The 11 Best Free Online GRE Practice Tests

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There are tons of online GRE practice tests, quizzes, and questions out there. But how do you find them? And how do you know if a GRE online practice test is high-quality and worth your time?

In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes the best GRE practice test online resources and then provide a comprehensive list of everything out there. We’ll tell you which resources to use and which ones to avoid. We’ll close out with some recommendations on using free online GRE practice tests and questions in your prep.

 

How to Find the Best GRE Online Practice Test for You

The best GRE online practice tests and questions are those that are the most like the real GRE. This is because practicing with resources just like the GRE gives you the closest experience you can have to actually taking the test! Thus, you’ll be better prepared on your actual test day.

However, here are some very important features to look out for in when assessing a GRE practice test online:

  • Same format/question types as the GRE: This is one of the most important aspects to useful GRE online practice tests. The GRE includes some unique question types (like sentence equivalence and quantitative comparison) that take practice to get used to. Online practice tests that are only simple multiple choice can be a good way to practice content and concepts, but they aren’t nearly as useful to help you get familiar with the actual testing experience.
  • Similar language: Many online GRE practice tests have a key weakness: their questions (and their passages) don’t sound like real GRE questions and passages. The real GRE has a very specific way of phrasing questions that can take some getting used to. This is especially salient for the Verbal section, where the actual test uses pretty high-level, dense academic language for both passages and sentences. But many online GRE practice materials use sentences about fairly mundane things like going to baseball practice, and there are frequently not enough science-themed passages (a staple of the real GRE). Thus, good practice materials will really feel like the GRE because they will use similar language for questions and similar language and content for passages.
  • Appropriate difficulty: Obviously, there’s a range of difficulty in real GRE questions, but you want good practice material to have about the same difficulty as the real GRE overall. We’ll address this when we rate online resources below, but if you’re familiar with the difficulty of official ETS practice tests, you’ll be able to tell if questions seem way too easy or crazily difficult.

 

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If it’s a piece of cake, it’s probably not quite hard enough.

 

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  • Same section lengths/number: This isn’t essential for useful practice of a specific question type or section, but if you are taking complete practice tests, you really want them to have the right number of questions per section, the right distribution of questions per section, and the right number and order of sections. Otherwise it’s not really a complete practice test, it’s just a long session of somewhat random practice questions.
  • Computer-based with similar interface: There are high-quality downloadable PDFs of paper practice tests, but to really mimic the GRE experience, you want your test to be computer-based and have a similar interface as the GRE.
  • Section adaptive: The very best GRE practice materials will be section adaptive, like the real GRE. This means that the difficulty of your second Verbal and Quant sections will be determined by how you do on the first ones.
  • Answer explanations: Ideally, practice tests will have robust answer explanations to help you figure out exactly where you went wrong on wrong answers, and to help you verify that you really understand how to solve the problem for your right answers.

Of course, all of this means that the absolute best GRE practice materials come from ETS, the makers of the GRE. They use real GRE questions and question styles, and their complete practice tests come in the appropriate format. We’ve gathered all the official ETS practice materials for you in the next section.

 

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It’s our gift to you.

 

Official GRE Online Practice Tests and Questions

Since the best GRE online practice test resources are official ETS material, we’ve gathered all of the official online tests and questions here.

 

PowerPrep

PowerPrep is ETS’ GRE practice software that you can download for free from their website, and it is the gold standard for GRE practice tests. It has two complete, timed practice tests and additional practice questions.

 

Pros:

  • Since these are official GRE practice tests, they have the same format and question types as the real GRE, similar language, and the right difficulty level!
  • The computer-based interface is just like the one you will encounter on test day. This will help you get as familiar as possible with every aspect of the test experience.
  • PowerPrep is section adaptive—an unusual feature for GRE practice tests!

 

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, as is common with ETS practice test resources, there aren’t answer explanations—just a key.
  • You can’t get Analytical Writing scores from this software.

