How accurate are Kaplan CATs? Manhattan CATs? Veritas?
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I can’t count the number of times my students have asked me how accurate Kaplan’s GMAT tests are, or Manhattan’s, or Veritas’s, or [insert test prep company of your choice]. I understand why people are confused. The advertising for the tests is deliberately ambiguous, making it unclear not only whether these tests are accurate representations of the GMAT, but also whether they are real GMAT questions.
Here’s the short answer: no company’s practice tests are a substitute for real GMAT practice tests. Given that there are 6 real GMAT practice tests (2 free, 4 paid) which you can get from the GMAT website, there’s no need to waste your time with fake tests. There’s more than enough material on these tests and in the official practice questions to keep you occupied.
If you’re wondering how to use the official practice tests, you should check out my free guide to studying for the GMAT. If you’re looking for study plans, you should consider my $1 comprehensive GMAT study plans, which come in 30 Day and 60 Day varieties.
What if you’ve already taken practice tests from Manhattan, Kaplan, or Veritas and are wondering how you did? Well, that follows below.
Manhattan CAT review
Manhattan GMAT practice tests (or Computer Aided Tests/CATs) are the best of the bunch. They aren’t perfect, by any means, but provide an okay approximation of your score. The quant is a bit more difficult and a bit weirder than the GMAT, and relies too much on tricks. Same thing with their Sentence Correction, while the Reading Comprehension occasionally just misses the mark on what the passages should be about or what should be tested. Critical Reasoning is pretty good.
You are likely better on quant than Manhattan Prep says you are, and you might be worse on verbal than Manhattan Prep says you are.
Veritas Prep CAT review
Veritas Prep is second best. They suffer from the same problem as Manhattan, in that they rely too much on tricks in their quant. The cynical side of me says this is to convince you that you need their classes, but that’s neither here nor there. Their verbal is really bad, and makes me seriously question what they teach their students. Not only is it frequently off the mark with regards to what should be tested, but I have found completely incorrect answers in their Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning. Their Reading Comprehension is also no bueno.
You are likely better on quant than Veritas says you are. There’s no way of telling how good you are on verbal based on Veritas’s tests.
Kaplan CAT review
Oh, Kaplan. Preppers for millions of tests and millions of test takers. Quite frankly, this is the worst of the bunch. They don’t provide good approximations for either quant or verbal, but they are especially bad in verbal. There are various horror stories online of people taking Kaplan practice tests and getting scores 100 or even 200 points apart from their actual GMAT scores.
You might be better than your Kaplan quant score, but, really, just forget it. Take a real GMAT practice test.
My name’s Trevor Klee. I’m a Princeton graduate and a Boston GMAT and GRE tutor. I have a 750 on the GMAT and a 170V/166q on the GRE. I’m the official GRE instructor for MIT and I have a five star rating on Google. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation or diagnostic test.