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# Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!

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Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
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Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 08:41
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 19:34
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.
Hi Louis14,

There are a lot of possible reasons for that, but I think the most important thing here is not to compare scores across providers. Try taking a GMATPrep sometime, if you haven't already taken one of those tests. They generate the most reliable score estimates.
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 21:37
Hi Louis14, just one mock test from two companies does not provide sufficient number of data-points for us to conclude whether you just had a bad day or whether the discrepancy is related to algorithmic error.

You might want to give at least one more mock test from each of these companies and an official mock test as well. This will give us more confidence to conclude either way.
_________________
Thanks,
Ashish
GMAT-99th Percentile, MBA - ISB Hyderabad
EducationAisle, Bangalore

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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 01:46
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.

Here are a few thoughts on this:

1. Taking 2 tests back to back in 2 days is not a good idea. The tests are taxing and you need to rest your mind before you take another one. I usually recommend one test a week.

2. Taking tests to 'figure out' your score range is not a good idea either. Though it is certainly tempting since they help us quantify our ability, they often don't do a very good job of it. (That said, we at Veritas do provide a fairly accurate measure because our algorithm is built on a platform that employs Item Response Theory (IRT), the same system underlying the real GMAT. You can try it for yourself by taking a free test here: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/free-g ... tice-test/)

3. Tests from different prep providers are bound to give you different scores. They are not comparable until and unless you are at an extreme score range - very high such that you are cracking every test or very low such that you are cracking none.

4. Try out an official practice test from mba.com. Again, you should take the score you achieve with a pinch of salt but it does give a fairly accurate measure too.

5. The purpose of practice tests is that they help identify the areas of weakness. Use them for that.
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Karishma
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 02:13
AjiteshArun wrote:
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.
Hi Louis14,

There are a lot of possible reasons for that, but I think the most important thing here is not to compare scores across providers. Try taking a GMATPrep sometime, if you haven't already taken one of those tests. They generate the most reliable score estimates.

Well, thanks for taking the time out. A week back, I did actually take a mock from mba.com, and scored a 640. This was my second attempt at one of the two free mocks available at mba.com, and I assumed that they have a large inventory to not repeat the same questions over and over again. In my first attempt, which I took when I set out to prepare for the gmat, I scored a 540. So, it was a 100 point improvement. I think I'll have to buy the other four mba.com tests and take them.
Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
Posts: 41
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 02:18
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Louis14, just one mock test from two companies does not provide sufficient number of data-points for us to conclude whether you just had a bad day or whether the discrepancy is related to algorithmic error.

You might want to give at least one more mock test from each of these companies and an official mock test as well. This will give us more confidence to conclude either way.

Great idea, sir. I'll take the said mocks very soon. I'm hoping I had a bad day but given how unpredictable it is, I'm haunted by the notion that what if the main G-day turned out to be bad too. God forbid. I need to overcome my exposure to 'bad days,' to be absolutely sure that I don't eff things up on the G-day. You know what I mean?! The tragedy is that I just don't have any idea how to do that.
Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
Posts: 41
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 02:20
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.

Here are a few thoughts on this:

1. Taking 2 tests back to back in 2 days is not a good idea. The tests are taxing and you need to rest your mind before you take another one. I usually recommend one test a week.

2. Taking tests to 'figure out' your score range is not a good idea either. Though it is certainly tempting since they help us quantify our ability, they often don't do a very good job of it. (That said, we at Veritas do provide a fairly accurate measure because our algorithm is built on a platform that employs Item Response Theory (IRT), the same system underlying the real GMAT. You can try it for yourself by taking a free test here: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/free-g ... tice-test/)

3. Tests from different prep providers are bound to give you different scores. They are not comparable until and unless you are at an extreme score range - very high such that you are cracking every test or very low such that you are cracking none.

4. Try out an official practice test from mba.com. Again, you should take the score you achieve with a pinch of salt but it does give a fairly accurate measure too.

5. The purpose of practice tests is that they help identify the areas of weakness. Use them for that.

Thanks, ma'am. Honored to hear from you. I'll apply all your recommendations. Thanks so much.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 2011
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 06:22
There isn't much reason to trust scores from company tests. It's true that almost no companies emulate the real scoring algorithm, but that's not the main reason to distrust company test scores. The questions on company tests will overemphasize certain skills, and underemphasize others, as compared with the real GMAT. A company that makes its hard questions hard by making them very long and complicated is not correctly replicating hard questions on the real GMAT. Someone who is blazing fast at algebra will be overly rewarded on those tests; someone who is not, but who has excellent conceptual reasoning skills, will get too low a score on that company's test, but will do very well on the real GMAT. Of course people who are fast at algebra are often good at GMAT math too, so company tests often correlate fairly well with GMAT scores, but that's only in the aggregate. Individual test takers will often do much better or much worse on the real test than on a specific company's test.

