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Possible error in score?

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Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 07:28
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I just took my GMAT in Munich, Germany. Here are my previous results on prep tests without retakes and under timed conditions.

MGMAT 6 - Q: 47, V: 42 720
GMATPREP 1 - Q: 45, V: 44 720
GMATPREP 2 - Q: 49, V: 40 730
Kaplan CAT online: Q 43, V 45 680
Real GMAT: Q: 47, V: 32 650

Is that even possible to have such a big drop? I felt like I was answering at the same error rate or lower. I thought I got all the sentence correction correct and almost all the RC and CR correct. The test got harder as I went. Is it possible there was a scoring error?

I'm an English teacher and speak 3 other languages. I find it hard to believe that my score dropped so much while my Quant stayed the same.

Thanks for any feedback
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 07:52
I don't think so. GMAT can get unpredictable at times. I too expected a 720-730 but ended with 670. Disconnect for a while and try to remember the questions and your performance. I am sure you will find where you went wrong!

Then you can always retake if you're unhappy. There's no point challenging or doubting the GMAT scoring system.

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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 07:58
Expert's post
Yeah, it can happen unfortunately (there is a standard error of 40 in the GMAT Score). You may want to retake with that much of a difference.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 08:00
Meaning the error was mine or GMAT's? I'm guessing I have no recourse but to reschedule?

Thanks for your responses.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 08:16
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soonerliberty wrote:
Meaning the error was mine or GMAT's? I'm guessing I have no recourse but to reschedule?

Thanks for your responses.



If you take 2 GMAT Tests in a row, the scores wont' be the same and can be as wide apart as 40 points.
There is also stress on the test day (which for diff people works in diff ways). Sometimes people get 50 points by just waiting a month and doing absolutely no studying.... so probably worthwhile to try that and get your question answered.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2011, 09:40
I find it strange that I could've missed so many questions. The level of the questions kept rising, and my last sentence correction was at a very high level. Is it possible that I answered all of the experimental questions correctly and somehow missed only non-experimental questions?

The reason I feel this score is strange is because I had a 4.0 GPA in humanities in grad and undergrad. I also studied linguistics and am a grammar expert. I know that I answered the SC correctly, except for maybe one. That would mean that I missed almost all of my RC and CR, which I find implausible, considering the last text I had was higher level at around question 33-36.

In any case, I emailed GMAC, and they are looking into it. I'll have an answer soon, and I'll let you know. Perhaps by some stroke of bad fortune, I really missed an incredibly high amount. I wasn't nervous at all. If I had been, my quant would've been terrible. BTW, my first quant was 35 when I began this perilous journey. My first verbal was 38, and it never fell below that, always ranging from 40-45.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I'm venting a bit. I rescheduled the test just in case. I'm sure that 650 is my rock bottom.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 09:43
Interesting post. let us know when u have an answer please.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2011, 12:08
yes please keep us with fresh information
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 03:40
Well, GMAC was really helpful, but, as I suspected they found no error. I just retook the GMAT today and got a 710 M 45 V 41, which was right in line with my practice tests +/- 20. I'm still baffled about what happened. I took your advice and didn't study in that off month. In any case, I'm glad it's over, and I reached my goal. I went from 610 on my first diagnostic to 710. Not bad at all!
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 06:31
soonerliberty wrote:
Well, GMAC was really helpful, but, as I suspected they found no error. I just retook the GMAT today and got a 710 M 45 V 41, which was right in line with my practice tests +/- 20. I'm still baffled about what happened. I took your advice and didn't study in that off month. In any case, I'm glad it's over, and I reached my goal. I went from 610 on my first diagnostic to 710. Not bad at all!


man, your post just made me feel much better
my gmat preps were all over 700 (740 in the last one) and got the same score you did in the real thing, I REALLY didnt know what went wrong, i am sitting for the exam next week. I hope this time I get over 700 just like you did.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 07:05
another question,
did you feel the exam was any different from the first time you took it? did you feel you performed differently?
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 10:35
I'm glad it makes you feel better because I really began to doubt myself. In any case, I thought the math was about the same, some parts easier, some parts much harder. I didn't pace myself well enough. On the verbal, it seemed the questions were about the same level as before, but I had harder texts this time and some rare questions. I think the main thing is to take your breaks and recoup before attacking a section. I think last time I went to fast, since it's highly unlikely the test made a mistake. Take your time even if you think you have the right answer. Read all the answers.

