Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GMAC should convert GMAT Paper Tests into a new book, complete with detailed explanations

After having tried 5 of the 9 ETS-created GMAT Paper Tests sold by GMAC (I possess all the 9), I'm convinced that:
  1. The level of most Quantitative questions in Paper Tests is quite low
  2. A lack of explanations is felt each time you get a question incorrect, but can't find out why (especially in Verbal)
  3. Paper Tests can't be used as a representative of the real GMAT, since Paper Tests aren't CAT-based, and because the level and number of questions differs significantly from the GMAT of today
  4. Despite all of the above, Paper Tests are helpful because the questions are high-quality, the answers are battle-tested, and the problems are real GMAT problems (from the past)
The four observations above lead me to conclude that GMAC should create a fourth book called The Official Collection of GMAT Paper Tests. A lack of explanations make the USD 75 Paper Tests look like a lot, lot less value compared to the USD ~73 bundle containing all three Official Guide books. So, The Official Collection of GMAT Paper Tests should include detailed solutions for every problem in the Paper Tests (including AWA problems).

I'm convinced that this fourth book, if released, has the potential to register significant sales, because addition of detailed explanations for all of the 900+ past GMAT questions will be sufficient to convince potential buyers into purchasing the book. Besides, an orange-yellow book will look great sitting beside the current trio!


  1. Update (22-Sep-10): An alternative to GMAC converting the nine GMAT Paper Tests into a separate book is Kaplan licensing the Paper Tests from GMAC to release a book version of GMAT Paper Tests, complete with Kaplan's explanations for each question. Kaplan shall pay GMAC a fixed amount per book sold, benefiting both the parties.

    How does this help Kaplan? It gets to publish - for the first time - a book containing real (albeit retired) GMAT questions.

  2. Update (23-Sep-10): Manhattan GMAT's Official Guide Companion shows that non-GMAC content provided as a complement to GMAC content can actually enhance the value of GMAC content.