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NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios

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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 08:54
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bb OmerPelman

In the official GMAT website under the FAQ section of "What are GMAT® Official Practice Exams and Practice Questions?" it is stated that -
"Practice with real GMAT questions from past exams and full-length practice exams that use the same scoring algorithm as the actual exam."

The link - https://www.mba.com/frequently-asked-qu ... -questions
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New post 20 Sep 2018, 08:59
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blitzkriegxX wrote:
bb OmerPelman

In the official GMAT website under the FAQ section of "What are GMAT® Official Practice Exams and Practice Questions?" it is stated that -
"Practice with real GMAT questions from past exams and full-length practice exams that use the same scoring algorithm as the actual exam."

The link - https://www.mba.com/frequently-asked-qu ... -questions


Thank you for the link. Yes. That is correct - that’s the update that GMAC has made after upgrading to the online platform.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 10:49
Hi ,
can somebody analyse the below mock test result for me because i am clueless how i got V28 , that is too low. I though miss one question in verbal.
Please provide your feedback as how can i improve my verbal score.
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New post 07 Oct 2018, 11:28
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Brutal. GMAT, in my opinion, doesn't give you enough chances to redeem yourself after you miss an "easy" question, which is likely what happened to you.
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New post 09 Oct 2018, 03:38
GMATbuster92 wrote:
Hi ,
can somebody analyse the below mock test result for me because i am clueless how i got V28 , that is too low. I though miss one question in verbal.
Please provide your feedback as how can i improve my verbal score.


It would be great to look more closely at some of these 3 question CCW strings. You no doubt know the test is adaptive. What may be happening to you, because you get two questions correct in a row, is that you may be tempting the test to deliver the next question at a higher level of difficulty.

Unfortunately, you regularly got that third question wrong, and so have sent the algorithm a clear signal.

You probably know that their algorithm is top-secret, so that any attempt to assign a difficulty level to these questions is purely subjective. However, this would be at least a decent place to start your investigation.

You may also like to read up about what to do next in Verbal, in terms of Return on Time Invested. I go into it at more length: https://www.gmat.amsterdam/gmat_secrets_of_success/gmat-english

Kind Regards,
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2018, 23:41
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Bunuel wrote:
GMAT Prep Software Scoring Analysis and What If Scenarios

NEW ONLINE FORMAT

Image


2. What is the importance of the last 10 questions?

Experiment: We will try to analyze the importance of the last 10 questions and if it equals the important of the first 10
Methodology: we will attempt the worst case scenario and will answer the first 27 Q questions correctly and then will answer the remaining 10 questions incorrectly (not guess but incorrectly).
Result: Score - Q49. Percentile - 75th. First 21 questions CORRECT. The final 10 questions WRONG.
Analysis: The questions were much harder this time with some new topics/types appearing on the test such as coordinate geometry/probability etc. Conclusion: the last 10 don't count as much as the first 10. This myth is True (as long as you can get the first 21 right). Please note that I have not guessed the last 10 but rather answered them incorrectly (which means I still had to solve those questions too). If you are guessing, you will most likely get a higher score.
When simulated in the previous GMAT Prep version, this scenario resulted in Score - Q50. Percentile - 92th.
Questions: 18PS and 13 DS.


Attachment:
mb13.png


Thank you for this awesome effort.
Is it possible to test something similar to that second scenario?
I'm looking for the result of something like this:
The difference between the effect of having around 10 incorrect answers distributed evenly over questions after number 10 and the effect of having 10 final questions incorrect.

Thanks
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New post 28 Oct 2018, 12:15
Hey, here I am to confirm.
Got 3 RC passages in the first 10 questions. I'm weak at RC so I got 6/10 wrong. Then I got 2 CRs wrong, then 17 Qs correct in a row, one mistake in SC and boom, there it is. 27/36 correct and a result of V33.
This is ridiculous. I am glad I'm reading this post now, thank you OP.

mcelroytutoring,

I hope you're wrong. I literally destroy SC and my accuracy for RC questions is ~30%. That's so sad!!!!
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2019, 03:48
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1
This analysis is GOLD!!!
Was continuously scoring V35-V37 in GMAT Prep, Manhattan and Veritas Tests.
Took the GMAT late December and scored a V40.
And I think this was mainly because of my time-management. Did not leave any question, Left a couple of questions in the middle to balance the time.

