General Review of Achievable GRE Course

Overall I’m pretty happy with my experience with Achievable.
after studying on my own for ~50 hours I scored V168 Q160 W4.0
With achievable I spent 2-3x that and scored V170 Q163 W5.0. The quant is disappointing, but I’m not distraught about it.

There are a couple of positives that are really worth mentioning.

  1. Justin and Orion have done an excellent job making an online and largely automated course feel personable. I really felt like Achievable was invested in my success and it gave me the motivation and confidence to come back and spend more grueling hours on practice. In fact the feeling was so strong that I feel obligated to come back and share some feedback.

  2. The memory decay review spacing is a groundbreaking improvement to old-school review methods. It fit my learning curve quite well and helped efficiently arrive at the point where I could regularly hit 100% on the practice tests with minutes to spare on the clock by the end of the course.

  3. The lessons are genuinely engaging; better than videos from Kaplan and others. Orion’s tone and sense of humor make the “textbook” a pleasure to read. They’re also full of useful hacks and shortcuts that a lot of the big names completely miss.

4.The lessons on the AWS are pure gold. Other courses do not compare. I gained 40 percentile points of improvement just by reading and applying the material (first ETS practice test after reading gave me the bump).

Overall Orion’s quant method has basically two big parts

  1. Diagnose
  2. Solve
    Achievable does an awesome job helping you master the second but it really falls short on the first. The diagnose explanation is good, the practice is inadequate. The quant template bank is simply too limited to allow good practice diagnosing questions.

After memorizing the diagnosis for all the templates, the practice test is just about solving without diagnosing. The result is lot’s of extra time during Achievable’s practice test. This threw off my pacing significantly when I started taking ETS Practice tests in preparation for test day.

The other problem with the modular question method is that Achievable’s practice tests are not section adaptive. They are all about medium difficulty. In terms of realistic practice (remember it’s all about pacing) this really impedes your ability to prepare for a top percentile score.

I think this could be remedied, but it would mean adding 500+ additional templates to the bank. That’s a lot of work for Achievable but I would be willing to pay 3X what I was charged for that many quality questions in Orion’s framework.

The verbal section of the textbook was equally good and I think I owe at least one of my 2 additional points to Orion’s psychological hacks. That being said, I was less impressed with the vocab building exercises. Maybe it’s just not my thing, but I found the cluster vocab building confusing and unhelpful, which is fine, I eventually just stopped marking them as completed in the lessons.

That being said, for the price, the course is solid. Just appropriately set your expectation and be sure to mix in a lot of practice tests from other places near the end of this course.

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Hi @James1, congrats on your scores, and thank you for taking the time to write this detailed review of our course!

I’m delighted to hear that you are overall pleased with our program. We do strive to offer a high-quality, engaging, tech-enabled course at an affordable price. We care deeply about everyone’s success, and it’s feedback like yours that keeps our team motivated to continue improving our content and platform.

I agree with your comments on the areas we can continue to improve. We plan to add in the section-adaptive difficulty adjustments seen on the actual GRE, but as you’ve noted, this requires writing a huge amount of questions. Your comment on diagnosing questions is also spot-on, though as the repeated drills and memory-tracking at the core of our system, there really isn’t any way to get you more practice in diagnosing the questions. After you’ve seen them once, you’ve figured out the diagnosis. While the drilling is still very valuable in itself, there’s no way to make you forget and re-take the question with a totally fresh mind.

To mitigate these points and provide more variety overall, we are actively working on adding more questions. We have another big batch going through QA and expect to add these to the course within a couple of weeks! It’s a pretty slow process since we need to ensure they’re all templatized and repeatable and work through any kinks in the randomization. Still, it is definitely a priority for us.

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