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Erin
04-10-2002, 03:10 AM
The truth about GMATPlus


N.B. The gmatplus website disappeared several years ago. It is now owned by a large company that makes money if you visit the site and click one of the ads on the page.

I've been following a lot of these threads about GMAT+ for a long time, and wanted to help to shed some light on GMAT+, the good and the bad.

First of all, you need to know that most of all the "bootlegged" questions come from China, but some from Thailand. A well-known school in Beijing has pirated many questions and has been confronted by ETS several times. This school was able to copy many questions when the tests were in paper format, so many of the questions you'll see on the Internet are from paper tests. Some of these questions are quite old, dating back to 1989 or earlier.

I have seen four copies of GMAT+ material in the last two years, and I can say in every case that the random questions I saw turned up in materials that were available in Asia at least five years ago.

Furthermore, although I don't have the time to compare word by word, it seems that each iteration of GMAT+ is simply previous GMAT+ questions rearranged to confuse new buyers. The early presentation of the questions was quite poor; later on, Raju (the guy who ran the site) started putting nice covers on his photocopies, but the quality inside was still the same--poor.

That said, I must admit that having these questions has benefited every student I've known. Although many questions are outdated, the material provides such a broad variety of question types that many MBA candidates feel obliged to turn to them. Although many people are able to extrapolate from a small sample of questions, such as those presented in the 10th edition, some people prefer to see actual examples of those questions. A large question pool provides this broad variety. And believe me when I say this: Nobody, not Princeton Review, not Kaplan. Nobody can duplicate this variety accurately.

One of the big problems, however, with the GMAT+ is the sheer number of typos, misprints, and wrong answer choices. Many of these are obviously translated (literally) from the original Chinese materials. (The Thai materials tend to have many fewer. From what I can tell, the Thai schools employ native speakers to proofread their material while the Chinese schools do not.) Also, since Raju changes the order of the questions, you donít know which questions are newer. In the Thai materials, the questions are ordered from earliest to most recent. Some of the tests are even labeled with the dates of the original administration. So you start to get an idea of what to focus on and what ETS is currently testing.

There are a couple of things that donít turn up on GMAT any longer. (I am most knowledgeable about grammar, so Iíll limit my comments to Sentence Correction questions.) The first is what I call ďstory speech.?By this I mean sentences that are completely contrived and could have been written by almost anyone with a knowledge of grammar. An example of this type of sentence would be:

Greta turned to Jo and said, "Between you and I, I donít much care for the coffee here."

In this sentence, of course, the testmaker is testing you on the case of the noun "I" However, for whatever reason, ETS, in almost all of the tests they create, has moved away from this type of construction and now uses sentences that are verifiable facts.

The second type of grammar error that doesnít appear on the current GMAT format is the type of grammar point that appears frequently in most grammar books. A great example is the hopefully controversy. Many people believe that "hopefully" should not be used as a sentence adverb, but rather as a simple adverb. In other words, "Hopefully, weíll succeed." is wrong, but "We waited for the news hopefully." is correct.

To be honest, I dislike what Raju is doing. He lies on his web site about updating his questions, and his price is outrageous. I have had students who have bought secondhand copies from others on the Internet without any problems, but, of course, it is a bit risky sometimes. And lately it seems some are selling the stuff on CD-ROM for a reasonable price.

I believe that ETS has tried to stem the tide of the inevitable increase of demand for bootlegged GMAT materials by publishing the beefed up 10th edition. Although GMAT would never tell you, many of the questions they added to the 9th edition to make the 10th edition are questions from much, much earlier editions, from the late eighties. I have these books and have seen the questions in the much older editions.

Edit: ETS sued gmatplus. Here's an excerpt from the summary (http://www.perkinscoie.com/casedigest/icd_results.cfm?keyword1=jurisdiction&topic=Jurisdiction/Venue):


Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) v. Raju, No. 02-581-A (E.D. Va. 2003). A federal court exercised personal jurisdction over a foreign website despite a lack of minimum contacts with the State of Virginia. GMAC brought federal copyright, cyberpiracy, tradermark and unfair competition claims against Raju, an Indian citizen who had registered the domain names gmatplus.com and gmatplus.net for Internet websites.

mrajat
04-24-2002, 11:19 AM
Hi Magician,

I found ur feedback abt gmat + pretty helpful.... I had been enigmatic about this stuff for a long time.... I've hrd people speak a lot abt gmat +.... So, I tried the sample ques at its web site, but personally, i don't find it very helpful..... I felt most of the problems were ambiguous, & poorly formatted....Moreover, I was demotivated after getting many ques. wrong in its Math sample test, all of which were poorly formatted, or ambiguous, or wrong.... I feel that it's not worth spending time on.... Do I hold a heresy ?

Erin
05-23-2002, 06:13 AM
No "heresy," your input is greatly valued!!

BTW, the famous, or should I say "infamous" web site has been down for several weeks now. I wonder if Raju has finally closed shop... And I wonder how much Western Union money he collected after he shuttered his windows...

Karma... karma... It stays there for our whole lives...

inghwee
09-06-2002, 06:08 AM
I read your link and feel that this is so unfair. I studied the orthodox way and got a poor score. In adddition, average scores in the top Phd programs have went up substantially.

Gosh, what am i supposed to do? Take a plane to New Oriental and sign up for the porgram? Whatever happen to true scholarship and research ideas?

Erin
09-27-2002, 05:35 PM
Yes, I agree that it is unfair. Again, as I've always said, the best way to solve the problem is to complain to ETS:

gmat@ets.org

If enough people complain, they will do something about it. And this material has been circulating so much that plenty of people have it. The only people who don't are the people who follow the rules, and no, it's not fair that those who follow the rules are the ones who will suffer.