 quizzes and tests, with a solid variety of Verbal and Quant concepts. Quizzes are usually just a few minutes long, whereas diagnostic tests include anywhere from 40 to 60 questions.
  • All questions come with elaborate answer explanations, which you can view in the “Test Results” section after taking a test. You can also use this section to see how much time it took you to finish the test in comparison with others.



  • The home screen is basically a tutoring ad for the company.
  • The “Learn by Concept” section isn’t detailed enough to be able to teach users math or Verbal concepts entirely from scratch. It’s mostly just an array of practice questions, not step-by-step lessons.


How to Use This Resource

Because of its focus on questions and practice tests, GRE Prep is a solid resource for extra practice questions and on-the-go review. Like Ready4GRE, this app shouldn’t be your primary study resource, but it’s great for supplementary practice, especially if you find yourself running out of free practice questions.

You can also use the app’s time analysis feature to practice pacing yourself and to see which types of questions take you longer to answer than others.


Pace yourself on GRE practice questions. And then eat a strawberry.


PrepScholar’s GRE Vocab Flashcards

This is one of our best GRE resources yet: a comprehensive GRE vocab deck with 357 of the most common GRE vocab words. All of the words we’ve chosen are among the most frequently used vocab words on the GRE. Memorize these and you’re sure to do well on Verbal!



  • We aggregated words using a variety of prep books and vocab lists to give you one of the most accurate high-frequency GRE vocab collections currently available!
  • Our cards are extremely easy to use. All you have to do is print out the deck and use the waterfall method (described below) to begin memorizing meanings and usage.



  • Because there is no official GRE vocab list, we can’t guarantee that all 357 words on our list will appear on the GRE.



Use our flashcards as your primary GRE vocab study method. To memorize words, go through the entire deck once, noting which words you know and which words you don’t know. Then, pick up the “don’t know” pile and repeat the process to create a second “know it” pile. Continue this pattern until eventually you can begin working you way back up the “waterfall” to your first “know it” pile. Go here for more details on how to use the waterfall method.


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Magoosh GRE Vocabulary Flashcards

Available for iPhoneAndroid, and desktop, Magoosh’s GRE vocab flashcards are a popular study tool for mastering hundreds of high-frequency GRE vocab quickly and easily. The app is one of the most robust GRE vocab apps available for free and currently has a 4+-star rating.



  • This app contains an incredible 1,000+ GRE vocab words. Each card consists of a word, its definition, its part of speech, and an example sentence. Some cards even offer alternate meanings of common words, which is particularly useful for the GRE.
  • GRE vocab words are presented in a logical manner — 50-card decks slowly progress from easy to difficult.
  • You don’t need a Magoosh account to use the app. That said, if you make an account, you can sync all of your progress to the desktop version.



  • There is no pronunciation guide for vocab words. (Even though you don’t technically need to know how to pronounce words for the GRE, it seems strange to learn a new word without knowing how to say it aloud.)
  • The app sporadically inserts “Magoosh” as a vocab word, which is annoying and can easily break your concentration.


How to Use This Resource

Magoosh’s vocab cards are a convenient resource for those who don’t have time to make their own vocab flashcards and want the option to study both on the go and at home. It’s also great for those looking to master more than your typical 300-400 high-frequency word lists.


One important part of studying for the GRE is having the ability to foc—wait a minute, is this dictionary even in English?



A free gaming website, as well as an app available for iPhone and Android, Cram offers tons of GRE vocab lists users can study through digital flashcards and games. You can also create and share your own vocab decks.



  • You can opt for a pre-made deck or customize your study sessions by creating your own vocab decks.
  • Jewels of Wisdom is a colorful and interactive matching gameperfect for learning and retaining GRE vocab. In this game, your task is to match jewels (vocab words) to their corresponding inscriptions (definitions) as fast and as accurately as you can.



  • Many pre-made GRE vocab decks are old or low quality.
  • Stellar Speller is a completely irrelevant game that requires you to spell vocab words based on given definitions. This kind of game doesn’t really teach you anything worthwhile, as you’re not required to spell vocab words on the GRE.



On these kinds of websites, I recommend making your own GRE vocab deck. This way you can customize how many words, as well as which words, you want to learn. If you’d rather opt for a pre-made list of words, decks based on well-known prep companies are generally a safe bet.

