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Accuracy of Kaplan Diagnostic test

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Current Student
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Joined: 26 Feb 2012
Posts: 100
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User
Accuracy of Kaplan Diagnostic test [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 15:22
Hello,

I just started preparing for the GMAT this week and took the free practice test on Kaplan. Here is my breakdown:

Overall: 700
Overall Percentile: 90
Quant Percentile: 94
Verbal Percentile: 78

Q 30/37 (81% correct)
V 22/41 (54% correct)

My question is, how it possible to only get 54% of the questions correct in Verbal and still get a 700? I realize the CAT adjusts the difficulty based on how I answer, but I did not do well on the "hard" questions in the verbal section (only 46% right according to the post-test report). Shouldn't my overall, and Verbal score be much lower?
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

GMAT Tests User
Re: Accuracy of Kaplan Diagnostic test [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 21:18
In short, yes, you can get a low percentage of the problems right and still end up with a good verbal score.

The GMAT is a computer test, and if you're only getting about half of the very hard problems right, that means you found your baseline level of ability, and that is a very good thing. Take more tests and practice on your weaker areas to improve your baseline over time.
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Kaplan GMAT Instructor
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Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 644
Location: Cambridge, MA
Followers: 67

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GMAT Tests User
Re: Accuracy of Kaplan Diagnostic test [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2012, 15:25
Expert's post
Hi hpak,

There are a few things that go into that score.

First is that the test is, indeed, adaptive. If you do very well on the initial questions, you will rapidly be rewarded with challenging problems--problems that are hard to get correct, but that have a large impact on your score when you do due to their difficulty.

Second is the fact that your percentile scores are a little misleading. The Verbal section follows a very regular bell-curve in terms of it's score distribution, meaning that your 94 %ile score is quite respectable, but several points off from the maximum. Conversely, the Math section is much more skewed to the extreme, and in all likelihood your 90 %ile score represents a larger raw score than on your verbal section, and therefore a larger proportion of your 800 points.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion--let me know if you have any more questions!

Eli
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Eli Meyer
Kaplan Teacher
http://www.kaptest.com/GMAT

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