GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged : Share GMAT Experience
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# GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged

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GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2013, 18:24
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Hi
I just came back from my GMAT appointment. Got Quant 47 and Verbal 23, and I totally not able to accept the disgraceful Verbal Score. Never, during the entire verbal section I felt that any of the questions were out of my ability level. In fact I found the questions very approachable and easy to solve. I am preparing for last 6 months or so and I have not got any score less than 690. Least on verbal I scored was 34.
I strongly believe that there was some problem with the GMAC algorithm and it did not correctly matched my answers. I am not a disgruntled test taker nor I don't understand the level of GMAT. But even if i get up from my sleep and do verbal I can never get a score as low as 23.

Is there any one else, who feels that his/her score was not the true representational of his/her ability?? Are there lot more like me, who truly believes that they could never get such a low score. I have already written to GMAC, I know even if they find something they will not report it.

Recently when I was doing the IR from GMAC Prep, I came across a similar issue. I marked an answer as B and when i submitted my answer, GMAT PREP told me the answer is C. However when i scrolled down below, they explain B as the right answer. I have attached the screen shot, which if you will see make more sense.

Now, been a GMAT student., I am making no casual relationship between these two issues. What I am only suggesting is that there could be a bug in GMAT and if there is bug then enough people should come forward and GMAC should take care of the issue. I know they will not accept it publicly, if there is a bug.

But It is not easy to go through such bad days in your life, when you know almost every thing that appears on screen and still u end up getting 23.

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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2013, 20:38
Hi Asingh,

There may be some issues with GMAC algorithm, but it is not in our hands. The algorithm works fine for almost everyone, so few exceptions would not matter. I too was shocked like you.
My scores below:

GMATPrep 1: 2 April,2012: 770
Kaplan 1: 15 July, 2012: 720
MGMAT: 15 Aug, 2012: 740
GMATPrep 2: 25 Aug,2012: 750
GMATPrep 3: 26 Aug,2012: 730 (2 Repeats in Quants, 3 In Verbal)

Actual GMAT:1 Sep,2012: 610 Q49 V23

Since, there is no one to listen - better get started for retake.

For sure, I would not blame my competency or environmental factors for such debacle. I am a state university topper and 3 times 99%er in Indian CAT. I was expecting a minimum 700.
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 08:13
Hi Asingh,
I too just came back from a GMAT appointment and my score is quite disappointing, 660 (Q 46, V 35).

Surprisingly, I cant say that anything went particularly wrong during the test, I was on time and felt confident about my verbal skills.
More importantly, yesterday I have taken a GMATprep test, which I've been saving up till the last moment and scored 750 (Q49, V44). I cant really say that i have seen a lot of repeats, if any, because i took the first GMATprep exam probably a month ago and have forgotten a lot of questions. During last weeks I also took several MGMAT tests and my V was on par, 43-45, so you cant say that I am particularly bad at V and writing all this because I am frustrated.

I would have accepted a fall from 44 to 40 or high 30es at least, but 35! Come on!
I don't know what to make of it, it's either a universal malfunction since i am in Europe or our own overconfidence. I suggest we wait till the Official Score Reports are released, they might be different (hopefully). Please post here if GMAC replies to your letter.

asingh286 wrote:
Hi
I just came back from my GMAT appointment. Got Quant 47 and Verbal 23, and I totally not able to accept the disgraceful Verbal Score. Never, during the entire verbal section I felt that any of the questions were out of my ability level. In fact I found the questions very approachable and easy to solve. I am preparing for last 6 months or so and I have not got any score less than 690. Least on verbal I scored was 34.
I strongly believe that there was some problem with the GMAC algorithm and it did not correctly matched my answers. I am not a disgruntled test taker nor I don't understand the level of GMAT. But even if i get up from my sleep and do verbal I can never get a score as low as 23.

Is there any one else, who feels that his/her score was not the true representational of his/her ability?? Are there lot more like me, who truly believes that they could never get such a low score. I have already written to GMAC, I know even if they find something they will not report it.

Recently when I was doing the IR from GMAC Prep, I came across a similar issue. I marked an answer as B and when i submitted my answer, GMAT PREP told me the answer is C. However when i scrolled down below, they explain B as the right answer. I have attached the screen shot, which if you will see make more sense.

Now, been a GMAT student., I am making no casual relationship between these two issues. What I am only suggesting is that there could be a bug in GMAT and if there is bug then enough people should come forward and GMAC should take care of the issue. I know they will not accept it publicly, if there is a bug.

