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GMAT Question difficulty discrapency?

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GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2009, 19:08
I really don't know what to make of the GMAT practice questions I've taken so far. They are all over the place. Here are how I would rate them for all of the sources that I took practice questions from 1-10 (10 is the most difficult):

1) First GMATPrep- first one I took, before I did any studying. I remember thinking that it was challenging but easier than I thought it would be. I don't really remember specifics well though. It was a while ago. I got a 610. So I'd give it a 5 in what I felt its difficulty is.

2) Kaplan (pen and pencil diagnostic)- I thought it was pretty easy and when I went over the answers and felt that I should have done even better. I got a 660. I'd give it a 3.

3) Second GMATPrep- I'd give the math and verbal a 7. The verbal is difficult to gauge since it was pretty late at the time, and I think that effected my score.

4) Official GMAT Guide Diagnostic- Math- 7.5, I thought it was a little tougher than the second GMATPrep. Verbal, I'd give it a 5.5, would've been a 5 if not for one reading comp passage about science (I got 3 of the 5 reading comp questions wrong on this damn passage). I did decently. Above average on each one.

5) Official GMAT Guide Math questions in the problem solving section- This is the biggest descrepancy I've found so far. I haven't checked the answers yet, so maybe it wasn't as easy as I thought but I'd seriously have to give it something like a 1.5. How is it that these are so much easier than the diagnostic questions?

6) EZ Solutions advanced math- I bought this book at a time when I was feeling good about myself. I remember people here or somewhere else were touting how difficult it was. I don't know if it's because I just went through less than 3 chapters (I'm in the middle of the 3rd), but I don't find it too difficult at all. The 3rd chapter got decently more difficult, but for a while the only mistakes I was making were silly ones that I should have gotten right. Because the 3rd chapter got more difficult I'll give it a 3.5. So far I'm somewhat disappointed.

7) Kaplan CAP 1- This is the Big Kahuna. Everyone talks about these tests as being harder than the the rest. You know what? IT'S TRUE! The first couple of questions I found easy and thought "this isn't that big of a deal". However at some point the tests got tougher and I ended up spending crazy amounts of time and at one point I was running out of time and just began guessing and missed 4 questions. The English started off easy too, but the stupid scientific reading comp passages, which I see no cure for, killed me. How do I answer questions about passages that I can't understand? I suck at science. I don't understand these scientific terms. So I ended up with even less time than for the quant. Difficulty is a 9. I scored a pathetic 510 and was shocked it was that high.

What do I make of this range of difficulties? I feel like I'm being jerked around into different directions. Especially the GMAT official guide. Are they trying to screw with you?

Last edited by GmatNY86 on 03 Aug 2009, 16:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 04:44
And your rating of the OG's difficulty would be ?

Lets forget about the initial questions in OG.
Say 180+ in PS and 100 + in DS are relatively tougher.

Also in OG12 i feel some question in DS are tougher than OG11
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 16:35
snipertrader wrote:
And your rating of the OG's difficulty would be ?

Lets forget about the initial questions in OG.
Say 180+ in PS and 100 + in DS are relatively tougher.

Also in OG12 i feel some question in DS are tougher than OG11


Sorry, I included it, but didn't make it obvious (I changed it). #4 and #5. I find that the diagnostic test had math (especial problem solving) that was pretty damn tough. However, the problem solving section, outside of a few questions have been very easy so far. I honestly don't know what's the deal. It seems either something's too easy or too hard for me.
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 19:33
GmatNY86,

I would partly concur with you. The Diagnostic questions in OG are of the higher range (well atleast more than 50%).
Though i cant define range.. maybe someone who has taken the gmat can chip in here.

Also the thing with Diagonstic test is that - OG encourages you to solve it w/o time limits.
If you solve it with a timer.. it adds a added layer of challenge.

The above is for quant.

