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# Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT

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Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 13:35
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So I've taken 3 MGMAT CAT tests and 1 of the GMAT Prep CATs. I took 2 MGMAT CATs and got 710 first, 720 the second time around. Then a short while later (talking about a week with some decent prep but nothing earth shattering) I took the first GMAT Prep CAT and got a 760. Next day I took the third MGMAT CAT and got a 710.

Now I've read on the forum people say that the MGMAT quant section is harder than the real thing (and thus GMAT Prep). I would agree after having taken both. But I gotta say I think the MGMAT verbal is also... well not harder, but not as precise or well put together. On the GMAT Prep CAT I only got 3 verbal questions wrong (all SC, and all were questions where I could have gone either of 2 ways and made the wrong choice -- very understandable). It seems to me that the way MGMAT phrases their verbal questions I would find myself thinking: well, I think I know what you want me to say, but in all honesty that's a pretty sh*tty way of asking it/phrasing the answer. It really frustrated me through the verbal section. In contrast, on the GMAT Prep CAT I always thought the stimulus/question/answer choices were very clear, precise, and straightforward.

That said, I've also read a lot on the forum (and by using the GMAT Score Predictor) that the score that MGMAT CATs give you are fairly representative of how you will probably do on the real thing. Presumably, then, MGMAT boosts the number score it gives you, knowing that the questions are harder than the real thing.

So was my 760 on GMAT Prep a fluke, or is the MGMAT CAT underrepresentative of my potential on the real thing? Of course, I will be taking the 2nd GMAT Prep exam, but am saving it for mid-week (sitting for the real deal a week from today, but really wish I could just submit my GMAT Prep score from yesterday as my real test
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2010, 05:06
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I took Kaplan CAT last week and scored a 690. (99% quant , 66% verbal)

Yesterday, I took MGMAT CAT 1 and god knows wat happened, I ended up with a 530 (quant tough and some stupid mistakes).
Does the real GMAT have quant of this level ? Verbal was easy but made my silly mistakes as I had lost my cool after seeing Quant. I am bogged down depressed and out. My GMAT is a month away and this is the disparity in my scores.

I am yet to take a GMAT prep test.

Which test score is a better picture?

Thanks,
Azal
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2012, 07:25
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gomocs wrote:
I have a similar concern. I completed Princeton review guide about 4 weeks ago and took my first GMATPrep CAT. I scored a 690 (44Q, 40V). I was was happy with this result because it was early in the process. I then proceeded to the OG 12. I worked every Quant problem. I took the GMATPrep 2 and scored 690 again with the same breakdown. I realize now ( after joining the gmatclub) that this was a waste. I then decided to buy the MGMAT series. I went through FDP and found it helpful. I took MGMAT CAT 1 last night to use as a diagnostic. I scored a 640 (Q43, V32). I am extremely disappointed. Is there apossible explan ation for this drop?

Where do I go from here? Do I stick with my self prep MGMAT plan or do I consider a prep course?

Posted from my mobile device

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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 19:50
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I completely agree that the test score discrepancy looks a little bit weird... but it's not unusual at all.

Anybody who knows me is probably sick of hearing this, but here it comes, anyway: non-official tests (anything besides the GMATPrep) are inherently unreliable, at least to some extent. MGMAT's tests are the work of some very smart people who are trying their best to reverse-engineer the actual GMAT test... but MGMAT's tests just aren't the same as the real thing. MGMAT's tests differ from the actual exam in all sorts of subtle ways (some of which you mentioned in your post, jppaa), and it isn't unusual to see huge discrepancies between MGMAT tests and GMATPrep. A 5-point gap on each section isn't crazy at all.

Quote:
I wouldn't say they were "harder" from a conceptual persepctive, they just required more steps and calculations. GMAT Prep Quant questions could be answered in fewer steps and in fewer calculations. I thought the RC questions for GMAT Prep were slightly more difficult, but I thought that the MGMAT articles were longer (and therefore took more time to search for the detail questions).

I think you're exactly right with this stuff, and these are the sorts of things that can bias your score on the MGMAT tests. I think MGMAT does a phenomenal job with all of their materials, but it's unbelievably difficult to replicate the GMAT, and it's always wise to take your MGMAT scores (or scores from any other practice test, besides the GMATPrep) with a huge grain of salt.

