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Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests

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Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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Exam Pack 2 consists of two additional computer adaptive tests(CAT) that can be added to the official GMATPrep software. I have taken the Exam Pack 2 test multiple times and in this article I summarize my experience with Exam Pack 2. My comments are restricted to the quantitative section of the Exam Pack 2 only.

    Database size: The database of quantitative questions in the Exam Pack 2 is around 220 questions. This is close to the 200 in Exam Pack 1 database.

    Topic distribution: I have attached an image that shows the distribution of the questions in the database by topics. Please note that the distribution in the pool of the questions does not translate to the distribution in the test itself, it just gives one an idea of frequency. One other thing I noticed was that there were multiple problems that were almost identical in their set up. For example, three median questions with the same set up but different numbers, six rounding off question with the same type of set up, and several more. This is the first time I am seeing such a close replication of questions. I do know from experience that GMAT does repeat or reuse questions by slightly tweaking them, but not at this scale. This is one more reason I recommend practicing with official GMAT questions.

    Repetition: When I took Exam 5 once followed by Exam 6, I encountered one repeat question. On closer inspection, I found that the questions were 99% identical, they were testing the exact same concept with the same answer. The only difference was the letter used for the variable, and one of the answer choices that was different. I think these two questions, although technically different but 99% identical, are a bad choice and at least one of them should be deleted.

    Difficulty: Exam 5 quantitative section is significantly harder than Exam 6. This means the average difficulty of the questions I faced was much higher in Exam 5 vs Exam 6. For example, I had 12 minutes left at the end of Exam 5 compared to 20 minutes in the case of Exam 6. GMAT does have differences in difficulty level from test to test, however the difficulty level of an exam is normalized against other students, and the overall score of a particular student will be the same. The only difference is the actual test experience of the students, for example in Exam 5, I was under a lot of pressure and stress, whereas in Exam 6 I was fairly relaxed. That difference can impact students differently and can throw off the pacing during the exam. I personally would like to see GMAT test difficulty to be more or less the same for a given student that is performing at a given level.

    Error: One question was written poorly and can be misinterpreted. I have omitted its description here. The test writers need to use a parentheses to clarify the order of operation. Of course, a similar mistake can happen in the exam. And the key thing to remember is not to let one question throw your flow in the exam.

Having pointed out some of the drawbacks of Exam Pack 2, I still like these two new tests and fully endorse these tests and urge students to make Exam Pack 2 an integral part of their GMAT preparation. With the release of Exam Pack 2, students now have six full length official practice tests at their disposal.

Cheers,
Dabral

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Last edited by dabral on 30 Mar 2016, 07:35, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2016, 23:40
hi can you please try taking exam 6 first followed by exam 5 and see whether patterns change and the repeat question arises again. thanks
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2016, 23:57
dabral wrote:
Exam Pack 2 consists of two additional computer adaptive tests(CAT) that can be added to the official GMATPrep software. I have taken the Exam Pack 2 test multiple times and in this article I summarize my experience with Exam Pack 2. My comments are restricted to the quantitative section of the Exam Pack 2 only.

    Database size: The database of quantitative questions in the Exam Pack 2 is around 220 questions. This is close to the 200 in Exam Pack 1 database.

    Repetition: When I took Exam 5 once followed by Exam 6, I encountered one repeat question. This needs to be fixed because the whole idea of each test is to administer unique questions in the first attempt, and repetition of a question reduces the reliability of the test score. I understand that subsequent attempts will likely lead to repetition of the questions, but GMAC needs to ensure that there is no repetition between Exam 5 and Exam 6 on the first attempt.

    Difficulty: Exam 5 quantitative section is significantly harder than Exam 6. This means the average difficulty of the questions I faced was much higher in Exam 5 vs Exam 6. For example, I had 12 minutes left at the end of Exam 5 compared to 20 minutes in the case of Exam 6. GMAT does have differences in difficulty level from test to test, however the difficulty level of an exam is normalized against other students, and the overall score of a particular student will be the same. The only difference is the actual test experience of the students, for example in Exam 5, I was under a lot of pressure and stress, whereas in Exam 6 I was fairly relaxed. That difference can impact students differently and can throw off the pacing during the exam. I personally would like to see GMAT test difficulty to be more or less the same for a given student that is performing at a given level.