Once you have a deck, use the flashcard feature to begin learning the words. Finally, challenge yourself with the Jewels of Wisdom game. You’ll know you’re getting the hang of your words once you’re consistently beating your high scores on the game.


Compete against yourself, but still leave everyone else in the dust.



Similar to Cram, Quizlet allows users to submit, study, and share content in the form of flashcards and games. In terms of the GRE, this website is an excellent option for learning vocab.



  • Like Cram, you can either create your own GRE vocab lists or work with a pre-made deck.
  • There’s a fun game called Match in which you drag vocab words to their corresponding definitions. The faster you complete the game, the higher up on the leaderboard you’ll move.



  • There are several sparse or low-quality decks.
  • Words and definitions often overlap in Match, making it difficult to drag the objects and make matches quickly.
  • A slightly more interactive and colorful game called Gravity is available, but its mechanics do little to help you memorize vocab efficiently. To do well on the game, you need to memorize exact definitions of vocab words, but such a structure bears little resemblance to the GRE.


How to Use This Resource

It’s best to create your own GRE vocab deck so you can customize your content to your liking. But if you’d rather use a pre-made vocab list, I suggest searching for GRE vocab decks based on well-known GRE prep companies, such as Kaplan or The Princeton Review.

To study, use the flashcard feature to familiarize yourself with the words before moving on to Match.




The Best Free Resources for GRE Content Review

Lastly, we introduce to you our picks for the best free GRE content review to help you brush up on those pesky math, reading, and wiritng skills that you haven’t used in a while.


Argument Essay Topics and Issue Essay Topics

These two pools cover every single one of the official “Analyze an Argument” and “Analyze an Issue” essay topics eligible for the Analytical Writing measure of the GRE. In other words, both of your test-day Analytical Writing prompts will come from these pools, guaranteed!



  • These essay pools contain all of the actual Analytical Writing prompts (word for word!) you can encounter on the GRE (though you’ll only get one of each on test day).



  • There are so many potential essay topics that it’s impractical to try to write essays for each one.


How to Use This Resource

Don’t bother writing mock essays for every single possible prompt there are simply far too many! But do use a lot of the prompts to practice writing your outlines and to get a feel for what kinds of strategies will get you the Analytical Writing score you need.

You can also pay $20 for the ScoreItNow! Analytical Writing scoring service, which grades mock essays using the same e-rater automated scoring system the GRE uses.


You can have too many essay topics, but you can never have too many M&Ms.


ETS Mathematical Conventions PDF

A free official resource, the ETS Mathematical Conventions PDF offers definitions for and examples of all basic math conventions, symbols, and rules you’ll encounter on Quant.



  • This PDF is helpful for those who’d like a quick refresher of basic math symbols and terms, or who are unfamiliar with American math conventions.
  • It clarifies what assumptions you can and cannot make in regard to certain math concepts. For example, you may not assume that two lines are parallel unless the relationship is explicitly stated. On the other hand, you may assume that a straight-looking line is straight.



  • The document is basically just a wall of text and is somewhat difficult to read.
  • Most of the info is pretty basic. You likely covered all of these conventions in high school or earlier.


How to Use This Resource

While you don’t need to spend tons of time on this particular resource, it can give you a basic framework with which to begin your math studies. Read the PDF over before attempting any math questions so you’ll know exactly how the GRE presents certain concepts and terms. You can also use this resource for clarification on a certain math convention or symbol.


What we all wish GRE math looked like.


ETS Math Review PDF

Another official Quant-related resource, the ETS Math Review explains all of the major math concepts that can appear on the GRE. The 102-page PDF addresses all possible math topics, formulas, and concepts in Quant’s four major categories: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.



  • This is an official list of all possible GRE math topics, so you know for certain what type of math can appear on the GRE — as well as what type of math is certain not to appear (such as trigonometry).
  • It teaches you various math concepts you might’ve forgotten or haven’t worked with in a while by giving examples and sample questions.
  • It’s well organized and easy to skim.



  • Explanations tend to gloss over key concepts and don’t focus enough on how you should approach problems on the GRE. As a result, it’s difficult to learn all major GRE math concepts from scratch using this resource alone.
  • Exercises are fairly simple and not at all like the questions you’ll face on Quant. In other words, there are no Quantitative Comparisons, Numeric Entry questions, or GRE-style multiple-choice questions.


