Last Updated: March 18, 2021

Best Books for GRE Verbal Reasoning

The Graduate Record Examination is divided into three sections namely the Analytical Writing Section, the Verbal Reasoning Section, and the Quantitative Reasoning Section giving the test a duration close to 4 hours. Among the three sections, the Verbal Reasoning Section is considered to be the most formidable, requiring more practice and hard work.

A high score in this section reflects the student's command of the English language and his ability to understand and communicate effectively. To achieve this goal, one has to put a lot of effort into preparation, and the best training comes from choosing the best preparative materials.

8 Best Books to Ace the GRE Verbal Section

1. Manhattan Prep GRE Verbal Strategies

Cost: $34.01
The Manhattan Prep offers different books dedicated to the different sections of the GRE Subject Tests. This set of 8 books includes details for the different sections of the general test. Strategized learning ideas have been provided in the books that will help students achieve their goals without purchasing any new book apart from the eight they offer.

They offer separate books on every section of the GRE Verbal such as Reading Comprehension and Sentence Completion. Each book concentrates on one particular section, so it elaborates on every topic along with more practice questions leading to a better understanding. Additionally, these books tend to have questions that are tougher than normal. Practicing with them makes candidates attempt the official test easily.

2. Gruber’s Complete GRE Guide 2019-2020

Cost: $18.42
This book claims to offer practical strategies and examples along with subject reviews provided in detail. The book also contains practice tests and their explanations. It begins with a diagnostic test which helps the candidate assess their base goal and calculate a realistic goal score toward which they can strive.

It is highly recommended for people who are starting from scratch and are considering self-preparation. This book outlines the GRE Test format and serves as an essential introduction to the Verbal Section and the types of questions asked in each of its sub-sections. It supplies the Baby GRE words and is the best way to begin the preparation.

3. Norman Lewis Word Power Made Easy

Cost: $8.99
The Norman Lewis book focuses on enhancing the vocabulary skills of the student which helps the student not just in cracking the GRE Verbal Reasoning section but also improves their overall communication skills both inside the classroom and in life. The book teaches candidates the ways in which they can communicate both formally and informally and even deals with the minor mistakes people can make in writing spellings.

This book is based on the etymology of the words. Every word comes from a parent word and having this etymological knowledge will help one make intelligent guesses regarding words that appear unfamiliar in the test. It is a shortcut to perfecting one’s Vocabulary. The book contains everything from grammatical rules to methods of checking progress and even quizzes which helps the candidate master the language with detailed study.

4. Barron’s GRE Verbal Workbook

Cost: $7.50
This book begins with a diagnostic test that can help students understand their strengths and weaknesses before even beginning to prepare for the test using the book. There are extensive chapters reviewing the content required for the test. It includes chapters based on sentence equivalence, text completion, and even reading comprehension.

The book also contains 2 full-length practice tests that focus only on the verbal section of GRE. It contains a dictionary for GRE which contains vocabulary and definitions based only on words that are frequently asked in GRE. The book is all about practice than about reviewing the content and hence is an investment in itself.

5. Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions - ETS

Cost: $15.90
The book is a general study guide featuring test questions that are arranged according to their difficulty levels. They also include mixed practice sets to ensure that the candidate can perform equally better once offered with questions of different difficulties one after the other. The questions contain answers and explanations catering to all the confusion that the student might have while attempting the practice tests.

Since the book has been created by ETS, it contains valuable hints and other preparative strategies that are exclusive to them. Along with question-related information, they provide information regarding test content, structure, and scoring. They provide an extensive review of the writing section with writing samples from experts and other sample scored essays.

Reviewers claim that the second edition of the book is similar to the first one and so buying either of the editions won’t make a difference. The books are equally good and worth investing in.

6. Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE - 4th Edition

Cost: $18.26
This book offers over 800 graduate-level words with their definitions which are said to be the words that are frequently asked in the GRE exams. These words are also used in different contexts to show how they can be taken out of the dictionary and placed in real-life contexts. There are tests available at the end of the book which helps the student assess their progress.

The book can also be used along with Barron's Verbal Workbook to prepare for the Test. It concentrates on the questions and words that are frequently observed in the GRE Verbal Section. It is more recommended for people who have to crack the GRE within a short span of time.

7. Kaplan’s GRE Verbal Workbook- 10th Edition

Cost: $17.99
The book contains questions and drills that aim at training students for the GRE Verbal Reasoning section. There are also practice questions that are exclusive to this edition along with six full-length practice tests. The book also includes tips for essay-writing and strategies to clear the Analytical Writing section of GRE.

The book focuses on the key strategies that can be used by students who are even well-versed in the language. This is because the strategies that have been provided are tailor-made for the GRE General Test by experts who have accumulated wisdom over the years. Purchasing the book and preparing for the test by actually using the book increases one's chances of earning at least 6 extra points.

8. Princeton Review’s Verbal Workout for the GRE " 6th Edition

Cost: $15.37
The book contains 250+ practice questions with answers and other detailed explanations. It contains information on topics like sentence completion, reading comprehension, and others. The book also focuses on the Analytical Writing section of GRE and contains prompts for the Argument Task and Issue Task.

The book is suitable mainly for beginners who require clear explanations of answers rather than just the answers in itself. The guidelines provided for maneuvering through the test also contain strategic methods that can be used by the students for the test.

Additional Prep Materials




About GRE - Complete Information


GRE Quantitative



GRE Verbal


GRE Analytical Writing