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Practice Tests vs. Real GMAT


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Hey I am a new member...What is the Paper tests... i am not sure about it...I only know of Power Prep Software...Can you tell me where i can get the Paper Power Prep Tests...




Used only ETS paper tests, no PR etc


Paper test scores: 610, 650, 630, 740, 680, 690 in that order


Real test after about a month of paper tests: 700 (Q42, V45)


IMO, paper tests are the best way to prepare, as they are actual tests that include the scaled scores and should be deadly accurate if timed.


The real GMAT (CAT) can be a bit more unnerving due to the fact that you get a harder question after getting the previous one correct, etc. My strategy for the Quant section (my weaker subject) was to realize that, unlike on the ETS paper tests, once you get to a tough question it sometimes pays to take a quick guess and bring the level of questions down a bit. Otherwise, if you're intent on solving questions above your level of difficulty, you will waste too much time and fail to complete the section.


I think that the CAT is a more accurate assessment of skill level because the paper tests allow for a wide range of possible scores depending on the success of guessed answers, while the CAT "reigns in" your guesswork a bit.


Those of you with 99% Q scores don't need to think this way, of course...

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Can someone tell me how to get the Kaplan Diagnostic test? I bought the Kaplan book, but the one without the CD and all it has is practice questions in the front -- a lot of them -- and a full length paper test in the back. Is that the diagnostic test? Or do I have to purchase the other book with the CD? The cover of the book says, "Get more practice and help online - a $50 program FREE!" but going to the Kaplan site, it's not immediately evident what they're talking about.
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Hey Gmat2003,


I was going through your post and had a question for u. When u say


ETS Test #55: 660... so u mean the pdf version of it in which the test is divided into various sections? If yes, i wanted to know that while taking ETS test do u follow the time limt in each section and solve it in the order they appear, or do u do all verbal sections together in the total time limit of all verbal sections & the same with Quant sections?

Also I noticed that the time limit is not really like the actual GMAT exam 75 mins for both sections.

Can u pls tell me what u followed?





Actaul: N/A


Test 37: 740

Test 48: 710

Test: 42: 730

Test 52: 710

Test: 25: 740


800score Test #3: 720


Past scores:


Actual: 640

800score: 590

Princeton: 690, 670,710, 710

Kaplan: 550, 560, 620, 540

ETS Test #55: 660

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took GMAT earlier this week - 700 (q 42 v 42)


I was surprised - my practice scores were lower:


Powerprep 1 - 590, PP2 -660 (1 week prior)


PR - 640, 620, 600 (I think their verbal tests are not good practice)


Kaplan - Diagnostic - 640 , Test 1 -580


I liked the Kaplan Math review workbook and the PR math workbook (even though there are some wrong answers in it I like the way they solve ratio problems) I am not too good with math

Could have done better on the Quant if I had studied harder - but I'm never taking that test again - too much stress :eek:

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Real 610 [Q 47, V27]


Kaplan: 710, 680, 710, 670

PR: 660---680

PP:68, 680 [without doing OG]


Actually, I was hoping something around 700. With such expectation, 610 is a very disappointing score. I don't know what happened? I started up very well with essays...Quantitative seems to be relatively easy...I don't know what happened in verbal. I used to score from 35 ... 40 in verbal in practice tests...may be some initial wrong answers or whatever...

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Zalim - you probably had an odd reading comprehension section or two - I took the LSATs a few years ago and in my practice tests i was scoring in low 160s but had a hard reading comp section that brought down my score from my practice tests significantly& I usually do very well on reading comp - LSAT lets you see what questions you got right and wrong on your score report - anyone know if GMAT lets you see what answers you got right/wrong? I haven't gotten my score report yet
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Hey All-


I just discovered this site this past week, so I haven't been able to contribute to the discussion but thought I would post my results/advice.


Real GMAT: 680 (Q42, V41) Very disapointed in the math score, was not expecting a 50, but was thinking more of 45ish.


I studied for about 2.5 months, but more seriously in last 6 weeks. I didn't study the verbal at all, just on the practice tests (obviously, needed to spend more time on the math). Below are the results of my practice tests in order:


Kaplan Diagnostic: 590

Kaplan (non - CAT): 660

Kaplan CAT #1: 540

Kaplan CAT #2: 540

Kaplan CAT #3: 540

PowerPrep #1: 720

Kaplan CAT #4: 570

Kaplan CAT #5: 580

PowerPrep #2: 710, after the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] although I think something was wrong with the scoring on this test because I got nearly 100% of the questions correct but still got a 710??


As others on this site have noted, the Kaplan scores are not at all indicative of the real thing. I do, however, recommend taking the kaplan tests. The questions tend to all be multistep questions and will help out with the timing.


I did go through just about all of the math in the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] and I have an opinion that differs from that of some people on this forum. My advice would be to do the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] math as a warm up, but do yourself a favor and find more challenging math material elsewhere. THE MATH IN THE [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] is MUCH EASIER THAN THE MATH ON THE REAL GMAT. I realize the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] is comprised of old GMAT questions, but only the baby questions. Once I got to problem #5 on the real thing, the problems were already harder.


Thanks to others on this site for the study tips, I did use a bunch of them.




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Real GMAT : 740


Kaplan and PR Diagnostic (before any prep) – 680/700

Kaplan CAT 1 (during books prep) – 640

Kaplan CAT 2 (during books prep) – 630

Kaplan CAT 3 (during books prep) – 630

PR CAT 1 (during books prep) – 690

PR CAT 2 (during books prep) – 700

PR CAT 3 (during books prep) – 670

Power Prep1 (before any prep) – 700

Power Prep 2 (2 days before the test) – 780. This may be skewed, because I did this after [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip].

