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GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 14:35
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mcelroytutoring wrote:
Anyone who claims to know the exact specifics of the GMAT algorithm (and corresponding score conversions) vs. the GMAT Prep algorithm (and corresponding score conversions) is either lying, or in serious breach of a GMAC confidentiality agreement.


I gather this is directed at me. I don't know where you've gotten your information about the scoring algorithm, but you are misinformed on some important questions.

It is true, in a literal sense, that some of the algorithm is secret. If someone is administering an IRT-based test, there are certain parameters he or she can freely set without affecting the integrity of the test. Only the designers of the GMAT would know how they've set those parameters. But those are really just technical details. The mathematical basis of the algorithm, which is what is important, is well-known. The GMAT uses a three-parameter IRT model, a fact confirmed in many official research reports. I invite you to research that on your own if you are unsure if what I am saying is true, but someone repeating that is neither lying nor in breach of any confidentiality agreement.

The important information that is not public knowledge, and which you would absolutely need to reverse engineer your score from your responses on a GMATPrep or real GMAT test, are the statistics associated with each test question - the difficulty, discrimination and guessing parameter values. Because those question statistics will vary from test to test, a particular response pattern (right/wrong/right/wrong/etc, for example) will typically produce different scores each time. But those statistics have nothing to do with the underlying algorithm, in the same way that the difficulty levels of questions on a traditional multiple choice test, where your grade is the percentage of questions you answer correctly, have nothing to do with how the test is graded. The GMAT's underlying algorithm is just based on probability theory.

I've read dozens of academic papers in this area, and have programmed an IRT-based algorithm using the same model as the GMAT, so while I'm not a specialist in this area, (anyone doing a graduate degree in the field would know more about it than I do) I do know something about it.
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New post Updated on: 28 May 2018, 17:57
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IanStewart wrote:
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Anyone who claims to know the exact specifics of the GMAT algorithm (and corresponding score conversions) vs. the GMAT Prep algorithm (and corresponding score conversions) is either lying, or in serious breach of a GMAC confidentiality agreement.


I gather this is directed at me. I don't know where you've gotten your information about the scoring algorithm, but you are misinformed on some important questions.

It is true, in a literal sense, that some of the algorithm is secret. If someone is administering an IRT-based test, there are certain parameters he or she can freely set without affecting the integrity of the test. Only the designers of the GMAT would know how they've set those parameters. But those are really just technical details. The mathematical basis of the algorithm, which is what is important, is well-known. The GMAT uses a three-parameter IRT model, a fact confirmed in many official research reports. I invite you to research that on your own if you are unsure if what I am saying is true, but someone repeating that is neither lying nor in breach of any confidentiality agreement.

The important information that is not public knowledge, and which you would absolutely need to reverse engineer your score from your responses on a GMATPrep or real GMAT test, are the statistics associated with each test question - the difficulty, discrimination and guessing parameter values. Because those question statistics will vary from test to test, a particular response pattern (right/wrong/right/wrong/etc, for example) will typically produce different scores each time. But those statistics have nothing to do with the underlying algorithm, in the same way that the difficulty levels of questions on a traditional multiple choice test, where your grade is the percentage of questions you answer correctly, have nothing to do with how the test is graded. The GMAT's underlying algorithm is just based on probability theory.

I've read dozens of academic papers in this area, and have programmed an IRT-based algorithm using the same model as the GMAT, so while I'm not a specialist in this area, (anyone doing a graduate degree in the field would know more about it than I do) I do know something about it.


I'm not disputing what you're saying: that the GMAT algorithm is based on a 3-parameter IRT model. What I am saying (and which you have already acknowledged) is that the GMAT algorithm is much more complex than the general model on which it is based--with secret, specific settings on the parameters that are only known by a select few who work for GMAC--and that it differs significantly from the GMAT Prep algorithm, partially because of the presence of 25.6% experimental questions on the real GMAT, vs 0% experimental on the GMATPrep tests.

I challenge you to find an ESR from a student who got the first 27 questions right on Quant, and the last 10 questions wrong, and earned a 50/51. It's never going to happen on a real GMAT. Yet that's exactly what happened on the (very helpful, but not totally accurate) GMATPrep simulations done by Bunuel.

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 30 Jul 2017, 16:04.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 28 May 2018, 17:57, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 30 Jul 2017, 18:56
IanStewart wrote:
It is true, in a literal sense, that some of the algorithm is secret. If someone is administering an IRT-based test, there are certain parameters he or she can freely set without affecting the integrity of the test. Only the designers of the GMAT would know how they've set those parameters. But those are really just technical details. The mathematical basis of the algorithm, which is what is important, is well-known. The GMAT uses a three-parameter IRT model, a fact confirmed in many official research reports. I invite you to research that on your own if you are unsure if what I am saying is true, but someone repeating that is neither lying nor in breach of any confidentiality agreement.
I agree. I would also urge test takers to read up on some (basic) IRT before choosing a course of action based on some of the advice on this thread.
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To put it more simply: category does not indicate specifics. Just because I have two pieces of fruit in my cart doesn't mean that they are both apples. And just because the GMATPrep tests and the real GMAT use the same *type* of algorithm does not mean that their precise algorithms are exactly the same. The results I've seen from real GMATs simply don't support that assertion. But yes, the real GMAT does behave in a similar way to the GMAT Prep tests, with some important differences, such as the example I mentioned above.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 30 Jul 2017, 20:00.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 12:40, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 31 Jul 2017, 12:22
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mcelroytutoring wrote:
I'm not disputing what you're saying: that the GMAT algorithm is based on a 3-parameter IRT model. What I am saying (and which you have already acknowledged) is that the GMAT algorithm is much more complex than the general model on which it is based--with secret, specific settings on the parameters that are only known by a select few who work for GMAC--and that it differs significantly from the GMAT Prep algorithm, partially because of the presence of 25.6% experimental questions on the real GMAT, vs 0% experimental on the GMATPrep tests.


