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Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests!

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Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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Verbal Experts’ Topic of the Week, July 2-8, 2017:
How to get 4 additional (“fake”) GMATPrep tests for $29.99

If you struggle to stay focused on the GMAT verbal section, you’re probably excited about the recent announcement about section order on the GMAT. You can now complete the verbal section early in your exam, when you’re still fresh as a daisy!

There’s just one problem: at least until GMAC releases its next software update in late July, the official GMATPrep tests won’t allow you to select your section order. And there are only six full, adaptive GMATPrep tests anyway – so what the heck are you supposed to do if you need more exams, but (wisely) prefer to avoid non-official verbal questions?

You’d be excited if we told you that you could get four pretty good official GMAT tests – in any section order you prefer - for $29.99, right? Welcome to our favorite hack for the GMATPrep software: the GMATPrep “fake tests.”


WTF is a “fake test”?

If you purchase the GMATPrep Question Pack, you’ll have a total of 494 practice questions available in the GMATPrep software. And if you handle everything correctly, you can use these questions to approximate the experience of a real GMAT exam – and stretch your supply of practice tests that consist solely of official GMAT questions.

We call them GMATPrep “fake tests” because they aren’t adaptive, and the composition of questions won’t be EXACTLY like an actual GMAT exam. But if you play your cards right, the “fake tests” will feel pretty close to the real thing.


What you'll need

If you don't already have it, download the Free GMATPrep Software, and purchase Question Pack 1. Note that Question Pack 1 is also available as part of the GMATPrep Software Study Collection, so you might consider purchasing the whole bundle if you haven’t already bought Exam Packs 1 and 2.

We would also recommend getting your hands on a GMAT-style test booklet and marker, so that you can practice using that ridiculous little booklet whenever you do a full practice test. You’ll also need an external timer or stopwatch.


Building your "fake" test

First, decide on the section order for your exam. Your options are discussed in detail here, and you can customize the “fake tests” for any order that you’d like. For our example, we’ll use Quant → Verbal → IR/AWA, since that’s a nice option if you worry about losing steam on the verbal section, but would like to “warm up” with the quant section before tackling the verbal.

Once you’ve decided on the section order that’s best for you, open up the GMATPrep software, and click the green "Practice" button on the home screen.

Attachment:
Screenshot #1 (practice button).png
Screenshot #1 (practice button).png [ 170.37 KiB | Viewed 4470 times ]


If you've successfully installed Question Pack 1, the next screen should show "494 questions available" in the top right corner. Click the "More options" button.

Attachment:
Screenshot #2 (more options button).png
Screenshot #2 (more options button).png [ 140.87 KiB | Viewed 4440 times ]


The next screen will have four options. For option #1, select "Not answered" from the dropdown. For options #3-4, select "Random" and "Exam" mode.

Attachment:
Screenshot #3 (options 1, 3, 4).png
Screenshot #3 (options 1, 3, 4).png [ 133.98 KiB | Viewed 4424 times ]


*IMPORTANT NOTE for Quant, Verbal, and IR: On the actual GMAT, the timer shows only the total time remaining in the section, and you’ll NEVER be able to see how much time you’ve spent on each individual question. So don’t cheat! Once you begin any of these three “fake test” sections, slide the window downward to hide the individual question timer, and set an external timer that counts down from 75 minutes (for quant and verbal) or from 30 minutes (for IR).

Try to position the window so that you can see the question number in the middle, but not the timers on the left and right (in order to do this, the window CANNOT be maximized).

Attachment:
Screenshot #4 (timers).png
Screenshot #4 (timers).png [ 97.32 KiB | Viewed 4408 times ]


Section-Specific Setup:

Again, you’re welcome to do these sections in any order that you’d like, but our example will follow a non-conventional order: quant, then verbal, then IR/AWA.

  • Quant (75 minutes):

    1) If your average quant score is in the 30s or below, select ALL unanswered easy, medium, and hard quant questions, for both DS and PS. In other words, select the highest number possible in all six quant “dropdowns.”

