GMAC Conference Notes - Also see attached Powerpoint presentation.
• MYTH - If I don't score in the 90th Percentile, I won’t get into any school I choose.
o Reality – Very few people get super high scores. Less than 50 of the 200,000 people who take the GMAT exam each year get a perfect score of 800. Thus while you may be exceptionally capable, the odds are against you achieving a perfect score. Also the GMAT is just one piece of your application packet. Admissions officers use GMAT scores in conjunction with undergraduate record, application essays, interviews, letters of recommendation, and other information when deciding who to accept into their programs.
• MYTH – Getting an easier question means I answered the last one wrong.
o Reality – Not necessarily. To assure that everyone receives the same content, the test selects a specific number of questions of each type. The test may call for your next question to be a relatively hard problem-solving item, involving arithmetic operations. But, if there are no more relatively difficult problem-solving items involving arithmetic, you might be given an easier item. Most people are not skilled at estimating item difficulty, so don’t worry when taking the test or waste valuable time trying to determine the difficulty of the questions you are answering.
• MYTH – You need very advanced math skills to get a high GMAT score.
o Reality – The math skills tested on the GMAT are quite basic. The GMAT only requires basic quantitative analytic skills specifically underlying math (algebra, geometry, basic arithmetic) and the required skill level is low. The difficulty stems from the requisite logic and analysis skills not the underlying math skills.
• MYTH – It is more important to respond correctly to the test questions than it is to finish the test.
o Reality – There is a severe penalty for not completing the GMAT. If you are stumped by a question, give it your best guess and move on. If you guess incorrectly, the computer will likely give you an easier question, which you are likely to answer correctly and the computer will rapidly recover. On the other hand, if you don’t finish the test, your score will be reduced greatly. Failing to answer five verbal items, for example, could reduce a person’s score from the 91st percentile to the 77th. Pacing is far more important.
• MYTH – The first 10 questions are critical and you should invest the most time on those items.
o Reality – All the questions count. It is true that the CAT algorithm uses the first 10 questions to obtain an initial estimate of your ability; however, that is only an initial estimate. As you continue to answer questions, the algorithm self-corrects by computing a new updated estimate based on all the items you have taken, and then administers items that are closely matched to this new estimate of your ability. Your final score is based on all your responses and considers the difficulty of all the questions you answered. Taking additional time on the first 10 questions will not game the system and can hurt your ability to finish the test.
o Swings used to be real big, now not as big
o Respond thoughtfully to each question
• Trend: Volume for GMAT registration is up about 13 % with international volume up dramatically. Visit here for research and trends: http://www.gmac.com/gmac/ResearchandTre ... Volume.htm
• MBA Schools are pushing the early career initiative. Students with fewer than 2 years experience like Harvard’s 2 by 2 program.
o 10 years ago all you needed was 2 years of experience and schools are reaching out and courting younger MBA prospective students.
o There was a move to 4-5 years because schools could; the demand was high so they moved the barrier.
• Schools are not only going after the early career students, but also women and minorities.
Messages to younger students:
1. Age may not be a barrier anymore.
2. “Take your GMAT and put it into the bank” since the score is good for 5 years.
Studies/Graphs - see powerpoint
• Test Prep Works
o It pays to prepare in advance – basically to get higher improvements, it will take more hours and weeks.
• Retake Study – 18% retake
o 1 time per 31 days
o Gains + 31 pts avg. while 30% do worse
**Go to GMAC.com research and trends for all data
Check out MBA.com for Products:
• GMAT Prep: free, 2 timed tests (downloaded or CD)
• GMAT Review: update in late 08
• GMAT Paper Tests (3 tests in each package)
• Coming Soon: Diagnostic - Show how well in all areas compared to all test takers (new)
• MBA Survival Kit – content specific i.e. Acct.
• FAST – Finance Acct. Stats Test – coming soon
o Schools can use this to give to those execs not testing