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Policy violation or not?

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Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2017, 15:33
Dear GMAT Club community,

I am not sure whether I am posting in the right subforum - if not, please feel free to move my post.

I just took the test and scored a decent 770. However, after Verbal and Quant, I unfortunately took my bottle of water in the testing room after the break. There was no control or anything at the entrance. Now, a 'case' will be opened with Pearson to determine whether this is considered misconduct.

What do you guys think I should do? What is Pearson likely to do?

Expert advice would be greatly appreciated. I studied hard for the exam and it would be a shame to get a 'P' on the score report...

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2017, 18:47
Congrats on your score!

GMAC is strict but usually fair. Sorry this happened but they have very strict policies for foreign objects.

My guess is that your score has raised an eye brow. It is not uncommon for gmac to investigate a 770 or another high score for a few days to see if they see any patterns of cheating.

This is not your case so you can relax a bit. I don’t know how they will rule in this case - it is gray area. We have not had anyone try to club the gmat with a bottle yet. :-) sorry.

However in the worst case scenario this will be a minor testing ciolation which is nothing new for the AdCom. You can easily explain it in your optional essay and have a funny stupid story to tell at the interview. In the worst case you will have to retest.

This is not going to set you back in your applications. This is a technicality.

Congrats and sorry. Would love to hear what the resolution is from GMAC.

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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2017, 19:29
Juliusn wrote:
Dear GMAT Club community,

I am not sure whether I am posting in the right subforum...

I just took the test and scored a decent 770.

Holy smokes, Juliusn. Congratulations! And you should also have posted this in the "I am a bad, bad dude who just crushed the GMAT" subsection. ;)

The wise and stylish fellow who posted above me is, as usual, totally correct -- the GMAT has strict rules about outside objects, so they'll take a look at the video of your testing session to see if you somehow used a bottle of water to cheat. I'm really curious to see what they decide to do. Please update us as soon as you hear back?

But mostly, I just posted here to say: wow. Congratulations again!
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2017, 03:38
Dear bb and GMAT Ninja,

thanks for your quick answer and your encouraging words. I'll definitely give an update as soon as Pearson gets back to me.

Something came to my mind: the test administrator told us that we can leave the food and drings in the hall and that we do not have to put it in the locker. Also there was no control or anything at the entrance of the testing room.

Do you guys think that that will change anything? After doing a bit research I got the impression that this is not how it is supposed to be since one is normally required to put everything in the locker. Could this be considered a mistake of the test administration?
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2017, 04:40
Juliusn wrote:
Dear bb and GMAT Ninja,

thanks for your quick answer and your encouraging words. I'll definitely give an update as soon as Pearson gets back to me.

Something came to my mind: the test administrator told us that we can leave the food and drings in the hall and that we do not have to put it in the locker. Also there was no control or anything at the entrance of the testing room.

Do you guys think that that will change anything? After doing a bit research I got the impression that this is not how it is supposed to be since one is normally required to put everything in the locker. Could this be considered a mistake of the test administration?


Hi Juliusn ,

Congratulations for a great score. :)

Well, I don't think this could be considered a mistake from test admistration because it depends on center to center.

I have seen a couple of centers that say keep the food in the locker while others don't even allow to open the locker before you are done with your exam. So, they ask you to keep eatables outside.

Keep your fingers crossed and wish for everything good.

All the best and do keep us posted on what GMAC says. :)

Thanks
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2017, 10:27
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So, here is my update: the worst case happened; Pearson considered the bottle a policy violation and cancelled my score. Any advice regarding what I can/should do?

Needless to say that I am super frustrated...
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Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Nov 2017, 11:32
Ugh, I'm sorry. That's incredibly frustrating/disheartening. At least you know you can get a great score under stressful test conditions, so you should be able to do it again! Does this policy violation show up when you apply to schools?

FTR, I know forbidding a water bottle sounds ridiculous, but there are actually ways you can cheat with one. I have heard of people removing the water bottle label, writing down various formulas/notes/etc. on the inside, and putting the label back on. You then read the label as needed through the transparent bottle. So on first glance it does sound silly that we can't have water bottles, but people can be incredibly creative/resourceful when it comes to cheating. (OP, I don't think you cheated! Just giving some insight as to why they wouldn't allow even something as basic as a water bottle.)

ETA: Assuming that this violation is marked as a P (for regular policy violation) - a lot of schools offer an optional essay where you can address anything not covered by the rest of the application. You could use that space to explain what happened.

Originally posted by jaewonton531 on 22 Nov 2017, 11:05.
Last edited by jaewonton531 on 22 Nov 2017, 11:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2017, 11:28
Thank you for the update, Juliusn! And sorry to hear the bad news. It's sad that enterprising cheaters ruin everything for people who just make an innocent (and slightly thirsty?) mistake.

But I'm confident that you'll kick butt next time, too. Please keep us posted once you retake? Hoping that you get a 780 next time, just because. :)
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2017, 17:34
Sorry to hear about this.... it is an annoyance. You can appeal to GMAC but they have a decent leg to stand on here.
Taking your score into consideration, hope you bounce right back up!
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Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2017, 19:25
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Juliusn wrote:
So, here is my update: the worst case happened; Pearson considered the bottle a policy violation and cancelled my score. Any advice regarding what I can/should do?

Needless to say that I am super frustrated...


You know they did not even review the footage, if they even had any, of you taking the test; otherwise, they would have watched you just drinking it, instead of examining the "ingredients" of water.

Seems weird and unfair for you. Maybe you could get in contact, and speak to a flesh and blood person at GMAC, and explain your situation to them, because it sounds like the reply was automated by Pearson. You had to pay 250, for a stressful test, that you scored excellently, only to have it thrown out the window because of a plastic bottle. Any reasonable person would immediately conclude that you are in the right after hearing your story. Problem is, I think they want your money, and even a minor term infringement is reason enough to take your money, because they know if they revoke your score, they are forcing you to take it again, which you will and should.

On the bright side, that score is good enough to get you into any top ten, and I bet you can replicate, if not, do better next time!

But realistically you probably do not want to retake it, so I would still try and fight it, by convincing GMAC of your story.

If you do retake, I am sure you will still score excellently just like you did the first time.
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 04:05
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Hey guys,

just a short update: my appeal was declined with no justification. I assume GMAC did not even have a look at the footage.

So basically, I had no other choice but to take the GMAT again a couple of weeks ago. I scored 750 this time; verbal went not as well as during the first try (41 instead of 45) but I will not take the GMAT again now. I am not part of an over-represented group (mid-european), so I think this should be sufficient for all schools.

Do you guys have any idea how the "P" for policy violation will impact my application?

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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 11:05
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Congrats on the great score, Juliusn! That 750 is plenty for a mid-European. :)

You're going to give MBA programs an epic mountain of essays and transcripts and recommendations and scores and resumes, and I'd be surprised if they even notice the little "P" on your score report. To be safe though, I'd recommend mentioning it briefly in the optional essay. As long as you explain it, I'd be completely shocked if it actually hurts your application at all.

Congratulations again, and good luck with your applications!!
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Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
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Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
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Re: Policy violation or not?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 11:13
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bb gave the best advice. You now have a funny, stupid story to tell in an interview/optional essay of how an inanimate object cancelled a score and you had to go through it all over again - with excellent results. You've proven you can overcome an unfortunate circumstance and still excel.
Re: Policy violation or not? &nbs [#permalink] 20 Feb 2018, 11:13
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