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Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC

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Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 15:25
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GMAC published an article on How GMAT Question Types Test the Skills Business Students Need and provided some of the reasoning/logic behind GMAT question types (DS and CR only), mostly with an argument that they test the correct skills that are needed by business leaders. I think it is hard to disagree. However, my argument is that though it is important for a business leader to have skills like these, it is also possible to become good at passing tests like these without actually being a high quality business school material.... and I'd rather hire somebody with a great work experience than a high gmat score even if they are half the price.

[quote2GMAC]Although the GMAT exam is conducted in English and requires basic math skills, its difficulty lies not in advanced vocabulary or math skills, but in the logic and analytical reasoning the test requires.[/quote2]
[quote2GMAC]Data Sufficiency very succinctly measures your ability to sort through a lot of information and pick only what you need to solve a problem. It also tests your ability to think through solving a problem using different bits of data. Business schools demand both, as students are often presented with complicated case studies with lots of exhibits and financial statements and must figure out how to solve problems without getting bogged down in excessive detail.[/quote2]
[quote2GMAC]In business school, as in the business world, you will be asked to collaborate on projects and evaluate the ideas and arguments of others, and the ability to do that succinctly is important[/quote2]
Source: http://www.gmac.com/gmac/NewsandEvents/ ... htm?Page=1
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 22:09
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I will say that as an amateur GMAT test taker but an experienced professional, the test seems heavy on the language even in the math department. For example I just reviewed a question posted here from the official GMAT guide (PS 124) in which the distinction made was % of total population versus % of employed. The math was a cinch but if you were foreign you could have trouble with the language. This seems good for me because though I am a science career, I am an English major at heart. Any test will have people who can prep just for the test and not be able to do the material. Even practical tests have limitations. One has to assume (and if on an admissions committee perhaps challenge the assumption) that most people are seriously pursuing this career for reasonable purposes and with noble intentions.

If one is a nonnative English speaker, this test is likely to be more of a challenge. It is possible to be an excellent currency trader for example without knowing much English. And certainly without being able to solve PS124 correctly on the first go. So it goes.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 22:30
skipjames wrote:
I will say that as an amateur GMAT test taker but an experienced professional, the test seems heavy on the language even in the math department. For example I just reviewed a question posted here from the official GMAT guide (PS 124) in which the distinction made was % of total population versus % of employed. The math was a cinch but if you were foreign you could have trouble with the language. This seems good for me because though I am a science career, I am an English major at heart. Any test will have people who can prep just for the test and not be able to do the material. Even practical tests have limitations. One has to assume (and if on an admissions committee perhaps challenge the assumption) that most people are seriously pursuing this career for reasonable purposes and with noble intentions.

If one is a nonnative English speaker, this test is likely to be more of a challenge. It is possible to be an excellent currency trader for example without knowing much English. And certainly without being able to solve PS124 correctly on the first go. So it goes.

Excellent post - GMAT definitely disadvantages international applicants and forces busy business professionals be grammar gurus.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 23:12
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Yes BB I agree with you.

Its not easy to learn grammar with busy work schedule
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 12:11
gurpreetsingh wrote:
Yes BB I agree with you.

Its not easy to learn grammar with busy work schedule

I think GMAC needs to work on critical reasoning:

For example:

A lot of successful business people are smart
A lot of smart people tend to score higher on the GMAT
Therefore, a higher gmat means you will be successful in business

I don't think so

GMAC's insights are, to a certain extent, meaningless. The have no choice but to say there is a correlation. Otherwise, they would put themselves out of business. We all know statistics can be made to say anything.

I think another aspect where the GMAC seriously fails is not having an "international version" of the exam. I think many bright international students are left out of the process. It's like saying you are not smart enough if you don't know English. Schools will claim that since the curriculum is taught in English then one should know English. But, isn't that the purpose of the TOEFL?

Additionally, I can see where the language, in both quant and verbal, can be a hindrance to people who are not well versed in English. Also, I can see where the language can seriously conflict with one's personal and religious beliefs, i.e., the theory of evolution.