    Error:One question was written poorly and can be misinterpreted. I have attached the screenshot of that question. The numerator can be interpreted as cube of 2 multiplied by square root of 3, or 2 multiplied by cube root of 3. The test writers need to use a parentheses to clarify this.

Having pointed out some of the drawbacks of Exam Pack 2, I still like these two new tests and fully endorse these tests and urge students to make Exam Pack 2 an integral part of their GMAT preparation. With the release of Exam Pack 2, students now have six full length official practice tests at their disposal.


Hi dabral,

just a comment on the Ambiguous fraction..
I think it is clearly the second case-- 2 multiplied by cube root of 3..
the 3 is above the root and clearly responds to the root..
the two way it can be written is
\((2\sqrt[3]{3})^3\) and\((2^3\sqrt{3})^3\)

Clearly the Q is what first case is and exactly what it means..
There is always a difference of placement of 3 in both cases,,
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 04:15
chetan2u wrote:
dabral wrote:
Exam Pack 2 consists of two additional computer adaptive tests(CAT) that can be added to the official GMATPrep software. I have taken the Exam Pack 2 test multiple times and in this article I summarize my experience with Exam Pack 2. My comments are restricted to the quantitative section of the Exam Pack 2 only.

    Database size: The database of quantitative questions in the Exam Pack 2 is around 220 questions. This is close to the 200 in Exam Pack 1 database.

    Repetition: When I took Exam 5 once followed by Exam 6, I encountered one repeat question. This needs to be fixed because the whole idea of each test is to administer unique questions in the first attempt, and repetition of a question reduces the reliability of the test score. I understand that subsequent attempts will likely lead to repetition of the questions, but GMAC needs to ensure that there is no repetition between Exam 5 and Exam 6 on the first attempt.

    Difficulty: Exam 5 quantitative section is significantly harder than Exam 6. This means the average difficulty of the questions I faced was much higher in Exam 5 vs Exam 6. For example, I had 12 minutes left at the end of Exam 5 compared to 20 minutes in the case of Exam 6. GMAT does have differences in difficulty level from test to test, however the difficulty level of an exam is normalized against other students, and the overall score of a particular student will be the same. The only difference is the actual test experience of the students, for example in Exam 5, I was under a lot of pressure and stress, whereas in Exam 6 I was fairly relaxed. That difference can impact students differently and can throw off the pacing during the exam. I personally would like to see GMAT test difficulty to be more or less the same for a given student that is performing at a given level.

    Error:One question was written poorly and can be misinterpreted. I have attached the screenshot of that question. The numerator can be interpreted as cube of 2 multiplied by square root of 3, or 2 multiplied by cube root of 3. The test writers need to use a parentheses to clarify this.

Having pointed out some of the drawbacks of Exam Pack 2, I still like these two new tests and fully endorse these tests and urge students to make Exam Pack 2 an integral part of their GMAT preparation. With the release of Exam Pack 2, students now have six full length official practice tests at their disposal.


Hi dabral,

just a comment on the Ambiguous fraction..
I think it is clearly the second case-- 2 multiplied by cube root of 3..
the 3 is above the root and clearly responds to the root..
the two way it can be written is
\((2\sqrt[3]{3})^3\) and\((2^3\sqrt{3})^3\)

Clearly the Q is what first case is and exactly what it means..
There is always a difference of placement of 3 in both cases,,


chetan2u , dabral has a good point. To me as well the way the question is written, it is ambiguous. But then after spending 5-10 seconds, I can see if it is 2^3 then cubing this values will lead you to 2^9 and none of the options have that big of a number as the option. So it can not be that.

FYI, it is not as "clear" as you are making it out to be. The extra 5-10 seconds that I spent on figuring out the correct question may be the difference when I sit down for my GMAT.

GMAT has always been known to remove any sort of ambiguity be it technical or just representational.

