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# The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score

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Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 416
The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2014, 08:06
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Difficulty:

45% (medium)

Question Stats:

59% (01:18) correct 41% (01:16) wrong based on 515 sessions

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The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score of native English speakers is below 550, which is considered a relatively low score on a scale of 200-800.

Which of the following does LEAST to resolve the above paradox?

A) The GMAT does not test English knowledge but skills such as analytical skills and logic.
B) The GMAT includes a quantitative section, which tests mathematical skills.
C) GMAT scores are calculated to create a bell-shaped normal Gaussian distribution, so scores are relative to others' performance.
D) The GMAT has a severe time limit, and for many test takers, time ends before they have solved all the questions.
E) About 60% of GMAT test-takers are American.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4485
Re: The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2014, 13:39
5
goodyear2013 wrote:
The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score of native English speakers is below 550, which is considered a relatively low score on a scale of 200-800.

Which of the following does LEAST to resolve the above paradox?

A) The GMAT does not test English knowledge but skills such as analytical skills and logic.
B) The GMAT includes a quantitative section, which tests mathematical skills.
C) GMAT scores are calculated to create a bell-shaped normal Gaussian distribution, so scores are relative to others' performance.
D) The GMAT has a severe time limit, and for many test takers, time ends before they have solved all the questions.
E) About 60% of GMAT test-takers are American.

Dear goodyear2013
I'm happy to respond.

This question is cute but not very GMAT-like, as the GMAT is never self-referential. Also, I don't find the logic of the question compelling. If I were to give a grade to this question, I would give a D-.

The OA is attempting to exploit misunderstanding of statistical thinking of individuals vs. populations. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-criti ... pulations/

Here's my analysis. We are looking for the choice that "least" resolves the paradox. On an official question, this would mean that four answer choices contribute meaningfully to resolving the paradox, and one is clearly irrelevant.
(A) The GMAT does not test English knowledge but skills such as analytical skills and logic.
I don't know whether this statement is factually true about the GMAT, but in the context of the question, if the GMAT doesn't test English knowledge, then it would not give an inherent advantage to English speakers. This meaningfully contributes to resolving the paradox, and so is clearly not the desired answer choice.
(B) The GMAT includes a quantitative section, which tests mathematical skills.
Since the GMAT tests math, and since Americans are notoriously bad at math, this meaningfully contributes to resolving the paradox, and so is clearly not the desired answer choice.
(C) GMAT scores are calculated to create a bell-shaped normal Gaussian distribution, so scores are relative to others' performance.
Hmmm. This is a true statement about the GMAT. In almost any scoring system, scores are relative to others' performances. How does this explain why Americans have, on average lower scores? Yes, everyone is compared to everyone else --- but why do Americans come out looking bad in that comparison. This fact doesn't explain the paradox at all. This is a contender for the correct answer.
(D) The GMAT has a severe time limit, and for many test takers, time ends before they have solved all the questions.
Hmmm. Also, a true statement about the GMAT. How would the severe time limit specifically disadvantage Americans? If anything, folks who are native English speakers will have no problem reading the prompts, the word problem texts, etc., but folks who struggle with English as a second language might struggle to get through text quickly, and the time limit would be more harsh on them. It's not at all clear how this would explain why American score lower. This fact doesn't explain the paradox at all. This is a contender for the correct answer.
(E) About 60% of GMAT test-takers are American.
OK, clearly, if American make up 20% or 60% or 90% of the test-taking population, this doesn't explain anything about why their average is relatively low. This is the question author's OA.

Choices (C) & (D) are too close to being absolutely irrelevant to the paradox, which would make them correct answers. On a good GMAT "except" question, four answer choices are clearly and unambiguously relevant to resolving the paradox, and only one is entirely unrelated. Here's a high quality GMAT CR "except" question:
https://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3799

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________
Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
##### General Discussion
Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Posts: 416
The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2014, 02:00
Hi Mike,
Thank you for the explanation.
About E), I also realised that the test-takers are the American national does not necessarily mean they are native English speakers.
Manager
Joined: 28 Jan 2017
Posts: 50
Re: The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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20 May 2017, 14:13
goodyear2013 wrote:
The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score of native English speakers is below 550, which is considered a relatively low score on a scale of 200-800.

Which of the following does LEAST to resolve the above paradox?

A) The GMAT does not test English knowledge but skills such as analytical skills and logic.
B) The GMAT includes a quantitative section, which tests mathematical skills.
C) GMAT scores are calculated to create a bell-shaped normal Gaussian distribution, so scores are relative to others' performance.
D) The GMAT has a severe time limit, and for many test takers, time ends before they have solved all the questions.
E) About 60% of GMAT test-takers are American.

Hi

Option C,D and E were competing and this forced me to make a blind guess between these 3 answer choices.
Manager
Joined: 08 Jun 2017
Posts: 56
Re: The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 04:37
Is this a Gmat format question?
GMAT Tutor
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1441
Re: The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score  [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 08:53
Anazeer wrote:
Is this a Gmat format question?

This is not even remotely close to a GMAT question. Mike explained some of the reasons above - for one thing, there are three correct answers, which can't happen on a real GMAT problem.
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Re: The GMAT is written in English. However, the average score   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2017, 08:53
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