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# have many wrong aswers can i afford?

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have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2011, 11:10
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Hi,

I know that it is a strange question. Do somebody know how many questions can, on average, be answered wrong to achieve 700? I know that there are two parts (37 questions in the quantitative and 41 in the verbal part) and I know that GMAT is adaptive.
But, assume that you will do equally on both parts.

The reason why I ask is that I did some tests from Manhattan GMAT and got high scores. For instance, my score was 740 on one test - 46 quantitative and 45 verbal. I had 16 wrong answers in the quantitative part and 12 wrong answers in the verbal part. I have similar story with further two Manhattan tests.
Don't you think that having 16 wrong answers of total 37 and 12 wrong answers of total 41 and still scoring over 700 is suspect?

Are these tests at least a little bit representative for the real GMAT?
What is your experience? do you think that having so many wrong answers still enables 700 score on the real GMAT

Thanks a lot..
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 01:49
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I seldom pay heed to the number of wrong answers. I think the score is more effected by the difficulty of the questions which were answered incorrectly than the number of questions answered incorrectly.

The GMAT equivalent of the Manhattan Score can be calculated using this tool:

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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 04:18
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Entwistle makes a good point, but the number of incorrect answers above seems too high. It's possible to still have a good score on the GMAT, though, assuming that the questions missed include mostly high-difficulty problems and experimental questions.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 07:37
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as bmillan01 said, it is really depend on high-difficulty problems and experimental questions, and that's why the simulation test never going to exactly represent the gmat real test.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 08:05
I understand all the points you mentioned. But, I wanted to get a feeling. The questions I answered wrongly in Manhattan tests were rather more difficult (at least according to Manhattan).

But if we can assume that some of the wrongly answered questions are high-difficult and some are less-difficult, how many questions can you afford to attack 700+ score. I think that you can do some estimations. For instance, what are your scores on other preparatory tests and how many wrong answers did you have? (of course, we have to take into account the difficulty as well.)

I think that if some people post their experience here, we will get some estimates.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 09:03
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For the GMATPrep, I had more incorrect answers for quant than for verbal. For quant, the number ranged from six to ten wrong answers; for verbal, it was usually about three to six. And the scores were always higher for quant. I had a 740 and 750 on the GMATPrep, and scored a 730 (Q48, V44) on the actual test.

I only practiced with the verbal section for the six Manhattan tests. I don't recall that many incorrect answers, but my scores were 44, 44, 40, 45, 46, and 44 (if memory serves me).

As we have all acknowledged on this thread, there are a number of intangibles to consider regarding test scores. However, I will repeat one point in my previous message: the number of wrong answers that you mentioned is high and should be reduced in order to score a 700.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 09:40
Thanks a lot.
I also think that the number of wrong answers, I mentioned, is too high. However, i really got 740 points. It was probably by a coincidence.
Now, I have 16 wrong answer in quantitative part and 12 in verbal and have Q46 V40 (700). (another Manhattan test). I think that it looks more reasonably.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 11:26
The more recent score appears more reasonable, but we should aim to remove as much risk as possible from your future GMAT performance. To improve your math score, look into the GMATClub tests (after finishing your math guides and OG practice). For verbal, let's try to identify which problems give you the most trouble - and at what difficulty level. Also, how much time do you have left in your preparation?

I realize that this shifts the original conversation into another direction, but it's not enough to just detect a problem. We have to fix it too!
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 23:44
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http://www.crackverbal.com/blog/gmat-sc ... ied-partly

(3) How many mistakes can I afford in each section ?

Now, this is a slightly tricky question as it is not just the number of mistakes per se, but also 2 other factors which need to be considered:

1. Frequency of the mistakes: If you get questions wrong one after the other, you are in greater risk than if you distribute your mistakes over a range. For example, lets say, from questions 21 to 30 there are 2 candidates X and Y and their frequency of mistakes is: X marks the wrong answers for questions 22, 26 and 29, while Y marks the wrong ones for 23,24,25. Then Y would be penalized heavier than X.
2. Position of the mistakes: Has been said a gazillion times before, but the first 10 odd questions have a greater variation/fluctuation while assessing your score than the questions towards the end. Think about it. If you want to guage a person in an interview you start out asking the “average” questions if he cannot answer those, you would immediately drop down to the “basic” ones and it would be a long time before you could throw anything challenging at him. Whereas if he answered all the average ones you would pose him the “difficult” ones and it would be a long, long series of wrongs answers before you get fed up and start asking him “basic” questions.

However, it is possible for very high scores (read as “very few mistakes”) to show with a fair degree of accuracy what the association between mistakes and RAW scores. The following data I found from the net to fairly representative:

Verbal
# mistakes score
0-1 51
2-4 50-45
5-7 40-44
8-13 39-35

Quant
# mistakes score
0-2 51
3-5 50
6-10 49
11-14 48
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2011, 23:59
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gmatprep2011 wrote:

http://www.crackverbal.com/blog/gmat-sc ... ied-partly

(3) How many mistakes can I afford in each section ?