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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chetan2u wrote:
dabral wrote:
Exam Pack 2 consists of two additional computer adaptive tests(CAT) that can be added to the official GMATPrep software. I have taken the Exam Pack 2 test multiple times and in this article I summarize my experience with Exam Pack 2. My comments are restricted to the quantitative section of the Exam Pack 2 only.

    Database size: The database of quantitative questions in the Exam Pack 2 is around 220 questions. This is close to the 200 in Exam Pack 1 database.

    Repetition: When I took Exam 5 once followed by Exam 6, I encountered one repeat question. This needs to be fixed because the whole idea of each test is to administer unique questions in the first attempt, and repetition of a question reduces the reliability of the test score. I understand that subsequent attempts will likely lead to repetition of the questions, but GMAC needs to ensure that there is no repetition between Exam 5 and Exam 6 on the first attempt.

    Difficulty: Exam 5 quantitative section is significantly harder than Exam 6. This means the average difficulty of the questions I faced was much higher in Exam 5 vs Exam 6. For example, I had 12 minutes left at the end of Exam 5 compared to 20 minutes in the case of Exam 6. GMAT does have differences in difficulty level from test to test, however the difficulty level of an exam is normalized against other students, and the overall score of a particular student will be the same. The only difference is the actual test experience of the students, for example in Exam 5, I was under a lot of pressure and stress, whereas in Exam 6 I was fairly relaxed. That difference can impact students differently and can throw off the pacing during the exam. I personally would like to see GMAT test difficulty to be more or less the same for a given student that is performing at a given level.

    Error:One question was written poorly and can be misinterpreted. I have attached the screenshot of that question. The numerator can be interpreted as cube of 2 multiplied by square root of 3, or 2 multiplied by cube root of 3. The test writers need to use a parentheses to clarify this.

Having pointed out some of the drawbacks of Exam Pack 2, I still like these two new tests and fully endorse these tests and urge students to make Exam Pack 2 an integral part of their GMAT preparation. With the release of Exam Pack 2, students now have six full length official practice tests at their disposal.


Hi dabral,

just a comment on the Ambiguous fraction..
I think it is clearly the second case-- 2 multiplied by cube root of 3..
the 3 is above the root and clearly responds to the root..
the two way it can be written is
\((2\sqrt[3]{3})^3\) and\((2^3\sqrt{3})^3\)

Clearly the Q is what first case is and exactly what it means..
There is always a difference of placement of 3 in both cases,,


chetan2u , dabral has a good point. To me as well the way the question is written, it is ambiguous. But then after spending 5-10 seconds, I can see if it is 2^3 then cubing this values will lead you to 2^9 and none of the options have that big of a number as the option. So it can not be that.

FYI, it is not as "clear" as you are making it out to be. The extra 5-10 seconds that I spent on figuring out the correct question may be the difference when I sit down for my GMAT.

GMAT has always been known to remove any sort of ambiguity be it technical or just representational.


Hi,
I think there is no ambigouity, unless we are making one for ourselves..

You have to understand that if 3 is part of 2^3 3 will lie between 2 and the root sign..
If 3 is on top of root sign, it is part of the root and it is upto us to make it complicated and spend time on it..
This is a Mathematical formula and 3 cannot shift from being power of 2 to top of root sign

write the two forms you are confused with and you will realize both are different when written...
and to save 5-10 seconds in actual GMAT would be to know how each mathematical formula looks like, rather than leaving it to interpretations..
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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When I looked at the repeat question closely, it turns out that they are 99% identical, but are different questions. The correct answer is the same and the question statement is almost the same except the letter used for the variables, and all of the answer choices are the same except for one. So they are technically different questions. Of course, including almost identical questions in the database is a poor choice. I will bring this up with GMAC, and recommend them to delete one of them.

In summary, you are safe and you should not see any repetition, except this single case, which technically are two different questions.

Cheers,
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 11:29
chetan2u

Thanks for the comment.

If one typesets it properly in TeX, then yes the difference is clear as shown in the attached image. But whatever GMAC is using is not up to the mark, at least in my opinion.

