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Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test

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Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2013, 10:56
Hello all,

I need a bare minimum of 450 on the GMAT for admission into my university ( I have a high GPA so this counters the gmat score).

Iam a self proclaimed standardized test illiterate.

I got a 420 on the actual test.
After the test I decided to take the GMAT prep practice test. I got a 420.
A week later I took the 2nd GMAT prep practice test. I got a 450.
Weeks later I took the Kaplan diagnostic test. I got a 460.
Today decided to retake the first GMAT prep practice test to see if I had truly improved. I got a 420 again.

Based on everyone's experience what practice test is more accurate?

I always do bad on 1st gmat prep practice test . However, I always do well on the 2nd gmat prep practice test. How accurate is Kaplan's diagnostic test?
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Re: Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2013, 09:11
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Hi Mike,

The Kaplan tests are designed to be accurate--but more importantly, to be useful diagnostic tools, since they provide a breakdown of your performance section-by-section and test by test. That said, the last time I checked, the margin of error on the GMAT was +/- 29 points (yes, you can't actually score in increments of 29--this is a statistical construct!). That means that your performance will vary by small amounts from test to test, and it sounds like all of your practice tests have been roughly in that range. That also means that even if you are consistently getting 450-460 on multiple practice tests, you still might find yourself below your minimum cut-off on Test Day; you'll want to pull your practice scores up a bit more to make absolutely sure you're ready to hit that target!

Hope this helps,
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Re: Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2013, 18:58
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi Mike,

The Kaplan tests are designed to be accurate--but more importantly, to be useful diagnostic tools, since they provide a breakdown of your performance section-by-section and test by test. That said, the last time I checked, the margin of error on the GMAT was +/- 29 points (yes, you can't actually score in increments of 29--this is a statistical construct!). That means that your performance will vary by small amounts from test to test, and it sounds like all of your practice tests have been roughly in that range. That also means that even if you are consistently getting 450-460 on multiple practice tests, you still might find yourself below your minimum cut-off on Test Day; you'll want to pull your practice scores up a bit more to make absolutely sure you're ready to hit that target!

Hope this helps,


It seems like the first GMAT prep test is rigged in a certain way. does this explain I always do bad on the first gmat prep test and do well on the second gmat prep test?
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Re: Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2013, 14:44
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mikespann65 wrote:

It seems like the first GMAT prep test is rigged in a certain way. does this explain I always do bad on the first gmat prep test and do well on the second gmat prep test?

I can't comment with certainty on those tests, but I would be very surprised to learn they were "rigged" that way; what would that GMAC have to gain?
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Re: Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2013, 15:23
KapTeacherEli wrote:
mikespann65 wrote:

It seems like the first GMAT prep test is rigged in a certain way. does this explain I always do bad on the first gmat prep test and do well on the second gmat prep test?

I can't comment with certainty on those tests, but I would be very surprised to learn they were "rigged" that way; what would that GMAC have to gain?



Today I took another the second Kaplan GMAT test and I got a 500! However, it seems like the first gmat prep test either not accurate or perhaps static in a way.
Re: Kaplan diagnostic test vs GMAT prep practice test   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2013, 15:23
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