Why Achievable outperforms other GRE prep courses

Tyler York
Achievable GRE Course

There are many GRE prep books and online courses available – so why use Achievable?

It’s a fair question. We wrote this post to walk you through what we do differently and how we rethought GRE test prep for the 2020s. We’ll share what we learned in our research of other GRE prep courses and the choices we made to improve upon their offerings to help our students reach their target GRE percentiles

Table of Contents:

  1. Building an engine vs. Learning to drive
  2. Ignoring base rates
  3. Limited content
  4. Misrepresenting the difficulty of the test
  5. No individualized writing feedback
  6. Tedious vocabulary building
  7. Validated results

GRE prep courses: where they go wrong

Achievable GRE prep courses

Building an engine vs. Learning to drive

Most test prep companies accept the test at face value. They teach students math in order to better their quantitative reasoning, or argument building in order to improve their analytical writing. The assumption, of course, is that teaching the math, verbal, and writing skills that are the foundation of what’s on the exam will lead to higher scores. However, this isn’t always true — and, even if this process works, it’s decidedly an indirect route to score improvement.

Rather than teach students the underlying concepts, Achievable focuses on helping students answer more questions correctly. In other words, it takes a more direct route to score improvement. At the end of the day, it isn’t necessary that students understand why something works — just that they understand how to use it. This is the difference between studying how an engine works versus learning how to drive a car. In fact, knowing how an engine works typically does not correlate with better driving. At Achievable, we’re here to raise your scores as much and as quickly as possible, via the most direct route possible.

Ignoring base rates

Our competitors’ GRE prep books are written like textbooks: they generally cover the various subjects evenly and treat all topics as if they’re equally likely to occur. However, this is far from how the GRE sections are structured. On the quantitative section, for instance, certain question types are literally one-hundred times more likely to occur than others. Under these conditions, it’s wasteful and ineffective to allocate time and attention evenly over all of the GRE subject matter.

Achievable corrects this problem by bringing base rates — the likelihood of encountering a given question type on the day of the test — to the forefront of its process. High base rate question types are given precedence and priority in the textbook, and occur more frequently in our simulated exams. In this way, students practice with materials that reflect the test as it truly is — key for making the most of your study time and getting the best score on test day.

A repeatable GRE quant question

Fixed body of content

Practice questions and full practice exams are crucial to any test preparation process because they translate knowledge into action. Naturally, every test prep company worth its salt will include practice problems to supplement its content. However, these companies only offer a limited number of questions, and many students exhaust the available resources long before they feel prepared to sit for the exam.

In contrast, Achievable students never run out of new material. How? We created dynamic templates out of hundreds of problems written by our GRE Expert. Every quantitative question and a substantial amount of our verbal questions are completely randomized, so it is different every time you see it. This means Achievable essentially has an infinite quantitative question bank – something that is invaluable as you prepare for your GRE exam.

Misrepresenting the difficulty of the test

This is a big one. Since most test prep companies base their materials on what the test could look like — rather than on what the test actually does look like — their practice tests often misrepresent the difficulty level of the exam. In some cases, this means that their materials are too easy. When this happens, students develop a false sense of confidence relative to the exam that can contribute directly to unexpected and underwhelming results. On the other hand, some publishers make their materials too hard. These companies generally make their money by selling monthly subscriptions. So inundating students with “impossible” or “devilish” problems can keep students coming back for more.

Achievable problems are just right. Through our author’s 15 years of feedback from thousands of GRE test takers, we’ve created simulated exams that mimic the actual difficulty of the test as closely as possible. This provides students with a valid test-taking experience which generalizes more seamlessly to the actual exam. And since we don’t sell monthly subscriptions, we have no financial incentive to foster your insecurity to drive business. We focus on building authentic confidence through the consistent representation of the actual exam.

Achievable: a better solution

We’ve built our GRE course specifically to address the problems with other courses that you saw above. Our adaptive study algorithm bakes in leading memory science techniques to optimize your memory retention and recall over time, and our templated, randomized quant questions ensure that you’re learning the underlying concept instead of just memorizing the answers. The result is a course that adapts automatically to your strengths and weaknesses, and excels at improving your weak areas – all while taking less time than other prep courses because we get what you know out of the way.

We’re confident that you’ll love it, so we give everyone the opportunity to try Achievable’s GRE course for free before you buy it. Check out one of our pages below to see the Achievable difference:

Achievable GRE - $199
Achievable's GRE course includes endless quantitative quizzes, 10 verbal reasoning practice exams, 1,500 vocabulary flashcards, and our easy-to-understand online textbook with proven strategies to hit your target score.
View course
Desktop and mobile screenshots of
All rights reserved ©2016 - 2022 Achievable, Inc.