Can't thank souvik101990 and Bunuel enough.
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New post 15 Feb 2019, 09:04
So interesting...i feel more confident right now
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2019, 17:42
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What about a scenario for verbal in that you miss every 3rd question (Get 2 right, miss 1, get 2 right, miss one etc)? (Like Bunnel's Quant Test)
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New post 05 Mar 2019, 17:22
So I would say that the conclusions are the following:

Quant:

10 first questions are really important
10 last questions are not so important
10 mid questions are not so important
PS is a little more important than DS

Verbal:
RC is the most important section
9 last questions are not so important

Overall Conclusions:

ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS

If I am wrong, please tell me.
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New post 05 Mar 2019, 17:36
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Hi Bunuel souvik101990

Would you please run the scenarios in which middle verbal questions are answered incorrectly? may be the second 9 questions or the third 9 questions.

Thanks in advance.
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 10:01
souvik101990 wrote:
New Format - Verbal What-If Scenarios


Last year when Vercules ran the what-if scenarios in this thread we found some very interesting results. Not that the GMAT has changed (or just reduced in number and minutes), I decided to make some changes. I thought of doing things in quarters (9 out of 36 questions form a quarter).

1. Importance of the first 9 questions


In the first part of the test, I have tried to see what happens if we miss the first quarter entirely (i.e. the first 9 out of the 36 questions answered wrongly while answering correctly the others). To check for experimental questions and other question level based biases I ran the scenario thrice.

Experiment - GMAC says the first 10 questions are as important as the other questions. We test that theory. We have changed it to 9 because we want to take into account the reduced number of questions in the test.

Methodology - Run 3 instances of A) missing the first 9 questions . B) answering the next 27 questions correctly.

Result

- V28, V29, V30

Analysis - To make this analysis more effective, let's first check the scenarios:

First Scenario - Missed the first 9 questions - 4 CRs, 4 SCs and 1 RC - V29 - 57th Percentile
Second Scenario - Missed the first 9 questions - 5 RCs, 3 SCs and 1 CR - V28 - 52nd Percentile
Third Scenario - Missed the first 9 questions - 2 RC, 3 SC and 4 CRs - V30 -59th Percentile

It appears that there's no pattern to when the first RC will appear. In the second test, the RC was as early as the third question and as a result it made me miss the entire RC, which, I think, contributed to the score decline more than the other two tests. Also, while the average difficulty of the test was pretty easy/medium, I did see a few questions with 35%-55% difficulty on GMAT Club which will easily include them in the 700-800 level category.

Last year missing the first 11 questions resulted in the V22 (27th percentile)

Importance of the last 9 questions


Experiment In the second part, I decided to see what happens when you mark every question in the test, save the last 9 questions, correctly. Not to my surprise, I got a V40 or above every single time.

Methodology Run 3 instances of missing the last 9 questions on purpose but everything else marked correctly.

Result V40, V42, V42

Analysis In the first scenario the 9 questions I missed were - 1 entire RC (3 questions), 4 SC and 2 CR. In the second scenario, I missed 6 RC questions each. Clearly, even though RC questions are more on the test, missing SC and CR questions wrongly makes a bigger dent in the score.

Sidenote Last year, missing the 11 questions at the end resulted in a score of V38. So it is definitely a good news for test takers :)

3. Guessing SC but marking everything else correctly


This time we did a sectional test to see what happens if I guess all SC questions but mark everything else correctly.

Methodology: Mark CR and RC questions correctly and mark C for all SC questions.

Result: V37 with 11 questions answered wrongly.

Guessing RC and marking everything else correctly


In similar fashion, I wanted to check what happens when we guess RC but keep the SC and CR answers correct. Surprising results follow!