 

How To Use This Resource:

I recommend that you use one PowerPrep test to set your baseline—to figure out your initial score starting place at the beginning of your prep. This will also help you figure out your exact weaknesses (based on what questions you missed) to target as you study. I recommend that you use the other test as your final practice test before you take the actual test, as it will help make sure an accurate GRE practice experience is fresh in your mind before you take the test and give you the most accurate estimate of how much you’ve improved from your baseline.

 

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PowerPrep: the most nutritious, best, post-workout recovery bever—oh, wait, that’s a totally different thing.

 

ETS Paper Tests

ETS also offers two free paper-based practice tests for download. However, they have a lot of overlap with the PowerPrep tests, so they aren’t really completely new tests. You can get the first practice test from 2011 and a more recent paper practice test from 2012. These paper test booklets each also have a few practice questions with explanations you can try at the beginning.

 

Pros:

  • Like the PowerPrep tests, these tests are official. This means they have the right format and question types, the same kind of language in questions and passages, and a similar difficulty level as the real GRE.

 

Cons:

  • As mentioned, there’s overlap with the PowerPrep tests, so these aren’t really completely new tests.
  • Since these are paper tests, they aren’t section-adaptive, and you won’t get the experience of taking the test through the GRE’s computer interface.
  • Additionally, you’ll need to time yourself for each section, since there’s no software to do it for you.
  • There are no answer explanations—just an answer key.

 

How to Use This Resource:

Because these have a lot of overlap with PowerPrep, which is a more authentic GRE prep experience if you’re taking the computer-based GRE, I advise focusing on PowerPrep as your official practice test source. However, once you’ve used PowerPrep, you can cannibalize these tests for some additional official practice questions since there’s not 100% overlap. However, if you are taking the paper-based GRE, you can use these as complete practice tests since that will be more like your complete testing experience than PowerPrep.

 

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And when you’re done, you can use it for kindling! So versatile.

 

Sample ETS Questions

The ETS website offers sample questions for each question type of both sections. Look for the Verbal Reasoning questions of each type from this page and the Quantitative Reasoning sample questions of each type from this page.

 

Pros:

  • These questions are in the same format and use the same language and difficulty level as real GRE questions.
  • There are pretty good answer explanations for these practice questions.

 

Cons:

  • There’s just a few questions for each question type—it’s not a very robust resource, but it’s good for some quick practice and to quickly get exposed to unfamiliar question types.

 

How to Use This Resource:

These questions are a great way to get some initial exposure to GRE question types. To that end, I advise going through these questions as one of the very first, if not the first, things you do when you start prepping. It’s a great idea to use these to get familiar with all of the GRE’s question formats before you take your first complete practice test to establish your baselines.

 

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Samples: not very filling, but better than nothing.

 

Analytical Writing Topic Bank

You can access the entire pool of “Analyze an Issue” and “Analyze an Argument” topics on the ETS website. Your prompts on test day will be drawn from these pools!

 

Pros:

  • These are real GRE essay topics, so looking at these is a great way to get familiar with the kinds of prompts you are going to see on the actual exam.

 

Cons:

  • Because you have access to the entire pool, it can get a little overwhelming. Don’t try to read all the questions in detail—just skim to get an idea of patterns and themes.
  • Also, without someone to reliably score any practice essays you do, it can be hard to know if you’re on the right track for the Analytical Writing section, even with access to all these topics! You can, however, purchase the ScoreItNow! Service from ETS to get professional feedback on your Analytical Writing practice.

 

How to Use This Resource:

I recommend skimming the topic banks for real GRE essay topics, and then selecting a few to write quick outlines for to help you practice getting ready for the test on the fly. You can do additional timed run-throughs of the Analytical Writing section beyond your PowerPrep tests with these prompts, too, but you’ll need to self-time.

 

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Do you feel rich yet?