I do tend to dislike the purpose of the GMAT, but in reality, what other alternative are we left with? Maybe an IQ type exam? Perhaps some questions that relate more to actual business topics. Is knowing that a "weevil pollinates" really a business question? Sure the logic may be, but can't the same question involve some type of business logic?
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 12:13
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All that GMAC claims is that there is a strong correlation between one's GMAT score and their performance in the first year of the MBA program. That's it. They don't make any claims about leadership skills.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 12:14
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bb wrote:
GMAC published an article on How GMAT Question Types Test the Skills Business Students Need and provided some of the reasoning/logic behind GMAT question types (DS and CR only), mostly with an argument that they test the correct skills that are needed by business leaders. I think it is hard to disagree. However, my argument is that though it is important for a business leader to have skills like these, it is also possible to become good at passing tests like these without actually being a high quality business school material.... and I'd rather hire somebody with a great work experience than a high gmat score even if they are half the price.

[quote2GMAC]Although the GMAT exam is conducted in English and requires basic math skills, its difficulty lies not in advanced vocabulary or math skills, but in the logic and analytical reasoning the test requires.[/quote2]
[quote2GMAC]Data Sufficiency very succinctly measures your ability to sort through a lot of information and pick only what you need to solve a problem. It also tests your ability to think through solving a problem using different bits of data. Business schools demand both, as students are often presented with complicated case studies with lots of exhibits and financial statements and must figure out how to solve problems without getting bogged down in excessive detail.[/quote2]
[quote2GMAC]In business school, as in the business world, you will be asked to collaborate on projects and evaluate the ideas and arguments of others, and the ability to do that succinctly is important[/quote2]
Source: http://www.gmac.com/gmac/NewsandEvents/ ... htm?Page=1

I like this quote

In business school, as in the business world, you will be asked to collaborate on projects and evaluate the ideas and arguments of others, and the ability to do that succinctly is important

So why can't we collaborate on the exam?
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 12:20
- you get my kudos for that one!
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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11 May 2010, 03:06
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GMAT puts international students (i.e. those whose mother tongue is not English) at a significant disadvantage in comparison to native speakers. But the point is: if you want to study in an English speaking school will you always make excuses that English is a foreign language for you? When you botch something up at work will you say to your boss that it is because you didn't understand something? Of course I have to say that GMAT uses very advanced vocabulary that is not used frequently in every day English.
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11 May 2010, 03:09
And I do think that your ability to solve GMAT math problems is in a certain way an adequate measure of your thinking in a stressful environment.
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12 May 2010, 14:52
nonameee wrote:
And I do think that your ability to solve GMAT math problems is in a certain way an adequate measure of your thinking in a stressful environment.

Good point - it is almost that the stress is a part of the test and questions are somewhat of a filler.
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22 May 2010, 06:00
nonameee wrote:
GMAT puts international students (i.e. those whose mother tongue is not English) at a significant disadvantage in comparison to native speakers. But the point is: if you want to study in an English speaking school will you always make excuses that English is a foreign language for you? When you botch something up at work will you say to your boss that it is because you didn't understand something? Of course I have to say that GMAT uses very advanced vocabulary that is not used frequently in every day English.

Agree.

Here Here does-the-gmat-discriminate-non-english-speakers-94552.html#p728165 apprx the same topis is discussed. I want just to cross reference these two topics in order to add ideas.
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22 May 2010, 07:40
Well liked the thoughts of other poster here

so i also feel like posting something

I think one thing is for sure, words only are never going to solve this issue. May be ,can work as sympathy but can never solve the real problem.
Ok, i guess this native and non native argument is never going to end. So, here are some thing i want to say
1)Everybody seems to accept that 'native speakers do have huge advantage over non native speakers in verbal section'. So, what has been done till date to reduce it. Can we come to conclusion that GMAT is biased towards non native speakers or GMAT test is not 100% fair.
Should anybody have a better score just because he knows some more words than other who knows the language less.
2)Is it Aptitude Test or language test?
Most of users take GMAT as a requirement for attending Business school not to be a LANGAUGE Instructor. So, when i prepare to SC and RC ,I ask myself, ”am I trying to be language instructor?” or “am I trying to be language or meaning analyst?”.So for me if you say GMAT is Aptitude test then inclusion of SC and style of passages in RC is not justifiable at all. I agree with the CR questions for business student candidates.
If it really works as language test, why are international students required to take TOEFL in addition to taking GMAT.

