The 8 Best Free GMAT Prep Resources (and 3 Cheap Ones)

by on August 30th, 2017

Need to prepare for the GMAT on a budget? Look no further.

In this article, I’ve collected the eight best free GMAT prep resources available, as well as three great inexpensive practice materials if you have a bit of cash to spend. GMAT practice materials can get expensive fast, but with these resources, you won’t break the bank prepping for the exam.

If you’ve started searching for GMAT prep materials, you already know that the best GMAT resources can get expensive, especially if you’re looking for high-quality practice questions and tests. Fortunately, there are a few free resources that you can use on their own or add to your GMAT study plan. Let’s go through eight of the best free GMAT test prep resources available.

#1: MBA.com

MBA.com is the official GMAT website, created by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). It boasts a great deal of relevant, up-to-date information about the GMAT, as well as free practice materials.

  • What It Includes

The Official GMATPrep Software, available for free through an account at mba.com, is the most important resource on MBA.com (and in general, MBA.com is a source of many of the best GMAT resources available). The software includes a comprehensive GMAT quant review, customizable sets of practice questions, and two full-length computerized adaptive practice tests. You can use one of these practice tests as a diagnostic GMAT to gauge where you’re starting from and how much you need to progress before you take the official exam. Find out more about using the GMATPrep Software for a diagnostic test here.

MBA.com also offers a variety of free GMAT articles and other resources that will help you know what to expect on exam day, such as a list of recent analytical writing assessment topics on past GMATs that you can practice with, sample GMAT questions and accompanying answer explanations, and detailed explanations of each GMAT question type.

  • What It’s Missing

Most of the official GMAT practice materials and other resources available at MBA.com aren’t free. However, it’s certainly worth taking a look for the most up-to-date info on the exam, as well as downloading the essential Official GMATPrep Software, for which you can purchase extensions and updates.

#2: Beat the GMAT

Beat the GMAT is a social network that boasts an active forum and a variety of other free GMAT prep resources.

  • What It Includes

Beat the GMAT includes a variety of resources for potential GMAT test-takers, including a forum where you can trade tips and advice with other students, a variety of study plans that 700+ GMAT scorers used to excel on the exam, and a 60-day GMAT study plan that you can have delivered to you in newsletter form.

Additionally, you can sign up to have a free daily quant practice question and a free daily verbal practice question sent to you via email.

You can also download free Beat the GMAT mobile apps, including a set of 300 GMAT flashcards that will help you review verbal and quant concepts.

Another helpful free resource at Beat the GMAT is the GMAT error log, which you can download to help you track your progress as you take GMAT practice quizzes and tests.

  • What It’s Missing

Beat the GMAT isn’t a source of free GMAT practice questions in and of itself. It’s more of a general resource if you’re looking to connect with and hear from other test-takers who are exploring practice materials and who have done well on the exam.

If you’re looking to connect with other test-takers, the forum at Beat the GMAT is a good option.

#3: PrepScholar GMAT Blog

The PrepScholar blog is a free resource for all kinds of GMAT-related material, including study timelines, information about GMAT logistics and MBA admissions, breakdowns of every section of the GMAT, and strategies to help you do your best on test day.

  • What It Includes

Our GMAT articles cover every aspect of the GMAT, from prep to business school. PrepScholar articles can help you formulate a specific, tailored GMAT study plan and find the best resources to use to prepare, as well as to succeed on exam day. We also break down the logistics of the exam, from scheduling to costs. You can also use the PrepScholar blog to learn about all the components of a business school application and to research particular kinds of MBA programs.

  • What It’s Missing

While PrepScholar provides many lists of the best GMAT resources and reviews of GMAT practice materials, we don’t have practice questions available on the blog itself.

#4: Your Local Library

Many of us don’t think to use the local library as a resource anymore, but it can be valuable when you’re looking for free materials. Picking through the standardized test section for GMAT practice resources might help you out in your quest for affordable GMAT prep.

  • What It Includes

The free GMAT practice materials you’re likely to find at your local library are comprehensive prep books from test prep companies. You can use them to complete practice quizzes and tests and to learn more about the GMAT format and content.

Use our guide to the best GMAT prep books here to see what you might want to check out.

  • What It’s Missing

Your local library is only likely to have paper-based GMAT resources. Since there’s no paper version of the GMAT, it’s not likely to help you if you need to take computerized adaptive practice tests.

