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Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions

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Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2017, 15:31
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Dear Mike,

Or to whom it may concern,

I took the GMAT in April 2015 with basically no preparation and scored 540. Due to work, I took a while until I had the time to give it a good solid retry.

This fall, I signed up for the Magoosh Premium subscription. In Mid-December I started preparing intensively.

So far I have completed the following work:
- Watched about 70% of math and verbal video lessons in depth
- finished about 100 practice questions for verbal and math and subsequently watched the video explanations.

Throughout this process, I saw my predicted score improve significantly up to 36 verbal and a 41 quant based on the Magoosh dashboard prediction.

Therefore I decided that it was time to take a full practice test. Unfortunately the test was very disappointing. I only scored a 29 math and 28 verbal resulting in a 480 score, which is lower than what I had on the real GMAT without any preparing.

To be fair, I did not manage to answer all questions of both sections in time. In Math I only answered 33 and in the verbal section I only finished 38 questions. Clearly I don't have the pace yet to perform the questions as I do in practice sessions without a time limit.

However looking through the practice exam, I noticed that the exam basically almost only asked me HARD questions with a few medium and very hard in between. I had not a single easy question, which brings me to question the adaptivity of the software.

Isn't the test designed to adjust if I constantly fail and supposed to give me easier questions. The composition of the questions seems a bit odd. Perhaps you can elaborate and help. Is the Magoosh test intentionally designed harder?

Ultimately however I know that I have to keep practicing in order to improve. Despite the unexpected setback today.
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Re: Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 05:37
Timing is really important - have you beed doing questions in the OG?

Or practicisng using the GmatPrep Software?

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Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 06:11
Hey,

I have been practicing with the Magoosh software only, which times every question. I know that I was too slow in the practice test.

I am wondering though about the compostion of questions in terms of dificulty level. It's seems completely unadaptive.

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Re: Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 08:35
tobey87 wrote:
Hey,

I have been practicing with the Magoosh software only, which times every question. I know that I was too slow in the practice test.

I am wondering though about the compostion of questions in terms of dificulty level. It's seems completely unadaptive.



Try practicing with the the Official Gmat Prep software - it's litterally the same algoritihim and everything on test day - regarding Magoosh software - I haven't a clue but would like an answer to that as well - however for any time you're slow or solve a Magoosh problem incorrectly - immediatley watch and review all related videos with that question - learn what you did wrong - and learn more about that topic.

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Re: Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 14:34
tobey87 wrote:
Dear Mike,

Or to whom it may concern,

I took the GMAT in April 2015 with basically no preparation and scored 540. Due to work, I took a while until I had the time to give it a good solid retry.

This fall, I signed up for the Magoosh Premium subscription. In Mid-December I started preparing intensively.

So far I have completed the following work:
- Watched about 70% of math and verbal video lessons in depth
- finished about 100 practice questions for verbal and math and subsequently watched the video explanations.

Throughout this process, I saw my predicted score improve significantly up to 36 verbal and a 41 quant based on the Magoosh dashboard prediction.

Therefore I decided that it was time to take a full practice test. Unfortunately the test was very disappointing. I only scored a 29 math and 28 verbal resulting in a 480 score, which is lower than what I had on the real GMAT without any preparing.

To be fair, I did not manage to answer all questions of both sections in time. In Math I only answered 33 and in the verbal section I only finished 38 questions. Clearly I don't have the pace yet to perform the questions as I do in practice sessions without a time limit.

However looking through the practice exam, I noticed that the exam basically almost only asked me HARD questions with a few medium and very hard in between. I had not a single easy question, which brings me to question the adaptivity of the software.

Isn't the test designed to adjust if I constantly fail and supposed to give me easier questions. The composition of the questions seems a bit odd. Perhaps you can elaborate and help. Is the Magoosh test intentionally designed harder?

Ultimately however I know that I have to keep practicing in order to improve. Despite the unexpected setback today.

Dear tobey87,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, congratulations on all your hard work.

Unfortunately, the Magoosh practice test has some issues. You see, if you haven't answered any Magoosh questions yet, then it is highly adaptive. If you already have been practicing in Magoosh, then the default algorithm for practice has been set to adaptive already, so for ordinary practice you have been using the question in your optimal difficulty range. When you take a practice test, the algorithm reaches first for questions you haven't seen yet. Now, if the question most appropriate to your level already have been answered, it has to give you other questions: whether it gives you slightly harder or slightly easier questions, I am not sure, but this may be an issue: it's not perfectly adaptive, because some Magoosh questions already have been answered.

The Magoosh practice test gives its most accurate prediction before the student has answered many Magoosh questions. I wouldn't think that answering only 100 or so questions of our 1000+ questions would have that big of an impact, but perhaps it did. It's true, in the study plans, we recommend the Magoosh practice test right at the beginning, and recommend other practice tests, including GMAT Prep, more toward the end of one's practice.

Finally, I will say, my friend, be patient with yourself. The body & psyche has natural tidal rhythms that are hard to discern on the surface. Some days we are sharper and clearer, and other days not. As you take practice tests, do not expect a straight linear rise in your scores. It's perfectly natural that learning involves some ebbs and flows. You may want to journal about what subtle factors (sleep, diet, mood, etc.) impacted each performance. The more awareness you can bring to the effect of these factors, the more you can ensure that you are walking into the test in peak condition.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Composition of Magoosh practice exam questions   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2017, 14:34
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