GMAT apps are an undeniably appealing way to study for the GMAT: they’re convenient, fun, and a great excuse to play with your phone. Good ones can be a great addition to your study plan, but they aren’t enough on their own.
This article is a complete guide to GMAT apps that will help you lean how to use GMAT apps effectively, rather than letting them become a time-wasting distraction. I’ll go over the qualities that make a GMAT app worth using, the seven best GMAT apps available, and the best ways to incorporate apps into your GMAT prep.
GMAT Apps: An Overview
You can use apps for almost anything, and GMAT prep is no exception. GMAT prep apps may include practice tests, additional practice questions, drills targeting particular skills, lessons, and other content to help you prepare for the exam and track your progress.
GMAT apps that you download to your tablet or phone can help you get ready for the test in an interactive and even fun way. They aren’t enough as a comprehensive source of GMAT prep, but they can be a great addition to your other practice materials. If you’re looking for an affordable, comprehensive online prep program, check out PrepScholar GMAT. The course includes access to over 1,000 practice questions and 30 lessons covering all the essential GMAT skills.
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Why GMAT Apps Are Not Enough
GMAT apps can be a great resource, but they’re not enough for adequate GMAT prep or to achieve your target score. You’ll need to use more comprehensive GMAT study resources like practice tests and books if you want to improve.
Firstly, most apps aren’t catered to your particular weaknesses and strengths. A few apps track your progress, but not in in-depth ways.
Secondly, most of the GMAT apps don’t have enough realistic practice questions to be effective as your primary or only GMAT prep resource. Many of them only have a few, or the practice questions aren’t organized by question type, so it’s difficult to target specific skills or concepts.
Finally, GMAT apps don’t tend to include detailed answer explanations for practice questions, meaning you may not be able to pinpoint why you missed the questions and determine how to improve for the future.
What Makes a Good GMAT App?
Let’s take a look at the qualities that make a GMAT app effective for use as part of your overall prep.
#1: Realistic Practice Questions
If a GMAT app features practice questions, they should be similar in content, tone, difficulty, and length to those on the actual GMAT. The more realistic, the better the questions are for your GMAT prep.
#2: In-Depth Lessons and Content
If a GMAT prep app contains skill-building lessons, they should be detailed, breaking down each question type or necessary skill in depth. You should be able to come away from a lesson with an understanding of a topic you previously didn’t know much about.
Any GMAT prep app you choose to download should be easy to understand, use, and navigate. It should be clear how to find information you need, and easy to select answers on practice questions. Some apps are difficult to read due to issues with the text or visuals.
The Top 7 GMAT Apps
Let’s go over some of the best GMAT apps available for download. For each GMAT prep app, I’ll go over its cost, its content, and its advantages and disadvantages.
Manhattan Prep GMAT
The Manhattan Prep GMAT app has lots of quality, varied content, including 1,110 quantitative and verbal practice questions; 1,556 quantitative, vocab, idioms, and sentence correction drills and quizzes; strategies for each question type; general GMAT study tips; math and verbal glossaries; MBA tips; and a section that tracks your progress, including your average timing on each practice question.
You can try out the Manhattan Prep GMAT app for free for 24 hours. After that, if you want to upgrade to premium, it will cost you $29.99. Otherwise, you can stay at the ‘basic’ level, which contains fewer customization options and fewer practice questions.
The Manhattan Prep GMAT app is the most comprehensive one out there, with high quality practice questions and lots of drills in both basic and advanced quant (hard to find). The idiom and vocabulary drills are also helpful for non-native English speakers. Questions are divided by difficulty as well as skill type, so the app will help you hone in on your weaknesses effectively.
Ready4 GMAT (Prep 4 GMAT)
The basic version of Ready4 GMAT is free with an account, while the premium version (which includes over 1,000 practice questions, 500 flashcards, GMAT prep and vocab quizzes, and an in-depth prep course, including a full GMAT practice test) costs $19.99.
The free version has a great deal of content, though, including an assessment test with 10 practice GMAT questions and an in-app GMAT prep course, with lessons on each GMAT section, fundamental skills like grammar, quizzes, and drills on specific question types. The only downside is that you can’t access a lesson without completing the one before it.
Ready4 GMAT also has some unique features, such as a “school matcher” that lets you customize your list of prospective business schools according to your personal demographics, preferences, academic background, GMAT score, and goals. If you complete it, you can enter to win a $1,000 Ready4 scholarship to business school.
GMAT Math Flashcards and GMAT Idiom Flashcards (Magoosh)
Both of these helpful, targeted apps from Magoosh are free. They don’t contain full-length practice questions; instead, they allow you to test fundamental skills that will help you on the quant and verbal sections.