3)If Compare verbal section’s scores with the quantative section’s score for native speakers or take an average I bet you will find most of them have better verbal sections scores and especially in SC and RC where as I have seen non native speaker student getting 100% marks in quantative section and even not getting 40% marks in verbal section ruining the whole GMAT score.
What does it tell about his caliber?
4)In most of non-native countries GMAT type English is not taught and it doesn’t happen in a day or two.
When I use to be in school ,for e g, I use to say
Harry works better than Larry.
Harry can do different link like singing, playing
These sentence were right(this is how things are taught) when I was in school but for this exam these are not correct. So, all of the sudden somebody says this is not right then things are bound to get difficult for you.
I also feel discussion like this doesn’t have or will not get to any logical end so I also know joining the band wagon seems to be best ploy for now rather than arguing over it.
Just my thoughts.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 12:13
frank1 wrote:
Well liked the thoughts of other poster here

so i also feel like posting something

I think one thing is for sure, words only are never going to solve this issue. May be ,can work as sympathy but can never solve the real problem.
Ok, i guess this native and non native argument is never going to end. So, here are some thing i want to say
1)Everybody seems to accept that 'native speakers do have huge advantage over non native speakers in verbal section'. So, what has been done till date to reduce it. Can we come to conclusion that GMAT is biased towards non native speakers or GMAT test is not 100% fair.
Should anybody have a better score just because he knows some more words than other who knows the language less.
2)Is it Aptitude Test or language test?
Most of users take GMAT as a requirement for attending Business school not to be a LANGAUGE Instructor. So, when i prepare to SC and RC ,I ask myself, ”am I trying to be language instructor?” or “am I trying to be language or meaning analyst?”.So for me if you say GMAT is Aptitude test then inclusion of SC and style of passages in RC is not justifiable at all. I agree with the CR questions for business student candidates.
If it really works as language test, why are international students required to take TOEFL in addition to taking GMAT.

3)If Compare verbal section’s scores with the quantative section’s score for native speakers or take an average I bet you will find most of them have better verbal sections scores and especially in SC and RC where as I have seen non native speaker student getting 100% marks in quantative section and even not getting 40% marks in verbal section ruining the whole GMAT score.
What does it tell about his caliber?
4)In most of non-native countries GMAT type English is not taught and it doesn’t happen in a day or two.
When I use to be in school ,for e g, I use to say
Harry works better than Larry.
Harry can do different link like singing, playing
These sentence were right(this is how things are taught) when I was in school but for this exam these are not correct. So, all of the sudden somebody says this is not right then things are bound to get difficult for you.
I also feel discussion like this doesn’t have or will not get to any logical end so I also know joining the band wagon seems to be best ploy for now rather than arguing over it.
Just my thoughts.

lol nice points.... Those who score 35-40+ in V of Gmat should be given privilege not to give TOEFL.

But still SC and RC is very important for the MBA.

RC- we have to comprehend a lot of material and think critically.
SC- Can u imagine a case study full of grammar mistakes?

But One thing can be done that is to consider low scoring non-native speakers for interviews.
Suppose Q51 and V 30 is 680 and cut off for the college is 700, then they should not be rejected just because of the low verbal score.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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29 May 2010, 00:51
gurpreetsingh wrote:

lol nice points.... Those who score 35-40+ in V of Gmat should be given privilege not to give TOEFL.

But still SC and RC is very important for the MBA.

RC- we have to comprehend a lot of material and think critically.
SC- Can u imagine a case study full of grammar mistakes?

But One thing can be done that is to consider low scoring non-native speakers for interviews.
Suppose Q51 and V 30 is 680 and cut off for the college is 700, then they should not be rejected just because of the low verbal score.

Of course RC is important, "to comprehend a lot of material " is crucial , BUT give me texts from economics, finance, management, etc.... DO you belive that during your MBA you will study materials from biology, chemistry, astronomy, science, etc? No! , thus why we need this ?!!!
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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30 May 2010, 00:32
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Pkit wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:

lol nice points.... Those who score 35-40+ in V of Gmat should be given privilege not to give TOEFL.

But still SC and RC is very important for the MBA.

RC- we have to comprehend a lot of material and think critically.
SC- Can u imagine a case study full of grammar mistakes?

But One thing can be done that is to consider low scoring non-native speakers for interviews.
Suppose Q51 and V 30 is 680 and cut off for the college is 700, then they should not be rejected just because of the low verbal score.

Of course RC is important, "to comprehend a lot of material " is crucial , BUT give me texts from economics, finance, management, etc.... DO you belive that during your MBA you will study materials from biology, chemistry, astronomy, science, etc? No! , thus why we need this ?!!!

I disagree 100 per cent. Unless you're dead-set on working in Treasury, Compliance/Quant Risk Management (for which the MBA is not the ideal degree), or IT Operations Management, it is absolutely crucial that you be able to engage with a wide variety of subjects, especially in two career options that are mainstays of MBA-recruiment: investment banking and management consulting. Remember, the MBA is a degree that is specifically meant to prepare you for the job market and the business world; this isn't a scientific exploration of management and business science. If a b-school has to spend time teaching you how to read properly, that's a serious waste of resources, so the GMAT works just fine as a screener. Management consultancies and investment banks will appreciate it too.