My hunch is that you got caught up in the details on some of the MGMAT quant questions, and that probably biased your score downwards. (Maybe you spent more than three minutes on a few MGMAT questions, and then rushed into errors on a few other questions?) On the verbal, it's less clear why your score would be higher on the MGMAT tests--maybe you've used their materials heavily, and you're accustomed to their writing style and verbal traps?

In any case, I would take the GMATPrep result much more seriously as a diagnostic, and it looks like you might want to spend some extra time on verbal in the coming weeks.

And for what it's worth, it also isn't strange for two questions to make a 5-point difference in your score. It's all about which questions you miss, not how many you miss. You could miss 15-17 quant questions and still get a 47; you could also miss 15-17 quant questions and barely score a 30. It's just a question of which questions you miss, and where they fall in the exam.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your studies, jppaa!
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 13:54
Per my experience, MGMAT quant section is harder than the GMAT Prep CATs...almost harder than the ones on here. Verbal wise, those two are about the same. 760 is awesome for the Prep CAT. I got 710 and 730 on mine and 750 on the real test.

Good luch on your upcoming test.

So I've taken 3 MGMAT CAT tests and 1 of the GMAT Prep CATs. I took 2 MGMAT CATs and got 710 first, 720 the second time around. Then a short while later (talking about a week with some decent prep but nothing earth shattering) I took the first GMAT Prep CAT and got a 760. Next day I took the third MGMAT CAT and got a 710.

Now I've read on the forum people say that the MGMAT quant section is harder than the real thing (and thus GMAT Prep). I would agree after having taken both. But I gotta say I think the MGMAT verbal is also... well not harder, but not as precise or well put together. On the GMAT Prep CAT I only got 3 verbal questions wrong (all SC, and all were questions where I could have gone either of 2 ways and made the wrong choice -- very understandable). It seems to me that the way MGMAT phrases their verbal questions I would find myself thinking: well, I think I know what you want me to say, but in all honesty that's a pretty sh*tty way of asking it/phrasing the answer. It really frustrated me through the verbal section. In contrast, on the GMAT Prep CAT I always thought the stimulus/question/answer choices were very clear, precise, and straightforward.

That said, I've also read a lot on the forum (and by using the GMAT Score Predictor) that the score that MGMAT CATs give you are fairly representative of how you will probably do on the real thing. Presumably, then, MGMAT boosts the number score it gives you, knowing that the questions are harder than the real thing.

So was my 760 on GMAT Prep a fluke, or is the MGMAT CAT underrepresentative of my potential on the real thing? Of course, I will be taking the 2nd GMAT Prep exam, but am saving it for mid-week (sitting for the real deal a week from today, but really wish I could just submit my GMAT Prep score from yesterday as my real test

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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 14:01
same here. i thought the mgmat had a lot more difficult questions and lots of probability/combi ques while the real thing i encountered like 3 in 2 exams. It is definitely good that you got great prep score but DO NOT let it go over your head. there are quite a few people who say their real score is lower than their prep. So just take the practice tests as a practice and dont think the real thing is gonna be easier because you will be sorry if you underestimate it even slightly
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 15:48
Well, just to put my five cents in.

I had the same impression about the difficulty of the MGMAT quant part. Namely, that it is far more difficult than the GMAT Prep quant. And I agree with Shaselai - there are really tough probability & combinatorics questions. Frankly, I just can't imagine someone to crack some mgmat quant questions in 2 minutes.

My scores are (just for statistics, maybe it will be interesting for someone to compare):

710 (Q48, V39) GMAT Prep #1 - first test taken as a baseline without any preparation.
720 (Q44, V45) MGMAT #1 - after one month of preparation
720 (Q47, V41) MGMAT #2 - one week later.

The first result on GMATPrep was already good enough for me, the biggest problem was on SC in verbal - 8 errors (I'm not a native speaker )

I was quite puzzled while taking the first MGMAT by the difficulty of the quant section. It was after I worked over the Kaplan 800 where I had virtually no problem to solve any question in less than two minutes. So I tried to solve all the questions even if it took me additional time, and as a result had only 3 minutes to answer the last 8 questions (all wrong of course ) And I had some luck with the verbal part (V45 is too good for me).