Now, this is a slightly tricky question as it is not just the number of mistakes per se, but also 2 other factors which need to be considered:

1. Frequency of the mistakes: If you get questions wrong one after the other, you are in greater risk than if you distribute your mistakes over a range. For example, lets say, from questions 21 to 30 there are 2 candidates X and Y and their frequency of mistakes is: X marks the wrong answers for questions 22, 26 and 29, while Y marks the wrong ones for 23,24,25. Then Y would be penalized heavier than X.
2. Position of the mistakes: Has been said a gazillion times before, but the first 10 odd questions have a greater variation/fluctuation while assessing your score than the questions towards the end. Think about it. If you want to guage a person in an interview you start out asking the “average” questions if he cannot answer those, you would immediately drop down to the “basic” ones and it would be a long time before you could throw anything challenging at him. Whereas if he answered all the average ones you would pose him the “difficult” ones and it would be a long, long series of wrongs answers before you get fed up and start asking him “basic” questions.

However, it is possible for very high scores (read as “very few mistakes”) to show with a fair degree of accuracy what the association between mistakes and RAW scores. The following data I found from the net to fairly representative:

Verbal
# mistakes score
0-1 51
2-4 50-45
5-7 40-44
8-13 39-35

Quant
# mistakes score
0-2 51
3-5 50
6-10 49
11-14 48

gmatprep2011 makes some great references above. I would also like to add that MGMAT has a small guide (available with their online CAT tests) that provide pretty detailed and logical explanation "countering" point 2 - that the common belief that the first 10 questions hold more "weight" holds true. The values of # missed should be taken with a grain of salt as explained by point 1, but on the whole serve as a decent estimator. Your best bet would probably be to take some full length CATs suggested in that other thread and doing some comparison yourself. Of the ones I have taken, the guidance listed above seems reasonable.

I don't want to steal the thunder of that MGMAT guide, but the gist of it is this:
- All 41 Quant questions are important. We all know that if any are blank you are done for.
- If you spend more time on the first 10, you are robbing time from the last 10.
- It is true that if you get the first 10 right, you may be in a higher bucket, but if you stumble in the middle or rush the tail end, you can easily be reassigned a new bucket.
- The GMAT scoring and question selection system is based on an algorithm that is very multifaceted, complex, and shrouded in secrecy.

IMHO:
Rather than exerting so much pressure on the first 10, focus on the whole of the section. It is after all, more of a marathon than a sprint. Become confident with the material and pace yourself. Overburdening yourself with the pressure of the first 10 is kind of like sprinting the first mile of a 26 mile marathon.

Good luck!
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2011, 08:20
Wow 700's is a grt score and thats what I thought I was targetting, but I gave my second Cat after 1.5 months of preperation thru Mgmat guides - only covered 50% though, and I still got the same 580 score??? Could you please help me in identifying what I am doing wrong here?
Thanks!
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2011, 09:58
simmy818 wrote:
Wow 700's is a grt score and thats what I thought I was targetting, but I gave my second Cat after 1.5 months of preperation thru Mgmat guides - only covered 50% though, and I still got the same 580 score??? Could you please help me in identifying what I am doing wrong here?
Thanks!

- Most people study for 3 months total, there is a entire thread/sticky detailed to study strategy. Go browse and see how yours compares.
- Review what you got wrong the first and second time. Do they differ? Is there an area you need to focus on? How did your Q and V change? Did one go up as the other went down? If you are going in MGMAT book order, your Q might go up but V go down due to not having a solid foundation in the first place.
- Use the error log for your CAT and OG questions.
- Use the problem sets outlined in MGMAT for the OG12 to do isolated problem sets on specific trouble areas you found by using the error log.
- Plenty of people get to 700+ through just MGMAT set and OG12, you can too! Mine the advice of this forum!
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2011, 13:22
Thank you so much for ur input! I will analyze all aspects as u mentioned, and will try to come up with a plan... thanks again !!
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2011, 19:30
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Knesl wrote:
Thanks a lot.
I also think that the number of wrong answers, I mentioned, is too high. However, i really got 740 points. It was probably by a coincidence.
Now, I have 16 wrong answer in quantitative part and 12 in verbal and have Q46 V40 (700). (another Manhattan test). I think that it looks more reasonably.

I think it will be good if you try and understand the scoring algorithm explained here:
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2010/08 ... algorithm/

1) Good news: You can get a lot of questions wrong and still do well!

The job of the GMAT scoring algorithm is to determine your ability level by asking you questions that begin to close in on it. Think of how you’d play a game of 20 Questions as you attempt to zero in on the historical figure that your “opponent” has selected:

Was this person famous in the era BC? (No – too early)

Was this person famous before the Middle Ages? (No – still too early)

Was this person famous before the Declaration of Independence? (Yes – 1776 is too late)

Was this person famous before 1600? (Yes – 1600 is still too late)

Did this person become famous before 1500? (Yes – now we’re getting close to that period between around 1300-1500)

Was this person famous in the late 1400s? (Yes – now we’re getting close to really knowing the answer)

Was this person famous for something that happened in the 1490s? (Yes)

Is it Christopher Columbus in 1492? (Yes – once you get to the 1490s, you can be pretty sure that you’re talking Columbus. We’ve managed to narrow down our assessment of the figure in question by getting some “yes” and “no” answers)

Essentially, that’s what the GMAT is trying to do with the questions it feeds you. “Is this person above a 700? Yes.” “Is this person above a 750? No.” Because the test needs to get those “no” answers at the upper limit of your ability, it will continue to feed you harder questions that you will likely answer incorrectly as it tests your upper threshold, and at the lower end it will feed you easier questions to test your minimum ability.