 

The Best Unofficial GRE Online Practice Tests

While ETS is the gold standard, there are also some pretty high-quality unofficial tests available for free from some test-prep companies. These are the best ones out there:

 

Manhattan Prep Free Practice Test

You’ll need to register for a free Manhattan Prep GRE account to be able to access this practice test, but it’s the best GRE online practice test out there (after official ETS resources, of course).

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Pros:

  • The default options for this test have the correct format, section order, and timing.
  • The questions mimic the language, feel and difficulty level of actual GRE questions—although some students think the Manhattan practice test may actually be slightly harder than the real GRE. There’s also an accurate distribution of question types within sections.
  • The computer interface is pretty similar in function to the actual GRE computer interface.
  • Answer explanations are very robust.
  • You can “customize timing,” which means you can give yourself more time if you want. I don’t really recommend doing this if you are trying to get realistic practice, however, if you are going to be testing with increased time accommodations, you can set those accommodations for this Manhattan practice test.

 

Cons:

  • The bright green bar at the top of the computer interface is a little bit distracting.
  • This test doesn’t seem to be section-adaptive.
  • You have to make a Manhattan Prep GRE account to access the test.

 

How to Use This Resource:

After official ETS materials, this is the best free online GRE practice test out there—so if you’re looking for more complete practice tests beyond the official ones available for free, this is where you should go first. You could also use this as practice for a specific section (Verbal or Quant) and just skip the others if you wanted.

 

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If practice tests were dogs, this one would be a very good dog.

 

Kaplan Free Practice Test

Although not quite as good as the Manhattan test, this is another excellent free online GRE practice test. You have to make an account with Kaplan to be able to access this test. You’ll need to add the item to your cart and check out—but don’t worry, you won’t need to pay or enter any payment information. After that, you’ll have a couple of weeks to access your free test from your Kaplan account homepage.

 

Pros:

  • This free online GRE practice test has the right number, order, format, and timing of sections, and the right types and distribution of questions.
  • The computer-delivered interface is very similar to the one you will see on the GRE, with mark and review features, a timer in the corner, and even similar colors and fonts!
  • Questions do a good job mimicking real GRE questions in their language and difficulty.
  • After you complete the test, you can get a fairly robust analysis of how you did compared to others on the different sections and questions.

 

Cons:

  • You need to sign up for an account with Kaplan to access the test. I guess nothing in life is truly free!
  • Answer explanations are pretty brief. It’s better than nothing, but may still leave you confused.
  • The calculator pops up right in the middle of the screen, which is annoying.
  • As far as I was able to find out, this test is not section-adaptive.
  • There are no analytical writing scores; you have to pay extra for that.

 

How to Use This Resource:

If you need even more complete practice tests beyond the official ETS ones and the Manhattan Review test, go here next. You can also focus on just one section (Verbal or Quant) and skip the others if that fits better with your prep plan.

 

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This practice test would be a slightly less good dog, but still quite a good dog overall.

 

Kaplan GRE Workout and GRE Pop Quiz

These quizzes from Kaplan’s website offer a brief selection of sample questions for both Verbal and Quant.

 

Pros:

  • Questions are high-quality, with an appropriate difficulty level and the right style of language.
  • Answer explanations are very thorough and robust.
  • Kaplan shows how you performed on these quizzes compared to other people.

 

Cons:

  • You need to give Kaplan your e-mail address to be able to access the question explanations.
  • There’s no calculator for the math questions.
  • Not every question type is represented in these quizzes.

 

How to Use This Resource:

Because the assortment of questions is pretty random, you can’t really use these quizzes for any kind of targeted practice of your weaknesses. However, they are pretty good practice questions, and the answer explanations are good, so they are a valuable exercise for an early study session.

 

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These mini-resources would be a very small dogs. But still good dogs!