So on the MGMAT #2 I made much more guessing in Q part to spare the time in the middle of the section and that payed out, but I still didn't reach my GMATPrep Q result. And once again, there were more than a couple of questions that I had absolutely no idea how to tackle.

Now I'm taking MGMAT #3 tomorrow and next Saturday GMATPrep #2. The real thing is on September 13. Hope that the difficulty level will be closer to the GMATPrep than to the MGMAT!
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 16:09
So I've taken 3 MGMAT CAT tests and 1 of the GMAT Prep CATs. I took 2 MGMAT CATs and got 710 first, 720 the second time around. Then a short while later (talking about a week with some decent prep but nothing earth shattering) I took the first GMAT Prep CAT and got a 760. Next day I took the third MGMAT CAT and got a 710.

Now I've read on the forum people say that the MGMAT quant section is harder than the real thing (and thus GMAT Prep). I would agree after having taken both. But I gotta say I think the MGMAT verbal is also... well not harder, but not as precise or well put together. On the GMAT Prep CAT I only got 3 verbal questions wrong (all SC, and all were questions where I could have gone either of 2 ways and made the wrong choice -- very understandable). It seems to me that the way MGMAT phrases their verbal questions I would find myself thinking: well, I think I know what you want me to say, but in all honesty that's a pretty sh*tty way of asking it/phrasing the answer. It really frustrated me through the verbal section. In contrast, on the GMAT Prep CAT I always thought the stimulus/question/answer choices were very clear, precise, and straightforward.

That said, I've also read a lot on the forum (and by using the GMAT Score Predictor) that the score that MGMAT CATs give you are fairly representative of how you will probably do on the real thing. Presumably, then, MGMAT boosts the number score it gives you, knowing that the questions are harder than the real thing.

So was my 760 on GMAT Prep a fluke, or is the MGMAT CAT underrepresentative of my potential on the real thing? Of course, I will be taking the 2nd GMAT Prep exam, but am saving it for mid-week (sitting for the real deal a week from today, but really wish I could just submit my GMAT Prep score from yesterday as my real test

I think you have a very good shot at 750+ on the real thing. I had a very similar experience with my prep - I was maxing out at 720 on the MGMAT tests but got 770's on my 2 GMAT preps and 770 on the actual verbal... I agree with you on MGMAT verbal - I think the best way to describe a lot of them is "sloppy".
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2010, 09:26
I agree with you on MGMAT verbal. Its like they worked on making the the answers elusive . Sometimes I found their CR questions and the answer explanations iffy and subjective.
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2010, 09:19
Next test I'll do will be a GMAT prep. I also find that some MGMAT quant questions are just crazy and drain all my energy to finally fail on the answer.
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2010, 05:31
Upgrade after the real test taken:

GMATPrep #1: 710 Q48 V39 (baseline test, without any preparation)
MGMAT #1: 720 Q44 V45 (after two Kaplan books)
MGMAT #2: 720 Q47 V41
MGMAT #3: 730 Q49 V41 (after Number properties MGMAT book)
GMATPrep #2: 760 Q50 V43

Real test: 740 Q48 V44

So, my conclusion that the overall difficulty of the Real test is somewhere in-between the GMATPrep and MGMAT.
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2010, 07:56
I had the same feeling about the MGMAt verbal part as you !!
The gmatprep is the most accurate predictor, therefore dont worry about your lower scores on the MGMAT
Hope you will ace the GMAT
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2010, 05:21
Azal welcome to the gmatclub.

690 on Kaplan is a great score as those tests are considered tough. I'll suggest you to take one more practice test before commenting further as 530 -690 is a big range so to judge your status go for one gmatprep CAT. Also, with gmatprep you will come to know about the difficulty level of questions.

Also, don't be disheartened as you have 1 month left and still you can reach 700+.

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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2012, 06:16
I have a similar concern. I completed Princeton review guide about 4 weeks ago and took my first GMATPrep CAT. I scored a 690 (44Q, 40V). I was was happy with this result because it was early in the process. I then proceeded to the OG 12. I worked every Quant problem. I took the GMATPrep 2 and scored 690 again with the same breakdown. I realize now ( after joining the gmatclub) that this was a waste. I then decided to buy the MGMAT series. I went through FDP and found it helpful. I took MGMAT CAT 1 last night to use as a diagnostic. I scored a 640 (Q43, V32). I am extremely disappointed. Is there apossible explan ation for this drop?

