GMAT practice tests
Last updated: 26 Feb 2015
Practising with timed tests is an essential part of your preparation for the GMAT.
This guide will advise you where you can find the best practice tests and how to get the most out of them as you study.
Free GMAT practice tests
There are plenty of high quality free GMAT practice tests available on the web.
- GMATPrep Test-Preparation Software from Mba.com
These are the official practice tests and mimic exactly the look and feel of the real tests. They are essential to anyone preparing for the GMAT.
You can take up to two tests using the program (set aside 4 hours for each) and they include an (unscored) practice at answering the analytical writing assessment questions.
There are also 5 sets of 15 practice questions with explanations which you will find useful in your study for the tests.
- Kaplan's online GMAT practice test
Getting scoring algorithms for practice tests is hard and so you should take the score you receive on the Kaplan test with a pinch of salt.
Kaplan has a reputation for making it's tests slightly harder than the real GMAT, particularly in the math section, and so you may score anything from 0-50 points higher in the real GMAT.
You will have to register, for free, with Kaplan to take the test.
- Manhattan GMAT's practice test
You will have to register, for free, with Manhattan GMAT to take the test.
When should you take practice tests?
Practice tests will give you a real understanding of the time pressure that the GMAT puts you under and the concentration required to perform well on the questions. They will also ensure that you are familiar with the format of the test. Finally they should give you an indication of what you are likely to score when you take the real GMAT.
However taking a practice GMAT test is time consuming with a typical test taking you 3 to 4 hours. This is precious study time that you could be using to improve any areas of weakness you have on the test. Also there are only a limited number of good practice tests available to take (without costing you lots of money).
We recommend you take 3 to 4 practice tests as part of your preparation for the GMAT.
Your first practice GMAT test should be right at the beginning of your study.
This should be treated as a diagnostic test. The results of this test will show you where your strengths and weaknesses are for the GMAT. It will also give you an indication of how close you are to the score that you need for the MBA program that you plan to apply for.
We recommend Kaplan's full length online practice test for your diagnostic test. It covers the quantitative and verbal sections of the test and you should set aside a little over 3 hours to complete it.
At the end it will give you your score and highlight which types of questions have given you the most problems. You can also review the questions and are provided explanations of how to find the right answer.
In the second half of your planned study for the GMAT we recommend you take 1 or 2 practice tests. These can be used to identify your remaining weaknesses on the test and boost your confidence by showing you how far you have progressed.
We recommend the GMATPrep Test-Preparation Software tests for this practice because they are exactly the same as the real tests and the scores they provide are a very good indicator of how you will perform in the real test.
Once you have completed your planned study you should take one final practice test. This will be the best indicator of the final score you are likely to achieve and should enable you to decide whether you need further study or if you are ready to take the test.
You should save the second GMATPrep Test-Preparation practice test (see above) for this purpose.