What is your take on Verbals - CR/RC/SC
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 20:07
snipertrader wrote:
GmatNY86,

I would partly concur with you. The Diagnostic questions in OG are of the higher range (well atleast more than 50%).
Though i cant define range.. maybe someone who has taken the gmat can chip in here.

Also the thing with Diagonstic test is that - OG encourages you to solve it w/o time limits.
If you solve it with a timer.. it adds a added layer of challenge.

The above is for quant.

What is your take on Verbals - CR/RC/SC


I always thought that I was better in math than verbal. Every standardized test that I took I did better in math (I took 3, but this includes practice). However, either my math skills went down the tubes, my verbal skills improved, or (what I think is more likely) the GMAT verbal is just easier than math. I've done better in verbal almost every time. The GMAT guide diagnostic math I got in the average range. But I did decently in the verbal.

RC- 17 Questions- 5 Wrong, 3 in one RC that was about neuroscience and that kind of stuff kills me.

CR-17 Questions- 5 Wrong

SC-18 Questions- 4 Wrong

That's 14 wrong out of 52 (all in the above average range). Doing math that's about 11 wrong in 41. That's not too bad, not great though. If not for that stupid neuroscience passage...
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 20:15
Looks like you are in good shape when it comes to Verbals. I envy your SC skills :)

I am pretty much in the same boat as you (except SC).

One thing i have noticed is - You can get a high quant score (45-49) in spite of getting 10-12 questions wrong...which is simply not the case with verbals!

Of course a lot depends on the difficulty level of the questions you get right.

I would also urge you to take a look at a thread by BSDlover which covers this angle where he has tested gmatprep s/w for various results. It will give you a bit of insight on the scoring pattern.

After all...we all need a high score....irrespective of the level of difficulty
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If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.

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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 20:49
snipertrader wrote:
Looks like you are in good shape when it comes to Verbals. I envy your SC skills :)

I am pretty much in the same boat as you (except SC).

One thing i have noticed is - You can get a high quant score (45-49) in spite of getting 10-12 questions wrong...which is simply not the case with verbals!

Of course a lot depends on the difficulty level of the questions you get right.

I would also urge you to take a look at a thread by BSDlover which covers this angle where he has tested gmatprep s/w for various results. It will give you a bit of insight on the scoring pattern.

After all...we all need a high score....irrespective of the level of difficulty


Thanks, but with the 510 that I got on the Kaplan CAT 1, I don't think anyone should be envying me. I also think that I probably guessed an abnormal amount correctly just to get that 510. I actually did better in math (a rare time). However, I did kill 2 minutes staring blankly at the first question (ironically SC). I still had carryover from math. I was still shell shocked and sat there paralyzed until I paused the test and took a couple of minute break. That killed 2 minutes though. However, that's not THAT much time. The biggest problem the way I see it was the first 2 reading comp passages about natural science (or something of that nature). Killed all my time and I still ended up guessing all the answers. I didn't even have time to guess the last 5 or so questions, much less read them. I ended up in the 29th (!!!) percentile in verbal. I've been going backwards. Since my 660 for the Kaplan diagnostic I've been falling. So there's no reason to envy my skills in anything GMAT related.
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 21:30
Kaplan tests are not a good indicator of scores as far as gmat goes.
GMATPREP is the closest. You will find many links to the same on the forum.
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Last edited by snipertrader on 07 Aug 2009, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 18:39
snipertrader wrote:
Kaplan tests are not a good indicator of scores as far as gmat goes.
GMATPREP is the closest. You will many links to the same on the forum.


For my sake I hope that the real GMAT is not even on the same planet as the Kaplan one. Especially reading comp and quant.
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Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency? [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2009, 19:55
Update. I just finished The OG problem solving section. Out of 230 questions I got only 28 wrong. I believe that I got around double digits out of 24 wrong for the Quant in the OG diagnostic test.
Re: GMAT Question difficulty discrapency?   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2009, 19:55
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