The Economist GRE Review 2021

The Economist GRE Tutor*Update 9-14-20: The Economist GRE recently partnered with examPAL GRE and re-launched this September. We’ll update this review as more information is available.

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RATING: [rating=3]

The Economist GRE is newer to the test-prep market than some of the other companies that have been doing it for a while, but they offer a solid product with a substantial score guarantee all at a relatively affordable price- making them competitive in the growing field of test preparation programs.

Please note The Economist GRE is one of our affiliate brands, and as such we receive a small commission at no cost to you if you choose to purchase this prep course. Only use our links if you find this review helpful.


1. Free 7-Day Trial

You never really know how well any test-prep course is going to work for your particular learning style until you have the opportunity to give it a try. But The Economist GRE course is not cheap, so investing that kind of money on something with an unknown effect can be kind of scary. This is why the 7-day trial is so important. Depending on how quickly you work through the lessons, you may be able to get through a few, and even test out the tutor feature before the trial is up, which can be very helpful in determining if this is the best GRE prep course for your needs.

2. Money-Back Score Guarantee

The Economist’s Premier and Ultimate Plan’s boast a score guarantee of 5 points, meaning that if your official GRE score doesn’t improve at least 5 points, you can get a full refund of your purchase price for the course. In order to qualify for this, you must stick with the program for at least 10 weeks, and complete a predetermined number of lessons, but this kind of guarantee is certainly helpful when choosing the GRE prep course that is best for you.

3. Flexible Options

The Economist GRE course offers three plans available to test-takers. The Economist’s budget plan is their Basic Plan, which is $199. In this you get 1 month of access to 3 practice exams, 3 live 1-on-1 sessions, 3 essay markings, 25 “ask-a-tutor” questions and 5000+ practice questions. This course doesn’t offer a score guarantee.

Their most popular plan is the Premium Plan which now costs $299. This plan provides 3 months of access to their lessons, including over 5000 test prep questions and 5 full-length practice exams (2 more than the Basic Plan). They also offer essay feedback, access to live instructors for help, and the ability to chat with tutors when you get stuck. Instead of the 25 “ask-a-tutor” questions that you get with the Basic Plan, you get 100 with the Premium Plan. You also get 6 essay markings to master the AWA section. Lastly, the Premium Plan includes a 5+ score guarantee.

The Economist’s most comprehensive review course comes in their Ultimate Plan, which provides access to test prep resources for six months, with more access to instructors and tutors, as well as one additional full-length practice test. You also get UNLIMITED “ask-a-tutor” questions, more live one-on-one sessions, and an extra essay marking (7 total). This all comes in at an impressive $549 pricepoint.


4. Communicate with Real Tutors

Inevitably, when preparing for a test, we may get stuck, and sometimes it is nice to be able to speak to a real human being to help us work through those problems. Some test prep courses charge huge additional fees for that service, but the Economist GRE program has time messaging with real tutors built into each of its plans. Messaging with tutors is done through their in-app messaging system, and this ability to reach out and contact a real live human is definitely a selling point for this GRE prep program,

5. More than 5000 Practice Questions

Your success on the GRE exam depends almost entirely on how well prepared you are for the different types of questions that the test throws your way. In order to ensure that you are as prepared as possible, The Economist GRE test prep program has over 5000 questions built into its lessons so that you not only have an opportunity to experience them before you take the test, but you have help working through them so that you are prepared for anything. These 5,000 practice questions are available on all the Economist GRE prep course plans. This is the most questions available in nearly any test prep program on the market, making it a major selling point of The Economist GRE test prep software.

6. Mobile-Compatible Studying

Like many of the other test-prep options available, The Economist GRE prep is mobile-compatible, making it great for those who are busy or on the go. Mobile studying is especially useful when you’ve got twenty minutes to spare while at the doctor’s office, or riding the bus. You can’t necessarily take your computer with you wherever you go, but you can take your GRE study materials, thanks to the mobile-friendly interface.

