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# From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs)

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Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [50]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
VP
Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 1345
Own Kudos [?]: 1955 [2]
Given Kudos: 628
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Joined: 30 Aug 2018
Posts: 29
Own Kudos [?]: 13 [0]
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Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [1]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
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Top Contributor
Happy to help! I have already written a Quant post as well: https://gmatclub.com/forum/from-q44-to- ... l#p1972372
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Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
I assume the estimates below were based on the old 41-question format? How would you adjust them for the new 36-question format?

I am currently answering ~60%-90% of medium/hard difficulty questions correct and am trying to jump from the V39/41 range to the V44-46 range. I am assuming that I should aim for about 3-5 medium/hard level mistakes per exam, acknowledging the typical response that "the difficulty of the mistake is the only thing that matters"...

51 = 0 wrong out of the 30 counted Verbal questions.
48 = 1 wrong
47 = 2 or 3 wrong
46 = 3 wrong
42 = 4-5 wrong
40 = 5-10 wrong
35 = as few as 8 wrong or as many as 12 wrong, depending on where you get them wrong (see below)
etc.

Thanks

Eric
Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [0]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
Top Contributor
eled34 wrote:
I assume the estimates below were based on the old 41-question format? How would you adjust them for the new 36-question format?

Thanks

Eric

Hi Eric,

No, everything I wrote earlier about scoring still applies to the new GMAT: although the exam has since been shortened, the number of counted questions has stayed exactly the same.
Current Student
Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 9
Own Kudos [?]: 11 [0]
Given Kudos: 9
Location: Venezuela
GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V30
GMAT 2: 620 Q46 V31
GMAT 3: 720 Q47 V42
GMAT 4: 740 Q48 V44
Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Also see: From Q42 to Q44 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs)

I am a Harvard grad and American GMAT tutor based in San Diego, and I take the GMAT regularly to stay sharp and up-to-date. I have always been naturally talented at Verbal--I scored V48 (99%) on my first attempt in 2012, which helped propel me to a composite score of 770.

I've taken the GMAT 5 times now, and it turns out that my first time was my best Verbal performance thus far: since then I've scored 46 (99%), 47 (99%), 40 (91%) and 42 (96%). Obviously those last 4 scores are solid, too, but nobody likes backsliding, and I won't be satisfied until I earn a perfect 51. I will say, however, that I have learned a great deal about the GMAT Verbal algorithm by studying my ESRs from each attempt, whether or not I actually improved each time.

It appears, for example, that getting a couple of questions wrong at the beginning of the Verbal section can actually be a good thing. Why? Because it prevents you from seeing too many of the type of "extra hard" questions that are reserved for top scorers. I was served some of these questions on my most recent attempt, when I answered all of the first 15 questions correctly, and then the test served me some super-difficult, amazingly complex questions that slowed me down and threw me off my game.

Since my first official GMAT was over 5 years ago, there is no ESR available. However, I do have ESRs for the final 4, which I would like to share with you today, along with examples of a V51 and V48 ESR (not mine). I imagine that these ESRs will be helpful to many of you in formulating your pacing strategies.

A perfect score of 51/51 on Verbal occurs when you answer all 30 counted questions correctly. Interestingly, you will notice that the questions never reach a very high level of overall difficulty, at least according to GMAC.

Here is an ESR from a student who scored V48 with only 1 counted question wrong (97% accuracy), which is also what I presume happened on my first GMAT Verbal section. Since this student didn't get the question wrong until the final quarter of questions, it suggests that V48 is the highest score you can earn without answering all 30 counted questions correctly.

On attempt #2, I only answered 3 questions wrong out of the 30 counted questions (90% accuracy). Getting a couple of questions wrong toward the middle of the test seemed to insulate me from the very hardest questions in the final quarter.

On attempt #3, my score jumped up by a point and I scored 99% for the 3rd straight time. I got only 2 questions wrong--both in the first quarter, and perhaps both careless, given the average difficulty level indicated--and answered all of the final 22 questions correctly (93% accuracy), thanks to what I perceived to be a relatively easy batch of questions in the final three quarters. This attempt in particular shows that it's OK to get a couple of Verbal questions wrong at the beginning of the test!

Perhaps I got a little overconfident in my Verbal abilities on attempt #4. This time I learned that even smarty-pants GMAT tutors can mess up and run out of time. I was obviously doing great (only 3 wrong out of the first 23 questions), but then I answered 4 of the final 8 questions wrong thanks to bad time management, for a total of 7 questions wrong (77% accuracy) and my lowest-ever Verbal score of 40/51.

On my most recent attempt, I was halfway to a perfect score (all of the first 15 questions correct) when the GMAT decided to throw some extremely challenging (although the difficulty level is only indicated as "medium high") CR and RC questions my way, which slowed me down and evidently tripped me up, thus lowering my score. In the end, I got 5 questions wrong out of 30 (83% accuracy).
--

Here is a summary of what I have learned so far from my own Verbal ESRs, and those of others, in terms of questions wrong and score conversions:

51 = 0 wrong out of the 30 counted Verbal questions.
50 = In my experience, the only way you can earn a V50 score is by answering all 30 counted correctly (but perhaps getting an experimental question or two wrong). Both students (#1 / #2) who have scored verified V50s on GMAT Club were later proven (via their ESRs) to have answered every counted Verbal question correctly. One of those students later had his score officially upgraded by GMAC to a (verified) V51. The other one fell off the grid, so we're not sure.
49 = 1 wrong (presumably...the only evidence we have is from the GMAT online, which has no ESR option)
48 = 1 wrong
47 = 2-3 wrong
46 = 2-3 wrong
45 = 2-3 wrong
44 = 2-4 wrong
43 = not a possible score
42 = 2-5 wrong
41 = 3-8 wrong
40 = 4-10 wrong
35 = as few as 8 wrong or as many as 12 wrong, depending on where you get them wrong (see below)

I have also seen scores as low as V28 (50%) with only 9 wrong.

Wish me luck in eventually earning a perfect V51.

Happy studies,
Brian

Hi Brian,

I like your analysis. But I got a V42 with 7 wrong. I suspect it is because of the high difficulty questions the algorithm threw at me.
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Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [0]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
Top Contributor
MiningMBA wrote:
Hi Brian,

I like your analysis. But I got a V42 with 7 wrong. I suspect it is because of the high difficulty questions the algorithm threw at me.

Hi MiningMBA,

Thanks! I appreciate the outlier data point on the other side of the scoring curve, and will adjust my original post accordingly.

-Brian
Re: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]
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