The 12 Best Free GMAT Practice Tests

by on October 13th, 2017

Taking timed practice tests is an integral part of preparing for the GMAT. Fortunately, there’s a lot of free material online that will give you the full test-taking experience.

This guide features the top 12 resources for free GMAT practice tests, along with a full review of each test’s strengths and weaknesses. Plus, you’ll find some tips on how to use GMAT practice tests in the most effective way possible.

Before getting to the free GMAT practice tests, let’s consider what you should look for in a practice test.

What Makes a Good GMAT Practice Test?

The best GMAT practice tests look the same as the real GMAT. They are computer-based and adaptive. They share the same structure, instructions, and question types as the real test. They are also timed in the same way, with two 30-minute sections and two 75-minute sections.

The best GMAT practice tests come directly from the test makers, the Graduate Management Admission Council, or GMAC. Official practice tests are the most realistic version of the real test, plus they’re the only ones that use GMAC’s top secret algorithm for scoring and adaptive testing.

Makers of unofficial GMAT practice tests can only guess at the algorithm, so none can give you a perfect sense of your current scoring level. That being said, there are several realistic unofficial practice tests that can be very useful for your prep (click here to go straight to them!). A few even come with video explanations, an online tutor, or the option to attend a live event with other prospective students at a university.

You should note that no free GMAT test offers essay-scoring. You can get a prompt and write the 30-minute essay, but you’ll have to evaluate it on your own using the AWA rubric.

When you take a practice test, make sure that it has the same computerized format, structure, and question types as the real GMAT. Below you’ll find suggestions for the top 11 unofficial free GMAT practice tests, but first, let’s look at the official GMAT practice tests that you can access for free at MBA.com.

Official Free GMAT Practice Tests

GMAC offers two full-length GMAT practice tests on its free GMAT Prep Software. After creating an account and downloading the software, you can access the two tests. You’ll also get 90 free GMAT practice questions—30 Quantitative, 45 Verbal, and 15 Integrated Reasoning.

The two free GMAT practice tests are almost identical to what you’ll see on test day. They feature all four sections of the test—Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, and Verbal—and have realistic instruction screens between each section.

Because the questions are made by the test makers themselves, they are the most realistic representation of GMAT questions. Your exam will also be scored in the same way that the real GMAT will be.

Just keep in mind that there’s a certain margin of error. Total scores within 30 to 40 points of each other are considered to fall in the same range.

There are a few differences between the free GMAT practice tests and the real exam. The practice tests allow you to pause time and take as much time as you want reading instructions. On the real GMAT, you’ll have 10 minutes to read the AWA tutorial and only one minute for all of the other instruction screens.

You can also pause the practice tests at any time, flag questions that you’re not sure about, and reveal a question’s answer whenever you like. None of these options, of course, will be available to you when you take the real test, but they’re helpful study tools.

There’s one other useful feature of these two official GMAT practice tests. Because they draw on a huge pool of practice questions, you can actually take each one more than once. You might see a few repeat questions, but most will be new the second and even third time. In essence, you have four to six free practice tests at your disposal thanks to the GMAT Prep Software.

So, how can you use these practice tests in the most effective way to get ready for the GMAT? Read on for some tips for taking official GMAT practice tests.

Tips for Taking Official GMAT Practice Tests

How can you use the official GMAT practice tests in the most effective way? When should you take them, and how can they inform your study plan? Consider the following five tips as you move forward.

  • #1: Take One Near the Beginning, One Near the End

Since there are just two free official practice tests, you should be strategic about when you take them. We recommend taking the first near the beginning of your prep and the second near the end. You can take some time to familiarize yourself with the format and structure of the GMAT and then review key concepts.

After learning about the test, you could take the first official free GMAT practice test to get a sense of the testing experience and establish your baseline scoring level. This practice test helps you diagnose your current scoring level and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

You can retake this test as you continue to study, but you’ll likely see some repeat questions, so it won’t be as realistic as the actual GMAT. We recommend saving the second official practice test for somewhere near the end of your prep. Once you’ve done a lot of review and answered sample questions, you can take this test to measure all the progress you’ve made.

In between these official GMAT practice tests, you can also take unofficial practice tests to measure your progress. Since the official ones are the most realistic version of the GMAT, it can be useful to use one as a diagnostic practice test and the second after you’ve spent a significant amount of time studying.

