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# Scoring algorithm confusion

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Intern
Joined: 05 Oct 2011
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13 Dec 2011, 02:00
I just gave MGMAT test and I got following question numbers wrong in the quant:
4,8,9,10,14,18,21,23,25,28,29,30,31

even after getting these question nos wrong I landed up with 50..I have got some questions wrong in series--->8,9,10 and 28 29 30 31

How does the algorithm work actually..A 50 in MGMAT test was shockin for me...

I would appreciate if all the experts help me out with this..
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14 Dec 2011, 09:47
I have pinged the MGMAT Team - let's see.
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Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate
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14 Dec 2011, 09:56
Hey,

Scores on the GMAT are not based on the percentage of questions answered correctly. On the GMAT, most people actually answer similar percentages of questions correctly, typically in the 50% to 70% range (even at high scoring levels). You can think of the GMAT as a test that searches for each person’s “60% level,” or the difficulty range in which the person is able to answer approximately 60% of the questions correctly. (This is not exactly what happens, but it’s a good way to think of the difference between “regular” tests and computer-adaptive tests.) Your score will be determined by the difficulty of the questions that you answer correctly versus the difficulty of those that you answer incorrectly.

Hope this helps!

Matt Mapplebeck
Online Marketing Associate
Manhattan GMAT
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14 Dec 2011, 09:59
1
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Expert's post
You can get many questions wrong and still get a very good score. That's just how the test works.

In terms of how exactly the algorithm works - it would take me several hours and many charts to truly explain, as it's extremely complicated. It is NOT based on percentage correct, and most people answer about 60% of the questions correctly regardless of scoring level. One way to think about it is this: the test is trying to find your 60% level, or the level at which you can answer about 60% of the questions correctly. (This isn't actually what's happening, but it's still a good way of understanding what's happening.)

Why isn't the test looking for your 100% level? Well, if you can answer 100% of the 70th percentile questions correctly, have I just found your maximum scoring level? No, because I don't know whether you can also answer 100% of the 80th percentile questions correctly. If you can, your score should be higher. So looking for the "100% correct" level actually isn't useful on an adaptive test.

But if I see that you can answer all of the 70th percentile Qs and around half or so of the 80th percentile Qs and none of the 90th percentile Qs... well, then I have a pretty solid idea of your scoring level. See how that works?

If you want to know more details about what's really going on, read the Scoring section of our free e-book The GMAT Uncovered. (If you have an account with us, the book is already sitting right there in your student center.) Even this is just a high-level summary because the algorithm's unbelievably complex (and they don't release all of the nitty-gritty details anyway).
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14 Dec 2011, 10:00
lol - just saw Matt's post. Matt, it's like we were mind-melding!
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16 Dec 2011, 01:41
Ya bt the same is nt repeated in the verbal section..bec I alwas get all the 500-600 level questions right ..600-700 is 60 to 70 % correct and above 700 I get only 30 to max 50% correct and I land up getting meagre 30 or max31
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16 Dec 2011, 04:32
StaceyKoprince wrote:
You can get many questions wrong and still get a very good score. That's just how the test works.

In terms of how exactly the algorithm works - it would take me several hours and many charts to truly explain, as it's extremely complicated. It is NOT based on percentage correct, and most people answer about 60% of the questions correctly regardless of scoring level. One way to think about it is this: the test is trying to find your 60% level, or the level at which you can answer about 60% of the questions correctly. (This isn't actually what's happening, but it's still a good way of understanding what's happening.)

Why isn't the test looking for your 100% level? Well, if you can answer 100% of the 70th percentile questions correctly, have I just found your maximum scoring level? No, because I don't know whether you can also answer 100% of the 80th percentile questions correctly. If you can, your score should be higher. So looking for the "100% correct" level actually isn't useful on an adaptive test.

But if I see that you can answer all of the 70th percentile Qs and around half or so of the 80th percentile Qs and none of the 90th percentile Qs... well, then I have a pretty solid idea of your scoring level. See how that works?

If you want to know more details about what's really going on, read the Scoring section of our free e-book The GMAT Uncovered. (If you have an account with us, the book is already sitting right there in your student center.) Even this is just a high-level summary because the algorithm's unbelievably complex (and they don't release all of the nitty-gritty details anyway).

Ya bt the same is nt repeated in the verbal section..bec I alwas get all the 500-600 level questions right ..600-700 is 60 to 70 % correct and above 700 I get only 30 to max 50% correct and I land up getting meagre 30 or max31
Re: Scoring algorithm confusion   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2011, 04:32
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# Scoring algorithm confusion

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