But It is not easy to go through such bad days in your life, when you know almost every thing that appears on screen and still u end up getting 23.

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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 09:04
asingh286 wrote:
Hi
I just came back from my GMAT appointment. Got Quant 47 and Verbal 23, and I totally not able to accept the disgraceful Verbal Score. Never, during the entire verbal section I felt that any of the questions were out of my ability level. In fact I found the questions very approachable and easy to solve. I am preparing for last 6 months or so and I have not got any score less than 690. Least on verbal I scored was 34.
I strongly believe that there was some problem with the GMAC algorithm and it did not correctly matched my answers. I am not a disgruntled test taker nor I don't understand the level of GMAT. But even if i get up from my sleep and do verbal I can never get a score as low as 23.
Is there any one else, who feels that his/her score was not the true representational of his/her ability?? Are there lot more like me, who truly believes that they could never get such a low score. I have already written to GMAC, I know even if they find something they will not report it.
Recently when I was doing the IR from GMAC Prep, I came across a similar issue. I marked an answer as B and when i submitted my answer, GMAT PREP told me the answer is C. However when i scrolled down below, they explain B as the right answer. I have attached the screen shot, which if you will see make more sense.
Now, been a GMAT student., I am making no casual relationship between these two issues. What I am only suggesting is that there could be a bug in GMAT and if there is bug then enough people should come forward and GMAC should take care of the issue. I know they will not accept it publicly, if there is a bug.
But It is not easy to go through such bad days in your life, when you know almost every thing that appears on screen and still u end up getting 23.

Well, we all know that there are a few questions in GMATPREP that are incorrect. However, the percent of such questions is pretty small.

Another important thing- almost every expert would tell you is that, if you are comfortable with questions then probably you are not doing well on the exam... the difficulty level should go up if you are doing well there.

You may have made some silly mistakes upfront and then paid the price of it in later questions, where you got easier questions still well under your true level.

Also, you may have an off day.. I thought (and many other on forum had agreed) that i was slated for a 750+ , but got a meager 720.. but that doesnt mean that GMAC algo, which is accepted worldwide and by best of the colleges, is flawed or rigged.

I'd say, keep your head up and give it another shot... you'll bell the cat
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 09:47
Asingh,

As Vips has already pointed out, to do really well on GMAT you need to see tough questions, brutal questions, sometimes questions which you have never seen anywhere.

- Did you take practice tests using IR and AWA, exactly in official conditions ?
- Did you distribute your time uniformly in verbal, usually 40 mins for first 20 questions is a good metric ?
- How many practice tests you gave in total ?

Let's assume that there is a bug in GMAC's software. The chances of it happening will be like 0.1%, that 1 in 1000. So if you retake then you should be able to improve because getting two rigged tests would need a probability of 1 in 1 million.
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 10:13
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make sure you aren't clicking any other part of the screen before hitting the "next" button.

When you select an answer, it fills in the radio button and also creates a dotted-line box around it. I've always been OCD about those dotted-line boxes, so I click a blank part of the screen to get rid of the box... but what I discovered (after horrible score on a practice exam!) is that sometimes clicking a blank part of the screen will actually change your answer, because the "click area" for the different answers are much larger than just the text and the radio button.
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 12:29
Thank you all for the responses. Let me make one thing very clear. My entire verbal section actually never took off. I never got any question which I can say was 700+ level, right from start. There were passages, particularly long one 4 to 5 para but questions were relatively easy. All the questions in CR were around 500 level-so simple that even a 2 grader can solve. SC and RC were also relatively easy.

Counter argument could be that since I never got harder questions , I was not doing well on the exam. I totally understand this logic, However I do not agree that I was not doing well, every answer that I marked for the first 5-10 questions were well thought and analysed. I am confident that I marked the right answers. What surprises me is that the algorithm never adapted itself, there was absolutely no variation among the level of questions.

Point is that, I am not a test taker who just got up one fine day and booked a ticket. I have prepared for this for almost a year. I was enrolled in Manhattan Live course and have consistently scored on an average 730, and yes all these mock tests were taken under controlled environment.

The reason I have mentioned all this factual data is because I am very aware of my limitation and of my ability and preparation level.
If I get a score of 23 in verbal(all verbal questions were no more than 600 Level), then i must have gone wrong with almost 22 to 26 questions. With my level of preparation it is next to impossible that even on my worst day I can make so many mistakes.