If you have other questions, let me know.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 10:53
Yes, I got out of the exam doubting about myself. And since I thought I did well during the exam, I felt that next time there is no reason to believe I would do better.

Your post just reassured that sometimes there are a few outliers and I should regain confidence. I finished both sections with a lot of time left, maybe I should go through the exam more slowly. If other people who got similar GMAT Prep scores to mine get over 700 in the real thing there is no reason I shouldn't as well :)
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 11:05
Yeah, I think slowing down a bit helps overcome the adrenaline and helps avoid mistakes on some of those tricky DS. I'm sure you'll be fine. Just know that you have the ability and that the test is your bitch ;)!!!
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 15:28
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http://fairtest.org/gmat-scoring-error- ... s-school-a

Not sure who fairtest.org is but they report a real GMAT scoring error around 10 years ago.

If this is true, I would not be surprised if the scoring in your first attempt was fubar.

Last edited by sda on 08 Oct 2011, 15:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 15:31
WOW. Im sure it was a s**t storm back then...

+1. thanks for this link.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2013, 22:40
I plan to apply to some Canadian universities with average ratings, most of which require 550 on GMAT so I was really not targeting at the 700-800 bracket. I appeared for my GMAT yesterday and scored a disappointing 410. Here is my progress during prep.

MGMAT1 - Q:36, V:28 530 (under time conditions)
MGMAT2 - Q:37, V:28 540 (under time conditions)
MGMAT3 - Q:41, V:31 590 (without time conditions)
MGMAT4 - Q:38, V:28 550 (under time conditions)
MGMAT5 - Q:44, V:27 590 (under time conditions)
Real GMAT - Q31, V:17 410

The first score was when I only decided to appear for my GMAT with no preparation at all, so I possibly made such dumb mistakes as answering 'D' in DS when 'A' was simply not the answer. Nevertheless, the trend was consistently progressive every time I gave a practice test. For me, any score starting with the number 6 would have exceeded my application requirements so I was fine with my last practice test score (590).

During the real exam, I wasn't nervous at all, my mind didn't have a dead lock, I maintained a proper 7 hour sleep schedule weeks before my exam, took proper use of the break in between the test(had a chocolate drink, splashed some water on my face, did some stretching and resumed the test fresh). If one judges from my MGMAT scores that I lack ability to score above 600, I might agree with him but the score should atleast had been in the 500-600 bracket. A drop of 180 from my last attained score and of 120 from the score with no preparation at all is simply hard to believe. I am dropping an email to GMAC but I know what their answer is going to be, so any suggestions from you guys would help alot.

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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 06:48
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Sorry that the GMAT treated you so rudely, anwerbakht. For starters, it doesn't take too many errors to send your GMAT score plunging, because of the adaptive algorithm. If you make a few careless errors early in a section, you'll see more easy questions--and you'll need a hot streak to pull your score back up. If you made a bunch of bad errors early in the section and then continued to make an occasional error on really easy questions, then your score will be a very unpleasant surprise.

I know that it's not a satisfying answer, but I can pretty much guarantee that this is roughly what happened to you.

The tough part is answering why. Everybody handles stress differently, and some people internalize it and aren't completely conscious that they're behaving differently. I don't know if this is the case with you, but it's possible that you were either excited or intimidated by the moment, and just started rushing more than you normally would. And you're not alone in this--your situation is disturbingly common.

