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How Much Does the GRE Cost? Adding All Your GRE Fees

If you’re thinking about taking the GRE, remember that the GRE cost includes more than just the test fee, and can be highly personalized. So asking “How much does it cost to take the GRE?” (or more likely, “Why is the GRE so expensive?!”) requires a little more context. Our list of GRE fees will help you figure out what to expect.

The fee just for signing up: $205

No matter what, you will have to pay to take the GRE. So imagine you sign up without cracking open a single GRE book, and head straight to the testing center. You will spend $205. (This amount does not include transportation to and from the testing center, or a much-needed snack two hours into the test.)

That’s assuming everything goes to plan! If you want to change anything about your appointment, the following fees apply:

Rescheduling fee: $50
Changing your test center: $50

Most people opt to do a little more than just sign up for the test, making the cost of GRE prep higher. Check out the infographic below to understand the additional costs you might incur when tackling the GRE.

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infographic on gre costs and fees magoosh

GRE cost for the lean self-studier (Cost: < $20)

You can buy one book and learn quite a bit for less than $20–a good plan if you are a book learner without much money to spend. If you go this route, don’t pick up just any GRE book. Take a look at our GRE book reviews to see which one is worth your study time.

GRE cost for the ambitious self-studier (Cost: $150 – $200)

If you aim to do well, there are a wealth of helpful materials you will want to avail yourself of. I’d recommend the following:

  1. Manhattan GRE: You can choose however many of the eight books you need from their set. You can also access their practice tests online.
  2. Manhattan 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems

Plus:

  1. Barron’s 6 GRE Practice Tests
  2. Clemmonsdogpark Math + Verbal

GRE cost for the classroom plan: Free – $4,000

You can lower the cost of GRE prep considerably with the free classes offered by some colleges. Typically, you have to be enrolled in the college. However, from what I’ve heard the classes have a bare bones approach, at best.

Then, there are MGRE classes for $4,000 a pop. You get access to MGRE material and methods, as well as experienced tutors who’ve scored in the top 1%. There are Kaplan and Princeton Review courses, which are slightly cheaper (neither of which I recommend, based on student feedback over the last 10 years).

GRE cost for a private tutor: $500 – $5,000

If you think the classroom format sounds like a mixed bag, here’s what you can expect from the tutors: Bob, whom you find off of Craigslist for $20/hr, has never taken the GRE, but once took the SAT. He tells you he is really good at math and shows you all his “tricks.”

Then there is a tutor with 15 years’ experience, who lives and breathes the GRE, has hundreds of glowing testimonials, and writes his/her own test questions (incidentally, you also found this tutor on Craigslist). Of course the latter tutor may cost you as much as $150/hr. Private tuition offered through MGRE or Kaplan can be even more expensive.

GRE cost for a class + private tutor: $2,000 to $9,000

If you are very ambitious—and have very deep pockets—then this final path may describe you. To be frank, despite the cost, this plan doesn’t always bear fruit. I have heard of students spending upwards of $6,000, only to have their scores move up by a single increment or two.

Yet if you really need to get a high score, and you notice that you are continually improving over the months, then this plan might make sense.

Ultimately, you have to see what works for you, so your GRE fees are up to you. I’d still recommend the self-study route first. If that doesn’t cut it, and you find yourself studying an hour a week, then look into a class or tutor. At that point though, expect to pay a lot more.

Additional GRE Resources

  • This post is part of a series of GRE articles aimed at helping you start your GRE prep and stay motivated throughout the process. You can access all of these articles on or offline using the GRE Prep App:

GRE study app for android and iphone

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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