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Resources to Help You Prepare for the GMAT

Tuesday | May 3, 2016 | by Xiao Lu

Young professionals reviewing materials

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test that is required by most U.S. graduate business schools. The test aims to evaluate candidates’ abilities to make strategic decisions in the business world. In order to help you prepare for this exam, we have provided some resources for you.

The GMAT is composed of four parts: verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing. The maximum possible score for this test is 800. In addition to a final score, you will also receive a percentile ranking. The average GMAT score for a master’s of business administration (MBA) candidates is 640, and people who score above 700 are considered “top candidates.” So what can you do to get a higher score in a short period of time? Try using the resources listed below:

GMAT 2020 Official Guide (OG)
Issued by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the institution that organizes the GMAT, the OG is the top-recommended preparation material for the GMAT. If you have no idea how to start studying for the GMAT, try the OG first. This handbook will help you learn everything you need to know about the exam such as:

  • Test structure and overview, format, and question types.
  • Tips for taking the GMAT.
  • In-depth math and grammar reviews, performance analytics, and more.
  • Practice examinations along with full answers straight from the source.

The OG has both print and mobile versions in its official guide package. The advantage of the app version of the OG is its convenience for GMAT test preparation on the go with your mobile phone. You can also embed a timer to create a simulation test environment.  

Free GMATPrep Software
The GMATPrep Software is offered by GMAC as well, and you can download it from the GMAT website for free after creating an account on the GMAT website. This test prep uses the same software as the official exam. The software features 90 free questions, which includes 30 quantitative, 45 verbal, and 15 integrated reasoning, along with answers and explanations. After finishing the free questions, you are able to extend the GMATPrep software by purchasing additional questions or practice exams.

It is highly recommended to take the practice test at least two times before you take the exam. You should take it the first time before starting your test preparation, and the second time after your test preparation. This strategy will help you know early on where you need to improve so you can be more strategic while preparing for the exam and assess your progress after.

Taking practice tests before the official test will help you to better familiarize yourself with the format and adjust your pace to the timed exam. Many students have shared that the GMATPrep Software serves as a good indicator of official test scores so you can get an idea of your official score range.

Additional Free Test Prep
If you are looking for more test preparation materials, you can also use these additional resources below. Most of these resources are offered by U.S. educational institutions whose business is focused on GMAT and other test preparation.

  • Manhattan Prep GMAT Tests: The Manhattan Prep features one free test and offers six additional practice tests for $49 (U.S. dollars); it is included if you purchase MGMAT Guides. Manhattan Prep is a great tool for personal evaluation and is highly recommended if you want to check on your preparation progress.
  • Kaplan GMAT Test: Kaplan offers one free test as well as four full-length practice tests for $30 (U.S. dollars) offered through CD or online if you purchase a Kaplan GMAT Premier book. Kaplan is recommended for its helpful test-taking tips and thorough questions for both math and verbal sections of the GMAT. Results from Kaplan tend to be lower than results from the actual GMAT due to marketing reasons, so don’t be discouraged by low scores.
  • Princeton Review Tests: The Princeton Review offers one self-paced free test. You can also purchase 10 computer adaptive tests for a cost of $499 (U.S. dollars). The Princeton Review Prep is designed for those starting with basic concepts and as a result, some features may seem primitive compared to Manhattan, GMAT, and Kaplan prep.


Xiao Lu

Xiao Lu is a Marketing Associate at World Education Services.