IMO kaplan tests are just OK. I found that the questions are not very similar to the original GMAT ones. ex. the SC are way shorter than you will find in the actual test. Because of this I was able to complete the verbal section 10 minutes before the time.
The quant section is not bad. Some questions are really tricky and the concepts are explained clearly in the solution.
I feel if you have the time then go for the test. I would not use this test in the final days of my preparation. There are many better test out there which are more worthwhile.
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I took 2 kaplan CATs before and they showed score in line with my official GMAT score(660). I am preparing to get a better score to by taking remaining CATs which are showing improvement. The CATs adaptiveness is also very good, however, the verbal is tugher than the actual GMAT test. Though it really helps in identifying the weak spots in your preparation.In my case it was SC & RC, which had lower accuracy level.
I plan to go through the official guides and GMATclub forum 700 level questions to get to the desired score. The Kaplan mocks are god tools to be used before taking official GMAT Prep mocks and Final test as the mocks are limited.
I ended up purchasing the Kaplan CATs last minute, just a week before. Exactly what I needed at the time! I was able to take 4 of the tests before the real D Day. The website is good, decent analytics and software wasn't cluttered. But explanations were brilliant! I made a note of my takeaways, re-read through my Kaplan study material and managed to keep track of my weak areas. Strongly suggest to use these test series, even better to start early. I'm not sure about retaking the CATs though, I don't know how many repeat questions would come up, so some clarity would be useful on that.
Kaplan Premier is an awesome book to start preparation with. This book have enough questions as well as the strategies to attack the question. This book helped me a lot in the verbal part and the best thing is that this comes with 5 free tests. The tests provide very good replica of you preparation. Many people argue that hose tests are not close to the real GMAT but at the end the real mark is +-20 of what you scored in the Kaplan tests so i believe we can rely on the same. Also the tests are very user friendly and the explanation of questions are very helpful.
In parallel, I also practised with Manhattan, Veritas and official GMAT tests. Separately, I have given GMAT once before so I knew that level of actual exam. In the very first Kaplan mock itself I realised that it was much much harder than actual GMAT. Although the final score was normalised to match the difficulty level (i.e. I got the same score of 740 in Kaplan as I got in other tests) but I didn't see any value in practicing such hard questions. I didn't attempt any other Kaplan Mock CAT after that.
My original GMAT score is 720 ( Q50,V37). I beleive that Kaplan CATs are very representative of the actual GMAT - I scored consistently 700-740 in Kaplan CAT.
Quant: The software/algorithm first present you with medium level question, only after one can get 90% accuracy - it proceed to high level. When I took my ESR - i found the same. MGMAT bombards with 700-800 level problems once one did the first 3/4 questions correctly, and it keeps on doing the same.
Verbal: While the algorithm may be good - but some questions are very very tough. I scored 73 percentile in RC, but never able to get more than 50% accuracy in Kaplan RC. Some of the RC are so difficult that it just blows off my mind. Kaplan SC generally rely on one split - but I have seen that official question has always more than one split.
But, overall a great practice in comparison with other material in the market. I personally find Kaplan and Manhattan the best source other than official ones.
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Kaplan CATs give very accurate sectional scores for both quant and verbal sections but the overall score looks bloated. The score easily shows high scores like 740 with small sectional scores which is not possible in reality. Quantitative sections tests the concepts in relatively simple manner but Reading Comprehension passages in kaplan tests are more difficult and robust. In overall, solutions provided for review are in an appropriate pattern and descriptive. Critical Reasoning questions are really good whereas Sentence correction questions need to improve. Also the question bank is really adaptive and user friendly in nature. Kaplan CATs give a good practice for an aspirant preparation.
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I have used Kaplan 5 tests that came along with Kaplan Premier 2015. Kaplan team seem to have significant experience with the test and weren't afraid to point out areas that they thought Kaplan put too much or too little weight on compared to the actual test. The quants parts are pretty much the same as given in GMATPreps tests but I think Kaplan's verbal questions are way harder than GMATPrep's, which are the real exam questions. Based on my experiences, my Kaplan scores were right in the middle of what I actually scored on the exam. So, from an overall score perspective, I feel like they are dead on. Also want to note, that I feel like Kaplan's exams were the most similar to the real GMAT!
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