 

OK Unofficial GRE Online Practice Tests

Here are some practice GRE online resources you could consider using if you are looking for more online GRE prep:

 

West Texas A&M Virtual GRE Math Lab

A West Texas A&M math professor helpfully made this GRE math practice website. It includes two GRE math practice tests. The questions are great, but some of the information is outdated, so read our info on how best to use this resource carefully!

 

Pros:

  • There’s a great variety of well-written, appropriate-difficulty GRE quant practice questions in a variety of content areas here.
  • Explanations are quite robust and also include links to content review for the relevant principles.

 

Cons:

  • There are no free-response or multi-answer multiple choice questions—only regular multiple-choice and quantitative comparison.
  • Each of the practice tests is designed to be 28 questions, which doesn’t really track with the actual GRE, for which quant is two 20-question subsections.
  • You’ll notice that the second test is “adaptive.” However, it’s designed to be “question-level” adaptive, not section-level adaptive like the real GRE. This is not necessary and frankly just confusing. I advise ignoring the adaptive aspect and just using the whole second test as a practice question bank.
  • Even though this test is on a web-page, it’s not really computer-based the same way the GRE is. All the questions are just on one long scrolling page (or several pages, for the second test), there’s no calculator, the web page doesn’t record your answers, and there’s no mark and replace function. It’s basically just a paper test that happens to be housed online.

 

How to Use This Resource:

In spite of the fact that it’s not really like the real GRE in format at all, I do think that this is a really good content review resource for Quant. You can just use these practice tests as a question bank for you to test yourself on particular concepts, especially because the explanations are great and tell you what underlying concepts are associated with each question.

 

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It’s BYOA: Bring Your Own Abacus.

 

McGraw-Hill Practice Tests

McGraw-Hill offers one “diagnostic” GRE online practice test (with one Verbal and one Quant section) and six practice tests that have two Verbal and two Quant sections, but no Analytical Writing.

 

Pros:

  • There are a lot of questions here!
  • Timing for Verbal and Quant subsections is correct (30 and 35 minutes for 20 questions each, respectively).
  • Explanations are decent—not extremely thorough, but adequate.

 

Cons:

  • The browser pop-up for actually taking the practice tests doesn’t have a scroll function, so for longer questions and explanations, you’ll need to change the window size or manually zoom out your browser to see everything. (I tried multiple browsers and had this problem in all of them).
  • You can take the sections in any order, but they are listed in the order of Verbal/Verbal/Quant/Quant, which is not correct. Also, there’s not even an option to complete AWA practice sections.
  • There’s no calculator, and no mark & review function, so the computer interface isn’t very accurate to the actual GRE.
  • The questions are a little bit below actual GRE difficulty—this is especially true for math, which is way below actual GRE difficulty.

 

How to Use This Resource:

Because the format is only sort of like the real GRE and the questions are, overall, too easy, I advise you to only use this resource for practice questions if you are really struggling with a particular section. The relative ease of these questions could help you practice as you are learning the skills necessary to work up to harder, GRE-level questions.

 

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A good resource for starting your climb up GRE Mountain.

 

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Varsity Tutors GRE Practice Tests

Varsity Tutors offers a huge number of online GRE practice questions organized into what they call “tests” but are really just small quizzes based on specific skills, for the most part.

 

Pros:

  • Questions are sorted into specific skills. While this isn’t helpful for actual complete practice tests, it does mean that if you want to just focus on a specific question type or skill it’s very easy to do that.
  • Most GRE question types are represented here.
  • You can get statistics on how you did on questions compared to other students, which is helpful for gauging your progress.

 

Cons:

  • These aren’t really formatted or arranged the same way as GRE sections at all; they don’t have any utility for people looking for complete practice tests.
  • Questions are definitely easier than what you’ll see on the real GRE.
  • There’s no calculator or mark & review functions in the computer interface.
  • This is minor, but the answer choices for quantitative comparison questions come in a different order than on the real GRE, so make sure you don’t get used to the wrong order and get tripped up on test day!