Dabral
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2016, 11:34
dabral wrote:
chetan2u

Thanks for the comment.

If one typesets it properly in TeX, then yes the difference is clear as shown in the attached image. But whatever GMAC is using is not up to the mark, at least in my opinion.

Dabral



My wild guess is that this is a real retired question, meaning it has gone through testing and difficulty correlation, thus being "confusing" or "misleading" it was good enough to mislead only the weak test takers and not the stronger ones. Thank you for bring this trick up - I have not encountered many like these, but good to see some of the ones they use to catch us offguard... while not perhaps most fair question, it was tested and passed the muster. Tell me if I am off.
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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dabral wrote:
Exam Pack 2 consists of two additional computer adaptive tests(CAT) that can be added to the official GMATPrep software. I have taken the Exam Pack 2 test multiple times and in this article I summarize my experience with Exam Pack 2. My comments are restricted to the quantitative section of the Exam Pack 2 only.

    Database size: The database of quantitative questions in the Exam Pack 2 is around 220 questions. This is close to the 200 in Exam Pack 1 database.

    Repetition: When I took Exam 5 once followed by Exam 6, I encountered one repeat question. On closer inspection, I found that the questions were 99% identical, they were testing the exact same concept with the same answer. The only difference was the letter used for the variable, and one of the answer choices that was different. I think these two questions, although technically different but 99% identical, are a bad choice and at least one of them should be deleted.

    Difficulty: Exam 5 quantitative section is significantly harder than Exam 6. This means the average difficulty of the questions I faced was much higher in Exam 5 vs Exam 6. For example, I had 12 minutes left at the end of Exam 5 compared to 20 minutes in the case of Exam 6. GMAT does have differences in difficulty level from test to test, however the difficulty level of an exam is normalized against other students, and the overall score of a particular student will be the same. The only difference is the actual test experience of the students, for example in Exam 5, I was under a lot of pressure and stress, whereas in Exam 6 I was fairly relaxed. That difference can impact students differently and can throw off the pacing during the exam. I personally would like to see GMAT test difficulty to be more or less the same for a given student that is performing at a given level.

    Error: One question was written poorly and can be misinterpreted. I have omitted its description here. The test writers need to use a parentheses to clarify the order of operation. Of course, a similar mistake can happen in the exam. And the key thing to remember is not to let one question throw your flow in the exam.

Having pointed out some of the drawbacks of Exam Pack 2, I still like these two new tests and fully endorse these tests and urge students to make Exam Pack 2 an integral part of their GMAT preparation. With the release of Exam Pack 2, students now have six full length official practice tests at their disposal.



Thanks for the analysis.

How do the GMATEXAMPACK 2 question variety and general difficulty level compare to those of the GMATEXAMPACK 1?
Any noticeable shifts noticed e.g. more word problems ?
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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I purchased the two additional full length official GMAT tests a week before my actual GMAT. In general, I found these two tests tougher than the first two full length official tests. Although I scored on average 40 points lower on the CAT 3 and CAT 4, I believe attempting these helped me get out of the complacency zone I was in after getting high scores in the first two CATs. The lower scores actually gave me the push I needed in the last week running upto GMAT. In the end, I scored 20 points more than my average score of CAT 3 and 4.

If one has time on his side, CAT 3 and CAT 4 are definitely good to have and are more closer to the actual GMAT than any of Manhattan CATs.

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2016, 03:08
Sparta_750 wrote:
I purchased the two additional full length official GMAT tests a week before my actual GMAT. In general, I found these two tests tougher than the first two full length official tests. Although I scored on average 40 points lower on the CAT 3 and CAT 4, I believe attempting these helped me get out of the complacency zone I was in after getting high scores in the first two CATs. The lower scores actually gave me the push I needed in the last week running upto GMAT. In the end, I scored 20 points more than my average score of CAT 3 and 4.

If one has time on his side, CAT 3 and CAT 4 are definitely good to have and are more closer to the actual GMAT than any of Manhattan CATs.

yes, definitely! no other practice tests come closer to simulating the real exam conditions than the official GMAT tests.

