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Manhattan Prep GMAT vs Real GMAT

Detailed comparison explaining whether the GMAT practice tests from Manhattan Prep are harder than the real GMAT Focus

Given there is a notable connection between completing practice exams and raising your GMAT Focus score, it’s common for students to question the accuracy of the practice tests they’re using compared to the actual GMAT. This article delves into the GMAT practice tests offered by one of the leading prep providers, (Manhattan Prep powered by Kaplan) to give you a clearer picture of what to anticipate on test day.

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Difficulty Of The GMAT Focus From GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has been the premier global business school entrance exam for over five decades.

The GMAT Focus is comprised of three sections, each of which takes 45 minutes to complete. The three sections are quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and data insights.

Within the quantitative reasoning section, there are 21 questions that cover fractions, precents, algebra, and statistics.

Within the verbal reasoning section, there are 23 questions that cover critical thinking and inference.

Lastly, within the data insights section, there are 20 questions that cover data analysis and logical reasoning.

Your score on the GMAT Focus ranges from 205 to 805. Last year, approximately 30% of test takers scored between 570 and 660. If you are seeking an elite score, keep in mind that only about 10-15% of test takers score above 700 on the GMAT.

To give you an idea of what GMAT Focus score it will take to get accepted into a top tier MBA program, consider the three examples below from 2023.

  • Harvard Business School – 740
  • The Wharton School – 728
  • Berkeley Haas – 733

In other words, yes, the GMAT Focus is an extremely challenging exam, especially if your ultimate goal is admittance to a top tier business school.

That is why GMAT prep courses, and GMAT practice tests are so important. You need to dedicate ample time to preparing for the exam. You may also want to consider hiring a GMAT tutor to help you prepare for the exam.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice Tests

For those of you out there that are not aware, Kaplan acquired Manhattan Prep several years ago. However, recently Kaplan merged the two companies and essentially adopted the Manhattan Prep GMAT courses as their own. That is why you know see the Manhattan Prep powered by Kaplan tagline.

In any case, Kaplan/Manhattan Prep now offer three primary prep courses – On-Demand, Complete, and Advanced. Regardless of which GMAT prep course you select, you will receive access to six full-length, adaptive practice exams.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Video Lectures
A look inside the Manhattan Prep GMAT course

Following each practice exam, Manhattan Prep provides a detailed report to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses (similar to Princeton Review). That way, you know what to focus on moving forward in your studies. The company also provides detailed explanations for each question on the test to help you understand what you did correctly or incorrectly.

How Accurate Are The Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice Exams?

The practice tests from Manhattan Prep are almost identical to the actual GMAT Focus. This is due to the fact that Kaplan/Manhattan Prep license official GMAT Focus tests from GMAC, the makers of the exam.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice test
Example GMAT question from Manhattan Prep

In other words, Manhattan Prep includes six official GMAT Focus tests for each of their prep courses ($130 value). Therefore, not only does the Manhattan Prep testing interface match the real GMAT Focus, but they also use the same scoring algorithm as the real exam. That’s right, questions adapt in difficulty as you improve, just like the actual exam.

Plus, what’s nice is that Manhattan Prep gives you the option to reset the exam, and take each one twice (in any order).

Are The Manhattan Prep Practice Tests Harder Than The Actual GMAT?

No, the practice tests provided by Manhattan Prep should be almost the exact same as what you will see on test day. Again, this is due to the fact that Manhattan Prep uses official GMAT Focus practice tests from GMAC.

Taking practice tests is an excellent way to prepare for the GMAT Focus. In fact, studies have shown that students can improve their GMAT score by up to 70 points by taking more than four practice tests.

Not only do practice tests help you improve your time management skills (pacing), but they also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in different areas of the exam so you know what to concentrate on moving further.

➡️Read Next: Kaplan vs Princeton Review GMAT


Are practice tests a good way to prepare for the GMAT Focus?

Yes, practicing with GMAT Focus tests is an outstanding method to get ready for the exam. These tests not only familiarize you with the exam’s format and structure but also pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.

How hard are the GMAT Focus practice tests from Manhattan Prep?

The GMAT practice tests offered by Manhattan Prep are challenging, mirroring the difficulty level of the actual exam. Your scores on these practice tests are a reliable indicator of your expected performance on the real GMAT Focus.

How do the Manhattan Prep GMAT practice tests and real GMAT compare?

The practice tests from Manhattan Prep are almost identical to the actual GMAT Focus. In fact, the Manhattan Prep GMAT practice tests are licensed from the Graduate Management Admission Council (the makers of the exam).