The upshot for you? You’re supposed to answer a fair number of questions incorrectly. Everyone does. Akil over at BellCurves wrote up a pretty extensive analysis of official practice test scores that demonstrated some trends in the ways that scores are calculated. If you don’t want to sort through the dense analysis to draw your own conclusion, know this: those scoring in the 46-50 scaled score range on the quant section (the upper limit of high scores) answered between 21 and 26 of the 37 math questions correctly. You can score well above the 90th percentile on math and miss more than a dozen questions! (And if you’re good enough at math to do that, you’ll note that it equates to your missing roughly a third of the questions)
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 04:00
The CAT nature of the test makes it tough for everyone;
everyone will feel that he or she struggles with it and everyone will need... no - will have to guess.
What is important is that you do not have many consecutive errors or the CAT algo will converge towards and estimated level that is past redemption...
What I am trying to say is if you manage to keep the level of difficulty (and respectively the points awarded) of questions high, you may get away with more wrong answers than you would think otherwise. Unfortunately you have no way of knowing the actual difficulty of the questions...
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 06:25
humphy wrote:
simmy818 wrote:
Wow 700's is a grt score and thats what I thought I was targetting, but I gave my second Cat after 1.5 months of preperation thru Mgmat guides - only covered 50% though, and I still got the same 580 score??? Could you please help me in identifying what I am doing wrong here?
Thanks!

- Most people study for 3 months total, there is a entire thread/sticky detailed to study strategy. Go browse and see how yours compares.
- Review what you got wrong the first and second time. Do they differ? Is there an area you need to focus on? How did your Q and V change? Did one go up as the other went down? If you are going in MGMAT book order, your Q might go up but V go down due to not having a solid foundation in the first place.
- Use the error log for your CAT and OG questions.
- Use the problem sets outlined in MGMAT for the OG12 to do isolated problem sets on specific trouble areas you found by using the error log.
- Plenty of people get to 700+ through just MGMAT set and OG12, you can too! Mine the advice of this forum!

I gave my first test without studying and got 580 - Q43 and V27 and after 1.5 month of Quant preperation in the second test I got 570 Q43 and V25..
I dont know how to explain this situation?
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 12:23
There can be many logical explanations for your current predicament.

First, tell us more about your study habits. How many hours per day, how often, how do you study, what do you study, how do you study the answers you got wrong, are you only studying basic quant?

Sounds like you need to focus more on 600-800 level problems. Are you?

Obviously your verbal isn't expected to improve of you don't work in that area, but the types of questions above would apply there as well.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 12:56
humphy wrote:
There can be many logical explanations for your current predicament.

First, tell us more about your study habits. How many hours per day, how often, how do you study, what do you study, how do you study the answers you got wrong, are you only studying basic quant?

Sounds like you need to focus more on 600-800 level problems. Are you?

Obviously your verbal isn't expected to improve of you don't work in that area, but the types of questions above would apply there as well.

Posted from my mobile device

I started with MGMAT guides and currently on the last guide - Geometry - so completed 1-4 guides except Probability and Combination.
First I complete 1 guide and then go back and do the OG12 problems, mostly I have difficulty with 600-800 problems in practice sets as well as OG probs and also in CAT.
Also I started Sentence Correction guide and on chapter 4 only --- its too much information for me and I dont see myself understanding it 100% in terms of application (I am not a native speaker) so struggling with Verbal.. but since I want my scores to be 700+ so thought I will cover the quant and then will work on verbal..
I study approx 2 hrs daily and on weekends 4-5 hrs .. gave 2 CAT so far and planning to give GMAT in June 2nd week..
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 18:03
something I noticed that MGMAT does not really do is give you test taking strategy. What it does a great job of is teaching the material, but lets face it, there are some good tips to have up your sleeve in how to actually take the test. I would suggest either reading up on these strategies echoed in other threads, or picking up a Princeton Review GMAT book. They don't teach the material well, but I have gained a few nuggets out of their test taking strategies.

Out of respect of OP and thread topic, why don't you PM me if you have any other replies rather then air it out from here on out. In fact, I think there are entire threads dedicated to people who have been in and gotten out of, your position. Do some homework.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford? [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2011, 18:25
From my experience, drop in scores can be attributed to many reasons. Some of them are:
1. Complacency or overconfidence
2. Lack of conceptual clarity
3. Poor time management
4. Stress and anxiety
5. Distractions, or
6. Silly or careless mistakes

The good news is that we can eliminate all or majority of the above shortcomings by being aware of it and by doing something to remedy the situation.
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Re: have many wrong aswers can i afford?   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2011, 18:25

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