Methodology: Mark CR and SC correctly but mark all RC questions C.

Result - SHOCKING V34

Analysis: It is pretty clear that RC matters a whole lot more now than it used to. I would advise with caution against using this strategy. Practice your RCs and go well prepared.

Hy Souvik,
In official Gmat, if I am left with 8 or 9 questions with around 10mins left.
and if I face an RC, what should be a correct strategy - to skip it or to tackle it?
Because I think, I will be able to answer SC and CR more comfortabling in that remaining time .(RC will take more time)

Thanks
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 11:09
Hi nikhilbhat,

The pacing issue that you describe affects many Test Takers, but there's a good chance that it's NOT just about how you handle RC - there are likely several factors that are causing this pacing problem. Rather than have this discussion in this thread, I suggest that you start a NEW thread and provide some additional information on how you've been studying, your CAT/mock Scores, etc. If you'd prefer to have that discussion privately, then you can feel free to PM me directly.

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New post 11 May 2019, 14:51
Do you think GMAT recognizes that the user has guessed the answer if the answer choice has been selected in under 15-20 seconds? Bunuel
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 11:07
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Many of the conclusions drawn in this thread are potentially misleading. I'll try to point out where, but it will take me a few posts. Importantly:

OmerPelman wrote:
You probably know that their algorithm is top-secret


This is not really true - the algorithm uses a 3-parameter logistic (IRT) model, something GMAC has confirmed many times in their published reports. Now, anyone designing a 3-parameter IRT test is free to set certain technical parameters how they like, and no one besides the GMAT test developers will know how those have been set, but those parameters mostly have to do with question selection, and not with scoring, and they aren't very important. The other information that is secret, and which prevents anyone from 'reverse engineering' their score from their right and wrong answers on a given test, are the statistics associated with each test question -- the exact difficulty level of each question, for example (and the other two of the three parameters the algorithm uses - what are known as the 'discrimination' and 'pseudo-guessing' parameters for each question). But the scoring algorithm itself is just based on probability theory, and its mathematical basis is explained in countless academic articles, and even on wikipedia.

Knowing the mathematics behind the scoring algorithm will not, however, give a test taker any advantage whatsoever on the GMAT. For that reason (and because you'd need an undergraduate foundation in statistics, probability theory and calculus to even begin to make sense of it) I do not recommend any test taker learn about the algorithm. It seems many people believe, possibly because it is poorly explained in many prep books, that there should be some way to "outsmart" the algorithm, that there might be some strategy like "spend a lot of time on the first ten questions" that will maximize your score. There is no such strategy. It's exactly like a standard multiple choice test: I can tell you the 'algorithm' I will use to grade a standard test ("I will count how many right answers you have"). Knowing that 'algorithm' doesn't help you to do any better on the test. You'd still want to answer the questions correctly that you know how to answer, and not waste time on the ones you don't. The GMAT scoring algorithm is more complicated than 'count your right answers', but the best strategy is the same: answer what you can, and don't invest time when it won't lead to a right answer.

That said, if you do know how the algorithm works mathematically, you can draw certain important conclusions about the consequences of certain response patterns, and so you can draw the most probable interpretations from the studies presented in this thread. So when I have time over the next few days, I'll try to point out where I think people have arrived at incorrect conclusions from these studies.
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New post 30 May 2019, 11:13
Cimet2018 wrote:
I also heard that if you answer the last X questions under Y minutes, the software detects that you are guessing and penalizes you for not managing your time. Is that true?