    For example, in the following screenshot, notice that all 111 available quant questions have been selected, even though you will end the section after 37 questions. Also note that the numbers in the dropdowns will depend on how many questions you've already attempted. This particular user only has 255 unanswered questions remaining out of a total of 494 available practice questions:

    Attachment:
    Screenshot #5 (option 2 - all quant).png
    Screenshot #5 (option 2 - all quant).png [ 75.79 KiB | Viewed 4384 times ]


    If you’re shooting for a higher score, select ALL of the medium and hard questions only, without any easy questions. Make sure to enter the highest number possible in each of the four dropdowns, as pictured below:

    Attachment:
    Screenshot #6 (option 2 - quant medium and hard).png
    Screenshot #6 (option 2 - quant medium and hard).png [ 86.44 KiB | Viewed 4372 times ]


    2) Set an external stopwatch for 75 minutes (see the important note above regarding timers and window positioning – if you can see the time for each individual question, you’re cheating!).
    3) Start your timer, complete 37 questions, and then click the "Finish" button.
    4) Take an 8-minute break (see below for more on how to optimize your breaks).

  • Verbal (75 minutes):

    1) If your average verbal score is below 30, select ALL unanswered easy, medium, and hard verbal questions, for all three question types (CR, RC, and SC). This step is especially important for the verbal section, so make sure to select the highest number possible in each of the nine dropdowns. If you do not do this, you’ll DEFINITELY get the wrong number of RC questions.
    Attachment:
    Screenshot #7 (option 2 - all verbal).png
    Screenshot #7 (option 2 - all verbal).png [ 77.14 KiB | Viewed 4351 times ]


    If you’re shooting for a higher score, select ALL of the medium and hard questions (no easy questions). Again, this step is especially important for the verbal section, so make sure to select the highest number possible in each of the six dropdowns. Again: if you do not do this, weird stuff will happen on RC.

    Attachment:
    Screenshot #8 (option 2 - verbal medium and hard).png
    Screenshot #8 (option 2 - verbal medium and hard).png [ 83.92 KiB | Viewed 4346 times ]


    2) Set an external stopwatch for 75 minutes (see the important note above regarding timers and window positioning – if you can see the time for each individual question, you’re cheating!).
    3) Start your timer, complete 41 questions, and then click the "Finish" button.
    4) Take an 8-minute break (see below for more on how to optimize your breaks).

  • IR (30 minutes):

    1) Select ALL available easy, medium, and hard IR questions (select the highest number possible in all three IR dropdowns). The IR section of the GMAT is NOT adaptive, so you'll always see a mix of easy, medium, and hard questions, regardless of your score range.

    Attachment:
    Screenshot #9 (option 2 - all IR).png
    Screenshot #9 (option 2 - all IR).png [ 83.85 KiB | Viewed 4338 times ]


    2) Set an external stopwatch for 30 minutes. (see the important note above regarding timers and window positioning – if you can see the time for each individual question, you’re cheating!).
    3) Start your timer, complete 12 questions and then click the "Finish" button.


  • AWA (30 minutes):

    There are no AWA prompts available in the practice section of the GMATPrep software, but it’s easy enough to select a random prompt from the official, complete list of all AWA questions available on the GMAT. Set your timer for 30 minutes. Type an essay in the software of your choice.

    And then you're done!


A friendly warning about GMAT breaks

You can take two 8-minute breaks during the GMAT, and if you’ve taken the actual exam before, you probably know that the 8-minute breaks will feel more like 4-5 minutes because of the time it takes to check out of and back into your workstation. You can’t enter or exit the exam room without being escorted by a proctor – who may or may not be distracted. :?

So whenever you do any GMAT practice test – including these “fake tests” – treat it like an opportunity to practice your break-time routine, since those 8 minutes fly by really, really quickly.

As soon as you finish a section that precedes a break, reset your timer for 8 minutes and then SIT for 2 minutes to simulate the (EXCRUCIATING) amount of time it may take for the proctor to escort you out of the testing room. Then take your break, and try to get back with 1 or 2 minutes to spare to simulate the time it will take for the proctor to escort you back to your computer and sign you in again. Trust me, those 8 minutes will feel more like 4 or 5 minutes -- and if you’re late, you’ll lose valuable testing time.

And before you take a “fake test” or any other practice test, plan EXACTLY what you’ll eat and drink during each break. Then practice doing that during your fake test.


Don’t accidentally “cheat” with the timer!

