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GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy

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GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 04:47
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I've been studying for the GMAT for a couple of weeks now, using mainly hard copy material (Kaplan Premier book) and short online quizzes. My test date is about 10 days from now.

Two days ago, I decided to test my actual full test capabilities for the first time, and to get the best starting point picture, I downloaded the GMATPrep and did the first test.

To my surprise, I scored 750 (so I naturally concluded that by the time I'm done studying, Harvard and Wharton will be flying their best people over to persuade me to choose them as my school :wink: ).

The following two days, I tried two CATs from the Kaplan CD - the results were horrible (620 and 640 respectively). Not only that, but I also found myself running out of time in almost every section (as opposed to the GMATPrep exam, where I managed to finish Quantitative with over 1 minute left, and Verbal with almost 7 minutes left). So now I'm thinking Harvard and Wharton will not be flying over after all, and that community colleges will be turning me down. :(

The above caught me by surprise, since if anything, I would have expected the GMATPrep to simulate the actual test more accurately, and therefore be tougher.

Does anyone have any insights as to this discrepancy?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 05:04
gil123 wrote:
I've been studying for the GMAT for a couple of weeks now, mainly using hard copy material (Kaplan Premier book) and short online quizzes. My test date is about 10 days from now.

Two days ago, I decided to test my actual full test capabilities for the first time, and to get the best starting point picture, I downloaded the GMATPrep and did the first test.

To my surprise, I scored 750 (so I naturally concluded that by the time I'm done studying, Harvard and Wharton will be flying their best people over to persuade me to choose them as my school :wink: ).

The following two days, I tried two CATs from the Kaplan CD - the results were horrible (620 and 640 respectively). Not only that, but I also found myself running out of time in almost every section (as opposed to the GMATPrep exam, where I managed to finish Quantitative with over 1 minute left, and Verbal with almost 7 minutes left). So now I'm thinking Harvard and Wharton will not be flying over after all, and that community colleges will be turning me down.

The above caught me by surprise, since if anything, I would have expected the GMATPrep to simulate the actual test more accurately, and therefore be tougher.

Does anyone have any insights as to this discrepancy?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


I took some of the Kaplan tests before I took the GMAT and I tended to get lower scores as well. From what I've read people tend to get about 20 to 40 points lower on the Kaplan tests than the actual test.

That said, the GMATprep software was exactly right for me, and I've seen dozens of people say the same thing. Therefore, I'd say you're closer to 750 than 640. However, I'm assuming that you have never seen some of the questions from the GMATprep software. My suggestion to you is to take a test everyday at the same time that you are going to take the actual test, and then review that test afterwards on the same day if possible.

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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 13:42
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Hi gil,

What edition of Kaplan Premier do you have? Many of them use old, non-adaptive tests that don't produce the most accurate results. We include them because they are still useful, though; I hope the challenging problems and time pressure were a learning experience, and the individual problems still offer test-like content to help you learn from.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 23:44
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi gil,

What edition of Kaplan Premier do you have? Many of them use old, non-adaptive tests that don't produce the most accurate results. We include them because they are still useful, though; I hope the challenging problems and time pressure were a learning experience, and the individual problems still offer test-like content to help you learn from.


Hello Eli,
I went through a couple of the 2010 Premier online edition tests and they weren't adaptive I don't think. If these tests weren't adaptive which ones are?
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 02:51
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi gil,

What edition of Kaplan Premier do you have? Many of them use old, non-adaptive tests that don't produce the most accurate results. We include them because they are still useful, though; I hope the challenging problems and time pressure were a learning experience, and the individual problems still offer test-like content to help you learn from.



Hi Eli,

I have the GMAT Premier Program 2009 edition.

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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 07:44
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Hi Gil,

the 2010 edition did indeed update the tests.

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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 11:50
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi Gil,

the 2010 edition did indeed update the tests.

Eli


What do you mean by "update"? When I took the tests two months ago they didn't have the same structure as the real test. All of the SC, RC, and CR were in sections and not interspersed. Did Kaplan they fix the adaptive part but not the test structure? That seems odd.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 12:13
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gmatGREdan wrote:
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi Gil,

the 2010 edition did indeed update the tests.

Eli


What do you mean by "update"? When I took the tests two months ago they didn't have the same structure as the real test. All of the SC, RC, and CR were in sections and not interspersed. Did Kaplan they fix the adaptive part but not the test structure? That seems odd.

Hi gmatGREdan,

Which version of the book were you working from?
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 12:53
KapTeacherEli wrote:
gmatGREdan wrote:
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi Gil,

the 2010 edition did indeed update the tests.

