Taking practice tests is an essential part of any GMAT study plan. There are a number of free GMAT practice tests online, as well as several high-quality resources available for purchase.
This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of all of your GMAT practice test options, along with some tips for making the most of these materials. First, let’s go over the general GMAT practice test landscape.
GMAT Practice Tests: What Are the Options?
There are plenty of official and unofficial GMAT examples out there that will help you prepare for the exam. You might take a practice test every two or three weeks to gauge your progress toward your target scores.
The best GMAT practice test comes from the test makers themselves, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). There are two free practice tests on the GMAT Prep Software, and you can take each one multiple times. However, you might see a few repeat questions upon retake, so only your first takes will truly represent a realistic experience of the exam. GMAC also sells a couple of packages with two or four additional practice tests.
Beyond these official materials, there are unofficial practice tests from third party test prep companies. Some companies offer a free test online and sell additional tests for somewhere between $20 and $50. Others offer practice tests as part of a comprehensive GMAT prep course. These courses include classes, tutoring, access to question banks, and essay-scoring services, and they can cost $1,000 or more.
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While an unofficial GMAT practice test can never be as realistic as an official one, some offer high-quality practice questions, a near-identical format to the GMAT, and realistic visuals that look the same as what you’ll see on test day.
What specific features should you look for in a GMAT practice test?
What Makes a Good Practice GMAT? 4 Features
Practice tests may be official or unofficial, free or purchased. The official GMAT practice tests are the best, since they come from the test makers themselves and use the real GMAT scoring algorithm.
Unofficial GMAT practice tests, though, can still be very high quality. The best ones share the following four features.
#1: They Have the Right Format and Timing
The best GMAT practice tests have the same format and timing as the real GMAT. They are computer-based, include all four sections, and have a timer counting down how much time you have left in each section.
A GMAT practice test should look the same as the real GMAT and show the same instruction pages. It should have the same visuals as the official GMAT and time each section accurately.
#2: They Use High-Quality Questions
The best GMAT practice tests also feature realistic, high-quality practice questions. There are certain question types in each section of the GMAT, and all of them should be represented on your practice test.
As you answer official sample questions from GMAC, you’ll get more and more familiar with what a GMAT question looks like. Eventually, you should be able to spot a question that is overly difficult, way too easy, or tests an unrelated concept.
#3: They Have Adaptive Math and Verbal Sections
The Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT are adaptive, meaning that the difficulty levels of the questions change to match your ability. If you’re getting questions right, then the questions should get a little harder. If you’re making errors, then the questions should get a little easier.
The best practice tests will have a computer-adaptive format (often abbreviated as CAT, or computer-adaptive test) so that you can gain experience taking an adaptive test.
#4: They Give You a Detailed Score Report and Answer Explanations
Finally, GMAT test examples are useful for uncovering your weak areas. The best tests will give you detailed insight into your scoring level, plus they’ll deconstruct problems and go over how to solve them, step by step.
The best GMAT practice tests let you look back on your performance and learn how to solve questions you got wrong. There’s no point to taking GMAT test examples if you can’t learn from them.
With these four features in mind, we’ve selected the best resources for GMAT practice tests. We’ll start with the official ones from GMAT and then move onto the list of unofficial GMAT practice tests.
Official GMAT Practice Materials
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offers practice GMAT materials that are available both for free and for purchase. To access the free materials, you should download the GMAT Prep Software.
This software contains two full-length GMAT example tests, plus 90 additional sample questions. Since the practice tests draw from a large bank of questions, you can actually take each one more than once. However, you might see some repeat questions upon retake.
These free official GMAT practice tests are timed and look the same as the real GMAT. The main differences are the fact that you can pause the exam, stop it and resume at a later time, or review answers to questions as you go along. If you forgo those study tools, though, then you can get a highly realistic experience of taking the GMAT.