Also, the GMAT prep books at your local library might be out of date. Though the GMAT doesn’t change much from year to year, it’s always important to make sure that, for example, the prep books you check out include the integrated reasoning section, which was added to the GMAT in 2012.

#5: Manhattan Prep

Manhattan Prep is a comprehensive GMAT prep resource that offers several free materials for future test-takers, including a free full-length practice test.

  • What It Includes

Manhattan Prep offers a free full-length computerized adaptive practice test and an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. This can be a great source of extra practice during one of your routine study sessions.

Other free GMAT prep materials offered by Manhattan Prep include five free samples of GMAT Interact (Manhattan Prep’s online on-demand GMAT prep course), tutorials that cover specific GMAT math and grammar concepts, a free downloadable mobile app with GMAT practice questions and drills, a GMAT blog and forum, and study tips and tricks for acing the exam.

  • What It’s Missing

Besides the practice test, most of the other free Manhattan Prep GMAT resources are samples so you’ll consider purchasing a full-length course, lesson, or prep book. So you should treat these materials as supplemental to your primary study rather than as your main prep resource.

#6: Veritas Prep Question Bank and Free Practice Test

Veritas Prep offers GMAT classes (live and online), practice tests, and practice quizzes and questions. A few of these, including a full-length practice test, are available for free.

  • What It Includes

The three primary free GMAT resources offered by Veritas Prep include a full-length adaptive GMAT with a detailed analysis of your score compared to other test-takers, video explanations of the questions in the 2017 Official Guide for GMAT Review, and the Veritas Prep Question Bank.

The Veritas Prep Question Bank includes hundreds of GMAT practice questions that you can organize into sets based on question type and difficulty. They’re not presented in adaptive format, but you will receive reports about your performance on each question as compared to other Veritas Prep users. You can also save quizzes you’ve completed to review the answer explanations of questions you missed.

  • What It’s Missing

If you want more Veritas Prep practice tests or more in-depth feedback about your progress, you’ll have to pay for them (check out the “inexpensive resources” section below for more info).

Veritas Prep is an excellent source of free GMAT practice questions you can organize into customizable quizzes.

#7: GMAT Club

GMAT Club is best known for its active GMAT forum and user community, but it also offers a variety of other free GMAT prep resources.

  • What It Includes

The GMAT Club Forum has thousands of active users from all over the world. In the forum, you can discuss nitty-gritty details about the content and logistics of the exam, MBA admissions stats, prep materials, and the most up-to-date info on any changes to the GMAT.

GMAT Club also provides users with access to a variety of free GMAT tools and articles, from sample GMAT study plans and schedules to a downloadable GMAT timer that you can use at home with practice tests and hundreds of flashcards that feature GMAT-specific quant and verbal concepts.

  • What It’s Missing

If you want practice questions or full-length practice tests, you’ll have to purchase them from GMAT Club.

Also, many of the resources at GMAT Club (such as the flashcards) are community/user-generated, so they’re not always vetted by GMAT experts or official sources.

#8: Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a free educational resource that you can use to review fundamental verbal and quant concepts for the GMAT.

  • What It Includes

Khan Academy offers tutorials, via video lessons, in a variety of subjects. Each of these lessons is followed by a series of interactive exercises that will help you implement the skills you just learned or reviewed.

For the GMAT, you’ll want to use the math and grammar tutorials to help with the quant and verbal sections (for the latter, sentence correction questions in particular).

The best Khan Academy tutorials to use for the GMAT are arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, algebra 1 and 2, and statistics and probability (for the quant section), as well as parts of speech, syntax, and usage and style (for the verbal section).

Find more in-depth information about how to use Khan Academy to prepare for the GMAT here.

  • What It’s Missing

Khan Academy doesn’t have any GMAT-specific practice materials, so it’s only helpful for a review of foundational skills. Also, its math review is much more comprehensive than its grammar review.

On a budget, but still want to review GMAT fundamentals? Try Khan Academy practice materials and the other free GMAT resources we’ve reviewed.

Looking for cheap GMAT prep? If you have a bit of money to spend on GMAT prep but are still on a tight budget, you might consider these three high-quality, inexpensive GMAT practice resources.