  • #2: Simulate Real Testing Conditions

Official practice tests give you a very realistic experience of taking the GMAT. The only thing you’re missing is the test center.

To make the experience as real as possible, you should find a quiet space free of distractions. Follow the same timing as the test, and take the optional eight-minute breaks after the Integrated Reasoning (IR) and Quantitative sections. Don’t use your own calculator, but rather get used to using the on-screen calculator (this only applies to the Integrated Reasoning section).

Essentially, you should do everything you can to make the testing experience as close to the real thing as possible.

  • #3: Use Them to Practice Test Taking, Not to Learn Concepts

Practice tests help you become a better test taker. You can practice your time management, develop a rhythm, and apply your understanding to practice problems.

Full-length practice tests are not so useful for concept review. You shouldn’t rely just on practice tests to learn all of the math, grammar, or data interpretation skills you need for the GMAT.

Instead, you can use the tests to figure out what you don’t know, and then consult other prep materials to fill in any gaps in knowledge.

  • #4: Keep an Error Log

To help you figure out what you don’t know, you should keep an error log and write down any questions that you got wrong or felt confused about. Go over the answer explanations, and figure out what it was that tripped you up.

Did you read the question wrong? Do you not understand the concept? Did you run out of time? By rooting out the source of your mistake, you can take specific steps to fix it. Practice tests help you discover your weak spots, so you can build them up for next time.

  • #5: Set Goals for Where to Go Next

Once you’ve taken a practice test, reviewed your performance, and uncovered your weak areas, you should set specific goals for what to do next. The GMAT practice test gives insight into your current scoring level. It’s up to you to take this feedback and use it to inform a targeted, customized study plan that will help you improve.

Most of these tips are useful as you take unofficial practice tests, as well. Just keep in mind that these tests won’t be the best experience of the GMAT, and the scores don’t come from GMAC’s secret scoring algorithm.

Now that we’ve covered the official tests, read on for a full evaluation of the best unofficial free GMAT practice tests, ranked from best to worst.

11 Free GMAT Practice Tests, Ranked

Below are the 11 best free GMAT tests available online, ranked from most realistic to least.

Kaplan’s free GMAT practice test tops the list for its realistic format and high-quality practice questions. Not only does the test closely resemble the real GMAT, but it also comes with detailed video answer explanations.

You can take the test online at any time, or you can sign up for a live, instructor-proctored test. If you go the proctored route, then you’ll see live explanations from Kaplan faculty, a mini lesson from an instructor, and a live chat window where you can ask questions.

Like the real GMAT, the Quantitative and Verbal sections are adaptive. You can also opt for 50% or 100% additional time if you’ll be getting accommodations. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally hit “End Test,” or you will exit the exam and won’t be able to restart it!

You can access the Kaplan practice test by creating an account on its website and then choosing the self-proctored or instructor-proctored practice test. If you don’t want promotional emails from Kaplan, then make sure to uncheck the appropriate box.

Veritas is a close second for best free GMAT practice test. The exam is realistic and presents high-quality practice questions. You can take the exam in full or just choose certain sections.

Like the official GMAT practice tests, you can pause the test at any time. It’s recommended, however, that you take the test in full and follow the real GMAT timing to build up your stamina for test day.

You can also choose 50% or 100% extra time if you need accommodations. To access the test, head to VeritasPrep.com and create an account. The company also offers six additional computer-adaptive GMAT practice tests for $49.

For your third unofficial free GMAT practice test, head to ManhattanPrep.com. You’ll just need to create an account to access the test.

The questions on the Manhattan Prep test are high quality, but the visuals of the test don’t match the real GMAT. While it’s recommended that you follow the same timing as the GMAT, you do have the option here of manually adjusting time settings.

You could extend the time limits by section, or take the test completely untimed. You also have the option of setting a time limit on yourself for each question. If you go with this option, then you’ll have to move on to the next question when time runs out whether you’ve answered the question or not.

Unanswered GMAT questions can really drag down your score, but this option can be useful as you develop a test taking rhythm. At the same time, it’s not always the best practice to spend the exact same amount of time on every question in a section.

For instance, problem solving questions may take longer than data sufficiency questions in math, and reading comprehension questions may take longer than sentence corrections in verbal. This option can be useful to solidify your time management skills, but it’s also not the most realistic experience of taking the GMAT.

When you create an account with Princeton Review, you can access one free GMAT practice test. You can either self-proctor the exam and take it online, or you can sign up for a practice test event.