You are misrepresenting what I said. I'll try to be as clear as possible:

- the GMAT algorithm is not "much more complex than the general model on which it is based"
- the GMAT algorithm does not "differ significantly from the GMAT Prep algorithm"
- the math used in the algorithm is entirely the same regardless of whether experimental questions appear on the test

I've explained these things in earlier posts.

You really put me in an unfair position when you write posts like this. I'm sure my replies seem argumentative to anyone reading them, and I don't want to argue with anyone on this forum. At the same time, I don't want my views to be misrepresented, and if I don't reply, people might think I agree with you, and I do not. You've twice now mischaracterized what I've said, and it's needlessly taking up a lot of my time replying to these mischaracterizations. So I won't continue a conversation with you, but I'd ask in the future to please speak only for yourself, and please do not try to speak for me.
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I'm not going to split hairs between "different" and "much different," or get into the semantics of algorithms vs. their associated parameters. My point remains: The real GMAT and the GMATPrep software use the same *type* of algorithm, but due to various other differences, the real GMAT most decidedly does not behave the same way as does GMATPrep, particularly with regard to scoring, question difficulty, and the number of experimental questions.

Agree to disagree, but I apologize if you think that I've mischaracterized your comments--I certainly know the feeling.

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 31 Jul 2017, 13:29.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 12:40, edited 6 times in total.
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New post 31 Jul 2017, 13:57
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HKD1710 wrote:
dabral wrote:
Hi Yashkumar,

If you have clicked on one of the radio buttons and the time runs out, the software will choose that as the answer submitted. It will consider that you have indeed answered the last question.

I do this myself at the end of the test. I will click on any of the answer choices and start working on the question. Once I have my answer, then I will change the choice and press submit. This way if you run out of time, at least the question will be considered answered(even if you are wrong) and there will be no penalty for not completing the section.

Cheers,
Dabral


Hi dabral,

Here is @BB's post stating that this rule is not true anymore. candidate has to submit the choice for final question.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmatclub-tests-245692.html#p1896457

I am wondering if this could be confirmed from some official source. Tried to search for it but no NEW official confirmation found.


I have confirmed it with GMAC. Anyone else is also welcome to contact them about this specific question. The old policy for years has been that any question where the answer choice was selected but not confirmed, was accepted and automatically submitted. However, people started reporting that GMAT prep software stopped accepting this approach a year or so ago (anyone wants to check to confirm this with latest version?) and when I have checked in with GMAC, they said that indeed, the last question is not automatically submitted.

They AWA is still submitted if you run out of time.
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New post 03 Sep 2017, 16:52
Hi guys,

I took two GMAT Prep Exam and found 6-8 of first 11 Verbal questions are RC.

Is that pattern consistent in real GMAT Exam?
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New post 03 Sep 2017, 19:58
brightandamen wrote:
Hi guys,

I took two GMAT Prep Exam and found 6-8 of first 11 Verbal questions are RC.

Is that pattern consistent in real GMAT Exam?
It could happen, but I don't think it's very common.
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New post 30 Sep 2017, 01:19
AjiteshArun wrote:
brightandamen wrote:
Hi guys,

I took two GMAT Prep Exam and found 6-8 of first 11 Verbal questions are RC.

Is that pattern consistent in real GMAT Exam?
It could happen, but I don't think it's very common.


Arun I faced the same situation in my prep and then also on my GMAT(given on 2nd Sep,17). Actually I faced 3 very long RC's, ie 9-10 questions by the end of my 14th question. Remembered this as confused whether there is any wrong with the patter or my attempt. This though is very unprecedented.
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New post 30 Sep 2017, 08:03
shubhankarmishra wrote:
Arun I faced the same situation in my prep and then also on my GMAT(given on 2nd Sep,17). Actually I faced 3 very long RC's, ie 9-10 questions by the end of my 14th question. Remembered this as confused whether there is any wrong with the patter or my attempt. This though is very unprecedented.
Yes, I can see how that might affect a test taker's performance. A few might actually like the "flow" that comes with doing only RC questions, but so many RCs together at the start will take a lot more effort in the beginning of the test and will almost certainly throw a test taker's timing strategy off.
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New post Updated on: 14 Dec 2017, 12:40
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I think the important thing to remember here is that the GMAC makes sure that each Verbal (and Quant) section has an equal proportion of question types--but also that the questions will appear in random order over the course of the test. So if you get a lot of RCs at the beginning, then try not to panic or rush: it simply means that you will be served more CRs and SCs later in the section.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 30 Sep 2017, 14:52.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 12:40, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 14 Oct 2017, 11:54
brightandamen wrote:
Hi guys,

I took two GMAT Prep Exam and found 6-8 of first 11 Verbal questions are RC.