The GMAT takes absolutely no notice of how long you spend on a question. If it did, I and many other Quant experts would be penalized for answering some questions in five seconds (which is possible for certain question types if you either know the best way to think about them, or you've seen similar problems before). If anyone is telling you otherwise, ignore anything they're saying about the test and find more reliable sources of information, and if you do want to finish the test without leaving questions unanswered, don't leave yourself extra time to do that because you're worried the test might think you're guessing if you answer too quickly. Use all the time you can to solve problems and get right answers.
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New post 30 May 2019, 11:36
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Bunuel wrote:

5. Not Answering Last 10 Questions (ran out of time) vs. 10 Wrong Answers

Experiment: We will try to analyze the importance of answering questions in time.
Methodology: we will attempt answering the first 21 questions correctly and then wait till the time run out leaving the last 10 questions unanswered.
Result: Score - Q39. Percentile - 37th vs. Q49. Percentile - 75th. First 21 questions CORRECT. Next 10 NOT ATTEMPTED.
Analysis: I got lower score than in scenario 2 (First 21 questions CORRECT. The final 10 questions WRONG: Score - Q49. Percentile - 75th). This might indicate that answering all questions, finishing a test is very important. So, it's better finish the test and answer all the final questions, even incorrectly than not finish the test and leave final questions unanswered.


There's a GMAC research report describing precisely how the test behaves in these two scenarios (when it is better to guess to finish the test, and when it is better to leave questions unanswered). In a couple of places (older editions of the OG and an interview with the test developer), they've described the penalty for not finishing the test as a 'proportional' penalty. Based on the one numerical example the OG provided, I always assumed that if you answered, say, 35 out of 37 questions, and left the last two unanswered, they used your score estimate after 35 questions, and multiplied it by 35/37. That's hard to test though, because there's no way to know what your score is after, say, 25 questions, so no way to work out how big the penalty is on any given test. If you answer as you did -- getting the first 21 questions right -- your score is not a Q51 inside the algorithm. Internally, the scoring scale goes beyond Q51 (internally, they track how many standard deviations above average you are, so the scale is theoretically unbounded). Scores above a Q51 are capped at Q51 because that's the top of the scale. So there's no easy way to tell if your score was simply multiplied by 21/31 in your experiment, or if they've softened the penalty a bit for not finishing, or if the proportional penalty is applied to something other than the Q6-Q51 score.

The GMAC research report about guessing vs not finishing concluded that for higher level test takers, it is almost always going to be best to finish the test, even if that means guessing randomly. In part that's because high scores suffer most from proportional penalties. But it's also because higher level test takers who guess at the end of a test are normally guessing at very hard questions, because the test is adaptive. And guessing at hard questions doesn't hurt you much. For a test taker who is below average, a proportional penalty hurts much less, but a guess hurts more, because that guess is much more likely to be on an easy question, and getting easy questions wrong is very harmful to your score. The reason GMAC can't give an exact answer about this question is because the test is not perfectly adaptive, and everyone's test is different - if the Q41 test taker guesses at two questions at the end, and those questions both happen to be easy, those guesses might hurt more than not finishing. That's unlikely though -- usually those questions will be medium-hard -- so guessing will be better most of the time.

From GMAC's own research, the best practice is likely to be this, speaking probabilistically: if you are a higher level test taker (Q40+ say) you should finish the test no matter what you need to do, even if that requires you to guess randomly. If you're somewhere near average (Q27-Q40, say) it probably won't make a big difference, but I'd still suggest trying to finish (though don't panic if you can't - it probably hasn't hurt you much). If you are a below average test taker (Q6-Q27) it almost certainly makes a negligible difference what you do, and in fact it might be better to not finish, if your only choices are 'guess randomly' or 'don't finish the test'. Of course the best thing to do is to finish every question, answering as well as you can, so this only applies to people who find themselves in a test situation where they won't be able to do that.
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New post 30 May 2019, 13:57
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souvik101990 wrote:
Analysis: It is pretty clear that RC matters a whole lot more now than it used to.


It depends what you mean by this - if, say, there are more RC questions (proportionally) than before, then this could be true. And because the test is shorter now, in some sense every question matters more than it used to (at least because every question is more likely to count, because the number of experimental questions has been reduced).

But if instead the inference is that each RC question carries a certain weighting, and each SC question carries a certain weighting, and those weightings are different (i.e. if someone were claiming that a random RC question is worth more "points" than a random SC question) then that is not true, and never has been. It will hurt you just as much to get a 500-level RC question wrong as it will to get a 500-level SC question wrong (assuming the other question parameters are identical).