 

How to Use This Resource:

Because these questions are easier than actual GRE questions, I would only use them if you are struggling with some of the foundational GRE skills. In this case, these can be a useful resource to help you build up your skills and eventually approach higher-difficulty questions.

 

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And remember: a strong foundation lasts a long time.

 

Avoid These Online GRE Practice Tests

You should definitely avoid these online GRE practice tests and questions, no matter how much you want more practice! These will hurt you more than they will help you.

 

4tests GRE General Practice Exam

Reasons to avoid this resource:

  • The sections and number of questions are totally off—there’s even an outdated “analytical” section with logic problems!
  • Questions are not at all like GRE questions in style and content, and they are far too easy. If you want some easier questions, you’re better off using McGraw-Hill or maybe Varsity Tutors, since those at least have some stylistic resemblance to real GRE questions.

 

GRE Guide Practice Tests and TestPrepPractice.Net Practice Tests

These sites actually use the same questions, so I’m lumping them together.

Reasons to avoid this resource:

  • Questions are far too easy—and even worse, some of them are so poorly written that the correct answer is genuinely ambiguous. This is the worst possible thing for a practice resource, as official GRE questions always have a single correct answer.
  • Questions are not all in the correct format, and there some question styles that the current GRE doesn’t use at all—like analogies.
  • Math notation is bizarre and hard to read.
  • Computer interface has a very distracting spinning timer for each question.

 

MajorTests GRE Prep

Reasons to avoid this resource:

  • Quant questions are far too easy, and mathematical notation is sometimes written in a way that is ambiguous or unclear.
  • Verbal section is even more of a disaster, with actual grammatical errors in sentences and poorly written, ambiguous questions.

 

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We do not approve.

 

Other Great GRE Prep Online

In addition to practice tests and quizzes, there are several other useful GRE prep resources online you may want to use as you study. Here are some of the best:

 

Vocabulary Prep Resources

We offer our own list of 357 essential GRE words to learn. You can also get this list as flashcards and in PDF form!

For making your own flashcards, I highly recommend Quizlet, which lets you make your own online set and then test yourself in a variety of ways.

For improving your in-context vocabulary, read high-level publications like Naturethe Economist, the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and so on.

 

Question of the Day Sites

While they don’t work for targeted prep, it is possible to get value out of GRE Question-of-the-Day sites. See our guide to the best sites (and how to use them in your prep) here.

 

Khan Academy

Khan Academy probably won’t help you a whole lot with the Verbal section, but it’s a great resource for brushing up on your underlying Quant skills. If you know what your weaknesses are, checking out the associated Khan Academy material is a good way to improve your understanding.

 

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“Don’t be silly, Reginald—everyone knows the real treasure is online GRE resources!”

 

Key Takeaways: Where to Find the Best GRE Practice Test Online

There are tons of GRE online practice tests out there. We’ve sifted through them all to let you know which resources are worth your time, and which aren’t!

  • The best free online GRE practice test resources are official ETS practice materials like PowerPrep and their paper practice tests.
  • After that, the best unofficial GRE online practice tests come from Manhattan GRE and Khan Academy.
  • If you just want a questions bank of solid math problems, try the West Texas A&M GRE Math lab.
  • For some targeted practice that’s a little on the easier side, you could try McGraw-Hill practice tests and Varsity Tutors practice quizzes.
  • However, you should avoid lower-quality online GRE resources like 4Tests, GRE Guide, TestPrepPractice.Net, and Majortests. These will just confuse you!

 

What’s Next?

Need even more resources? Check out this complete collection of GRE mock tests, plus recommendations on how to use them. Or try the best Verbal practice you can get and the best Quant practice you can get! We also have a guide to choosing the right GRE prep book for you.

Thinking more about test strategy? See 34 essential tips and strategies you need to know for the GRE and our ultimate GRE study guide.


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Author: Ellen McCammon

Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert. She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics.

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