#1: Official GMAT Resources: Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool, GMAT Question Pack 1, GMAT Write, and GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool

  • Cost

GMAT Question Pack 1: $29.99

GMAT IR Prep Tool: $19.99

GMAT Write: $29.99

GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: $29.99 (single-use)

  • What It Includes

GMAT Question Pack 1 includes 404 official GMAT practice questions (200 verbal, 200 quant, and 24 integrated reasoning). Once you’ve downloaded the Official GMATPrep Software, the practice questions in GMAT Question Pack 1 get added into and integrated with the practice questions on the free software. Your performance reports will also be integrated into the performance reports on the original software.

The GMAT IR Prep Tool, downloadable online, includes 48 integrated reasoning questions and detailed answer explanations of each one. For more on the IR Prep tool, click here.

GMAT Write helps students with the analytical writing assessment. The program includes two unique essay prompts written by GMAC and scores your essays automatically using the same essay-scoring engine that’s used on the real GMAT.

The GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool is web-based and allows you to take a single quantitative diagnostic sample test with 12 data sufficiency questions and 12 problem solving questions, followed by a detailed analysis of your performance in each area of the quant section and suggestions on what to work on, as well as in-depth answer explanations. The tool uses only real, retired GMAT quant questions and expires after a year.

  • What It’s Missing

The official practice tests authored by GMAC (outside of the two provided in the Official GMATPrep Software) are more expensive, so you’ll have to splurge a little if you’re looking for additional full-length tests.

#2: Veritas Prep Practice Tests

Veritas Prep is a high-quality GMAT practice resource, with practice tests and questions that are similar in content and format to the actual exam. Their seven practice tests are offered in an affordable bundle.

  • Cost

$47 for seven tests ($41 until July 17, 2017)

  • What It Includes

This set of practice tests includes detailed progress reports so you can see how you’re doing and what you need to work on. With seven tests available for $49, each test only costs $7.

Also, you’ll never see the same question twice, and the Veritas Prep practice tests have been updated to allow you to select your own section order (a new change that’s being implemented in July of 2017; check out our explanation of the change here).

You can also take the practice tests at varying times, so if you struggle with pacing, you can start off slower and work up to moving more quickly.

  • What It’s Missing

The Veritas Prep practice tests are adaptive (as in, they provide the next question based on what you’re answering correctly and incorrectly, and adjust to your skill level as you go along), but they aren’t precisely in the computerized adaptive format that’s used on the real GMAT.

That means that while your scores on these practice tests will help you, they don’t use exactly the same algorithm as the real GMAT, and you’ll have to take your practice test scores with a grain of salt.

#3: Prep Books for Under $20: Kaplan‘s GMAT Prep 2018 and Princeton Review‘s Cracking the GMAT

  • Cost

Kaplan’s GMAT Prep 2018: $16.16 in paperback; $17.99 in Kindle

Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT: $18.06

  • What It Includes

Kaplan’s GMAT Prep 2018 includes one paper-based practice GMAT and one computerized adaptive test online, in addition to over 400 practice questions and step-by-step strategies for each section.

Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT provides content reviews for each GMAT section, strategies on how to tackle each GMAT question type, tips on how to avoid the most common GMAT errors, two computerized adaptive practice tests (to be taken online), and “practice bins” of verbal and quant drills and practice questions, accompanied by answer explanations.

  • What It’s Missing

One of the two practice tests in Kaplan’s GMAT Prep 2018 is paper-based, which won’t necessarily offer you a realistic idea of your potential score on the real GMAT. Also, while the step-by-step strategies for each question type are helpful, the practice questions are also mostly included in the book rather than online, which won’t help you get used to the visuals and the experience of the real exam.

Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT is focused heavily on strategy and “tips and tricks,” sometimes at the expense of fundamental concept reviews. Also, the practice questions provided are often a little easier than those on the actual GMAT.

Choosing affordable prep resources can be a great way to cut down on your overall GMAT and business school application costs. Make sure you’re still selecting the best GMAT resources you can find.

What’s Next?

Now that you know about the best free GMAT resources, are you looking for the best GMAT prep books? Check out our reviews here.

When it comes to the GMAT, you want the best GMAT resources in order to ace the exam. We’ve gathered a list of the 20 best GMAT resources here.

Ready to strategize? These are the eight best ways to get a perfect GMAT score.

The post The 8 Best Free GMAT Prep Resources (and 3 Cheap Ones) appeared first on Online GMAT Prep Blog by PrepScholar.

Ask a Question or Leave a Reply

The author PrepScholar GMAT gets email notifications for all questions or replies to this post.

Some HTML allowed. Keep your comments above the belt or risk having them deleted. Signup for a Gravatar to have your pictures show up by your comment.