We already said this above, but we’ll repeat it again here: whenever you’re doing a quant, verbal, or IR “fake test”, slide the window downward to hide the individual question timer, since you will NEVER see an individual question-level timer during your actual exam. Try to position the window so that you can see the question number in the middle but not the timers on the left and right (in order to do this, the window CANNOT be maximized):

Attachment:
Screenshot #4 (timers).png
Screenshot #4 (timers).png [ 97.32 KiB | Viewed 4408 times ]


Again, you’ll have to set an external “countdown clock” for each section – 75 minutes for quant, 75 minutes for verbal, and 30 minutes for IR. Without taking these steps, your “fake test” will be completely unrealistic.


How many "fake" tests can I take?

Unfortunately, the number of "fake" tests is limited, and depends on whether you use all available questions or just the medium and hard questions. Here’s what you’ve got:

Quant:
  • 230 total questions (easy, medium, hard) – enough for 6 “fake tests”
  • 161 medium & hard questions – enough for 4 “fake tests”

Verbal:
  • 225 total questions (easy, medium, hard) – enough for 5 “fake tests”
  • 169 medium & hard questions – enough for 4 “fake tests”

Integrated Reasoning:
  • 39 total questions (easy, medium, hard) – enough for 3 “fake tests”

So for just $29.99, you’ll have enough for at least 4 quant and verbal sections – and that’s a bargain if you need some extra practice tests.


Limitations of the “fake tests”

Of course, the “fake tests” will never be as good as actual, adaptive GMATPrep exams. Let’s admit a few flaws and limitations:

  • ”Fake tests” are not adaptive, and they won’t give you a score. I know: :thumbdown:
  • The balance of question types will generally be reasonable on quant, but on verbal, you might get a slightly different mix of CR, RC, and SC than on an actual exam. On a typical GMAT exam, you’ll see around 13 RC questions (four passages), 17 SC questions, and 11 CR questions, give or take a few. On the “fake tests”, there’s no good way to get EXACTLY this mix – and trust us, we’ve tried to find a good way to do it. So you’ll have to live with the imperfections.
  • The difficulty levels might not be exactly right for you. For example, you’re a super-high scorer, medium questions might be too easy. But you won’t have that problem on an adaptive exam.

Keep in mind that the actual GMAT exam generally feels somewhat random, so these randomized “fake tests” might be more realistic than you would expect. Part of the magic of the GMAT is that easy questions often feel hard, and hard questions sometimes feel easy. And somewhere around 25% of your test questions will be experimental, and will have nothing to do with your actual performance.

So despite the limitations of the “fake tests”, our students sometimes tell us that "fake tests" feel remarkably similar to the actual GMAT exam.


Interpreting your “fake test” results

Obviously, it’s annoying to take a GMAT test that doesn’t actually give you a score afterwards. But here’s some rough advice on what to look for:

  • Did you miss any questions that you know how to do? If so, that’s a huge problem: on an adaptive test, careless errors are an absolute killer – so pay attention to anything that seemed easy to you, and try to figure out how to avoid those types of errors in the future.
  • Did you spend more than 3 minutes on any single question? (Other than the first question on an RC passage, of course.) If so, maybe you need to work on letting the tougher questions go, so that you can invest your time more wisely elsewhere.
  • If your goal is a 40+ on verbal, you should be getting at least 75% of the medium and hard questions right, give or take a few.

And if you have specific questions about how to interpret your GMATPrep “fake test” results, feel free to ask on this thread, and we’ll do our best to help.


Want more?

You have questions? GMAT Club has answers!


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How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
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Last edited by GMATNinja on 13 Jul 2017, 06:16, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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Thank you, warriorguy! And holy crap... that was fast! :)
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Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99... in any section order

YouTube verbal webinars:
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Thank you, warriorguy! And holy crap... that was fast! :)



GMATCLUB app keeps me posted. It's 5:44 a.m. in India ??

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You're awake and reading GMAT Club posts at 5:44 a.m.?? :shock:

Clearly you're waaaaaaay less lazy than I am! :-D
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Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99... in any section order

YouTube verbal webinars:
"Next-level" GMAT pronouns | Uses of "that" on the GMAT | Parallelism and meaning | Simplifying GMAT verb tenses | Comparisons, part I |
November webinar schedule

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 18:52
Thank you so much, expert GMATNinja! This initiative will definitely help us get familiar with current change, thus better preparing for the real test :) +kudos

By the way, I have a question - whether we need to position the window (in order not to see the timer) one time only, or that action must be repeated once a new question shows up?