Think about it: you're an investment banker, planning on helping a pharmaceutical launch an IPO, and a big chunk of its potential enterprise value hinges upon a legal decision based on the ethical implications of the testing methodologies for one of its flagship research projects. It doesn't matter whether you're the sales guy, the analyst, the VP, or whatever, on this engagement - you better be able to speak and write cogently on the subject, as it has a direct impact on your firm's ability to underwrite and place your client's shares.

How about management consulting? Geez, this one is so obvious, I don't even know where to start. MC is all about understanding the nuances of your client's industry, your client's position in that industry, and how to unlock value and help foment business growth. It won't be possible to succeed in this field by relying on finance, accounting, and economics texts.

This is assuming, of course, that you're considering careers at an investment bank or a management consultancy that won't revolve around being a quant (for which, I repeat, the MBA is not the best degree). If, instead, you're looking to work at a F500 corporate, focusing on project management or product development, I honestly fail to see how you're going to successfully hide behind management-speak and accounting jargon. Let's say you're trying to work on a next-gen Google device that will compete with the iPad: I'm pretty sure that boring your colleagues with some faux boo-hoo management leadership story or a nifty trick on accounts receivables is a pretty fast way to ... getting taken off the project. No, you want to be able to understand why the LCD-group needs budget for a study on tactile effects and materials' sensitivity - I mean, are we going to compete with the touch-screen or not? You're not the one doing the research or writing the science texts; you just need to understand the experts' summary.

So as I said, unless you plan on working in Treasury or Risk/Compliance (where, sure, you can do fine just by being a finance/accounting/management technocrat), you better be able to understand basic digests in subjects germane to the real economy.

Sorry man, don't mean to jump on you at all, I just disagree with the view and want to offer my reasoning.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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30 May 2010, 00:46
nonameee wrote:
GMAT puts international students (i.e. those whose mother tongue is not English) at a significant disadvantage in comparison to native speakers. But the point is: if you want to study in an English speaking school will you always make excuses that English is a foreign language for you? When you botch something up at work will you say to your boss that it is because you didn't understand something? Of course I have to say that GMAT uses very advanced vocabulary that is not used frequently in every day English.

Totally agree. Managers and shareholders in corporate America really won't be impressed by language complaints. I'd prefer speaking my native language to English on any day of the week, but my boss and colleagues don't need to know that.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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30 May 2010, 01:45
osbornecox wrote:
Pkit wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:

lol nice points.... Those who score 35-40+ in V of Gmat should be given privilege not to give TOEFL.

But still SC and RC is very important for the MBA.

RC- we have to comprehend a lot of material and think critically.
SC- Can u imagine a case study full of grammar mistakes?

But One thing can be done that is to consider low scoring non-native speakers for interviews.
Suppose Q51 and V 30 is 680 and cut off for the college is 700, then they should not be rejected just because of the low verbal score.

Of course RC is important, "to comprehend a lot of material " is crucial , BUT give me texts from economics, finance, management, etc.... DO you belive that during your MBA you will study materials from biology, chemistry, astronomy, science, etc? No! , thus why we need this ?!!!

I disagree 100 per cent. Unless you're dead-set on working in Treasury, Compliance/Quant Risk Management (for which the MBA is not the ideal degree), or IT Operations Management, it is absolutely crucial that you be able to engage with a wide variety of subjects, especially in two career options that are mainstays of MBA-recruiment: investment banking and management consulting. .....

.......
Sorry man, don't mean to jump on you at all, I just disagree with the view and want to offer my reasoning.

Great post. I like your reasoning. I am pertinacious and it is difficult to convince me, when I have my own point of view. But here you have provided me with clear examples. I must agree with you.

+1 kudos.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC [#permalink]

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30 May 2010, 03:29
Another reason could be unbiased GMAT. If the RC passages are only from business related journals then they will be biased towards business graduates. And same holds true for social sciences passages for ARTS graduates.

So to create an unbiased GMAT test they have to include topics from different domains.

PS: GMAT is not aware of the person arriving for the tests. You are lucky if you get familiar topic in RC.
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Re: Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC   [#permalink] 30 May 2010, 03:29
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Interesting Insights into GMAT Questions from GMAC

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