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2016, 12:18
bb wrote:
dabral wrote:
chetan2u

Thanks for the comment.

If one typesets it properly in TeX, then yes the difference is clear as shown in the attached image. But whatever GMAC is using is not up to the mark, at least in my opinion.

Dabral



My wild guess is that this is a real retired question, meaning it has gone through testing and difficulty correlation, thus being "confusing" or "misleading" it was good enough to mislead only the weak test takers and not the stronger ones. Thank you for bring this trick up - I have not encountered many like these, but good to see some of the ones they use to catch us offguard... while not perhaps most fair question, it was tested and passed the muster. Tell me if I am off.

Hi BB
Does premium members get any discount if buying these 2 tests from GMAT Club or are you still working on this ?
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2016, 12:36
282552 wrote:
bb wrote:
dabral wrote:
chetan2u

Thanks for the comment.

If one typesets it properly in TeX, then yes the difference is clear as shown in the attached image. But whatever GMAC is using is not up to the mark, at least in my opinion.

Dabral



My wild guess is that this is a real retired question, meaning it has gone through testing and difficulty correlation, thus being "confusing" or "misleading" it was good enough to mislead only the weak test takers and not the stronger ones. Thank you for bring this trick up - I have not encountered many like these, but good to see some of the ones they use to catch us offguard... while not perhaps most fair question, it was tested and passed the muster. Tell me if I am off.

Hi BB
Does premium members get any discount if buying these 2 tests from GMAT Club or are you still working on this ?


At the moment you will get a discount on the "previous" or "original" bundle (EP1 + QP2). We have not figured out how to get a discount on the new bundle and make economic sense since we used to subsidize the old one.
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2016, 08:26
Hi Dabral,

Thanks for the observations...I felt the same way, and it also showed in my respective scores on each test. Do you think this might be because both tests in this Exam Pack (5 and 6) are pulling from the same composite question pool?

For GMAT 700+ scorers, it is easy to understand how a higher-than-usual amount of questions in the pool (in this case, double) would result in a student getting twice as many hard questions as usual.

From what I understand, each test of 90 questions comes from a pool of about 150 possible questions (if anyone has a hard number on this, I'd appreciate it). It is possible that both tests 5 and 6 are pulling from the same pool of about 300 questions...meaning that on our first test (test 5), there were almost twice as many hard questions available as usual, which could account for our noticing a higher level of difficulty on that test. And on the second test, there were fewer harder problems left to give, because the GMAC doesn't want us to see the same question on each test.

This could also have consequences for students on the lower rung of the scoring ladder, who might see an easier test than usual on test #5 because of this (potential) software flaw.

The GMAC has repeatedly stressed in its official materials that a correct answer to a hard question will not always be followed by another hard question, because there is a limited number of hard questions of that type in the pool. However, the question that I have yet to answer is, is the pool of questions on the actual GMAT 300 questions, or is it closer to half of that? I have yet to discover the answer, because the GMAC has always released its practice CATs in sets of two.

If it is the latter, then in order to make these exams more realistic--and equally difficult--the GMAC would do well to release a GMATPrep software update that limits each test to half of the 300 or so possible questions (quant and verbal combined).

I am a fan of your work, and I keep sending students your way for helpful videos, information etc.

-Brian
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 09:38
bb wrote:

My wild guess is that this is a real retired question, meaning it has gone through testing and difficulty correlation, thus being "confusing" or "misleading" it was good enough to mislead only the weak test takers and not the stronger ones. Thank you for bring this trick up - I have not encountered many like these, but good to see some of the ones they use to catch us offguard... while not perhaps most fair question, it was tested and passed the muster. Tell me if I am off.


Hi bb,

You could be right, but I am leaning towards this being a typo. I do know that GMAT test writers are very careful, but they have had their share of mistakes(albeit rare) in GMATPrep and I am sure this has happened in the real exam as well.

I have attached an image of two mistakes that were present in the earlier release of GMATPrep, these have been fixed since then.

