Standard of GMAT has gone up? : Share GMAT Experience
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# Standard of GMAT has gone up?

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VP
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Standard of GMAT has gone up? [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2006, 01:04
I recently observed that the average scores to be much lower than what used to be last year around the same timeframe.

It could be that more 'average' candidates started actively participating in the the forum or the stellar candidates are not posting the scores.

I was wondering whether the actual GMAT itself has become tougher. Has PV released any test statistics this year, since GMAT transitioned out of ETS?

Any thoughts or perspectives?

- J
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24 Aug 2006, 06:02
Yeah, I think it has become harder in recent years. I was getting 730s on my GMATPrep tests and ended up with a 710 on the real deal (actually had a 760 on one test, but there were like 2 verbal repeats). My theory: more international candidates are taking the test, and on average, they have much more rigorous math backgrounds relative to US candidates. Thus, I think the math scores are getting skewed upward. However, these international candidate are not skewing the verbal so badly. In fact, in some cases, the verbal may actually skew downward. But, given that the elite MBA programs want to see an 80% on both quant and verbal, neither group of candidates is well served by this trend. The international candidates get nailed by all the native speakers taking the test and the US candidates get nailed by all the intl math whizes taking the test. Just a theory.
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24 Aug 2006, 07:07
It depends how your scoring obviously if ur scoring over 600 and up the test will be hard, if your scoring lower than the test isn't that hard.....
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24 Aug 2006, 10:10
If GMATPREP were really a representative of real test,
I would score more than 650.

I agree that quant getting harder.
eventhough it is still easier than junior high school math,
I can feel that testmakers try to make it harder than before.

Eventhough verbal is not really more difficult than before,
vocabulary level of recent test is high enough to be a big obstacle
to non-native speakers who are not strong in vocabulary.
Not only RCs but also some CRs consist of high-level of vocabulary.
Native speakers may not feel this kind of difference but
Anyone who is weak in vocabulary will see that this big difference
can lower verbal score by 7-15 point.
VP
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24 Aug 2006, 10:26
I had taken both ETS and PV and got 690 on both.

I realized that in quant:
- The standard has definately increased.
- A lot more tricky questions.
- However, the scores seems to be normalized.
- I had 49/48 in the two tests

In Verbal:
- I felt that PV was easier than ETS, though I just scored an additional point in the PV test.
- I felt after normalization of the verbal scores, the net scores were lower than before.
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24 Aug 2006, 10:58
It depends on how your scoring right? That the test becomes harder
VP
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24 Aug 2006, 12:21
Positive thinker wrote:
It depends on how your scoring right? That the test becomes harder

Yeah, I am not talking abt the adaptive nature of the test. That was always there... what I obesrved was the scored reported were dropping compared to the past years and I was wondering whether what the cause was.
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24 Aug 2006, 16:25
I have taken the ETS version twice, and scored dismally low both times (570/590), but that was after relying almost entirely on Kaplan practice materials and retired paper tests. In a few weeks time I will take the PVue version and post a full debriefing on the similarities/differences between the two.

One thing is for certain, many test takers have voiced their concern about the bulky, unerasable whiteboards and markers issued in place of the standard paper and pencil most of us practice with. The unfamiliarity factor, coupled with a new interface and (supposedly) trickier math problems may be having a negative impact on those unprepared for the test.

My question is this: If the Q section is getting harder, why didn't the new OG11 (plus supplementary guides) evolve and include more difficult practice problems, instead of just better explanations for existing retired problems from over 10 years ago Theoretically, the OG, cover to cover, should give one a solid grounding as to what to expect come G-day, but unfortunately that doesnt seem to be the case, given the declining trend in scores

Nevertheless, I'm still relying almost entirely on the OG this time around (plus GMATClub) and plan to attack the new version with confidence.

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24 Aug 2006, 16:50
I would add more to GMATT73 on verbal section
it appeared on the test day that verbal part provided in Og11
is somewhat lower level than real test.
It would be better to revise new OG edition and provide
real representative of especially RCs in same vocabulary-level to real test.
Not just easy version of RC practice and let test takers find their own way
to survive on test day.

Also, GMAC should revise SCs content and add more on idioms
that will be tested. It may sound silly but providing
3000-5000 lists of idioms that will be tested
would make test takers see better scope on how to tackle them.
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24 Aug 2006, 23:40
I can't really comment on whether the test has been getting harder, as I have only taken it one time (a few weeks ago).

I did notice that, based on percentiles, a lot more people are doing well (very well actually) on the math section, while fewer are doing as well on the verbal.

For example, top score in math is supposedly 52 (though I think the highest I have seen reported is 51). A 48/51 is only the 86th percentile. That means that about 14% of test-takers score 48 or higher on math. The way I see it, it is EXTREMELY difficult to distinguish yourself in math on the GMAT, and each point you gain from 47-48-49-50-51 is a real challenge. On the other hand, I do believe tha most people all around the world can prepare for the math portion of the GMAT in 2-3 months time.