Is that pattern consistent in real GMAT Exam?

You'll always see four RC passages on the GMAT. Usually, three of those passages will have three questions, and one passage will have four questions.

But those passages can appear absolutely anywhere in the verbal section. When I take the GMAT, I keep track of how many passages I've seen, because I don't particularly enjoy them toward the end of the section. I'm thrilled if they show up early in the section, when I'm still fresh -- but that's just me. :)

If it bugs you to see those RCs in funny places, you might also want to keep a tally of how many passages have appeared. That way, you won't be shocked if you see a bunch toward the end -- or none at all toward the end of the section.
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New post 02 Nov 2017, 21:24
So based on this it sounds like it's best to make sure you get the first ~25 ish questions right and just guess the last 12? assuming you would get 12 wrong
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New post 02 Nov 2017, 21:27
arcticTO wrote:
So based on this it sounds like it's best to make sure you get the first ~25 ish questions right and just guess the last 12? assuming you would get 12 wrong
Depends on whether you're trying to get a high score or not. If you're looking for a high score, this would be a terrible strategy to follow.
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New post 02 Nov 2017, 22:01
AjiteshArun wrote:
arcticTO wrote:
So based on this it sounds like it's best to make sure you get the first ~25 ish questions right and just guess the last 12? assuming you would get 12 wrong
Depends on whether you're trying to get a high score or not. If you're looking for a high score, this would be a terrible strategy to follow.


At the same time I have not seen a report here of anyone trying to follow this strategy. You can give it a shot on your GMAT Prep and see where you end up (i doubt it is feasible since by question 15-17 you will get a battery of very hard ones and if you can solve those, usually solving all 37 should not be an issue either) but I encourage you to try, experiment, and make your path!

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New post 14 Dec 2017, 12:28
Quote:
8. PS vs DS: what is the importance of DS questions?

Experiment: first 10 questions answered correctly. After that, I answered incorrectly to 12 DS questions only. So, 25 correct and 12 incorrect answers (all DS).

Result: Q50, 92th percentile.


OMG, is this for real??? Has someone tried this strategy recently? It sounds too good to be true... Also, maybe a lot of the test questions (that don't count towards the score) were DS ones? I could do so much with that extra time...
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New post Updated on: 14 Dec 2017, 17:59
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No, getting 12 wrong on the Quant portion of the real GMAT and scoring a Q50 is never going to happen. Yet another reason to take GMATPrep algorithm results with a giant grain of salt.

While the GMATPrep algorithm is still useful in understanding how the real GMAT is scored, GMATPrep vs. the real GMAT is clearly an apples to oranges comparison.

Counted Questions Wrong vs. Quant Score (estimates based on GMAT Club user ESRs I've seen so far)

0-2 wrong: 51 (96%)
3-6 wrong: 50 (86%)
4-7 wrong: 49 (75%)
5-8 wrong: 48 (69%)
6-9 wrong: 47 (63%)
6-10 wrong: 46 (60%)
7-11 wrong: 45 (57%)
7-12 wrong: 44 (52%)
etc.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 12:38.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 17:59, edited 9 times in total.
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New post 14 Dec 2017, 12:52
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mcelroytutoring wrote:
No, getting 12 wrong on the Quant portion of the real GMAT and scoring a Q50 is never going to happen. Yet another reason to take GMATPrep algorithm results with a giant grain of salt.

While the GMATPrep algorithm is still useful in understanding how the real GMAT is scored, GMATPrep vs. the real GMAT is clearly an apples to oranges comparison.


Never say never... you are implying as though you know how the algorithm works.

There are about 13 experimental questions on the Quant section.... it is not impossible to get even 51 based on that.

The trick here is that the person answered the 25 correctly. That’s very hard to do even with extra time for anyone looking to cut corners.

There is also the difference of the official algorithm and gmat prep - it is unknown and we have to make peace with it but we do what we can to figure it out :-)

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GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Dec 2017, 15:44
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bb wrote:
Never say never... you are implying as though you know how the algorithm works.

There are about 13 experimental questions on the Quant section.... it is not impossible to get even 51 based on that.

The trick here is that the person answered the 25 correctly. That’s very hard to do even with extra time for anyone looking to cut corners.

There is also the difference of the official algorithm and gmat prep - it is unknown and we have to make peace with it but we do what we can to figure it out :-)

There are exactly 9 (not 13) experimental questions on Quant out of the 37 total questions. 28 are counted. If you happen to get really, really lucky, then maybe 9 of the 12 of the questions you get wrong are experimental. That still means that you will get 3 counted questions wrong, which could perhaps be enough for a Q50 but definitely not enough for a Q51.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 12:58.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 14 Dec 2017, 15:44, edited 1 time in total.
GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2017, 12:58

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