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GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios

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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2013, 18:36
GMATNinja wrote:
Manimgoindowndown, I don't think it's true that CR is insignificant at all, and it's not weighted any differently than the other two verbal question types. If you're doing well on SC and RC, then it's certainly possible to get into the high 30s while having some serious CR deficiencies. But it's not because CR is insignificant--it's just because your overall, combined verbal level merits that score.

And hey, if you're able to score around the 85th percentile with some CR weaknesses, imagine what you could do if you improved your CR skills!

I don't think that pacing benchmarks are usually very helpful on the verbal section. This might sound really obvious, but most verbal mistakes happen because you misread or misinterpreted something, for one reason or another. A very tiny lapse in focus can cause you to miss a question, and that's a (presumably deliberate) design feature of GMAT verbal questions.

I think that benchmarking can actually cause you to make more of those small reading errors on the GMAT. On CR and RC questions, a huge proportion of your time will be spent reading and digesting the passage. You can't really do much to accelerate that process, unless you're willing to sacrifice accuracy. And the same is true when you start looking through the answer choices--what are you going to do, skim them to save time? That doesn't make much sense--if you're not reading carefully, you're extremely likely to miss the question, and you'll only save yourself 10-20 seconds in the process, since the bulk of your time is inevitably spent reading the passage, anyway.

So I just don't see the benefit of benchmarking for most people. If you hurry on verbal questions so that you have time to answer question #41, you'll probably screw yourself out of at least one question early in the test, and that's a crappy tradeoff. If you miss an easy question early, it will change the trajectory of the entire test, and your score will be disproportionately damaged. If you kick butt on questions #1-38, then questions #39-41 won't matter all that much.

I know that I'm in the minority on this, but I think you're better off answering questions thoroughly, methodically, and consistently throughout the verbal section. Don't cheat yourself out of a right answer early in the section just to hit some timing benchmarks.


Thanks a lot Charles for your reply here.
Say accuracy is around 70-80% till 30th Question on Quant and 80% till 35th Qs on Verbal having answered easy questions correctly and having entered the 700 level. will missing the remaining questions harm?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2013, 23:27
Expert's post
Hey Yall,

Added results from another testing scenario.

11) What if you marked the last answer choice, but did not click submit and confirm, and the allotted time for the section gets over?



Vercules
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2013, 05:43
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2013, 15:42
Awesome work, Bunuel and Vercules!

It's interesting to see that omitting the last seven quant questions is so deadly on GMATPrep, since the fine folks at GMAC insist that there isn't a huge difference between guessing and omitting questions at the end of each section. They published an official blog post on that issue a couple of years ago (http://officialgmat.mba.com/2009/09/17/ ... g/#more-57) and there's also an accompanying research study on the GMAC website (http://www.gmac.com/~/media/Files/gmac/ ... ssWhat.pdf).

Basically, GMAC argues that there isn't really a meaningful difference between guessing and omitting the last five questions on verbal. They also argue that you're better off omitting the last five if you're doing badly on the quant section, and you're better off guessing only if you're a "high ability" test-taker on the quant section. Interesting.

I guess there are a few ways to look at the differences between the GMATPrep results and the GMAC's official statements. It's possible that the GMATPrep software runs a substantially different algorithm than the actual test, but I think it's more likely that the dramatic result in Bunuel's study is the result of an extra couple of questions (omitting seven questions probably does substantially more damage than missing five) and the fact that he is clearly in the "high ability" category. :-D

A large proportion of GMAT Club members will ultimately do well on quant, so it's best for most members to guess at the end of the quant section instead of omitting questions. But on the verbal section--or for test-takers who aren't strong at quant--maybe it doesn't really matter all that much?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2013, 07:20
Bunuel wrote:

6. Best Guessing Strategy: Part II - guess every third question

Experiment: I will try to test a scenario in which a test takers GUESSES every other question (e.g. 2, 4, 6, etc). I was answering C to all even numbered question and guessed correctly 3 out of 18
Results: Q40, 55th percentile. (22 correct answers and 15 incorrect answers, I guessed 3 questions correctly.)
Analysis: Not sure what I was expecting guessing every other question. I guess I got the 55th percentile (half the ultimate score but I also only invested half the effort and gottend double the time to answer my other questions). So far, I don' think this is the best strategy in terms of guessing since my goal would be to get the most return for the least amount of effort. However, I do think this score is too low to be seriously considered by anyone.
Total Score: Every question in the verbal section was answered as "A" this time and it resulted in the final score of V6, 0 percentile. Total score: 380, 10th percentile.