On the other hand, it appears that there are far fewer ultra-high scores in the verbal section. A 41V is the 93rd percentile (48Q, 41V was my score so I know the percentiles), so only 7% of test-takers score 41 or better. The difficulty, of course, is that I think for many people, especially non-native speakers, improvement on the verbal section is a slower process than improvement on the quantitative.

I guess the bottom line is that you must do well on the math portion of the GMAT, but it's very difficult to distinguish yourself there - many other people do well. If you can do well on the verbal section, however, I think you can distinguish yourself from many other test-takers. A 48Q and you are in the 86th percentile; but with a 48V you are well into the 99th percentile and it is rare indeed to see such a score.
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25 Aug 2006, 02:10
I think that this has been a general trend since Pearson VUE took over the test. I don't think that the scoring algorithm has changed, but it's probably the Quant section that makes the biggest difference. I have also observed that percentiles have slightly changed. In July, my score (700) was equal to 92% according to the unofficial score report. Two weeks later, according to the official score report, this score was equal to 93%.
VP
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25 Aug 2006, 02:12
Okay, extending the original topic - I wonder whether this will lower the medain GMAT scores of accepted students!
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25 Aug 2006, 02:26
Hmmm ... I think it will, but not in the next 2 or 3 years. The real purpose of GMAT is to compare candidates according to the achieved percentiles and pure scores should not be too valuable in the admission process.

However, most business schools would do anything to keep their median or average GMAT scores as high as possible and still keep their reputation, which is usually based on these average scores. Therefore, traditional TOP5 schools will probably have to make the first step, lower their requirements and hope that lower median scores won't negatively influence their reputation.
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25 Aug 2006, 03:57
I don't know if anyone other than the testmakers are qualified in commenting on this subject... but one fact that counter "the higher standard argument" is the fact that more people are scoring higher and the mean score has gone up over the years in all categories.
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25 Aug 2006, 04:41
I took the GMAT about 7 months ago and scored a Q44. I remember taking GMATprep Tests and Powerprep tests in additon to solving from OG11. I was totally stumped at the level of difficulty on the QS.

The questions truly followed CAT theory. It felt like I was barely able to solve one question, then the next question was almost impossible to solve. This really homed in on how my realistic skill level (or how bad I am in Math)

The Verbal, however is not so clear cut, the same question can be interpreted as tough by one person and very easy by another with the same verbal level. This is why sometimes during the beginning of a practice test (GMATprep), I'll get the first question wrong (which is supposed to be a 500-550 level question) and still end up with a score in the high 30's for V. Go figure.
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80/80 split score for Q& V [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2006, 05:45
sub:80/80 split score for Q& V

hey people,
can you tell me the latest 80/80 percentile split of the scaled score for Q & V?

is it something like
Q=45
V=37
?

please tell me whats minimum scaled score reqd for 80/80 percentile in both sections.

regards
JohnyCAGE
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25 Aug 2006, 06:51
Chen,

I think the number of people writing GMAT has also risen steadily. So another possibility is that

-The Number of people writing the test is increasing
-The tougher test level may that compared to ETS, a lower percentage of test takers are scoring high, however, the higher number of test takers might translate to overall higher number of people with higher scores
-Since B-schools aren't necessarily incerasing their annual intakes by large amounts - when they get more applications (number of apps is increasing too) - they can choose to be choosy and therefore increase median scores.

Finally, you could still have a harder test, but median score continue to rise before of the number of people taking it.

hmm..sounds like 'explain the contradiction' CR to me ;)

jchen1731 wrote:
I don't know if anyone other than the testmakers are qualified in commenting on this subject... but one fact that counter "the higher standard argument" is the fact that more people are scoring higher and the mean score has gone up over the years in all categories.
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25 Aug 2006, 09:22
I am fresh after the GMAT.

My Observations:

Quants:
Problem solving: Relatively harder.
DS: Definately not that easy.

Verbal,
Critical reasoning is getting much more demanding.
Sentence correction requires not just knowing the rules. How much u have practiced. Even native speakers can find atleast 3-4 SC tricky now.
RC: Its the same.

getting Q80 and V80 is like a difficult combination. I would say its a fair game these days.
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25 Aug 2006, 10:04
may be its the wrong thread i jumped in.
i thought if u ppl r talking about the latest trends, u should know the answer.
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25 Aug 2006, 15:51
johnyindia wrote:
may be its the wrong thread i jumped in.
i thought if u ppl r talking about the latest trends, u should know the answer.

Maybe you should consider using your melon before flaming other posters. The only way that somone could be knowledgeable about the latest trends is if they had experiences from past exams as well as current exams. If someone has only taken the test once, even if it was in the past 24 hours, that person would not have any point of reference regarding testing trends. That's why people are posting their experiences. If enough people share their experiences, then there might be a chance of identifying some trends.

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