I myself encountered the first of these two errors when I took this as a practice test, and honestly it completely threw me off. I stuck to the opinion that they cannot really make a mistake and ended up wasting precious time on this question. This will very likely be the case for a student in a real exam setting. I have seen students report this in posts on GMATClub, here is one from the past: recapping-my-experience-typo-in-a-real-gmat-question-34081.html

"My problem is that there was a blatant typo in one of the problem solving questions on the REAL test. The question was supposed to list two proportions of sales (p and q), but instead listed p twice. This was very distracting as I had to figure out what to do (I finally just assumed the second p should have been a q). However, I lost about 5 minutes of time and became rather flustered. I obviously cannot complain about my score, but I feel that the error in the test affected my quant score negatively as I ended up running out of time on the last question. "

Personally, I think there needs to be an option to flag a question that a test taker suspects to have a typo and at the end of the test students should be given a chance to submit their concern regarding that question. I am pretty certain that mistakes do happen on the actual GMAT as well, although very rarely, and what we don't know is how they are addressed.

So for all we know this could be one of those errors, and the only way to know the real story is to get some official confirmation.

Cheers,
Dabral

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 10:12
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Hi Brian,

1) Yes, what you are saying is correct and Exam 5 and 6 are both pulling the questions from the same composite pool. It is entirely possible that the reason Exam 5 on average has a higher difficulty for a strong student is because it has exhausted bulk of the hard questions in the administration of Exam 5, and on the subsequent attempt at Exam 6 by a strong student the software is left with fewer hard questions for Exam 6. I do know that in the initial release of the free GMATPrep software, the question pools for the two tests were separate. In later revisions to the software, the pool was merged. I have no idea why that was done.

2) So far I know that the combined 74 quant questions for Exam 5 and Exam 6 are being selected from a database of approximately 220 questions in the case of Exam Pack 2. In case of the free GMATPrep tests(Exam 1 and Exam 2), the 74 questions are being selected from a much larger pool of around 700 quant questions. That is one reason why repeating Exam 1 and Exam 2 still gives more or less fresh questions.

3) As for the actual GMAT, I think the pool of questions is significantly larger. I don't have a number but I am guessing it should be closer to being in the thousands, I have seen 5000 being thrown around.

4) I agree with you that the best approach is to separate the database of questions that Exam 5 and Exam 6 are selecting the items from. As I said before this used to be the case with the initial release of GMATPrep in early 2006, but is no longer the case. I have no idea why that was done. I would love someone from GMAC to expand on this.

Thanks for the kind words.

Cheers,
Dabral



mcelroytutoring wrote:
Hi Dabral,

Thanks for the observations...I felt the same way, and it also showed in my respective scores on each test. Do you think this might be because both tests in this Exam Pack (5 and 6) are pulling from the same composite question pool?

For GMAT 700+ scorers, it is easy to understand how a higher-than-usual amount of questions in the pool (in this case, double) would result in a student getting twice as many hard questions as usual.

From what I understand, each test of 90 questions comes from a pool of about 150 possible questions (if anyone has a hard number on this, I'd appreciate it). It is possible that both tests 5 and 6 are pulling from the same pool of about 300 questions...meaning that on our first test (test 5), there were almost twice as many hard questions available as usual, which could account for our noticing a higher level of difficulty on that test. And on the second test, there were fewer harder problems left to give, because the GMAC doesn't want us to see the same question on each test.

This could also have consequences for students on the lower rung of the scoring ladder, who might see an easier test than usual on test #5 because of this (potential) software flaw.

The GMAC has repeatedly stressed in its official materials that a correct answer to a hard question will not always be followed by another hard question, because there is a limited number of hard questions of that type in the pool. However, the question that I have yet to answer is, is the pool of questions on the actual GMAT 300 questions, or is it closer to half of that? I have yet to discover the answer, because the GMAC has always released its practice CATs in sets of two.

If it is the latter, then in order to make these exams more realistic--and equally difficult--the GMAC would do well to release a GMATPrep software update that limits each test to half of the 300 or so possible questions (quant and verbal combined).

I am a fan of your work, and I keep sending students your way for helpful videos, information etc.

