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I'm new and have what is probably a silly question to ask....when some of you refer to your results as Q49 and V55, is this the percentage you achieved or are you referring to the number of questions you scored correctly?

Its the section score.. It's neither the percentage nor the number of questions For each section GMAT gives you a score and your final score(out of 800) is derived from the section scores ..

What seems a bit confusing is that technically each verbal and quant section is out of 60. So you can actually score more than 51 but apparently nobody has done so. Does this mean no one has been able to get all 37 (for Quant) or all 41 (for verbal) questions right? I find this hard to believe.

Or can you actually get all of them correct and still not achieve 60 because you don't meet GMAT's algorithmic measures so to speak (e.g. guessing on certain questions)?

Anyone able to explain the reason why each section is out of 60 yet noone has been able to get above 51? Surely there must be some Einstein who aced all the questions?

Anyone able to explain the reason why each section is out of 60 yet noone has been able to get above 51? Surely there must be some Einstein who aced all the questions?

Although official GMAT sources state that the top subscore reaches 60, there has been no actual recordings of this number. In reality, the limit equals 51 for both the verbal and quant sections. Every year there are a few people who earn a perfect 800 score, and their subscores didn't surpass 51.

I'm not exactly sure why there is such a discrepancy. I emailed the official GMAT website about this, so hopefully we will have a more sufficient answer soon!
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Great B {kudos}, thank you for the fast pm reply and posting that interesting clarification. I do find it amazing that test takers can get 800 and still not get above 51 in their raw scores, maybe the GMAT algorithm is broken .

I do, however, think GMAC should provide some additional information regarding this in their literature. I'm sure many newcomers to the GMAT environment get confused as to why GMAC states raw scores are out 60, when this is virtually impossible to achieve.

Okay, just got off the phone with a GMAC Customer Service representative (my initial email was not answered). She said that it is actually possible to score up to a 60 in the verbal and quantitative sections, but so far no test taker has ever performed above a 51 for either section. Obviously, though, many have earned a perfect 6.0 on the AWA. As a side note, the representative seemed somewhat surprised at my question; she actually asked me, "Who told you that?"

Also, the verbal and quant sections are not graded on the same weighted scale, so we can't simply add them together to arrive at a number. I guess this means that a 51Q does not necessarily equal a 51V.

She also said something about using the midpoint or mid-something to determine a test taker's score, but I couldn't follow. She said it so quickly and I blanked during that moment. Sorry about that.

This was very interesting to me, and I thank you for asking this question. Hopefully, you find it worthwhile as well.
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Thank you. Her statement does not make sense really because a 51,51 is 800. What is 55, 55? 800 as well - that does not make much sense.

Yes, the score indeed goes up to 60 and indeed I have not seen a 52 in either distribution. Since the scaled scores have been around for 13 years (since 1997 when GMAT went computerized), technically a 51, 51 is the highest score since that's all it takes to get an 800.

Here is a quick chart about major GMAT changes over the past few years.

Attachments

Next-Generation-GMAT.png [ 10.04 KiB | Viewed 1376 times ]

Her statement does not make sense really because a 51,51 is 800. What is 55, 55? 800 as well - that does not make much sense.

I agree with your observations and criticism. What, indeed, is the point of a 60Q, 60V if a 51Q, 51V can deliver the exact same outcome? And why has nobody ever scored a 60 yet?
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It probably has to do with the averaging. If they started with hard questions in the very beginning, you could probably get to 60, but since you start with medium questions it's impossible to get a perfect score.

edit: I just realized how much sense my answer made, and I feel really smart now because I just thought it up as I was typing. Please give me kudos, I want my quant exams haha
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If you liked my post, please consider thanking me with Kudos! I really appreciate it!

It probably has to do with the averaging. If they started with hard questions in the very beginning, you could probably get to 60, but since you start with medium questions it's impossible to get a perfect score.

Hmmm, very interesting. Perhaps that's what the GMAT representative said too.
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Thanks B for taking the time to perform this investigative work! Shame they didn't have the courtesy to answer your email. I do find it quite surprising that a company such as GMAC, so obsessive over wording and numbers in its tests, is not able to provide us with a clear and concise answer regarding this anomaly.

If you can hit the top score of 800 by getting anywhere between 51 and 60 out of 60 then that means the GMAT algorithm is factoring something else into the equation when calculating the final overall mark. Clearly getting questions correct will always give you the top marks and many people are able to achieve this i.e. 51+. However, I believe you can still slice this group further and isolate those that are truly the best performers i.e. they get 60. The only factor, other than correct answers, that I can think of is getting the answers both correct AND FAST.

Therefore, it is quite possible that the algorithm records how fast and accurate each candidate is and weights their final grade based on this. This could explain why noone has scored above 51 as you would have to be a machine to answer GMAT Q's within, say, 30 secs.

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