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Understanding the GMAT Algorithm

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Joined: 01 Apr 2008
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Understanding the GMAT Algorithm [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2008, 13:21
I took the GMATPrep 1 for the second time today, and based upon my results, I wanted to ask some of you about your understanding of the algorithm which is used to select questions, and determine our scores. Here are the two tests compared:

GMATPrep 1_v1:
640: 42Q, 36V
Q: Missed 3 of the first 4. Missed 14 total.
V: Missed 3 of the first 4. Missed 17 total.

GMATPrep 1_v2:
730: 48Q, 42V
Q: Hit the first 7, then missed 12 of remaining 30.
V: Hit 14 of the first 15 (missed 2nd). Missed 8 total.

Particularly for Quant, it seems the algorithm hones in on the score within the first 10 questions, and then adjusts for the final 1/3. After all, I basically missed one out of every three of the last 30 questions, but because I was correct on the first 7, my score was 48? Does this mean if a person misses two of the first four, the computer will establish a range, and despite how many questions are subsequently answered correctly, it's difficult to break past that range?

In Verbal, I missed the second question, but then hit the next 13. Although my misses were much more spread out (and fewer) than in quant, I received a MUCH lower scaled score. Is this due to the miss on #2? In other words, if I had hit that second question, and had my first miss on #15 instead, would my scaled score have been significantly raised?

I'm happy with the second result, but because this is a repeat from an exam I already took, I'm taking it with a large grain of salt. With that said, I didnt' see many repeat questions in either section. The ones I did see, I ended up missing anyway, so the repeat questions' role in my score is probably not that huge. I also started stressing a bit on the first 7 questions, because I wasn't seeing anything that looked terribly difficult. Thus, I assumed I had missed a couple and was therefore being relegated to a lower bucket. But, as mentioned above, this wasn't the case.

Your thoughts and experiences are greatly appreciated.
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Re: Understanding the GMAT Algorithm [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2008, 15:11
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its tough to say. While I dont believe the whole first ten question thing, I do think you get penalized more for getting easier questions right which probably would come in the first few questions so there may be something to that. I think your score mostly comes from how many of the difficult questions you get right. So if you score low in the first few questions you will be at a low level, you can get a bunch right then it will throw a hard at you, you get it wrong, it drops you,then a few easy, hard,get it wrong drops you.

I have gotten 12 wrong on gmatprep and got a 50M so right and wrong means nothing on the test.
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Re: Understanding the GMAT Algorithm [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2008, 16:34
terp26 wrote:
its tough to say. While I dont believe the whole first ten question thing, I do think you get penalized more for getting easier questions right which probably would come in the first few questions so there may be something to that. I think your score mostly comes from how many of the difficult questions you get right. So if you score low in the first few questions you will be at a low level, you can get a bunch right then it will throw a hard at you, you get it wrong, it drops you,then a few easy, hard,get it wrong drops you.

I have gotten 12 wrong on gmatprep and got a 50M so right and wrong means nothing on the test.

Thank you for the response. How were the 12 wrong responses distributed throughout the question set?
Re: Understanding the GMAT Algorithm   [#permalink] 12 Apr 2008, 16:34
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