-Brian

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 19:50
Hi Dabral,

Thanks for your help. Well, if you've counted 220 Quantitative questions per Exam Pack test, then we can assume that the number of Verbal questions is similar. Thus, there are about 400 questions in the question pool.

Question Pack 1 has 200 Quantitative questions, 180 Verbal Questions and 24 IR questions (404 total), so I imagine the numbers on the CATs are similar.

If the real GMAT has thousands of questions in the pool, then why would the GMAC tell us that it might run out of questions of a certain difficulty level (page 8 of OFG)? Seems suspect, but I imagine that there is no way to know for sure unless they tell us.
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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Hi Brian,

Yes, the total pool of questions in Exam Pack 2 is probably around 500 including Verbal, Quant, and IR. I also know that in GMATPrep Test 1 and Test 2, the size of the total pool is around 1500. On the actual GMAT exams, my guess would be that the pool is significantly larger, at least in the several thousands. GMAC does allude to this in the official guide as you noted(page 8), they say "These questions are drawn from a huge pool of possible test questions." I don't know what huge means, but 5000 wouldn't be too far off.

Now to your other point about running out of questions. This is the text from the official guide:
"To ensure that everyone receives the same content, the test selects a specific number of questions of each type. The test may call for your next question to be a relatively hard problem-solving item involving arithmetic operations. But, if there are no more relatively difficult problem-solving items involving arithmetic, you might be given an easier item."

My understanding is that each GMAT test administration has to adhere to a specific distribution of questions that are selected from specific topics. For example, in my analysis of actual GMAT tests, the total number of geometry/coordinate geometry questions has always been at 4. The balance between plane geometry and coordinate geometry is different from test to test, but the total is always 4. They likely do this for the remaining topics as well, or at least they have specific numbers for their own internal categorization of problem types.

Now this part about not having any more difficult problem solving questions from arithmetic does not make any sense to me. The pool is quite large, or at least that is what our guess is, then why is this an issue. I thought there were two reasons for the difficulty of questions to suddenly change during the exam, the first is that the software does need to test stronger students with easier questions just as weaker students are also administered hard questions. The second is that roughly a fourth of the questions are experimental questions and don't count, how the test writers select the difficulty of those is not clear. I would assume that they would belong to all difficulty levels, allowing the GMAT writers to administer the same question to students of a wide range of ability, which is really the purpose of the experimental question. So I am not sure what to make of this "running out of questions".

Cheers,
Dabral

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2016, 00:59
Hi experts, please help me in justifying the my result from this Exam Pack 2.

I recently got V40 (RC 38, SC 40, CR 42). As usual, there are 13 RC, 17 SC and 11 CR questions in Verbal section. I was incorrect in 2 RC questions (so 11/13 correct) and 4 CR questions (so 7/11 correct). The weird thing was that I found 2 incorrect RC questions so difficult, while 2-3 incorrect CR questions are easy (at least they are not at the same level as the 2 incorrect RC questions are).

As I understand, GMAC algorithm is that an incorrect easy question is more harmful than an incorrect hard question. So I was very confused with the result (42CR and 38 RC).

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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2016, 11:21
tronghieu1987 wrote:
Hi experts, please help me in justifying the my result from this Exam Pack 2.

I recently got V40 (RC 38, SC 40, CR 42). As usual, there are 13 RC, 17 SC and 11 CR questions in Verbal section. I was incorrect in 2 RC questions (so 11/13 correct) and 4 CR questions (so 7/11 correct). The weird thing was that I found 2 incorrect RC questions so difficult, while 2-3 incorrect CR questions are easy (at least they are not at the same level as the 2 incorrect RC questions are).

As I understand, GMAC algorithm is that an incorrect easy question is more harmful than an incorrect hard question. So I was very confused with the result (42CR and 38 RC).


I wouldn't say that an incorrect easy question is more harmful than an incorrect hard question. The impact on your score has more to do with where in the test those questions appeared (early, in the middle, or late?).
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Re: Review of GMATPrep Exam Pack 2: Two full length official GMAT tests   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2016, 11:21

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