Magoosh GRE Review: An Affordable Study Guide

Are you looking to foolproof your future by acing your GRE?

Good news because preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has been made easy thanks to all GRE prep course options available in the market today. Magoosh GRE, for instance, has elevated the level of the learning experience of post graduate students by providing flexible, always-accessible, and at the same budget-friendly GRE prep course. 

That being said, my in-depth Magoosh GRE review could help you see whether the test prep provider is the right GRE course for you.

Let’s start?

What is Magoosh GRE?

Magoosh GRE is a test prep course developed specifically for those who plan to take Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It is among the many courses being offered by Magoosh Inc.— digital test preparation and study abroad counseling company—for postgraduates who wish to attend graduate school.

Magoosh GRE course is also known as one of the most affordable courses available in the market today. In fact, students can access its 6-month exclusive premium plan for only $179. The GRE exam preparation course also claims to provide flexible GRE courses that can be customized according to the student’s liking.

In addition, Magoosh was founded way back in 2009 by two students named Vikram Shenoy and Pejman Pour-Moezzi. It then entered GRE in 2011 and has continued since then.

What does it offer?

Magoosh GRE consists of numerous study features as well as materials to elevate its students’ learning experience. Using it, for instance, students need not attend in-person or online classes since the test prep company provides on-demand video lectures that users can access and watch whenever they want.

In other words, Magoosh lets you learn at your own pace without the pressure of the traditional classroom.

When it comes to its materials, on the other hand, Magoosh GRE’s content revolves mainly around three topics: math (quantitative reasoning), AWA (analytical writing), and verbal reasoning.

For the materials and other perks, Magoosh GRE supplies the following:

  • Practice tests
  • Practice questions
  • On-demand expert video lessons
  • Custom study schedules
  • Score predictor

It is best to take note that Magoosh GRE’s course is not like the “traditional curriculum.” And if there is one word that best suits it, it would be the term “library.”

Essentially, the Magoosh study program serves more like a library of GRE topics and problems. Each lesson covers a certain topic and follows one structure: module, lecture videos, and written tests.

It means that each topic is covered in one module, and inside each module there are one or two lecture videos covering an expounded explanation of the subject. And along with that is a short practice test to, of course, help you see whether you improved or not.

How does it differ?

Magoosh is, generally, similar to other GRE course providers. However, I noticed it shares a few aspects that I believe separates it apart from its competitors.

These are:

  • Cost-effective. As I have mentioned, Magoosh GRE course is known primarily for its budget-friendly plans. Its course plans cost just a fraction of what other GRE test prep courses—like Princeton and Kaplan—offer.

    Yet, at the same time, it provides almost the same quality and quantity of studying materials other known GRE course providers give.
  • Provides mobile application. Unlike its rivals, Magoosh comes with an application (which I will discuss in detail later in the next section) that users can access through their smartphones or tablets. It includes several study materials including flashcards and practice tests.
  • On-demand lecture videos. The test prep course also provides on-demand lecture videos that users can watch/rewatch whenever they wish. With Magoosh, students need not follow a fixed schedule. Hence, its flexibility.
  • No live classes. Since what it offers are pre-recorded lecture videos, the test provider does not conduct in-person or online classes. Pretty much one of the reasons why it is relatively cheaper compared to its competitors.

Magoosh GRE’s ideal students

The test prep course, although created generally for everyone, has a number of target audiences that are well-suited to use the program. Having said that, below are a few types of students that I believe suit Magoosh’s features and perks.

1.  Students who prefer self-study. One of the most crucial aspects that I noticed in Magoosh is that it is much more efficient for people whose liking lean towards self-studying. The prep test does not offer many guides compared to others. It does not offer plans with private tutors as well.

Hence, you must be disciplined and committed. And if you are the type of person who likes things being explained rather than analyzed on your own, I suggest you reconsider Magoosh.

2.  Busy professionals. I also find Magoosh suitable for busy professionals who are planning to go to graduate school. As mentioned, students need not attend in-person or online classes. Magoosh does not give a fixed study schedule for its students too.

Hence, they have the freedom to study at their pace too.

3.  Students who prefer cheap study guides. Since the GRE examination prep provider sells its study program for an extremely low price, it is undoubtedly a great option for students who are struggling financially.

The pros & cons

To help you weigh things further, I enumerated down below some of Magoosh GRE’s perks as well as disadvantages.

The pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Universally accessible and flexible
  • User-oriented and intuitive interface
  • Quality study materials
  • Valuable resources

The cons

  • Fewer practice tests
  • Low-quality and time-consuming videos
  • No books
  • Lacks guidance

Magoosh GRE review: everything you need to know

Now that you have an idea of what Magoosh GRE looks like on the surface, let us continue to dive further and take a closer look at what it can offer.

Magoosh’s features & benefits

Magoosh GRE shares a few features that stand out among the rest which I believe is also what separates the test prep company from other providers. That being said, in this section of Magoosh GRE review, I will discuss in detail each of its features, plans, and pricing, as well as its customer support.