The events in the Boston area, for example, take place at local colleges, like Northeastern and Brandeis University. These events give you a realistic, testing center experience, but they’re mostly offered to promote Princeton Review classes and tutoring.

The questions are realistic and match the format of the GMAT. Some users may have trouble accessing the practice test without the right version of Java. You also must make sure that any ad-blocking software is turned off.

To take the 800 Score free GMAT test, all you have to do is enter a username and password and start testing. You’ll see five practice tests, but just the first one is free. The remaining four tests are available for $24.95.

The format and visuals of these practice tests don’t closely mirror the actual GMAT exam. That being said, the questions are relatively realistic and both the math and verbal sections have the adaptive format.

At the end of your 800 Score free GMAT test, you can look over your answers, read answer explanations, and see how much time you spent on each question. If you choose not to take the test all at once, you can also save your results, return to it later, and pick up where you left off.

Head to McGraw Hill Education for six free GMAT tests, each with three of the four GMAT sections. The tests are missing the AWA section, but otherwise include all of the question types you’ll get on the GMAT.

The visuals don’t closely resemble the real GMAT exam, but the questions are decent. The Verbal and Integrated Reasoning questions are especially strong, while the Quantitative questions seem easier than what you’ll get on the real test.

You can take McGraw-Hill’s free GMAT tests timed or untimed, and you can log out and save your progress at any time. The score reports will tell you how many questions you got right in each section, and you’ll be able to review answer explanations.

Since the score reports show you your percentage of correct answers, the tests are most useful as extra practice, rather than for getting a realistic sense of your GMAT scoring level.

The Prep Adviser test includes the Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal sections. Since it added the IR section recently, you’ll need to take this section separately and then navigate to the Quantitative and Verbal sections, rather than getting all sections together.

The test features decent free GMAT practice questions, but they are easier overall than what you’ll get on the real GMAT. As you take the test, you’ll see a timer and question tracker. You can also exit the test and return back to it at a later time.

The Prep Adviser free GMAT exam does not include the AWA section. You would have to add this in on your own, which you could easily do by choosing one of the official AWA prompts and giving yourself 30 minutes to write an essay.

Both Babson’s FW Olin Graduate School of Business and London Business School offer the same GMAT practice resources on their websites. The tests include realistic, timed math and verbal sections. However, they are missing AWA and Integrated Reasoning.

You can also take a micro test and a mini test for shorter experiences of GMAT testing. To access the test, you’ll need to create an account.

You should note a discrepancy in the LBS instructions. It says you’re entitled to a 10-minute break between the Quantitative and Verbal sections, but on the actual GMAT, your break can only go up to eight minutes.

GMAT Club offers two GMAT sections, one computer-adaptive Quantitative section and one computer-adaptive Verbal section. Both are 75 minutes long and feature realistic questions and visuals. You’ll also have access to independent sets of critical reasoning, reading comprehension, sentence correction, and math questions.

To access these free GMAT practice questions, you need to sign up for an account and respond to the activation email. When you sign up, you’ll also get to choose a few nice perks, like access to two free practice tests from Veritas Prep or one month of free trial access to a Magoosh GMAT lesson.

After you sign up for an account with Manhattan Review, check your email for your account password. Once you’ve signed in, you can access a free diagnostic practice GMAT test.

The test is timed and features AWA, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal sections. The AWA section is outdated, featuring two prompts instead of one.

The questions aren’t especially high-quality, with many appearing easier than what you’ll get on the actual test. While this test is OK if you need some extra free practice, it won’t do as much to help you prepare or get an accurate understanding of your scoring level.

Your final option for free GMAT practice tests comes from Test Prep Practice. Rather than full practice tests, it offers practice sections by question type for the Quantitative and Verbal section.

You’ll find sample GMAT questions for reading comprehension, sentence correction, critical reasoning, data sufficiency, and problem solving questions. None of these sections appear to be adaptive, and they don’t resemble the format of the test.

These questions are most useful for drilling skills and getting extra practice answering GMAT-type questions. However, they won’t help much in the way of pacing or getting a realistic experience of the test.

As you can see, there are some great full-length, computer-adaptive GMAT practice tests available for free, and then there are some that, while still useful, are not quite as high quality.

While you read some tips for using official GMAT practice tests above, what do you need to know about making the most of these unofficial GMAT practice tests?