The GMAT Math Flashcards ask about basic math concepts or simple calculations (such as determining 20% of a given number in your head). They can help you practice estimation, which is important for the quant section since you won’t have access to a calculator. The set contains 19 algebra practice questions; 38 questions on fractions, ratios, and percents; 51 geometry questions; two sections of 33 and 32 questions, respectively on number properties; 24 statistics and probability questions; and six sets of miscellaneous practice, containing 36-37 questions each.
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Each GMAT Idiom Flashcard contains two versions of a sentence with variations on an idiom; you select which one is correct. After you virtually ‘flip’ the card, you’ll see the correct answer and will be asked whether you were familiar with the correct idiom. The cards are divided into two basic and two advanced sections; they track your mastery and will test you on unfamiliar idioms as you continue to practice.
These are helpful flashcards on the go, or to target a particular math skill. The idiom list will be especially helpful for non-native English speakers. However, they don’t contain actual GMAT practice questions, so they won’t be enough for substantial GMAT prep.
GMAT Prep Course (Veritas Prep)
With a free GMAT On Demand trial account, you can access over 24 hours of instructional videos (a ‘self-guided course’) from Veritas Prep that take you through every section of the GMAT and every skill you’ll need to master. With your trial account, you can also access various online Veritas Prep practice materials, including a computer-adaptive GMAT practice test and GMAT practice questions, for seven days.
Veritas Prep lessons are high-quality and informative, with instructors guiding you through each GMAT question type and concept in detail. Each lesson (such as ‘arithmetic calculations,’ the first section of the arithmetic lesson) is around 20-30 minutes.
While you’ll need to purchase the full course to get permanent access to the Veritas Prep resources, you can use this app for an overview of the test and the skills you’ll need to learn, especially at the beginning of your prep process.
Economist GMAT Tutor
You’ll have to create an account to access a free trial Economist GMAT Tutor app, which includes one free tutor session, opportunities to ask questions of tutors trained by The Economist, and a simulated GMAT test, as well as lessons that delve into specific GMAT skills.
The biggest advantage of this app are the in-depth lessons. Each lesson breaks down the various aspects of a particular section or question type in more detail than the majority of app-based GMAT lessons. One disadvantage, besides the obvious drawback of most of the materials only being available for purchase, is that you’ll have to complete one lesson before moving on to the next. So if you’re looking to quickly target a specific skill, this isn’t the best app for your GMAT prep.
GMAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards (Varsity Tutors)
The Varsity Tutors GMAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards app is completely free. You can find flashcards organized by concept, diagnostic tests, and GMAT practice tests and quizzes.
The Varsity Tutors app’s primary strength is its organization. While many apps organize questions according to general categories, like ‘quant section’ or ‘advanced quant,’ Varsity Tutors’ concept categories are hyper-specific and usually include several subcategories. This means you can target your weaknesses much more effectively using Varsity Tutors than on many other apps.
The quant practice questions in the diagnostic tests are a little on the easy side, and the app itself can be a little confusing to navigate. Other than that, this is a comprehensive and effective app to switch up your method of GMAT prep.
GMAT Exam Prep (Pocket Prep, Inc.)
The GMAT Exam Prep app from Pocket Prep offers flashcards, practice questions, and personal statistics on your progress. You can also use the app to challenge other users in GMAT practice question duels.
The app’s benefits are its variety (flashcards on everything from analytical writing-specific vocabulary to advanced quant) and its ability to track your progress over time. The app schedules you for reviews of certain GMAT concepts and skills based on your weaknesses. The downsides? There are some distracting typos in questions and headings, and the ads can be annoying as well.
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How to Use GMAT Apps
There are a few ways to use GMAT apps that will maximize their usefulness for your exam prep.
#1: To Focus On Your Weaknesses
The drills in GMAT prep apps can sometimes help you get an extra boost in particularly weak areas. Apps with short quizzes or mini-lessons centered around certain question types or foundational skills can be helpful as an extra resource for your trouble spots.
#2: To Add Practice Questions
Additional GMAT practice questions, especially free ones, are always a big plus during prep. As long as the questions in the apps you choose are realistic and high-quality, more practice is always better.
#3: On the Go
Since GMAT apps can be downloaded to a phone or tablet, they can be a great resource for extra practice while you’re out and about or if you only have a short time.
Also, it can be useful to study in a variety of ways. Prepping using a different form of technology can motivate you and allow you to engage with the material in a new way.
Wrap-Up: Using GMAT Apps
GMAT apps can be a great addition to your overall prep. They can help you switch it up and learn or practice using a new interface and in a new way.
While they’re not enough as a comprehensive source of practice, you should consider adding a GMAT prep app (or two!) to your study plan.
Find additional practice questions in our extensive collection of GMAT sample questions.
In How to Prepare for the GMAT, you can find a more comprehensive guide to GMAT prep.
If you’re a non-native English speaker or looking to improve your verbal score, our guide to GMAT idioms will help you prepare for sentence correction and critical reasoning questions on the GMAT.