Let’s dive in.

Accessibility and flexibility

While all GRE exam preparation courses guarantee a flexible and accessible study system, the way Magoosh developed its system has elevated the learning experience of many, especially working students and busy professionals.

That is because if compared to other GRE test prep companies, Magoosh provides the most flexible study system in the industry today.

Essentially, Magoosh GRE a) does not give a fixed study schedule and is b) all-digital. Simply put, it means students need not attend in-person classes and that they have the freedom to study at their own pace—a very inconvenient approach for professionals who are planning to attend graduate school while working.

Instead, students will only need to watch lecture videos through Magoosh’s online platform (which I will explain in detail in the next section). Moreover, all these videos are on-demand which essentially enables users to watch and rewatch the lectures whenever they want.

But what truly caught my attention is Magoosh’s mobile application.

Yes, you read that right. The GRE prep provider has a mobile app acting as a supplemental resource together with its main platform, which is the online web course. Another ingenious solution for busy working students who are often on the move as it gives them the freedom to take their study wherever they go

On top of that, it is packed with valuable resources too—such as verbal flashcards—to further help users with their studies. The app is also available both for iOS and Android users and is responsive to all types of devices.

Quality study materials

It is already a given that a GRE test prep program needs to have quality study materials. Magoosh GRE, fortunately, did not fall short on that part. Its collection of lecture videos, for instance, is a great tool to help students understand the topic further.

Each video, for example, shows how to solve a certain mathematical problem which is shown on a digital whiteboard. A voice-over (which I believe acts as the instructor) will narrate or explain how to solve the problem too instead of “real teachers” that other GRE test prep companies have.

I would also like to add the format of the videos resembles a PowerPoint slideshow.

But what is truly remarkable is that all these videos are on-demand. It means you can watch it whenever you want. No fixed school, unlike the traditional classroom setting. Each video comes with a full transcript too

But the question is, would such material be enough to help you with your studies?

Personally, I think the quality of its lecture videos is decent enough, especially with Magoosh’s market price. On the one hand, it is still obvious how average the material is when it comes to standard if compared to other lecture videos prepared by other GRE test providers

On the flip side, when it comes to practice tests (which I will discuss more in the next section), each lesson comes with a short practice of five to ten problems. Magoosh provides three full-length practice tests as well.

Customized study options

Magoosh was acknowledged for its versatility in terms of providing help to postgraduate students. And it was not only because the GRE program is all-digital. But because its features are highly customizable as well.

Yes, you read that right. Some of its features can be tailored according to your preferences. And hese features are:

1.  Tailored practice tests. Surprisingly, Magoosh GRE’s practice tests can be personalized to suit your preferences and needs. Students, for instance, can opt what type of problem they want to study. The same goes for the number of problems they want to solve.

Aside from that, students can also choose the problems’ difficulty level and category between the following:

  • Practice test mode where explanations are shown in detail;
  • And quiz mode where explanations are not shown.

2.  Personalized dashboard. Another highly customizable feature of Magoosh is its dashboard (which I will discuss more later). Essentially, the feature changes its layout every time you progress in your studies.

The update depends on your improvements as well, and automatically gives a customized update of your overall performance. Such updates include data of your average score, a summary of your exams’ results, and parts that need improvement.

3.  Note section. As its name suggests, this feature allows you to digitally record notes (about your studies, of course) so you can review them later.

User-friendly dashboard

Another feature that I commend highly about Magoosh is that—being an all-digital GRE test prep program—it is recognized for having a seamless user experience. It is because Magoosh’s web platform is known to have both a user-oriented and intuitive user interface.

One example is its dashboard.

If you navigate through it, you will notice that its overall design is simple, neat, and uncomplicated that even non-techy folks would understand it easily. You can jump from one page to another without having difficulty too as all links can be easily seen.

It has a feature called “Quick Practice” as well which students can access and use if they want to test themselves. And take note that the test lasts for three seconds only!

Apart from that, it also has a score tracker that students can use to keep records and oversee improvements. The feature comes with comparison data too so you can see how you are doing compared to your peers.

But despite being “simple,” Magoosh’s dashboard is also remarkably professional-looking given its neat aesthetic. All in all, it serves seamless navigation. 

Flashcards and other valuable resources

It is expected that for a budget-friendly GRE prep course such as Magoosh GRE, the resources are typically low in numbers. But, surprisingly, Magoosh has put an end to such a notion because it offers not only one but a great selection of supplemental resources.

These include the following:

  • Vocabulary flashcards
  • Vocabulary builder
  • Math flashcards
  • Study schedules
  • Test tips
  • Regularly updated blog

It is also good to note that some of the said resources—vocabulary and math flashcards, for example—are included in Magoosh’s mobile app.

Student support

Magoosh has also come up with the idea of a support system that is remarkably similar to customer service. But instead of a product or service-related inquiries, it is about the topics included in the GRE course.