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Beyond these free materials, you can also purchase additional tests and questions:
- Two additional full-length practice tests for $49.99
- Four additional practice tests for $99.98
- 13 full-length practice tests and 1,100 GMAT questions for $319.92
- 404 extra practice questions for $29.99
If you’re looking for lessons and content review, you can buy official GMAT prep books. GMAC offers three guides, one for the Quantitative section, one for the Verbal section, and one that goes over the test in full.
These books contain lessons on fundamental concepts, like the algebra you need to know for the math section and the grammar rules you need for Verbal. They also have an online component with more practice questions. The cost of all three books is $85.85. Individually, the section books cost $19.95 each and the comprehensive guide is $45.95.
Official GMAT questions and books can be very useful resources, as they’re the most realistic representations of the real test and they will give you the most accurate idea of your scoring level.
What you choose all depends on how you want to study and how much you want to spend. These materials don’t come along with tutoring or classes, which may be helpful depending on your learning style.
In addition to official practice tests, you could supplement your materials with unofficial tests. Let’s take a look at all the available unofficial GMAT practice tests, ranked from best to worst.
Every Unofficial GMAT Practice Test, From Best to Worst
Here’s the full list of test prep companies with GMAT practice tests, both free and available for purchase. They’re ranked from best to worst based on the realism and quality of the materials and overall costs.
Some companies offer tutoring services and classes, while others simply sell practice tests. Let’s consider each one, starting with the practice tests made by Veritas.
#1: Veritas Prep
Veritas Prep tops the list for its realistic, excellent GMAT practice tests. The format resembles the actual GMAT, and the test contains all of the question types and concepts you’ll see on the real exam.
You can access one GMAT online test for free and take it all at once or in sections. You can also choose 50% or 100% extra time if you need accommodations.
Not only are Veritas GMAT practice tests realistic, but they are also affordable. In addition to the free GMAT practice test, you can also purchase seven additional computer-adaptive practice tests for only $48.
Veritas Prep classes are much pricier, with its flagship 36-hour course priced at $1,650 and its in-person or online private tutoring priced between $2,450 and $7,450. Most students give excellent reviews of Veritas Prep’s GMAT programs.
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Kaplan offers some of the best unofficial practice GMAT tests. They have realistic formats and high-quality questions that represent every question type on the GMAT. The math and verbal sections are adaptive, and each question comes with both written and video answer explanations.
You can take a free GMAT test online or sign up for a live, online instructor-proctored test. The online event includes live explanations from Kaplan faculty, a mini lesson from a teacher, and a live chat window where you can ask questions.
The main downside of Kaplan is that additional practice materials are relatively expensive. It costs $149 for four additional practice tests and $199 for eight practice tests. Included in both packages is access to over 1,500 practice questions, plus an accompanying mobile app that lets you practice from anywhere on your phone.
#3: Manhattan Prep
Manhattan Prep also offers realistic, high-quality GMAT questions of varying difficulty levels. The only downside is that the visuals of its GMAT practice exams don’t match what you’ll see on the real GMAT.
On Manhattan Prep tests, you can manually adjust time settings to give yourself more time in each section or set a time limit for each question. The latter feature can be a useful study tool if you’re trying to improve your efficiency.
You can take one free practice test and purchase six more full-length GMAT practice tests for $49.
#4: Princeton Review
Princeton Review offers solid practice tests, but you don’t have the option of purchasing just the materials. After taking their one free practice test, you can buy a course with 10 additional GMAT practice exams, hundreds of practice questions, video answers and explanations, and personalized feedback on your GMAT essay. This course costs $499.
The main downside of the free Princeton Review practice tests is that they can be kind of finicky. You need to have the right version of Java to access them, and you’ll have to turn off any ad-blocking software. Other than logistical issues, these practice tests offer solid preparation for the GMAT.
#5: 800 Score Test
You can find five practices tests at 800score.com, one available as a free GMAT online test, and the other four available for a total of $24.95. The questions are realistic in type, though they don’t resemble the visuals of the real test, and both the math and verbal sections are adaptive. All the tests also feature an AWA essay prompt.