How to Make the Most of Unofficial Free GMAT Practice Tests

How can you use these practice tests effectively to get ready for the GMAT? When should you take them, and how can they inform your study plan? Consider these five tips below as you design your approach to GMAT prep.

  • #1: Use Practice Tests to Measure Progress

Practice tests are a great way to check in and measure your progress. After you use an official GMAT test to diagnose your beginning scoring level, you can stagger unofficial practice tests throughout the weeks to gauge your score improvement.

You’ll see whether you’re meeting your goals and if not, what you can do to make your studying more effective. If you’ve stalled in a particular section, then you know you need to pay more attention there.

There’s no magic number of practice tests to take before the real exam, but many test takers swear by taking a practice test every two to three weeks. You don’t want to take so many that you burn out, but they can be very useful to see how you’re improving and gain experience taking the test.

Maybe you’ll get so familiar with the exam that the actual GMAT will seem like just one more practice test!

  • #2: Take Time to Reflect on Your Performance

You won’t get a ton out of a practice test if you just take it and move on. As discussed above, you should take time to note any mistakes, figure out the source of your mistakes, and figure out what you need to do to fix them.

Think carefully about your performance in each section and on each question type. Consider your pacing and whether you need to speed up or slow down. Be thoughtful about your strengths and weaknesses, and use this feedback to adjust your study plan as needed.

  • #3: If Missing, Add and Score Your Own AWA Section

As you saw, some of the free GMAT tests don’t include the AWA section. None of the practice tests score this section. To get the most realistic experience of the test, you should add in your own AWA section before Integrated Reasoning.

Choose a prompt from the full list, and give yourself 30 minutes to plan and type your response. You may also try to grade your essay with the AWA rubric, or perhaps you can swap essays with a fellow test taker and grade each other’s.

  • #4: Focus on Pacing and Time Management

Practice tests can help reinforce skills and concepts, but they’re also hugely useful for improving your time management. To do well on the GMAT, you need to get to all of the questions before time is up. On average, you have just two minutes per question.

Some of the practice GMAT exams allow you to set a time limit per question if you need to get really strict with your timing. Many also show you how much time you spent per question at the end.

You might set certain benchmarks, like you’ll have a little over half of the questions answered in a section when you’re halfway through the time. As you take practice tests, see if you’re meeting those benchmarks throughout the section, not just when you reach the end.

  • #5: Consider Supplementing Tests With Purchased Material

Finally, you might consider supplementing these free GMAT practice tests with purchased material. You can buy two more full-length practice tests from GMAC for $49.99, as well as 404 additional GMAT questions and answer explanations for $29.99.

As you know, official tests and questions are the most realistic, plus they get scored in the same way as the GMAT. Above any other free practice test, official GMAT questions most closely resemble what you’ll see on test day.

Many of the test prep companies mentioned above also offer additional computer-adaptive practice tests for a fee. If you want to stick to a certain format, rather than jumping between websites, you might consider purchasing these practice tests.

Overall, you want to make sure you get enough testing experience to drill skills, find a test taking rhythm, and feel confident for test day. As we close up, let’s go over some final thoughts about free GMAT practice tests.

Free GMAT Practice Tests: Final Thoughts

The GMAT is expensive, but GMAT practice tests don’t have to be. In fact, there are a bunch of high-quality, free options for computer-adaptive free GMAT practice tests scattered around the internet.

Your first stop should be GMAC’s free GMAT Prep Software, which features two practice tests and 90 practice questions. You can even take these tests several times, though you may see a few repeat questions.

To measure your progress as you study, you should take unofficial GMAT practice tests every few weeks. These tests can give you useful feedback, but just remember that they’re not using the same scoring algorithm as the official GMAT test. The scores can give you a sense of your current scoring range, but they’re not 100% accurate.

Taking practice GMAT tests is a great way to have the GMAT experience before you sit for the official test. By timing yourself and analyzing your results, you can work toward mastery of this challenging business school exam.

What’s Next?

What’s the best way to study for the GMAT? Check out these tips for designing your GMAT study plan on this full GMAT syllabus.

Are you familiar with the format and question types on the GMAT? This guide goes over the full GMAT exam pattern and has samples of each and every question type.

How is each section of the GMAT scored, and where do your section scores come from? Check out this guide to GMAT scoring for everything you need to know.

The post The 12 Best Free GMAT Practice Tests appeared first on Online GMAT Prep Blog by PrepScholar.

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