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Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT

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Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 10:04
This does not make any sense:
OG Test 1 440 Q27 V23
OG Test 2 340 Q20 V16
Kaplan Test 1 570 Q37 V31
Kaplan Test 2 580 Q37 V31
Kaplan Test 3 620 Q40 V35
Kaplan Test 4 580 Q37 V33
Kaplan Test 5
OG Test 3 410 Q29 V17


I have been study since mid September religiously, and I just finished the Kaplan Book. How is this even possible? How can these scores vary so far from each other?
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Re: Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 10:55
Hi gcantre3,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, but the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly). Thus, we also have to consider how realistically you are taking these Exams.

Before we discuss any of those details though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What study materials have you used besides the book that you listed?
2) On what dates did you take each of these CATs?

Goals:
3) Are you still scheduled to take the GMAT on December 3rd?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 11:42
So the Kaplan exams were taken weekly, which now I understand was probably not a good idea. The last Kaplan exam I took was two weeks ago. During that time, I finished the last 5 chapters of the Kaplan book and did numerous practice problems on GMAT club and the book. I even feel that I am understanding the information a lot cleared.

I am still schedule to take the exam on Dec 3, but by the results of this exam I am going to reschedule this. I just haven’t taken a OG exam since 2 months and half, and for me to do even worse than I started baffles me. Much less do approx 180 pts worse than I did on the last 5 Kaplan exams.

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Re: Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 11:47
Hi gcantre3,

Assuming that your Score Goal is still 700+, you will likely need at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study to get to the point that you are consistently scoring at that higher level - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. While there's no harm in taking the GMAT on December 3rd, it's unlikely that you will earn that type of Score on that date. Thus, you can save some money and aggravation by pushing back your Test Date.

To properly discuss how you might proceed with the next phase of your studies, I'm going to need answers to the questions I asked in my prior post.

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Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 23:46
1
gcantre3 wrote:
This does not make any sense:
OG Test 1 440 Q27 V23
OG Test 2 340 Q20 V16
Kaplan Test 1 570 Q37 V31
Kaplan Test 2 580 Q37 V31
Kaplan Test 3 620 Q40 V35
Kaplan Test 4 580 Q37 V33
Kaplan Test 5
OG Test 3 410 Q29 V17


I have been study since mid September religiously, and I just finished the Kaplan Book. How is this even possible? How can these scores vary so far from each other?


Hi gcantre3,

Kaplan Mocks are generally a bit more generous with their scoring. No test prep companies can replicate the scoring algorithm more closely than an official GMATPREP Mock can. I would not recommend you to rely on any mocks other than official GMAT Mocks, as they are the most closest representative of the real GMAT. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have a good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Hope this helps. All the best!
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Re: Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2018, 17:19
Hi gcantre3,

When you take practice tests from companies other than GMAC, you may find some variation in algorithms used and thus variations in your score. That being said, I think there is a bigger issue at play here, which is that you seem to be taking practice tests before you are truly ready to do so. GMAT practice tests serve two main purposes: to provide diagnostic information and to get you accustomed to the test-taking experience. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you are comfortable answering, arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time, and practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

Can practice tests be valuable tools for learning and continued score improvement? Yes, of course, if they are used properly and at optimal times in your preparation. However, you should not use practice tests as primary learning vehicles because they don’t really provide the kind of practice that you need to increase your score. To improve your score, you need to learn the basics of answering various types of GMAT questions, and then practice applying what you have learned by carefully answering practice questions in order to learn to answer them correctly. When you first learn how to answer a particular type of question, answering correctly can easily take way longer than the two minutes or so per question that you are allotted when you take the GMAT. So, to effectively prepare, you have to practice answering questions of each type without the constraints of the exam, and work up to the point at which you can answer questions of each type in around two minutes.

When taking a practice test, you don’t give yourself the kind of time you need to learn to answer questions. Two minutes per question flies by, and if you want to finish each section of the test on time, in many cases, regardless of whether you have figured out how to answer a question, you may have to pick an answer and move on. So, while taking a practice test can be a great way to work on your overall approach to taking the GMAT, taking a practice test is not a great way to learn how to get right answers to various types of questions. To hit your score goal, you likely need to focus on the latter type of prep. You certainly can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation to gauge your current skill level (as you have done), but why spend three hours taking another practice test (and another, and another) to discover the same thing again and again: You have to learn more content and develop more skills to hit your score goal. Using practice tests in such a way wastes a valuable tool.

Once you have done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require strengthening. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how you will score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, the sample size of the number of questions found on any practice test is rather small (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions), so practice tests don’t do a very good job of showing specific areas of weakness. For example, let’s say that you encounter one Rate-Time-Distance question among the 31 quant questions on a practice test, and you get the question wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Of course not. What if you correctly answered the Rate-Time-Distance question? Does that mean you’re good to go on such questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s say that out of six practice tests, you saw a total of six Rate-Time-Distance questions and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Rate-Time-Distance questions that can appear on any test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Rate-Time-Distance questions doesn’t really tell you much. You must take care not to over-infer based on a handful of practice tests.

Since you are pretty far from your 700+ score goal, I’m glad to see that you are going to reschedule your GMAT for a later date. If you’d like some specific advice on how to study moving forward, feel free to reach out, and I’d be happy to help. Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Kaplan CAT Vs OG CAT &nbs [#permalink] 30 Nov 2018, 17:19
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