GMAT Free Practice Test
Manhattan Review Free GMAT Practice Test
Manhattan Review offers a free GMAT practice test, featuring computer adaptive technology, questions at several different levels of difficulty, and online access. Interested students should fill out the online form on the Manhattan Review website, and they will then receive an access code via email.
Official GMAT Practice Tests
Official GMAT practice tests can be obtained from the GMAC website (www.mba.com). GMAC offers free GMAT preparation software that includes two full-length, computer-adaptive GMAT practice tests. Each of these tests can be taken as many times as the user wishes, but they will draw on the same bank of questions. Additional GMAT practice tests can be purchased in packs of two for $49.99. The online store on the GMAC website also includes retired GMAT paper tests, which date from the 1990s ($29.99 for each set of three). Paper tests can be useful as ancillary study materials, but not as substitutes for more up-to-date resources. The Official Guide for GMAT Review is an inexpensive ($45.95) source of more than 900 questions from past exams, and also includes a diagnostic test and a practice tool that allows the creation of customized practice tests via access to an online database. Separate Official Guide volumes devoted to verbal and quantitative review contain 300 practice questions for each section. The cost of these volumes is $19.95 each, or $77.28 for a bundle of all three books.
Unofficial GMAT Practice Tests
Most private test prep firms have written their own versions of GMAT practice tests. Additionally, some institutions (such as London Business School) have created their own free online GMAT practice tests for the benefit of their applicants. Unofficial practice tests created by informed organizations are usually close reproductions of the actual GMAT and its computer adaptive technology, but unlike the official versions, they are dependent on inference and information publicly released by GMAC. Students must understand that unofficial practice tests are not approved by GMAC, and scores should therefore be regarded as approximations of student performance.
Specialized GMAT Practice Tests
Some test prep companies also offer specialized practice assessments based on specific GMAT sections or specific types of GMAT exercises. Available options include GMAT math skills practice tests, verbal skills practice tests (e.g. sentence correction), and essay writing practice tests. Specialized GMAT practice tests can be helpful for students who struggle with certain areas of GMAT knowledge or with certain types of GMAT exercises, but these materials should be regarded as only one portion of a comprehensive preparation plan.
Using GMAT Practice Tests for Preparation
GMAT practice tests, both official and unofficial, play a key role in the GMAT preparation process. Practice tests are the most effective way to assess student strengths and weaknesses, progress, and the effectiveness of study time. The ultimate goal of practice tests should be duplication of the timing and conditions of an actual GMAT administration, although students can and should work their way up to this ideal by initially allowing smaller blocks of questions and longer periods of assessment. Success on practice tests also builds student confidence, which can only benefit a test-taker's final GMAT scores.
Avoiding Poor GMAT Practice Tests
Unfortunately, there are plenty of poor-quality GMAT practice materials available in the test-prep marketplace. Some of the largest publishers in the world have attempted to infiltrate this market with GMAT materials created by staff writers with no expertise in the GMAT or in GMAT prep. Students preparing for the GMAT should carefully review the sources of all GMAT practice tests and the credentials of all authors. The success of test prep firms is entirely dependent on the test score results they produce, but multi-subject publishers have less incentive to create optimal materials. Professional tertiary educators, especially those devoted to business-relevant fields, should be considered much more credible than generalists. Bad practice tests actually do far more harm than good, because they give students an inaccurate impression of their skill level, and disappointing results on the actual GMAT can be eminently discouraging for most aspiring graduate business students.