Where do I go from here? Do I stick with my self prep MGMAT plan or do I consider a prep course?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2012, 12:36
Thanks for your help. Is there any point in taking the GMATPrep CATs again before my test date (after MGMAT Prep) or will I a lot of the same questions and receive an inflated score? I decided after my GMATPrep CATs that I should just focus on the Quant from MGMAT, but after I took the MGMAT CAT I started questioning my Verbal as well. Would you recommend going over the Verbal books from MGMAT as well? I am planning to at least cover the SC book.

Sorry to ask so many questions, but this is my only source of GMAT insight. Do you have any specific recommendations on how to review the CATs? Do I just need to go through them slowly and thoroughly and cover all questions?

Thanks again!
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2012, 18:20
GMATPrep tests can be used any number of times. After 2 or 3 times, you will get many repeated questions, but till then you will see around 4 repeat questions at the max. Inflated scores is directly proportional to number of repeat questions you encounter. Preparing for verbal is your call. You can concentrate on your quant instead of verbal. While some schools expect a even split around 80%ile in both, some doesn't. Choose your schools and target score, find out how much split you need to score then focus on the section which has more gap for improvement and which is easier for you to improve in a short time. You are already in 90th%ile in verbal and if you find it easier to improve then go for it, else work on quant to make it even. As for the books, you can try MGMAT SC if you are weak in SC.

It takes a whole day to review the CATs. Don't finish your review with explanations from the CATs, start by looking for posts with different explanations. If you don't understand any explanation, post your query and clear your doubts or use the books if possible to clear them. Try to find the shortest, easiest method you can solve a problem. There is always a better method to solve a problem. Take notes, error log. It takes from 5 mins to 10 mins to review a single problem. You can check this link as well. Got loads of tips from Stacey, a GMAT expert, - http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/ - includes articles of how to review each type of question, analysis of practice tests etc. Hope this helps !!
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 15:12
I took a GMAT Prep Exam two weeks ago and scored a 650 (q-49, v-30). Today I took a MGMAT Quant and scored a 660 (q-45, v-35). The overall scores are really close. But, the percentiles for the Verbal and Quant are really different. I definitely agree that the Quant on MGMAT was more advanced. But, I wouldn't say they were "harder" from a conceptual persepctive, they just required more steps and calculations. GMAT Prep Quant questions could be answered in fewer steps and in fewer calculations. I thought the RC questions for GMAT Prep were slightly more difficult, but I thought that the MGMAT articles were longer (and therefore took more time to search for the detail questions). I thought it was odd that I got 19 wrong on GMAT Prep Verbal (but, I will say that I got 11 in a row wrong in the middle of the test...so that may have played somewhat of an impact form a percentile perspective) and received a 30, while I got 17 wrong and received a 35 (with no more than 3 or 4 in a row wrong as the longest "incorrect streak") for MGMAT. I know the GMAT is not about number right over number wrong. But, a 5 point swing over two questions seems pretty broad. If anyone has any feedback, I would really appreciate it.
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2013, 20:25
GMAT Ninja,

Thanks for your help. You are right about one assumption: I would spend too much time on a particular question (4 minutes in two, separate cases), and rush to make up for lost time. I was sucked in because I "knew" how to answer the question. But, I would begin to calculate, solve it, and get it right. Or, I would begin to calculate, get frustrated, guess, and move on. In most GMAT Quant questions, there is some kind of underlying "trick" or detailed knowledge (e.g. knowing odds/evens relationships, knowing exponent patterns, knowing prime factorizations) that is required to quickly solve a somewhat convoluted or "scary" looking problem. But, some of these really difficult MGMAT problems would require the tedious exercise of evaluating answer choices by plugging them into several equations. As far as being used to "MGMAT's style", I purchased MGMAT SC (and Advanced Quant, which isn't relavent to the verbal), and that is it. Not a ton of exposure to MGMAT's style other than what has come up in CATs. Let me know if you have any additional thoughts.
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Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2013, 19:53
The GMAT Prep CATs are the real thing. MGMAT CATs are the next best thing. I wouldn't try any other CAT.
Re: Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2013, 19:53
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# Thoughts on MGMAT CAT vs. GMAT Prep CAT

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