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Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!

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Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 21:55
Hi everyone:


I recently was confused by the question listed below:
as we all know that GMAT is a computerized adaptive testing, which means that the score is calculated on the basis of not only accuracy but also difficulty.
But is it each segment has its own adaption mechanism or just the whole section is based on one single adaption?

Let's say:
If I perform quite bad on the SC problems I encountered, will I only get easier SC problems or will I also get easier RC & CR problems?

I hope I make my point clear and can someone shed some light on this issue ( based on evidence will be much more preferable)?
Thanks in advance.
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Re: Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 22:33
zxfjac wrote:
Hi everyone:


I recently was confused by the question listed below:
as we all know that GMAT is a computerized adaptive testing, which means that the score is calculated on the basis of not only accuracy but also difficulty.
But is it each segment has its own adaption mechanism or just the whole section is based on one single adaption?

Let's say:
If I perform quite bad on the SC problems I encountered, will I only get easier SC problems or will I also get easier RC & CR problems?

I hope I make my point clear and can someone shed some light on this issue ( based on evidence will be much more preferable)?
Thanks in advance.
The GMAT algorithm does not take question format into account. It makes sure that every test taker receives the same mix of questions, but does not look at sub-section performance. To answer your question: if you get an SC question wrong, the impact of that mistake won't be restricted to SC questions.

The GMAT calculates your score after every question (taking into account all questions till that point) and uses that estimate to select the next question. The estimate at the end of the last question is your final (section) score.
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Re: Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 00:13
AjiteshArun wrote:
zxfjac wrote:
Hi everyone:


I recently was confused by the question listed below:
as we all know that GMAT is a computerized adaptive testing, which means that the score is calculated on the basis of not only accuracy but also difficulty.
But is it each segment has its own adaption mechanism or just the whole section is based on one single adaption?

Let's say:
If I perform quite bad on the SC problems I encountered, will I only get easier SC problems or will I also get easier RC & CR problems?

I hope I make my point clear and can someone shed some light on this issue ( based on evidence will be much more preferable)?
Thanks in advance.
The GMAT algorithm does not take question format into account. It makes sure that every test taker receives the same mix of questions, but does not look at sub-section performance. To answer your question: if you get an SC question wrong, the impact of that mistake won't be restricted to SC questions.

The GMAT calculates your score after every question (taking into account all questions till that point) and uses that estimate to select the next question. The estimate at the end of the last question is your final (section) score.



It seems quite illogical if I performed bad at SC, I will also be punished by getting an easier CR or RC.
Have GMAC said that the question format will be not accounted in the algorithm? or do you get some tangible proof for that?
Your response is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 01:07
zxfjac wrote:
It seems quite illogical if I performed bad at SC, I will also be punished by getting an easier CR or RC.
Have GMAC said that the question format will be not accounted in the algorithm? or do you get some tangible proof for that?
Your response is greatly appreciated.
It's not really illogical. From the GMAC's point of view, it is testing the same skills throughout the test. That means even the quantitative section tests the same skills that the verbal section tests (higher-order reasoning skills). Question formats could be something that the designers of the GMAT look at from a very long-term perspective (for example, I would really like the GMAT to go heavy on IR instead of continuing to focus on V/Q), but none of that is likely to affect you.

However, I'm more interested in why you are so concerned about this. Write down your actual concerns, the ones about your test or score, and we (and others on the forum) could get into a discussion on the really important stuff.
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Re: Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2019, 18:59
Hi zxfjac,

Regarding the scoring algorithm, AjiteshArun is correct. Additionally, rather than spending time worrying about the GMAC algorithm, you really should focus on the things you can control, and the number one thing you can control is getting better at the GMAT. If you get to a point at which you can dominate the GMAT, the specifics of the scoring algorithm won't matter because you will have the skills that you need to get an amazing score, right?

With that said, when is your GMAT and what is your GMAT score goal? You may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

If you have any further questions, please reach out.
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Re: Questions regarding the CAT algorithm used by GMAC!!   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2019, 18:59
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