Everyone who’s prepping for the GMAT now has just cause to rejoice! Throw your hands in the air, drop to your knees, and thank GMAC for finally offering up a newer version of GMATPrep. Mac users will probably be the most overjoyed at the release of GMATPrep 2.0 (GP2.0), because the software is finally Mac-compatible. That’s right! No more borrowing your cousin/sister/neighbor/dad’s PC at odd hours just to get a practice test in. No more leaving your wonderfully designed and fantastically user-friendly Mac on the sidelines for your GMAT prep. You can finally say goodbye to PCs for good (at least for your GMAT work – GMAC can’t help you out on the job front though). I brought my MacBook Pro into the office today to give the brand-spanking new GP2.0 a whirl in the world of Apple. Below are a few quick shots of what I found interesting. We’ll update in the coming weeks as we delve deeper into it.
- More speed – GP2.0 loads waaayy faster than it’s predecessor. You want GP2.0? You get GP2.0. No more twiddling your thumbs while it loads.
- Clear Layout – The home pages of the software are well designed, easy to follow, and easy to navigate. You’re only a click or two away from any given screen that you need.
- Practice Sets – You can design your own practice sets based on the number and type of questions you want.
- Works like a Mac – As one expects with any Mac compatible software (Microsoft Office, are you listening?), GP2.0 for Macs works like a charm.
- One and Done– When you exit the initial review (see below) of your test, you CANNOT, I repeat, cannot get back to see the questions. This is a serious step back for GP2.0. At least with GP1.0 you could end the exam, leave it unfinished, and return later to review. Now, you leave, and you’re out. And you can never get back to see your questions.
- Same old Tricks – As with GP1.0, GMAC offers zero timing data on individual questions. The much touted “time management” information is incomplete, and, quite frankly, misleading for many students.
- Same old Tricks, Pt. II – Still no explanations for questions in the practice exams. Other practice questions have explanations, but the ones on the practice tests do not. Why? Who knows?
VERDICT: This is a tough call. The improved load times, layout, and the practice set option are all improvements. However, they do not overcome the fact that GMAC has made it harder to review questions by removing the option to leave the test “unfinished” and return at a later time. Now you have to leave the software open until you’re done reviewing, which isn’t always going to be immediately after you finish the test.
- GMATPrep Tips – Guidance for test-takers has been added throughout the software.
- GMAT Question Pack 1 Upgrade Option – As part of the additional resources/practice page (which conveniently lists all of the available GMAC-licensed practice material), the GMAT Prep Pack 1 offers an additional 404 GMAT questions available for seamless integration into your existing software. Those questions will run $24.99. No wonder they didn’t add any new questions to the practice exams.
VERDICT: The new interface for the software includes a host of new features that make it a significant upgrade over GP1.0. It’s great to have access to another 404 practice questions (once we check them out we’ll let you know if we recognize them from any other GMAC product).
VERDICT: As you can see from the slides above, the new interface of the software is, comparatively, a joy to behold. The color scheme, font, and layout are all easy on the eyes. I love the slate background/frame. The aesthetics for the practice tests haven’t changed at all, largely because it’s intended to be an accurate mock-up of the real thing. Kudos go out to the designers who worked on GP2.0.
VERDICT: The bottom line is that you will use GP2.0. It’s the best diagnostic software available. It’s the only source of real, retired GMAT questions (along with other GMAC products) available, and the option to purchase another 400+ of them will please many people. Unfortunately, we can’t really get too thrilled about GP2.0 because so many of the significant features (individual timing data for questions, review ability), are absent. Right now, in this reviewer’s estimation, it’s a pretty face and some new clothes on what is essentially the same product.