How to Use This Resource

This PDF is ideal for reviewing major math concepts, but don’t rely on it for additional practice questions unless you’re specifically looking for easy questions to help you understand a concept better. You can also use it to verify whether a certain type of math will be on the GRE.


You can also learn GRE math through videos. But, sadly, not cat videos.


Khan Academy

An ETS-approved resource, Khan Academy is a free learning website specializing in instructional videos. Although the website doesn’t directly address the GRE in its videos, it harbors a large stockpile of GRE-related math videos centering on topics such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.



  • As I mentioned, ETS highly recommends this website as a Quant resource and even provides direct links to relevant math lessons.
  • Videos are high quality and easy to follow, with robust explanations and a logical progression of concepts. Test takers should be able to learn most GRE math concepts from scratch using these videos.
  • Each video includes a full-length video transcript, which is helpful for skimming content.



  • Some of the lessons ETS recommends may discuss math concepts you won’t encounter on the GRE, such as trigonometry.
  • There are no videos targeting GRE Verbal skills.


How to Use This Resource

To use this resource effectively, watch videos in the order they’re listed on the ETS website. This way, you’ll slowly build a foundation of GRE math, starting with the basics and working your way up to more complicated topics. I suggest using scratch paper to follow along with the videos.

Once you’ve completed a video, choose any of the above resources for free practice GRE questions and test what you’ve learned.




How to Save Money on the GRE: 4 Essential Tips

At a whopping $205, the GRE is a pretty expensive test — and this doesn’t even include all of the money you could wind up spending on GRE study materials! In addition to taking advantage of the free GRE resources we’ve detailed above, here are four ways you can cut costs on the GRE and GRE prep.


#1: Make a GRE Reservation and Stick With It

One of the easiest ways to save money on GRE fees is to refrain from making any changes to your GRE registration. In other words, take plenty of time before registering for the GRE to pinpoint a time, date, and test center that’ll work for you with a nearly 100 percent guarantee.

Why is this a big deal? ETS charges a $50 fee for any changes you make to your date or test center. ETS also doesn’t offer full refunds for canceling a GRE session ahead of time (at most, you’ll get a 50 percent refund). So if your ultimate goal is to save money, choose a date and test center and stick with them.

However, if you absolutely must change your reservation, you’ll lose less money rescheduling than you would canceling and re-registering.


#2: Use Your 4 Free Score Reports

At the end of the GRE, you may send GRE scores to up to four score recipients at no extra cost. (The four free score reports are not technically free but are included in the total GRE fee.) Since additional score reports cost $27 per score recipient, I strongly recommend using your four free score reports on test day to help minimize your costs.

Obviously, if you’re applying to more than four schools that require GRE scores, you’ll have to pay extra no matter what — but you can spend significantly less by using your four free score reports on test day.


Have some balance in your life: save money on the GRE by eating only potatoes for a week.


#3: Borrow Prep Books

Another tip is to pay a visit to your local library. There, you can look for GRE prep books or textbooks on GRE-related topics, such as geometry and reading comprehension. I suggest searching first for The Official Guide to the GRE General Test as well as any books on our list of the best GRE prep books.

Additionally, you should always look for recently published books (the GRE changed significantly in 2011, so 2012 or later is best). If you can’t find any GRE-related books at your library, see if you can request to have one sent there.


#4: Hire a Tutor to Help With Any Major Weaknesses

If, in the end, you’re still having lots of trouble with certain GRE concepts, consider hiring a tutor — but only for a few hours or so. Tutors obviously aren’t free, but hiring someone to teach you only the GRE concepts you’re struggling with can ultimately save you both time and frustration.

Just be sure to spend your money wisely. What I mean is, get a tutor who will show you how to master a specific GRE concept instead of the entire GRE. Then, once you’ve learned whatever skill you needed to know, you can end your tutoring lessons (unless there’s another topic you’d like help on). This way you’re receiving only the GRE guidance you need and aren’t wasting cash on unnecessary tutoring sessions.


What’s Next?

Want more GRE resources? Browse our extensive collection of free online GRE practice tests and check out our guides to the best GRE math practice and Verbal practice you can get!

Need help securing a good GRE score? Follow our step-by-step guide on how to pass the GRE!

Preparing for a GRE retake? Try our #1 GRE score improvement tip, so you, too, can get the GRE scores you need for grad school!

Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?

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Author: Hannah Muniz

Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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