Kaplan CAT 4 (day before the test) – 700

GMAT Paper tests (8 in all, after all books) – 740-800 (range)


Here is my prep plan and other information:



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hi all

i am preparing for GMAT and getting scores like these in the practise tests


PR online tests ( 550 to 570)

PR CD (550 to 580)

Kaplan Online CAT - 560

Kaplan CD CAT 1 - 560

ETS paper tests 650-670

PP 1 after finishing [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] -620


AND my target score is 600.


Now i have few questions.

1. I heard that PR tests r easier than Kaplan then y my scores are not higher in the PR tests ? Are PR test scores reliable ? I am confused . I heard PR tests r easier than GMAT too.

2. Wat is my prob of getting a 600 .

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GMAT: 730 (Q49 V40)



Practice exams (in no particular order):


Kaplan diagnostic exam: 660 (Q45, V41)

Kaplan online exam: 690 (Q51, V33)

Kaplan practice exam: 740 (Q48 V50)

Kaplan 1: 730 (Q42 V40)

Kaplan 2: 700 (Q44 V39)

Kaplan 3: 780 (Q50 V50)

Kaplan 4: 730 (Q46 V40)

PowerPrep 1: 670 (Q42 V40)

PowerPrep 2: 690 (Q44 V40)

PowerPrep 1 (again): 770 (Q50 V46)

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test score: none.(I hadn't still finish the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] yet at that time)


Real: 760(Q50,V42)

test score:

KAPLAN diagnostic test-730(I can't remember the exact scores of the two parts, but the score of Q was lower and M was little bit higher than actual scores. My Q score can be ignored cous I just selected some answers randomly....My only concern was verbal...)

Prep: none.(I just used this for adapting the font size of RC.)


My thought:kaplan test is good to indicate your status...

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  • 2 weeks later...

GMAT: 760 (99 %ile) Q 50 (95 %ile) V 42 (96 %ile)


Practice tests

Week Test Q NumberWrong V NumberWrong (SC/RC/CR) Score

1 Princeton Diagnostic 48 2 39 7(2,4,1) 730

3 Kaplan Diagnostic 47 2 40 9 (6/2/1) 720

4 PP1(before OG) 51 0 42 7(2/3/2) 770

5 Kaplan1 50 3 37 12 670

6 Peterson1 50 3 57 7(2/3/2) 790

6 Kaplan2 50 3 36 12(2/5/5) 650

7 Kaplan3 50 1 35 13 650

7 Peterson2 50 3 39 7 690

8 PP2(after OG) 51 0 45 3(2/1/0) 780

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  • 3 weeks later...

GMAT: 710 (94 %ile) Q 47 (81 %ile) V 40 (91 %ile)


Practice tests


Kaplan1 - 540

Kaplan2- 550

Kaplan3- 630

Kaplan4- 570

Online Kaplan - 700

Online Princeton - 580

Practice Tests (28,37,48,52,55) - 600 to 650


PP1( After OG) - 750

PP2(After OG) - 740


Real GMAT - 710

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This is my first post although I have been an ardent follower of the forum. This is a great site and owe a good part of my score to it. Thank you everyone :)



Just finished the test: 710(q49, v 38). What a rush! I never scored above 700 even on a single practice score. So all of you there, floating in the 600s , don't be disheartened. Just live in the present and do what you do best. Results will follow :)



CAT Practice Scores in order(time to actual GMAT shown in parenth):


Princeton_1 - 690 (8 weeks)

Kaplan_1 - 550 (7 weeks)

Kaplan_2 - 560(6 weeks)

Kaplan_3 - 580(5 weeks)

Powerprep_1 - 640 (4 weeks) - before doing the OG

Kaplan_4 - 590(3 weeks)

Arco_1 - 680(2.5 weeks)

Arco_2 - 680(2.0 weeks)

Arco_3 - 670(1.5 weeks) - half of [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip] completed

Powerprep_2 - 670 (1.5 weeks)

Kaplan_5 - 620(1 week)

Princeton_2 - 670(4 days)

Princeton_3 - 650(2 days)





3 months while working full time. Weekdays - atleast 2 hours everyday. Weekend - total of 12-14 hours. The single biggest thing that I felt worked for me is "doing my thing" and that was simply focus on one question at a time and solve it. Forget about scores and percentiles etc... Just focus on the question and get it right. As you can see, I never scored above 700 on a practice test, but manged it on the actual one - so dont even bother about practice test scores - they should rather aid you in identifying and correcting your weaknesses. Meanwhile never, never ever forget or loose practice in your strengths. Rely on your strenghts toward the end, be it quant or verbal. On test day it is your strengths that will bail you out.


About couple of months ago, I read a post that said "OG is the bible". For some reason, I just followed it and trust me there is no better bible than the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip]. I did each and every question within the last 20 days or so. Every day I made a sample test (35 questions or so on each section) and solved them. The actual questions on the test will be very similar to the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip], hence if you know the [tooltip=Official Guide]OG[/tooltip], you will do well.


Forget the past, forget the future, live in the present - you will see the score what you want my friend :)




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Kaplan = 550, 560, 570


Princeton = 590


Petersons = 640


Only Ets Test Paper Taken So Far = 800 (!!!! => May Be Becoz I Completed Most Of Og Already)


I Suck At Princeton N Kaplan Tests...


Yet To Take My Real Gmat...any Comments Welcome :-)

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I got 580 on my diagnostic test (Barrons-13th edition)

1. I got 25/41 on verbal and 29/37 - what percentile would this be.?

2. I am concerned with my low score, is this typical on a diagnostic? Will I be overshooting, if I am aiming for 750 and starting with 580 on diagnostic.


Any comments, advice, info would be appreciated.


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