This morning I was delighted to discover a new version of GMATPrep up on the mba.com website. You have to have an mba.com account and be logged in to download it, just as before, but Mac users will be pleased because now there is a version that runs on the Mac OS (version 10.6 or greater) along with the version that runs on Windows XP, Vista, or 7.
After I downloaded and started the actual test (there are two provided, just as with the old GMATPrep) I noticed that it looks more like an actual GMAT administered at a test center than the old GMATPrep looks. It has all of the instructions and the mini-tutorials that the real test has.
The new GMATPrep also contains an IR section. This IR section contains 12 questions, not 12 prompts. The breakdown by IR question type is as follows:
- 1 MSR (with 3 questions, of which 1 is a traditional MC and 2 are Either/Or’s)
- 2 Tables
- 3 Graphs
- 4 Two-Parts
Afterwards, I noted that the IR section is scored on a 0-25 point scale, but I couldn’t tell what was considered a good score, although problems were rate as easy, medium, and hard.
I didn’t notice any significant changes in the Quant and verbal sections though, and even noticed some content that I recognized in the main test (e.g., an RC passage we know & love from the 11th edition, on occupational information on women in the US census.)
Like the old GMATPrep, the new GMATPrep also contains a bunch of practice questions that are not included in the test. Fifteen more IR questions are available in that section as well, and although I recognized some of these questions as previously released sample IR questions, several were new. The practice question section also provides timing metrics (the analysis afterwards tells you how long you spent on each question) and answer explanations, both welcome additions.
I also found the Readme file that comes with the new software helpful. Here’s a quick summary of what is in it:
1. GMATPrep OVERVIEW
GMATPRep(R) is free test preparation software, offered by the Graduate Management Admission Council(R), owners of the Graduate Management Admission Test(R) (GMAT(R)).
The GMATPrep software will help you prepare, practice and improve whether you have a PC or a Mac:
* PREPARE: learn about the test, the math skills you will need and a step-by-step guide to GMATPrep
* PRACTICE: try real GMAT exam questions, review your progress and apply what you learned in two full-length Next Generation GMAT exams
* IMPROVE: explore strategies to help you go further, buy more questions and find additional prep tools to meet your needs
* 90 free questions: 30 Quantitative, 45 Verbal, 15 Integrated Reasoning
* Tools to create your own practice question set
* Performance reports to help you review your progress and focus your prep
* 2 full-length practice GMAT exams with detailed results
* Ability to extend GMATPrep by purchasing additional question sets from the mba.com store (http://www.mba.com/store) (This is Question Pack 1)
Note: an internet connection is not required but the software does contain links to the mba.com website.
Test accommodations are available for test takers who meet certain eligibility criteria. Find out more on our website:
The GMATPrep software contains features to support some candidates who qualify for accommodations. If you have received an activation code, unlock these features as follows:
1. Start the GMATPrep application
2. From the home screen, click Settings in the bottom left corner. The Settings page will appear
3. In the second section – titled Accommodations – you will need to enter your activation code. Make sure you enter it exactly as supplied
4. Click the Submit button
If the activation code is valid, you will have the relevant accommodation feature unlocked.
The biggest change that I noted from the Readme is that students who have been granted extended time no longer have to request and wait for a separate extended time test CD to arrive via snail mail. The new test just requires an activation code to allow for extended time practice. I checked the link to the section of the website on accommodations that is provided in the Readme and would strongly recommend that anyone expecting to need an accommodation read that page carefully, as it has been updated.
I’d recommend that everyone interested in taking the GMAT on June 5th or later, when the IR section will be in place in the test center, take a look at this new practice test and sample question section because the expanded results analysis and the IR questions provided are also very helpful. Here is the link to the download site.
You will need to log into your mba.com account (or create your free account if you don’t already have one) in order to proceed with the download, but that is all that is required. The new software is free.
If you need more incentive to download the new practice test, here is a link to mba.com’s detailed online information and help file on the new GMATPrep.
Scoring Weirdness in the new Integrated Section on the new GMATPrep?
Just a head’s up for all you out there eager to test the IR section on this new software. We’ve found a glitch that GMAT is currently working to fix.
The new IR section marks every problem wrong, even if you got it right! The only exception is the one traditional multiple-choice problem you encounter in IR; I guess that GMATPrep knew how to score that.
The software is downloaded (you install GMATPrep 2.0 on your computer, just like the previous version), so GMAC is going to have to release a patched 2.1 and tell people to re-download.
Meanwhile, anyone who tries to run the IR section for real is in for a shock when they see their score (as I did “ I got a score of 1 on a 0-25 scale).