You should sometimes be using tests to assess your level, since that's the only reliable way to know if it's a good idea to sign up for the real thing. But you should only put any stock in the scores from official tests, and you should bear in mind that luck plays a small role in determining your test score, so you should expect some natural fluctuation from test to test -- at your level, seeing discrepancies of 40 points from one test to another would not be too unusual, though larger swings on official tests would usually suggest you were performing worse on one test for a reason unrelated to your ability (fatigue, distraction, etc).
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 07:19
Hi Louis14,

To reiterate, the algorithms used by various companies are not all the same, so that could be the reason why you are seeing variation in your two practice test scores. In any case, have you taken any official GMAC practice exams?
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# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
Posts: 41
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 07:51
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Louis14,

To reiterate, the algorithms used by various companies are not all the same, so that could be the reason why you are seeing variation in your two practice test scores. In any case, have you taken any official GMAC practice exams?

Yes, I took two free mocks available with mba.com in the early days, and I scored 530 and 540 respectively. Then, only last week, I had an another attempt the same free mock (the second one to be precise) and I scored 640.
Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
Posts: 41
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 07:54
IanStewart wrote:
There isn't much reason to trust scores from company tests. It's true that almost no companies emulate the real scoring algorithm, but that's not the main reason to distrust company test scores. The questions on company tests will overemphasize certain skills, and underemphasize others, as compared with the real GMAT. A company that makes its hard questions hard by making them very long and complicated is not correctly replicating hard questions on the real GMAT. Someone who is blazing fast at algebra will be overly rewarded on those tests; someone who is not, but who has excellent conceptual reasoning skills, will get too low a score on that company's test, but will do very well on the real GMAT. Of course people who are fast at algebra are often good at GMAT math too, so company tests often correlate fairly well with GMAT scores, but that's only in the aggregate. Individual test takers will often do much better or much worse on the real test than on a specific company's test.

You should sometimes be using tests to assess your level, since that's the only reliable way to know if it's a good idea to sign up for the real thing. But you should only put any stock in the scores from official tests, and you should bear in mind that luck plays a small role in determining your test score, so you should expect some natural fluctuation from test to test -- at your level, seeing discrepancies of 40 points from one test to another would not be too unusual, though larger swings on official tests would usually suggest you were performing worse on one test for a reason unrelated to your ability (fatigue, distraction, etc).

Thank you so much. This is one of the best analyses I've read about GMAT mocks made by different companies. I'll try attempting official gmat mocks in the near future.
Intern
Joined: 03 Dec 2019
Posts: 18
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 11:20
To be honest, I wouldn't trust the score of any mock GMAT test. I also had a huge discrepancy (almost 100 points) between (official) mock tests and the official test.
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2020, 18:42
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.

I'd recommend reading this: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... st-scores/

It's about the situation where your official test score is very different from your practice test scores, but the information should also apply here. There's just an additional factor that we can't be completely sure how accurate either of those practice tests is. It seems like the difference is mostly in Verbal, so I'd start with whatever tools Kaplan and Economist give you to analyze that: what types of Verbal problems were you missing?
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2020, 00:46
ccooley wrote:
Louis14 wrote:
I took the free GMAT practice test from Kaplan yesterday, and I scored a 670 (Q46 V36). I took another practice mock from Economist today, and I scored a dismal 570 (Q45 V23). Can anyone explain this staggering discrepancy?

Thanks.

I'd recommend reading this: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... st-scores/

It's about the situation where your official test score is very different from your practice test scores, but the information should also apply here. There's just an additional factor that we can't be completely sure how accurate either of those practice tests is. It seems like the difference is mostly in Verbal, so I'd start with whatever tools Kaplan and Economist give you to analyze that: what types of Verbal problems were you missing?

Thank you so much for sharing the article. Before I read, I'll answer your question. Well, I'm generally good at Verbal. So, I wasn't missing much. For one thing, I had timing issues. In the Economist one, in particular, I guessed the last few questions, including a whole RC at the end. I also happened to have missed the last question. But, honestly, in the Kaplan, I faced timing issues too, and I did make random pickings at the end. That's what confuses me.
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2020, 09:17
Louis14 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Louis14,

To reiterate, the algorithms used by various companies are not all the same, so that could be the reason why you are seeing variation in your two practice test scores. In any case, have you taken any official GMAC practice exams?

Yes, I took two free mocks available with mba.com in the early days, and I scored 530 and 540 respectively. Then, only last week, I had an another attempt the same free mock (the second one to be precise) and I scored 640.

Do you plan to take the remaining MBA.com exams?
_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
181 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

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Intern
Joined: 01 Nov 2019
Posts: 41
Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2020, 14:50
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Louis14 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Louis14,

To reiterate, the algorithms used by various companies are not all the same, so that could be the reason why you are seeing variation in your two practice test scores. In any case, have you taken any official GMAC practice exams?

Yes, I took two free mocks available with mba.com in the early days, and I scored 530 and 540 respectively. Then, only last week, I had an another attempt the same free mock (the second one to be precise) and I scored 640.

Do you plan to take the remaining MBA.com exams?

Yes, I do.
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Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2020, 10:07
Louis14 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Louis14 wrote:

Yes, I took two free mocks available with mba.com in the early days, and I scored 530 and 540 respectively. Then, only last week, I had an another attempt the same free mock (the second one to be precise) and I scored 640.

Do you plan to take the remaining MBA.com exams?

Yes, I do.

OK great. So, those exams should be enough.
_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
181 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

Re: Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2020, 10:07
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# Insane discrepancy in GMAT scores!

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