At the end, you can look over your answers, review answer explanations, and learn how much time you spent on each question. If you don’t have time for a three and a half hour exam, then you can save your results, log in again later, and start from where you left off.
The main downside of these tests is that they don’t look much like the real GMAT exam. The content is decent, but the visuals are not representative of what you’ll see on test day.
Manhattan Review offers a free diagnostic practice test and online classes. The GMAT practice test is just OK, with many questions appearing easier than what you’ll get on the real test and an outdated AWA section that features two essay prompts instead of one.
The online courses appear to be updated for today’s version of the GMAT, and they include private tutors, hundreds of practice questions, and five CAT GMAT practice tests. For the most part, students give positive reviews of Manhattan Review, but it’s not as popular as other providers. Its comprehensive courses cost $990.
#7: The Economist
The Economist doesn’t offer any free practice tests. Instead, they have three packages for GMAT prep, Complete Prep, Premium Prep, and Ultimate Prep. Complete Prep costs $999 for three months, Premium costs $1,199 for three months, and Ultimate costs $1,399 for six months. The Complete plan includes three full-length GMAT practice tests, Premium plan has five, and the Ultimate plan has six.
All three plans also offer lessons, tutoring, one-on-one help, and essay scoring services to some extent, and they all offer access to over 5,000 practice questions. Overall, students speak highly of Economist Prep, with some saying that the math practice is higher quality than the verbal prep.
It has thorough answer explanations, an accurate scoring system, and an accompanying mobile app to prep anywhere from your phone. If you feel like you need one-on-one tutoring to meet your GMAT goals, then an Economist GMAT course could be worth the splurge.
#8: GMAT Pill
GMAT Pill offers one computer-adaptive practice test with its online course, which goes for $437 for a lifetime membership or $169 for the first month and $99 per month after that. In addition to the practice test, you’ll get over 80 hours of video instruction and explanations, a detailed study plan, a community discussion forum, and over a thousand practice questions.
According to reviews, most students had a positive experience with GMAT Pill. Most say that it’s best for a one-month study plan, and it’s more useful for test-taking strategy than thorough content review. GMAT Pill offers a 50-point guarantee or you’ll get your money back.
McGraw-Hill offers six free practice tests with three of the four GMAT sections; they’re missing the AWA essay. The tests are adaptive, and the questions represent all of the GMAT question types.
The visuals don’t match the GMAT, but the questions are decent, especially the Verbal and Integrated Reasoning problems. Overall, the math questions are easier than what you’ll get on the GMAT.
McGraw-Hill also sells a prep book with additional practice tests, but students say the materials are unrealistic and full of errors. While the free practice tests are a useful resource, the other materials don’t seem worth the cost.
For just $19.95, you can get 90 days of access to three of Peterson’s full-length GMAT practice tests. The tests are computer adaptive, but their positive features mainly end there. According to students, the tests don’t resemble the real GMAT, the difficulty levels of the questions are way off, and the answer explanations are ambiguous.
While these three tests are one of the most affordable options, it doesn’t seem like they’ll offer good practice or an accurate measure of your scoring level.
To access Magoosh practice tests, you need to sign up for a premium account. You’ll get access to two full-length GMAT practice tests, along with 800 practice questions and 250 video lessons for a year.
Magoosh is not the most highly ranked GMAT prep provider, with students giving it mediocre reviews. It is more cost effective than some of the more popular companies, like Kaplan and Princeton Review, with its premium package going for just $99.
#12: Prep Adviser Test
Prep Adviser offers just one GMAT practice test, and you can take it for free. You’ll see an Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal section; AWA is missing. Overall, the questions are a bit easier than real GMAT questions.
These can be useful if you’re in need of more free practice questions, but it shouldn’t be your only or main source of GMAT prep.
#13: Test Masters
Test Masters offers nine full-length practice tests in its online course, which costs $950. The course includes three hours of tutoring, interactive and video lessons, and thousands of practice questions, drills, and lessons.
The downside of the Test Masters practice tests is that they’re all on paper, not on the computer. Since the GMAT is computer-based with two adaptive sections, these tests won’t give you an accurate experience.