Bunuel and Vercules,

Thank you for the hard work. I am still a little confused by this as the title doesn't match the description. Was the title intended to say "every other question"?

Additionally, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I was told by a GMAT rep that the GMATPrep software uses the same number of questions as the real test. To me, the existence of experimental questions in the real test means that GMATPrep cannot be using all questions to calculate the score, so there might be an element of randomness to the analysis. Do you get the same or variable results when you replicate these tests?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2013, 13:12
GMATNinja wrote:
Awesome work, Bunuel and Vercules!

....

Basically, GMAC argues that there isn't really a meaningful difference between guessing and omitting the last five questions on verbal. They also argue that you're better off omitting the last five if you're doing badly on the quant section, and you're better off guessing only if you're a "high ability" test-taker on the quant section. Interesting.

I guess there are a few ways to look at the differences between the GMATPrep results and the GMAC's official statements. It's possible that the GMATPrep software runs a substantially different algorithm than the actual test, but I think it's more likely that the dramatic result in Bunuel's study is the result of an extra couple of questions (omitting seven questions probably does substantially more damage than missing five) and the fact that he is clearly in the "high ability" category. :-D

A large proportion of GMAT Club members will ultimately do well on quant, so it's best for most members to guess at the end of the quant section instead of omitting questions. But on the verbal section--or for test-takers who aren't strong at quant--maybe it doesn't really matter all that much?




I have the same question....I always seem to have around 7 questions left when taking the quant sections of MGMAT CAT's. With limited time, should I guess on the last seven instead of trying to solve 1 more correctly and leave around 6-7 blank?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2013, 13:30
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hyt wrote:


I have the same question....I always seem to have around 7 questions left when taking the quant sections of MGMAT CAT's. With limited time, should I guess on the last seven instead of trying to solve 1 more correctly and leave around 6-7 blank?



Hi hyt,

Yes, you should not leave any of the last questions blank. If you face a time crunch at the end is a section then better guess all the seven question than get one or even two questions correct and rest blank. Based on the last test that I conducted on GMATPrep, the best approach would be to guess on 6 questions, mark a random option on the last question and then attempt it. If the time gets over your last question would still count as marked and if you are able determine the correct answer choice you will get it correct.

Hope this helps,

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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2013, 09:15
Good Insight. But I guess we can't depend on it fully since the experimental questions can swing the balance either ways.

Good to form a general strategy though!!
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2013, 04:52
I tried a different scenario : All CR Correct, Rest All Wrong. Result V8 1%ile.

GMAC Representative claimed that SC, CR and RC are measured independently. However even though was getting all CR correct, the CR problems were pretty easy. Hence its not true that your ability in SC will not affect the difficulty level of CR/RC questions.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 14 May 2013, 00:47
Hi Vercules and Bunuel,
Great job guys..
you guys had actually dissected whole gmatprep software... really given insightful to future test-takers like us.
Vercules: I would like to know
What if we get all CR question incorrect?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 14 May 2013, 02:11
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For me reading once again the tests conducted by Bunuel and Vercules the scenario is pretty clear.

Quant: no matter what the first 10 questions MUST be correct and guess C if you do not answer a question or at least strategically, the rest of the questions

Verbal: no matter what the first 10 questions or so MUST be correct, then if you have to guess picking C (verbal counts more than quant in terms of overall score).

Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 19 May 2013, 02:11
@vercules

What if you get 2 RC Passages (all questions related to it), 2 tough CRs, and 2 tough SCs wrong. Total 11 Ques incorrect but not in a stretch. How much score you get in Verbal? Please do it.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 22 May 2013, 23:42
Hi Vercules,

what if we solve first 12 question correctly and from 13 to 25 alternate question correct.
and then from 25 to rest all correct.?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 22:32
here's some data from Verbal section of my gmatprep #1

1 wrong in first 10 Qs:
5 wrong in next 10 Qs:

--> landed up with V29 .!

With 20 wrong across the section (!!! managed to make 14 mistakes in the last 21 questions !! )
I did realize that i was way slow by the time i completed first 20 : ate away about 48 mins by the time i finished first 20.
how could i've managed time better when i realized i was this slow?

i'm sure my situation is not unique ., and most likely what few of us might land up in. we normally dont plan for guessing until we realize we're way back on timing.

what would be the best approach for guessing if we end up having to guess from middle of the test, as in we dont follow this pattern (as in this what-if) right from the start?

any inputs appreciated,
thank you.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2013, 09:46
I actually verified the "guess the last 10" strategy on an ACTUAL GMAT about 18 months ago. The quant score was 49. While I can't be absolutely sure that my first 27 questions were correct, I was probably sitting on a 50 or 51 before I ditched (guessed A on all) the last 10. So my score only dropped 1-2 raw points. I had seen the results you have seen on the GMATPrep software and wanted to verify that the same pattern held for the actual test. It does.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 15:32
WarriorGmat wrote:
Hi Guys,

I have implemented strategy # 7 by Bunuel for MGMAT practice test in quant section.
and my quant score was Q47
Bang on!!! :o


Can you please post the summary sheet of your test (a screenshot would do). Wanted to understand how the score moves in that scenario.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 15:39
Bunuel wrote:
soumens wrote:
Awesome initiative!! The use of crystal clear language unties all knots.

Eagerly waiting for the Verbal What-if scenarios... :)

Just a quick Q, does GMATPrep simulate experimental questions in the same way as the test???

I think you might have even conducted multiple cycles of the same scenario. Was there no difference in the end scores?

Because I guess only experimental questions can introduce an error margin and it would be great to quantify that if possible... :-D

Thanks to all... :-D


Important Clarification: we have a strong reason to believe that even though GMAT Prep is the closest algorithm to the GMAT, it is most likely NOT identical. Some of these scenarios may result into a different outcome when attempted on the real test. We so far have no reports to confirm or dismiss these results based on the test day experience.


Then how / why does GMAT Prep scores resemble your actual score so closely for a fairly large number of test takers?
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 22:10
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anir123456 wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
soumens wrote:
Awesome initiative!! The use of crystal clear language unties all knots.

Eagerly waiting for the Verbal What-if scenarios... :)

Just a quick Q, does GMATPrep simulate experimental questions in the same way as the test???

I think you might have even conducted multiple cycles of the same scenario. Was there no difference in the end scores?

Because I guess only experimental questions can introduce an error margin and it would be great to quantify that if possible... :-D

Thanks to all... :-D


Important Clarification: we have a strong reason to believe that even though GMAT Prep is the closest algorithm to the GMAT, it is most likely NOT identical. Some of these scenarios may result into a different outcome when attempted on the real test. We so far have no reports to confirm or dismiss these results based on the test day experience.


Then how / why does GMAT Prep scores resemble your actual score so closely for a fairly large number of test takers?


Because GMAT Prep is the closest algorithm to the GMAT but most likely NOT identical.
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2013, 12:21
Simply amazing experiments by bunuel and vercules!!

U guys are awesome!
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Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2013, 06:19
Gave my GMAT last Monday and I can confirm that the first few questions do matter and make a difference to overall verbal score. After getting series of dismal scores in verbal -- v21; v 26 -- I changed my strategy a bit and allocated few extra minutes for the first few questions, which included a long American history passage. The result -- v37 (82 %ile).

I'm not here to advocate that you must do first 20 odd right and not worry about the rest, but to imply the importance of slowing down a bit initially to gain the momentum.
Re: GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2013, 06:19
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