My verbal section never kicked off, the section was not adaptive for me. I got a flat 500-600 level questions. I totally understand the nature of allegation and I am not saying that there is a bug, all I am trying to say is that there could be a possibility.

The entire process is so opaque that we end up looking at our end of deal and after a week of introspection we just get so tired that we are very well ready to take the entire blame for such a embarrassing performance.

I guess the entire purpose is lost among these various responses I have got to my question. I never started this thread to introspect and correct myself before my next attempt, May be I will start another thread for such an introspection. The main objective of this post is to know how many people have come across this experience, where you can absolutely make no sense of your low score. So If you are not one of them , I would suggest that you refrain from replying.
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 15:05
After scoring on average between 700-740 on my practice tests, I scored a 48 Quant with a 28 verbal. My tutor said it just didn't make sense and it did not reflect my abilities at all. I now have to restudy and am taking it again. Nothing we can do..
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2013, 15:12
This is what GMAC hae to say ...

Quote:
Examinee Remedies for Errors in Registration, Test Development, Test Administration, or Scoring
GMAC, the non-profit council that created and administers the GMAT exam, and its service providers, Pearson VUE and ACT, Inc., make every effort to ensure that GMAT test registration and scheduling information is properly processed, and that GMAT tests are properly prepared, handled, administered, and scored. In the unlikely event that an error occurs in the preparation, handling, administration, processing, or scoring of your GMAT test, or in the reporting of your GMAT scores, GMAC and/or Pearson VUE will make reasonable efforts to correct the error. If the error cannot be corrected, you may reschedule your appointment at no additional fee or request a refund. These remedies are the exclusive remedies available to examinees for errors that occur during the registration or scheduling process; in preparing, administering, printing, handling, or processing exams; or in determining or reporting scores.

So even GMAC believes that there is a possibility for such an error. So I am going to go ahead and find how do the entire process work ?
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 08:03
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Hi, all. Thanks for the interesting discussion! I would like to jump in and provide some clarifications for you all. First, I do need to emphasize that your GMAT score is based not only on the number of questions you answered correctly, but also the level of difficulty of the questions you are answering so it is certainly possible to end up with a lower score, even if you feel you answered most of the questions correctly. You can see a more detailed explanation of the scoring algorithm here: http://officialgmat.mba.com/2010/01/13/ ... -the-gmat/. I should also note that if you are taking the exams in GMATPrep more than once you are likely to see repeat questions, which can certainly inflate your score. GMAC cannot vouch for the accuracy of the scoring algorithms of practice exams by third-party test-prep companies.

GMAC regularly reviews scoring patterns to ensure there are no irregularities that would indicate an issue with the scoring algorithm. In addition, your GMAT exam is scored three times using two separate scoring algorithms, prior to your Official Score Report being released. If there is any discrepancy in the scores, your scores are immediately placed under review. You can see more details about that here: http://officialgmat.mba.com/2010/04/07/ ... -or-score/.

I hope this clears a few things up. If you have more questions about the GMAT exam, or your score report, I am happy to help.

Thank you!

Rebecca
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 12:11
Thanks Rebecca for your input. I would not refute the facts you have put. My claim is not based on the casual relationship between my mock test and the actual GMAT test. There are so many factors that can go absolutely go wrong on the test day such as anxiety level, performance under pressure etc. My primary contention is that I believe in my case the adaptive algorithm never kicked in. Counter argument to this could be that the very fact I never saw harder questions is because I was making mistakes in my previous questions. Only possibility for this scenario is that I answered most of the questions incorrectly. Lets take a hypothetical situation.

Question No 1 --- Level 550 -- Incorrect
Question No 2 -- Level 500 -- Incorrect
Question No 3 --- Level 450 -- Incorrect
Question No 4 -- Level 400 -- Incorrect
Question No 5 -- Level 350 -- Incorrect

This could be the worst day scenario. With each subsequent wrong the level of question I probably would get in this scenario would be something which even a 2 grader can solve. And my entire test was of level 400. The link you gave me talks about two different scoring algorithm. I am very sure you will agree that the claim which GMAC is making about using two different algorithm and that GMAC uses a third algorithm is so opaque that I cant even put forward an argument. How can you possibly correct a adaptive test ?
For an example- I marked option B as the answer, which indeed is the right answer to the question but Software has Option C as the right answer based on that my question is evaluated as wrong and my level drops. So when you say that two different algorithm evaluates, then do you mean that they check what is suppose to be the right answer? Does it check that in your software there is a bug which have put option C as the right answer instead of B?
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 13:48
asingh286 wrote:
Thanks Rebecca for your input. I would not refute the facts you have put. My claim is not based on the casual relationship between my mock test and the actual GMAT test. There are so many factors that can go absolutely go wrong on the test day such as anxiety level, performance under pressure etc. My primary contention is that I believe in my case the adaptive algorithm never kicked in. Counter argument to this could be that the very fact I never saw harder questions is because I was making mistakes in my previous questions. Only possibility for this scenario is that I answered most of the questions incorrectly. Lets take a hypothetical situation.

