GMAT Prep Software Scoring Analysis and What If Scenarios

NEW ONLINE FORMAT

Couple of years ago we ran different scenarios with GMAT Prep Software to find out whether various myth about scoring algorithm were legit. You can find the results of that analysis in GMAT Prep Software Analysis and What If Scenarios.

On April 16, 2018, the GMAT exam shortened. The number of Quant questions were reduced by 6: from 37 to 31 and the number of Verbal questions will be reduced by 5: from 41 to 36.

Therefore, we are starting testing more or less the same scenarios with the NEW GMAT Prep Software to find out whether anything changed compared to old software.1. What is the importance of the first 10 questions?

Experiment: We will try to disprove the myth the way

OG/GMAC positions it: the first 10 questions are not critical

Methodology: we will attempt the worst case scenario and will answer the first 10 questions incorrectly (not guess but incorrectly); then we will attempt to answer the remaining 21 questions correctly (not guess)

Result: Score - Q30. Percentile - 19th (!!!). First 10 questions WRONG. The next 21 questions CORRECTAnalysis: obviously something is not right with the myth about the first 10 questions. They appear to be very important on the Quant. If you miss the first 10 (probably not a very realistic scenario for most) you have no way of climbing out of the hole - almost all questions that were offered to me were generally easy/medium difficulty.

When simulated in the previous GMAT Prep version, this scenario resulted in Score - Q38. Percentile - 48th. So, the importance of the first 10 questions seems to increase (no surprise since now 10 questions correspond to 1/3 of the questions).

Questions: 18PS and 13 DS.

TO ENSURE THAT THE RESULT ABOVE WAS NOT AN ANOMALY, WE RAN THIS SCENARIO TWO TIMES MORE:Result: Score - Q31. Percentile - 20th (!!!). First 10 questions WRONG. The next 21 questions CORRECT. Second attemptQuestions: 18PS and 13 DS.

Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "D" this time and it resulted in the final score of V6, 0 percentile. Total score: 320.

Result: Score - Q29. Percentile - 16th (!!!). First 10 questions WRONG. The next 21 questions CORRECT. Third attemptQuestions: 17PS and 14 DS.

Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "C" this time and it resulted in the final score of V9, 2 percentile (Also, interesting becasie C gave a better result than D and E. Though it might be a simple luck). Total score: 320.

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 21 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.

3. What is the importance of the middle 10 questions?

Experiment: We will try to analyze the importance of the middle 10 questions and see how it compares to the results of the previous 2 experiments

Methodology: we will attempt the worst case scenario and will answer the first 11 Q questions correctly; then I will answer incorrectly the following 10 questions, and will answer the remaining 10 questions correctly.

Result: Score - Q49. Percentile - 75th. First 11 questions CORRECT. Next 10 INCORRECT. The final 10 questions CORRECT.Analysis: The questions were not much easier than in the second scenario above even though I have made 10 consecutive mistakes.

When simulated in the previous GMAT Prep version, this scenario resulted in Score - Q49. Percentile - 85th.Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "E" this time and it resulted in the final score of V6, 0 percentile. Total score: 440.

Questions: 17PS and 14 DS.

4. What is the penalty if I miss every third question?

Experiment: I will try to test a scenario in which a test takers answers every third question incorrectly (e.g. 3, 6, 9, etc. Thus giving themselves an extra 2 mins on quant). This scenario will simulate someone who takes 3 mins instead of 2 per question and then guesses every third question. Please note that this is the worst case scenario (we do not get any guesses right)

Methodology: Every 3rd questions answered incorrectly. So, 10 incorrect and 21 correct answers.

Result: Score - Q48. Percentile - 69th. Every third questions WRONG.Analysis: Slightly lower score than in the case of missing the last 10 questions.

When simulated in the old Desktop GMAT Prep version, this scenario resulted in Score - Q49. Percentile - 85th. More details hereQuestions: 18PS and 13 DS.

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. Only scenario 1 (missing first 10 questions) gave a lower score than this case.

Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "A" this time and it resulted in the final score of V6, 0 percentile. Total score: 370 (8th percentile).

Questions: 12PS and 9DS.

6. Importance of DS questions

Experiment: We will try to analyze the importance DS vs PS.

Methodology: we will attempt answering the first 10 questions correctly and then miss all DS questions, while answering PS correctly.

Result: Score - Q50. Percentile - 86th. First 10 questions CORRECT and then missed 10 DS while answering 11 PS questions correctly.Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "B" this time and it resulted in the final score of V6, 0 percentile. Total score: 460 (19th percentile).

Questions: 18PS and 13DS.

7. Importance of PS questions

Experiment: We will try to analyze the importance DS vs PS.

Methodology: we will attempt answering the first 10 questions correctly and then miss all PS questions, while answering DS correctly.

Result: Score - Q49. Percentile - 75th. First 10 questions CORRECT and then missed 11 PS while answering 10 DS questions correctly.Total Score: every question in the verbal section was answered as "D" this time and it resulted in the final score of V8, 1 percentile. Total score: 460 (19th percentile).

Questions: 18PS and 13DS.

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