Essentially, Magoosh’s student support system is a feature wherein students can reach out 24/7 to any representatives from Magoosh’s team of in-house experts using email—a convenient and quick resolve in case users encountered difficulties.

If, say, you are having difficulty understanding a certain topic or solving a certain problem, you can then ask for assistance from Magoosh’s team.

But what is truly remarkable about it is that these are not just “representatives,” but are professionals and experts in their respective fields. Response time is not fast, but it does not take too long as well. Typically, inquiries are answered in not more than 24 hours.

On the flip side, the answers are pretty satisfying and in detail. In fact, I find this feature quite a substitute for direct or private tutoring, which Magoosh does not provide. The only difference is that student support is FREE.

Magoosh plans & pricing

Magoosh GRE study programs come in very straightforward and simple packages. In fact, it only offers only two plans: a1-month premium plan and a 6-month premium plan.

Below is a brief breakdown of each plan:

1.  1-month premium plan. For a price of $149, subscribers will receive whole month access to Magoosh’s exclusive package of the GRE study program. I find it a great deal—and absolute steal—given its exceptionally low price.

Why, you ask?

That is because the program comes with comprehensive coverage of Math, AWA, and verbal topics. Other materials include full access to all its lecture videos, minimum of three practice tests, and more than 1, 400 practice questions.

It also comes with a variety of study features such as score predictor and ask-an-expert. And if, for instance, you are busy and you wish to pause your plan for a week or so, you can activate it using Magoosh’s pause-plan feature.

2.  6-month premium plan. Magoosh also offers a 6-month premium plan which is almost identical if you compared it to its 1-month plan. For example, it gives full access to Magoosh’s exclusive GRE package too. It comes with all the materials and study features listed in the 1-month plan as well.

The only difference is that you can get it at a very affordable price of $179 and full access for six months—a much cheaper offer if compared to the first program. And, I would choose it over single month access only.

Moreover, Magoosh also guarantees a few money-related policies. It has a 7-day refund policy, for example, wherein students can get their money back if they want to drop their subscription before the seven-day period expires. The test prep company also promises a 5-point score increase guarantee after taking its GRE test preparation course.

Magoosh GRE accepts payments through numerous methods too. These include payments through PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Things to take note of

Even though Magoosh has the cheapest GRE program in the industry today, it is also a fact that it is not all roses. In fact, after examining its contents, I discovered that it lacks a few aspects too.

Although it is good to take note that these things do not heavily affect nor downgrade the GRE prep course’s overall quality. Still, I believe these lapses could help elevate Magoosh’s quality as a GRE test preparation provider.  

Having said that, I enumerated below the things you need to take note of to help weigh things better.

1.  Fewer practice tests. Magoosh may have quality practice tests. However, when it comes to quality, the GRE exam prep provider falls short.

Magoosh GRE offers three full-length practice tests only, quite a few if compared to other GRE test prep companies. Princeton Review, for example, offers eight full-length practice tests and leads the highest number of practice tests.

It is quite a drawback for students who prefer to take several tests in order to assure their knowledge. But for those who do not need a lot, I think three full-length is enough to see if they improved or not.

2.  No books and live classes. Another thing to take note of about Magoosh is its absence of both in-person and live online classes as well as free physical books. Apparently, these two are not included in the GRE prep course packages.

It is not much of a surprise since the GRE course provided clearly stated that its services are all-digital. I also like to add that such an aspect is, in fact, one of Magoosh’s best features. However, I know that there are folks who still prefer reading hardbound books.

The same goes with the absence of in-person and online classes too since all lectures are pre-recorded. And again, this is one of Magoosh’s best features.

That being said, I believe that the lack of live classes and physical books is also most likely the reason why the GRE test prep course company offers its services at a very low price.

3.  Low-quality and time-consuming videos. Another drawback I noticed about Magoosh is its lecture videos’ quality. If you remember earlier, I mentioned that quality is of average only and the format looks pretty much like a PowerPoint slideshow.

4.  It lacks guidance. Another you should take note of is Magoosh GRE’s lack of guidance. But it does not necessarily translate that it does not provide quality modules and practice tests.

What it means is that the whole course is self-guided and without a tutor. In other words, you need to learn everything on your own.

Although Magoosh has a student support feature that students can utilize if they encountered difficulties concerning their studies. Its team of representatives is guaranteed professionals and experts in their field as well.

The verdict

Do I recommend Magoosh GRE?

If you are a professional and busy with work, then I highly recommend it. I find it a great option for busy folks given its flexibility and accessibility. It literally gives you the freedom to decide about your studies as it completely eradicated the pressure—fixed schedules, deadlines, and going to classes both in-person or online, for instance— the traditional classroom setting gives.

I find Magoosh GRE as essentially cost-effective too. Hence, it is an excellent option for individuals who wish to save money yet at the same time want a quality GRE prep course.