Question No 1 --- Level 550 -- Incorrect
Question No 2 -- Level 500 -- Incorrect
Question No 3 --- Level 450 -- Incorrect
Question No 4 -- Level 400 -- Incorrect
Question No 5 -- Level 350 -- Incorrect

This could be the worst day scenario. With each subsequent wrong the level of question I probably would get in this scenario would be something which even a 2 grader can solve. And my entire test was of level 400. The link you gave me talks about two different scoring algorithm. I am very sure you will agree that the claim which GMAC is making about using two different algorithm and that GMAC uses a third algorithm is so opaque that I cant even put forward an argument. How can you possibly correct a adaptive test ?
For an example- I marked option B as the answer, which indeed is the right answer to the question but Software has Option C as the right answer based on that my question is evaluated as wrong and my level drops. So when you say that two different algorithm evaluates, then do you mean that they check what is suppose to be the right answer? Does it check that in your software there is a bug which have put option C as the right answer instead of B?

Hello, again. I am sorry that you are so frustrated by your GMAT score. As for your specific concerns, I am happy to offer more information.

You noted that you think there is a possibility that the adaptive algorithm didn’t kick in. If this had happened, the exam software would not have known how to select the next question (of any difficulty level) and therefore the exam essentially would have stopped.

I hope this provides a little more information for you about our scoring process. Again, I wish you the best of luck in your studies.

Rebecca
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 14:21
Thanks for your quick response. From what you replied, It seems that I absolutely do not have any reason to doubt. So are we denying over here that there is absolutely zero possibility of bug in the software? and if we are not, then what would it actually take GMAC to investigate it? The very reason I decided to put this issue on a larger forum is to see how many people have gone through a similar issue. I am not expecting GMAC to dig into there source code on the basis of one "disgruntled" test taker . But If I am able to bring more test takers who are confident that even on there worst day, they will never get such a disgraceful score, will GMAC be interested in honoring there part of deal?
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2013, 06:55
asingh286 wrote:
Thanks for your quick response. From what you replied, It seems that I absolutely do not have any reason to doubt. So are we denying over here that there is absolutely zero possibility of bug in the software? and if we are not, then what would it actually take GMAC to investigate it? The very reason I decided to put this issue on a larger forum is to see how many people have gone through a similar issue. I am not expecting GMAC to dig into there source code on the basis of one "disgruntled" test taker . But If I am able to bring more test takers who are confident that even on there worst day, they will never get such a disgraceful score, will GMAC be interested in honoring there part of deal?

Hello again. Please be assured that GMAC takes the integrity of the exam very seriously. Any bug in the software would affect all exams administered. As noted above, GMAC regularly reviews scoring patterns for any abnormalities that would indicate an issue with the scoring software or algorithm. We want every test taker to succeed and make every effort to ensure that the GMAT exam is a fair experience.

Rebecca
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2013, 10:45
ConnectTheDots wrote:
I am a state university topper and 3 times 99%er in Indian CAT. I was expecting a minimum 700.

Dude you are making an assumption here. And as you know if the assumption is not true, the conclusion (expecting minimum 700) falls apart...
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Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2013, 09:36
[img]Dude you are making an assumption here. And as you know if the assumption is not true, the conclusion (expecting minimum 700) falls apart...

ConnectTheDots wrote:
I am a state university topper and 3 times 99%er in Indian CAT. I was expecting a minimum 700.[/img]

I think you miss the point here tring375. What ConnectTheDots wants to tell is that He is not a below average student with a poor IQ, who does not have the capability to hit a high score. No where he said that because he is a state topper, he should get 700+. You and everyone who wish to make a comment on this post need to understand that we are just talking about a possibility, no one is fixing blames over here.
Re: GMAC Verbal Scoring Algorithm is rigged   [#permalink] 15 Jul 2013, 09:36
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