If you’re going to spend close to $1,000, you should be getting computer-based CAT practice tests.
Whichever option you choose, how can you make the most of GMAT practice tests?
How to Make the Most of GMAT Practice Tests: 5 Tips
As you can see, there are lots of options for GMAT practice tests, some of them higher quality than others. Once you’ve collected your GMAT practice materials, how can you plan to use them in the most effective way possible?
Consider these five tips for making the most of GMAT practice tests.
#1: Take a Diagnostic Practice Test
You should take your first practice near the beginning of your studying to establish your baseline scoring level. To get the most accurate measure, you should use one of GMAC’s official practice tests.
Don’t set your expectations high for this first test. Rather, you should use it as a jumping off point for figuring out your weak areas, learning from your mistakes, and seeing how many points you need to improve before test day.
This initial test will establish a benchmark. Review your performance, study answer explanations, and analyze your mistakes. By figuring out what you don’t know, you can design an informed study plan that targets your weak areas.
#2: Take a Practice Test Every Two to Three Weeks
GMAT practice tests are a great way to gain experience with the exam and measure your score improvement as you study. You might take a test every two to three works to make sure you’re still making progress toward your goals.
If you find that you’ve stalled, then you’ll need to change up your approach. Practice tests help reveal what you know and where you’re struggling. Once you’ve figured this out, you can consult other prep materials to strengthen your skills.
By checking in with practice tests, you can use your results to adjust your study plan as you go along. At the same time, you should note that unofficial practice tests don’t use GMAC’s official scoring algorithm, so your score reports from unofficial practice tests may not be very accurate. Beyond the score report, you should also rely on your experience to measure your progress.
#3: Simulate Testing Conditions
The best practice tests give you a realistic experience of the GMAT. To make this experience as representative as possible, you should find a quiet space free of distractions and follow the same time limits as the real test. While most practice tests let you press pause or manually adjust time settings, you’ll get the most out of tests if you simulate testing conditions.
#4: Keep an Error Log
When you take the tests, you should write down any questions that you made a mistake on or were unsure about. Figure out why you made an error, whether you were confused on a concept or ran out of time. By logging your mistakes, you can find patterns over time and take specific steps to address your weak spots.
#5: Develop a Test-Taking Rhythm
While practice tests aren’t going to teach you everything you need to know for the GMAT, they will help you develop a test-taking rhythm. You only have an average of two minutes per question, and you’re responsible for getting to all of the questions in each section or you’ll face a severe score penalty.
As you take the tests, pay attention to the timer and develop a sense of pacing. If you find yourself wasting time on a confusing question, then it may benefit you to make your best guess and move on.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get at time management. By keeping these tips in mind, you can use practice tests in the most beneficial way possible. As we finish up, let’s go over some final thoughts about taking practice tests as you get ready for the GMAT.
GMAT Practice Tests: Final Thoughts
If you’re on the hunt for practice tests, you’ll find quite a few options around the internet. There are some high-quality free practice tests, plus many others that you can purchase on their own or as part of a GMAT prep course.
The best GMAT example tests come from the test makers, and the official offerings may be sufficient for your prep. If you’re looking for even more prep material or want to take a class or get a tutor, then you may look at a well-regarded test prep company.
It’s best to take a practice test near the beginning of your prep to gain a sense of your baseline scoring level and help inform your test prep plan. You could also take a test every few weeks to measure your improvement and figure out where you need to practice more.
Practice tests are a great way to get the GMAT test taking experience before you enter the testing center on test day. With enough practice, the real exam will feel like familiar territory.
Once you’ve collected your GMAT practice materials, what should you do next? This comprehensive guide tells you exactly how to prepare for the GMAT, step by step.
Are you familiar with the exact structure of the GMAT? Check out this guide for the full GMAT exam pattern, along with sample problems of every question type.
The GMAT is a scary test, but how hard is it, really? Learn just how challenging the GMAT is in this full guide.