Also, regarding the imbalance in the number of Verbal questions, I've just came up with an idea - how about setting 17 SCs, 11 CRs and all available RCs? :-D

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warriorguy wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Thank you, warriorguy! And holy crap... that was fast! :)



GMATCLUB app keeps me posted. It's 5:44 a.m. in India ??

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Really?? Wow you are such a hard-working man!
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Awesome post!

Wish I was so productive. My weekends are no longer productive after the arrival of BB Jrs.

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Awesome post!

Wish I was so productive. My weekends are no longer productive after the arrival of BB Jrs.

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Amazing analysis ...feel so happy to be part of such an amazing community..

and congrats BB for junior BaBys


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so, personal watch is not allowed to use during real gmat?

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Wish I was so productive. My weekends are no longer productive after the arrival of BB Jrs.

Oh crap. So my weekend productivity is over in... four and a half months, when the Ninja Jr. comes along? :shock:
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GMAT Ninja Wednesdays LIVE on YouTube
Join us, and ask your questions in advance!

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja and @GMATNinjaTwo in your post.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99... in any section order

YouTube verbal webinars:
"Next-level" GMAT pronouns | Uses of "that" on the GMAT | Parallelism and meaning | Simplifying GMAT verb tenses | Comparisons, part I |
November webinar schedule

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 19:53
oh, I mean test takers are not allowed to bring and use any digital or traditional hand watches?
Also, test takers have to use the test given by the center to draw options during the break?

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Once again a post worth a Kudos and Bookmark :-D

And what a timing of the post, I just purchased the question pack 2 days back, so I can make better use of them now.

Thanks again GMATNinja
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 21:19
hello, pls answer my question, when I redo a verbal question, should I have to recall why an option is wrong?

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 22:03
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chesstitans wrote:
hello, pls answer my question, when I redo a verbal question, should I have to recall why an option is wrong?


Hello chesstitans,

Absolutely it makes sense to know why other options are incorrect, I know sometimes it is a challenges as we practice questions multiple times and then we remember the answer of the question as soon as we see it.

But it is always worth to remember why other options are incorrect. Hope this helps, happy to help further in case you have specific questions.
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New post 08 Jul 2017, 22:15
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Thanks GMATNinja for the post. I purchased Question Pack 1 and was eagerly waiting for the post. You are indeed a life saver :)

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 22:47
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GMATNinja - I do have two questions though:

Isn't the order Quant/Verbal/IR/AWA as opposed to what is posted on this thread

Why to stop verbal fake test after solving 37 questions instead of 41 questions - as mentioned in your thread.

Look forward to your reply.

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2017, 07:39
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Lucy Phuong wrote:
By the way, I have a question - whether we need to position the window (in order not to see the timer) one time only, or that action must be repeated once a new question shows up?

Also, regarding the imbalance in the number of Verbal questions, I've just came up with an idea - how about setting 17 SCs, 11 CRs and all available RCs? :-D


You just have to reposition the window once -- it will stay where it is once you have it in the right place.

And if you choose 17 SCs, 11 CRs, and all RCs... then your test would be mostly RCs. :( We've tried a ton of different things, and none of them have worked better than the (imperfect!) instructions in our post. But I'd be THRILLED if somebody here can come up with something better!
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2017, 10:36
sonikavadhera wrote:
GMATNinja - I do have two questions though:

Isn't the order Quant/Verbal/IR/AWA as opposed to what is posted on this thread

Why to stop verbal fake test after solving 37 questions instead of 41 questions - as mentioned in your thread.

Look forward to your reply.

Ah, good eye! I fixed the typo on the verbal part -- it should definitely be 41 questions, not 37. And I just completely missed the fact that IR and AWA aren't always in the same order. I wasn't paying attention to that. So this is interesting:

  • Option #1 (traditional): AWA -> IR -> Quant -> Verbal
  • Option #2: Quant -> Verbal -> IR -> AWA
  • Option #3: Verbal -> Quant -> IR -> AWA

So AWA is either at the very beginning or the very end now. Sorry, my bad -- I completely missed that detail about the order of IR and AWA. It should all be correct in the original post now. Thank you again for pointing this out, sonikavadhera!
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Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
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"Next-level" GMAT pronouns | Uses of "that" on the GMAT | Parallelism and meaning | Simplifying GMAT verb tenses | Comparisons, part I |
November webinar schedule

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 7/7/17: Get 4 new, “fake” GMATPrep tests!   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2017, 10:36

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