Review: GMAC IR Prep Tool


The Integrated Reasoning site from GMAC is getting a face lift and some new functionality. So of course we here at Bell Curves couldn’t wait to start playing around with it! (We love test prep with a passion. Don’t hate!) Read on to see all of the options on the new site.

 

Site Design 

The site looks really clean and intuitive. Right away you see it is split into three sections: Practice, Review, and Evaluate. However, there is a fourth piece to the site that you might easily miss. Do you see that little help sign up at the top right corner? CLICK IT! It has a bunch of information that could help you with integrated reasoning test prep. It is easy to miss the useful information hidden behind that innocuous little word “Help.”


Practice

The Practice mode pulls from a question bank of 48 questions. You are able to create practice sets from this question bank based on the type of question, difficulty level, and number of questions you want to answer. There are 12 easy difficulty questions, 19 medium, and 17 hard. Once you have created the parameters for the set, you choose if you wish to take the set questions in order of difficulty from easy to hard or in a random order. The final option for your practice set is whether to take it in exam mode or study mode. The only difference between the two is in study mode you see answer explanations immediately after each question. Exam mode requires you to first complete the set before you can review and see explanations.

 

 


Review

This section is split into four subsections. You can try to answer incorrect questions again, review the answer explanations for questions you got incorrect, look at any questions you may have bookmarked for future review, and review entire sessions you took previously. The first three sections are straightforward, but the session review is where things get different from the standard question review. Sessions are scored on a scale of 10-100, the higher the better. This score is based on a combination of difficulty level, number correct, and the time taken to answer. Sadly, there isn’t a way to get a feel for what this session score means in terms of an actual IR score. If you wish to save a copy, you can also download this information to your computer. 


Evaluate
This is the section that is most exciting! The evaluate portion of the site is also split into four sections. There is time management, session history, question history, and benchmarking. The time management section shows the average amount of time you spend on the various question types. You can either have it look at a specific session or all of the sessions you have taken to date. This can help you see your problem areas by question type.  Session history shows your session scores on a graph to see the overall trend of your practice. Question history gives you the ability to review questions from your history to date rather than from just this particular session. You can see the average amount of time you have spent on questions you got correct or incorrect, how many parts of the multi-part questions you got correct, and get an in-depth look at your question trends spanning multiple practice sets. Benchmarking might be the crown jewel of the site. It allows you to see how you are performing in regards to all other people using the program, and how you are performing in regards to people who indicated they planned to apply to the same schools you indicated you plan to apply to. You can select up to five school programs you are interested in, and it will pull the information from other people that selected those same programs to compare your results. As of the writing of this review, this functionality isn’t working, but the idea is interesting. It will allow you to see how your peers are performing, and hone in on the spots you are weakest when compared to the people also interested in the schools you are.Final Thoughts 

The new site is easy to use, and is a great tool for working on integrated reasoning. The variety of ways to review and analyze your results should lead to better targeted preparation. While it would be nice to get some more practice that results in a 1-8 score, this tool is great to use to improve your skills. You can always check your 1-8 score on the GMAT Prep practice exam. At a cost of $19.95 (at the time of this review), it’s a little pricy relative to the number of questions you have access to, but it’s a great resource nonetheless.

 

Good luck preparing for the GMAT and if you have feedback on any aspect of the IR Prep Tool we invite you to share you experience with us.

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