7. Full-Length Practice Exams

The full-length practice exams may be one of the most invaluable tools in The Economist Gre prep toolkit. No matter how many lessons you go through, there is ultimately no better preparation for the GRE Test than actually taking a full-length test that mimics the conditions and timing of the real thing.

This program offers up to 6 full-length tests, depending upon the plan that you choose. The key to making these practice tests effective is taking them as seriously as you would the real GRE test and creating the conditions of the real test as closely as possible. This can increase your confidence, and even give you an unofficial idea of your score before you ever even arrive at your testing location.


1. Short-term Plan is Lacking Some Features

The downside of The Economist GRE Prep Course is that some of its best features, such as the score guarantee, and essay help from instructors, are only available to those who are subscribing well ahead of their test date, making it less a less than ideal course for procrastinators.

The score guarantee requires a minimum of ten weeks of working on lessons before it kicks in, which is understandable, and the essay help is only available with the 3-month Premium Plan or the 6-month Ultimate Plan. So, if you’re the type of person who might begin preparing for the GRE months in advance, then these features are helpful and useful. However, if you’re a busy person with a full-time job who may be able to only devote a few weeks to GRE prep, then you’ll be missing out on those great features with the weekly plan.

Ideal User

With no actual physical materials, The Economist Test Prep Program is best suited to those who are used to online learning and all that entails. The lessons are self-paced which make it work well for those with challenging schedules, and the live support from tutors and instructors will be especially helpful for those with more traditional learning styles.

The ideal user will be able to devote at least three months to test prep. The weekly subscription plan may be useful to those who don’t need much help, but it ultimately amounts to a very watered-down version of the longer-term Premium and Ultimate plans. Those with less time, or who need less help, might be better served by other products on the market, including the materials from ETS.

In order for students to take full advantage of all of the features of The Economist test prep software, it is recommended that they begin using it to study for the GRE at least three months prior to their test date.


The Economist is certainly not the first name that students are likely to think of when they think of GRE test prep materials. However, despite the somewhat odd branding decision and the fact that they are newer to the market, their pricing structure and the many features of their course have placed them in a competitive position with other test-prep programs that have been around longer.

Ultimately any decision about a test prep program is going to come down to your learning style, and whether the program fits your needs, which is why you should definitely give the no-risk 7-day trial a go to see if the program can provide you with the help that you need to improve your GRE score.

Recommendation: I recommend The Economist’s Premium Plan, since it offers nearly as much as their Ultimate plan, for just over half the cost. You can see the comparison of their course offerings below.


Summary of Course Features

  • Quantitative, Verbal, and Writing Prep
  • Ask a tutor for help through in-app messaging
  • Live 1-on-one video sessions with tutors
  • Full-length practice exams
  • Over 5000 practice questions
  • Expert help on writing analysis
  • Full mobile access to study materials

Economist GRE Pricing

Weekly Subscription: $199/ 1 month

  • Offers full access to lessons and over 5000 practice questions.
  • Offers 3 full-length practice tests
  • Access to 3 live one-on-one sessions
  • Includes 25 opportunities to ask a question from a live tutor
  • 3 Essay Markings (AWA section)
  • Not eligible for their score guarantee

Premium Plan: $299/ 3 months

  • Offers full access to lessons and over 5000 practice questions.
  • Offers 5 full-length practice tests
  • Access to 5 live one-on-one sessions
  • Includes 100 opportunities to ask a question from a live tutor
  • 6 Essay Markings (AWA section)
  • Eligible for their 5+ point improvement score guarantee

Ultimate Plan: $549/ 12 months

  • Offers full access to lessons and over 5000 practice questions.
  • Offers 6 full-length practice tests
  • Access to 6 live one-on-one sessions
  • Includes UNLIMITED opportunities to ask a question from a live tutor
  • 7 Essay Markings (AWA section)
  • Eligible for their 5+ point improvement score guarantee


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