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scaled scoring

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scaled scoring [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 13:16
GMAT'ers,

I would like to find a method for translating my practice performance to a typical "scaled score". Does anyone have the formula (or an approximation thereof) used to derived the scaled score for V and Q? I understand that question difficulty is somehow factored in, but I have no clue how.

For example, if I picked 37 quant questions, of which 13 were easy, 13 were medium, and 11 were rated as difficult, how can I score them to generate a realistic scaled score?

Many thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 14:52
I'm not sure that's really worth the time and effort when you can just take a practice CAT and accomplish the same thing. Even worse, if your "scaling" algorithm is bad you may give yourself a false sense of security. It would probably be more time-efficient to just take practice CATs and study your mistakes and learn from them instead of trying to rate each question you take as easy, medium, or difficult and then trying to get a scaled score. Just my opinion...
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Re: scaled scoring [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 14:56
Hey, that's hard to quantify :-)

Basically if you do tests in the book, they don't scale well at all. And I find that with the old paper GMAT tests, your score is usually lower, especially if you're proficient at more difficult problems versus you just being fast at simple problems.

Others have said that GMATPrep 1 & 2, along with PowerPrep 1 & 2, provide pretty much a 1-1 correlation between your test scores and the real scores. So if you get a 700 consistently, you'll probably score 690-710. The formulas they use are somewhat weird. For example I did GMATPrep2 yesterday, and I got 9 Math wrong, and 7 verbal wrong. If you scaled it on an old paper test, I'd get maybe a 660-680, and on a Kaplan, McGrawHill, etc scoring system, I'd get a 600. But because the CAT factors in the difficulty of the questions, I ended up getting 49Q and 45V, which was a 760.

I think it's almost impossible to predict your score other than via the prep software. You have to basically learn all the concepts - data sufficiency, all the math concepts (probabilities, median, average, combinations, etc), grammar rules, how to read fast for paragraph comprehension, and how to do CR properly.

Anyways the problem with the CAT, and predicting your score, is that the first 10 questions determine your level of difficulty. I usually get the first 12-15 right, so I get to the top, then I start getting IMPOSSIBLE questions, which end up taking a lot of time and draining you mentally - but that's what they're trying to do, to see how much you can take. If you get 5/10 of the first ones wrong, then your score will be very bad, even if you get the rest of the questions right. If you get the first 10 right, then get say 18/27 on the last 27, then you'd get a very high score, because the questions would be very difficult.

I would just practise with super hard difficulty questions and focus on speed.

Best of luck
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Re: scaled scoring [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 16:57
StartupAddict wrote:
Hey, that's hard to quantify :-)

Anyways the problem with the CAT, and predicting your score, is that the first 10 questions determine your level of difficulty.




sorta kinda. Hobbit has a good post explaining scoring. While it is true that the beginning questions you are dealing with a much bigger confidence interval, a significant portion of questions are experimental, and the order is random it can be a crap shoot. i.e. if n questions are experimental, your first n questions on test day could be experimental by random chance alone.

the algorithim is a trade secret and i think people should just approach every question with a seriousness of purpose. if you get your first 27 questions right, and the last ten questions all wrong, your score is going to tank. its really complicated... when i was prepping my scores were in the 700-730 range and i had all sorts of mistake distributions... so just don't worry about it. on test day one of my quant questions towards the middle asked me to find an angle measurement in an equilateral triangle. one of my last questions literally asked me the decimal equivalent of 2/3. i got a 48 in Q.


startupaddict is right, just learn all the concepts. because it is a standardized test, there are some basic concepts that every test taker is going to encounter in some form.

also, like startup said... powerprep and gmatprep are the best at predicting your score. i believe pp uses a truncated algorithim and gp use the same algorithim as the actual gmat. both tests even use experimental questions. IMHO, ARCO tests were the only 3rd party CATs that matched the GMAT in terms of difficulty and accuracy in scoring.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2007, 12:34
while we are here... can someone explain the difference between GMATPrep and PowerPrep? When I google I hit the same pages for both... thanks!

Links to both practice test resources will be greatly appreciated.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2007, 15:53
I believe that PowerPrep is the old version of GMATPrep, but GMAC now only offers the latter. I'm not sure where to find PowerPrep these days. One thing I've also heard is that PowerPrep is easier and less representative of true GMAT scoring than GMATPrep.
  [#permalink] 06 Oct 2007, 15:53
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