For many years, the most accurate GMAT test simulator has been the GMATPrep software available at mba.com. GMATprep was an old DOS-based program that suffered from two major flaws:
1. At the end of the exam, it would display your Quant/Verbal score breakdown and your overall score just one time; once you clicked away, you were unable to bring this screen back
2. It was PC-only; there was no version for Mac. This was an annoyance for tens of thousands of students. I have tutored many students who owned Macs, and they had to borrow a PC or use a work computer in order to take the GMATprep exams
After many years of providing this clunky old software, the GMAC has finally released a new version of GMATprep. Right away, I noticed a couple improvements. First and foremost, they have finally added a Mac version. Plus, the PC version now runs through windows, so you can minimize it like any other program.
Unfortunately, the questions that come with the free version of the program aren’t new. There’s 90 practice questions included, and 2 practice tests. I recognized many of the problems from the previous version of GMATprep, and others have been floating around GMAT forums for years.
However, there’s one big improvement, although it isn’t free. For $25, you can buy a Question Pack with 404 additional questions. These are all new questions that have never before appeared in any GMAT preparation material. The best part of this Question Pack is that they’ve classified the questions into “Easy”, “Medium”, and “Hard”. So, for the first time, you can focus on questions that the GMAC considers difficult. This addresses one of the major complaints about the Official Guide, which is that it doesn’t include enough hard questions.
I bought the Question Pack and think it’s excellent; I’d say it’s now required prep material for students who want to score in 700 range. If you’re aiming for a 700, you should be able to get 80% of the ‘Medium’ questions correct and at least 50% of the ‘Hard’ questions correct. Regarding the ‘Hard’ quant questions, some of them are truly brutal; this is what you can expect to see if you’re scoring in the Q48-50 range. I doubt think anyone will top 80% correct on the hard questions (except maybe Jeff Sackmann :-).
I noticed one additional flaw with the software. After taking a practice exam, if you exit the software, you can no longer review the questions and answers. You can only retrieve your score. I’m so surprised by this, that I feel like it must be a mistake that they intend to fix in a later update of the software. On the old version of GMATprep, you could review the questions at a later time; as a tutor, I found that reviewing GMATprep exams with students was extremely helpful.
Now, after taking a 3.5 hour practice exam, the software expects you to review it during the same session. That could easily take 2-3 hours, and it’s unlikely most students have enough mental energy. One possible solution is to take screenshots of the questions you missed, paste them into Word, and save them for review later.
Overall, there are some improvements and some drawbacks to the new GMATprep. I definitely recommend the $25 Question Pack for students aiming to do well on the GMAT.