There is a reason, however, that random guessing at RC questions can be more harmful than guessing at SC questions. RC does not adapt by question. If you're doing well, the test might try to give you a hard RC passage. But that just means the questions are hard on average - if you have four questions, they might be 300, 500, 700 and 700 level. If you're guessing at those, you're usually getting a 300-level question wrong. That's a really bad thing to do on an adaptive test. SC will adapt by question, though, so if you're doing well, and guess at an SC question, you'll usually be getting a hard question wrong, and that's not so harmful to your score. So a high level test taker, if forced to guess at one question, is taking less of a risk guessing at one SC question than at one RC, because the RC question will sometimes be easy. But a low level test taker will be taking less of a risk guessing at one RC question than at one SC, because in that case, the RC question is more likely to be a hard question than the SC.

So you'd expect to get lower scores guessing at RC questions and answering everything else perfectly, because you're guessing at more easy questions, not because RC is weighted more heavily than other question types. You should have found that to be true on the old GMAT too, though there will be enough variation from one test to the next in the difficulty of various questions (and in the difficulty level of the ones you guess correctly) that you might need to run several trials to notice a pattern.
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2019, 08:49
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OmerPelman wrote:
The likely conclusion is that this is a flaw in the GMATprep software. Because if not, then they've granted us about twenty minutes of extra thinking time, just by guessing our way through every DS question after question #10. Since timing is at least one of the, if not the, most important hurdles on a standardized test, this means Pearson have allowed a terrifically gaping wide black hole of a hack to their algorithm. And given the standard warning in the Guide, I must say they would have to be terrific fools to do so.


OmerPelman wrote:
An astounding hack, Sir! It means you can ignore all DS after Q10, which must represent a saving of approx twenty minutes. With that much extra time, you could nearly guarantee 100% correct in PS.

This is a hell of a hack in the prep software. I am at the edge of my seat to know if this works on the official test!


There is no sense in which this is a 'hack'. Anyone capable of getting their first 10 questions right, and every subsequent PS question right (even granted roughly 50% more time to do so) is almost certainly a Q51 level test taker. That person would simply be capping their score at a Q49 or Q50 by guessing at their later DS questions.

Many people seem to believe that, given extra time, test takers could get all of their questions right. This is demonstrably false. Test takers who believe this should simply look back over their diagnostic tests, either timing themselves per question, or using a test that records time per question, and examine their performance on those questions on which they spent the most time. I've looked over hundreds of practice test results, and people tend to have a hit rate in the 30%-40% range on those questions where they spend 4+ minutes. In math, if you're going to see how to solve a problem, you're almost always going to see how to solve it quickly. If you don't see that path to a solution early on, you might never see it, which is why when people spend 5 minutes on a question, their answer ends up being essentially a guess anyway, most of the time.

That's not only true from my own experience, looking at test taker performance. It's also proven to be true in a large scale study:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf ... .tb01905.x

That study gave thousands of test takers two GRE Quant tests, and gave test takers 50% more time on the second test. At the time, GRE Quant scores ranged from 200 to 800. I think most people would expect that, given 50% more time, their score would increase significantly - I'd bet most test takers would guess their GMAT score would go up by 50 to 100 points if they had 50% more time. But that's not what happens. In that study, with lots of extra time, GRE Quant scores increased from an average of 664 to 671, so not even by ten points. And the effect is greatest for low-level test takers, and smallest for high-level ones, so the test taker trying to use the 'hack' you describe is gaining almost nothing from the extra time they'd have, while at the same time sacrificing good answers to a lot of questions.

The above is one reason why the oft-repeated "spend a lot of time on the first ten questions" is such terrible advice. The extra time you spend helps you far less than you might think early in the test, and running short on time will hurt you far more than you might expect (if you believe the person giving this advice) on later questions.
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Re: NEW FORMAT GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios   [#permalink] 31 May 2019, 08:49

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