You may have heard of Khan Academy as a free resource offering standardized test prep. But can you use Khan Academy for GMAT prep? What can it help you with?
In this article, I’ll go over the different Khan Academy GMAT prep materials, how to use them, and what Khan Academy can and can’t do for your GMAT study plan.
What GMAT Prep Does Khan Academy Offer?
Khan Academy is a free resource offering exercises, lessons, and instructional videos that allow students to learn at their own pace. It includes lessons on dozens of topics, including the GMAT and other standardized tests.
For GMAT prep, Khan Academy offers hundreds of videos that take you through official, GMAC-authored practice quant questions, showing you how to successfully complete each kind of quant problem from start to finish.
In the Khan Academy GMAT videos, Khan Academy instructor Sal works through GMAT quant problems in real time. You can see the problems being completed on the screen as he goes along, which can help you if you’re getting stuck in practice problems.
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The videos tackle 249 problem solving questions and 155 data sufficiency questions, so there’s a ton of material to work through. The quant problems in Khan Academy videos are from the 11th edition of the Official GMAC GMAT Review, published in 2005. You can buy this version online if you want to easily follow along with Sal.
Additionally, Khan Academy has hundreds of videos that aren’t explicitly aimed at the GMAT, but which will help you review or gain basic math and grammar skills that are fundamental to success on the exam. The math videos can help you with areas that are significant to the GMAT, such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics and probability. The grammar videos, which target skills and concepts like parts of speech, syntax, and punctuation, can particularly help with sentence correction questions.
What Khan Academy GMAT Prep Can and Can’t Do
Khan Academy is free and definitely helpful, but it has its limitations. Let’s go over what Khan Academy can and can’t do for your GMAT prep.
CAN: Help You Understand What You’re Doing Correctly or Incorrectly on Quant Questions
On Khan Academy, you can follow along with quant questions being solved in real time. This means that you can figure out where your current strategies are falling short or where you’re getting stuck when you complete practice questions. For example, maybe you’re having to go through every possible answer choice in a certain question type and test it out, when you could have eliminated one or more of the answer choices immediately.
CAN: Help You Review Math and Grammar Skills
The GMAT tests many basic math and verbal skills that you might not have fully mastered or may need to review. Khan Academy can help you review these concepts or even learn them for the first time. However, you’ll need to know exactly what you want to study, since there aren’t specific lessons dedicated to GMAT content.
CAN’T: Help You Succeed in Analytical Writing, Verbal, or Integrated Reasoning
Khan Academy GMAT prep doesn’t target any sections besides quant, so it’s not enough for a comprehensive GMAT study plan. It also doesn’t offer any resources or other information about the exam, so it can’t help you in other areas (with the exception of possibly building grammar skills through the general English videos).
CAN’T: Offer Specific Test-Taking Strategies
As of yet, Khan Academy doesn’t offer any guidance on GMAT strategies. Though you can begin to learn quant strategies by watching Sal work through specific problems, there aren’t any official GMAT lessons offered by Khan Academy. For an overview or in-depth breakdowns of question types, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Top Tips for Khan Academy GMAT Prep
There are several ways to make your Khan Academy GMAT prep most effective. Let’s go through a few tips for using Khan Academy to prepare for the exam.
Try Out Some Quant Questions First
Practice completing at least a few quant practice questions before you begin watching the Khan Academy GMAT videos.
Then take a look at your notes as Sal takes you through his train of thought on each problem. Where are you missing the mark, particularly on questions you’re getting wrong? Where are your strategies already on point? You don’t have to directly adopt every strategy Sal uses, but the comparison can give you some insight into where you can improve.
Use the Math and Grammar Skills Videos to Strengthen Your Weakest Areas
Target your weakest areas when choosing instructional videos. For example, if you’re a non-native English speaker or you struggle with the verbal section, particularly sentence correction questions, a grammar review could be in order.
As you prepare for the GMAT, you will notice your blind spots in question types and knowledge areas. Khan Academy, which allows you to pick and choose what you review and when, is a good way to hone in on those weaknesses.
Choose the Most GMAT-Relevant Topics for Review
The most GMAT-relevant Khan Academy math videos for the quant section are in the algebra, trigonometry, statistics and probability, and geometry subsections.In addition, because you won’t have a calculator on the GMAT quant section, several Khan Academy videos can help you learn to estimate and calculate in your head.
These are the most useful videos to start with:
Other Free GMAT Prep Resources
Khan Academy isn’t the only free GMAT resource out there. There are a few others where you can find quality GMAT prep at no cost. You can find free practice tests at our article on the best free GMAT practice tests.
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MBA.com offers a ton of official GMAT prep materials, all authored by GMAC. Some of these materials, including the GMAT Prep Software (which contains practice questions, two full-length simulated computer-adaptive GMATs, a quant review, and test-taking strategies), are free. The official materials offer a good starting place to discern your weaknesses and strengths before moving on to other resources.
800Score.com offers a free computerized-adaptive sample GMAT. However, its most helpful resources (particularly if used in conjunction with other resources that target the quant and verbal sections) are its five free timed analytical writing assessments. After you complete each 30-minute essay, you will receive a breakdown of the question and sample student essays by email.
GMAT Club began as a forum where prospective MBA students and GMAT test-takers could chat about study strategies, changes to the exam, and business school.
Now, it also has plenty of free practice questions, including advanced quant problems. In addition, you can find threads addressing strategies for completing specific practice problems and completing certain question types correctly.
Our complete GMAT study guide will help you construct a comprehensive prep plan for the exam.