One other minor factor: it looks like you exclusively used the MGMAT tests, and that probably isn't ideal. If you used MGMAT's materials during your studies, you might have grown accustomed to their writing style, and that might bias your scores on their tests. It isn't going to explain a 180-point drop, but it's *possible* that your MGMAT scores were a little bit inflated. Did you take any GMATPrep tests?

Hang in there, anwerbakht. You definitely look like a candidate for a retake, and just make sure that you focus avoiding careless errors as you prepare for your next battle with the beast. Don't let one bad day get you down too much.
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 06:59
One more thing, since we're reviving an old thread: don't get freaked out by the errors in the GMAT scoring system back in 2001! For what it's worth, the computerized GMAT exam was still a pretty new thing back then, and ETS--the company that botched several batches of tests--is no longer involved with the GMAT. They do, however, administer the GRE and TOEFL. Caveat emptor.

Sure, scoring errors are entirely possible, since computers (and their programmers) aren't exactly perfect. But the odds of encountering a massive scoring error are much, much lower than they were back in 2001. ACT, Pearson VUE, and GMAC are all running much tighter ships these days, and computers are exponentially better than they were 12 years ago. I guess that's a good thing... though I'd be thrilled for anwerbakht if there was a 200-point scoring error!
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Re: Possible error in score? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2013, 19:57
soonerliberty wrote:
I just took my GMAT in Munich, Germany. Here are my previous results on prep tests without retakes and under timed conditions.

MGMAT 6 - Q: 47, V: 42 720
GMATPREP 1 - Q: 45, V: 44 720
GMATPREP 2 - Q: 49, V: 40 730
Kaplan CAT online: Q 43, V 45 680
Real GMAT: Q: 47, V: 32 650

Is that even possible to have such a big drop? I felt like I was answering at the same error rate or lower. I thought I got all the sentence correction correct and almost all the RC and CR correct. The test got harder as I went. Is it possible there was a scoring error?

I'm an English teacher and speak 3 other languages. I find it hard to believe that my score dropped so much while my Quant stayed the same.

Thanks for any feedback


Man, I have exactly the same problem! Quantative is my strong side, so I have never been worried about it. A year ago I scored 700=(Q50,V34) on GMAT, but decided to study harder and retake it. After 6 months of tough preparation I took one more exam and scored 710=(Q51,V33) despite the fact that my Verbal skills improved substantially. So, I was a bit confused, but decided to try once more. After a month, I felt myself even more prepared. During the exam I was absolutely sure that I was doing well in Quant and quite sure in Verbal, however the results on the screen shocked me - 680=(Q50,V31). I was really upset and for a while forgot about GMAT.
In the beginning of this August I decided to retake it once more, as I felt that my comprehension had grown substantially since last try (For three months I read 2 articles from The Economist and National Geographic almost every day). The entire August I was studying hard and substantially improved my Sentence Correction (e-GMAT) and Critical Reasoning (Powerscore CR Bible) skills. I practiced on Official Verbal Review under timed conditions and succeeded in 88.5-95% of questions depending on section. I took official practice tests from GMAT Prep and scored 770=(Q50,V45) and 770=(Q51,V44). I was absolutely sure that I would do very well on my yesterday exam...

I was not worried even a bit and was definitely doing well at least in the beginning (I had a boldface question in CR and hard inference questions in RC). Nevertheless, the results shocked me once more - 700=(Q51,V32).

I absolutely have no thoughts how could it happen and why there were such a big difference with the results in OFFICIAL practice tests. My friend whom I had instructed scored V36 after only 2 hours sleep and, as he said, being almost unconscious in the end of exam. I would understand if I scored at least 35... I would then see an improvement in comparison to my previous scores, but this damn correlation between my knowledge and score is negative... I have an applications starting in the middle of September, so I will have no chance to retake it once more. I also wrote to GMAC, but pretty sure that the answer will be "All clear".

Feeling despair :)
Re: Possible error in score?   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2013, 19:57
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