Eli


What do you mean by "update"? When I took the tests two months ago they didn't have the same structure as the real test. All of the SC, RC, and CR were in sections and not interspersed. Did Kaplan they fix the adaptive part but not the test structure? That seems odd.

Hi gmatGREdan,

Which version of the book were you working from?


Hello
I used the 2010 premier online edition
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 11:08
No reply?
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 19:12
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Sorry, this is a little outside my area of expertise; I'm a teacher in the classroom. I'm checking with the folks in Publishing; I'll let you know as soon as I do!
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 02:36
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Sorry, this is a little outside my area of expertise; I'm a teacher in the classroom. I'm checking with the folks in Publishing; I'll let you know as soon as I do!


Ok. Thanks for looking into it
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 18:06
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I've gotten my hands on the 2010 CAT tests (online, not on CD, but they should be the exact same ones) and I can't reproduce your problem, Dan. I don't supposed you have any screenshots? If you could run the CD and give me the exact test number and a screenshot of your test explanations or something, that would be a huge help in trying to figure our what happened.

Thanks!
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 09:22
KapTeacherEli wrote:
I've gotten my hands on the 2010 CAT tests (online, not on CD, but they should be the exact same ones) and I can't reproduce your problem, Dan. I don't supposed you have any screenshots? If you could run the CD and give me the exact test number and a screenshot of your test explanations or something, that would be a huge help in trying to figure our what happened.

Thanks!


I was also using the online tests that I got with the book. However, my subscription is now up so I can't take any screen shots. What I can tell you though is that the questions weren't randomized, and they didn't seem adaptive but they might have been. Were the questions randomized when you used the online tests?
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Last edited by gmatGREdan on 06 May 2010, 00:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 19:21
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All right, then, Dan, since Kaplan websites don't get deleted, merely put on Read Only, can you PM me your email address and userid for the Kaplan website? I'll forward them on to our e-learning team and they'll be able to take a look at the tests in question.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 23:45
KapTeacherEli wrote:
All right, then, Dan, since Kaplan websites don't get deleted, merely put on Read Only, can you PM me your email address and userid for the Kaplan website? I'll forward them on to our e-learning team and they'll be able to take a look at the tests in question.


AH- I didn't realize that. I knew that my subscription ran out on April 7th. I'll try to put up a screen shot.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 05 May 2010, 23:56
So I can login like you said, but I can't look at the actual test. What comes up the picture below. However, we don't need to send anything to the Kaplan services since you have access to the tests- could you just go through a whole test (choosing any answer) and then take a screen shot of the results that show all of the questions. That should show if the questions are randomized.
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Picture 1.png [ 20.64 KiB | Viewed 843 times ]


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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 03:54
I've just completed the online Kaplan CAT (I have the Kaplan Premiere 2009 with just a single full online CAT test, not sure whether I would see a different CAT version than someone with the 2010 Premiere online access).

A few observations:

1. The Quantitative section was ridiculously easy. I finished it with 30 minutes left (!). Granted, I did end up getting 4 questions wrong, but (a) that isn't too bad (b) all mistakes resulted from carelessness on my part, not due to question difficulty, and (c) I believe that these four mistakes mainly resulted from the fact that I was rushing through the test in anticipation of more difficult questions ahead, which never came.

2. Verbal was more-or-less on a reasonable level. Finished it with 9 minutes left and 6 questions wrong.

3. I didn't feel any sort of adaptivity, especially not in the Quantitative section (which, again, was kids play). Pretty certain there wasn't any in the Verbal either.

4. Final score was 700, which also seems to be a bit low compared to the overall number of mistakes.
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 06:41
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gmatGREdan wrote:
So I can login like you said, but I can't look at the actual test. What comes up the picture below. However, we don't need to send anything to the Kaplan services since you have access to the tests- could you just go through a whole test (choosing any answer) and then take a screen shot of the results that show all of the questions. That should show if the questions are randomized.
I did, and I got a perfectly normal test. It sounds like what happened to you was some sort of malfunction, which I want to make sure gets straightened out. Thanks very much for calling it to our attentions!
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2010, 05:56
So I finally got to double check the Kaplan tests and as I thought they are not all adaptive. One of the tests is just a paper test put online, and then the other tests are regular adaptive tests. Just so that's clear for future readers
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Re: GMATPrep / Kaplen CATs – substantial score discrepancy   [#permalink] 11 Jun 2010, 05:56
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