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Not Attempting questions on the GMAT

This topic has 5 expert replies and 2 member replies
rohankelkar81 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
15 Mar 2009
Posted:
8 messages

Not Attempting questions on the GMAT

Post Wed May 18, 2016 1:26 am
Hello Folks,

Pl let me know what is a penalty for not attempting question on the GMAT.

What is impact on the overall score?

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Post Wed May 18, 2016 9:21 am
Hi rohankelkar81,

The penalty for not answering a question is NOT a fixed number of points. There are a number of different factors that go into that penalty, including the relative difficulty level of the question, if there was just the one question left unanswered (or if there was a 'string' of unanswered questions), how you were performing before that question and whether the question is 'experimental' or not.

The penalty for running out of time and not answer just ONE question is marginal though, so the 'damage' would not be significant. Have you faced this issue on a CAT or on the Official GMAT?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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rohankelkar81 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
15 Mar 2009
Posted:
8 messages
Post Wed May 18, 2016 11:24 pm
Hi Rich,

Thanks for your message.

I gave mock test last weekend and couldn't complete about 7 questions in verbal and 1 question in maths.
Before this, i was doing okay but not great. As a result, my score came very less. I want to know whether it was mainly due to my incompetence or also because I couldn't finish the test completely.

therefore my query is, not answering last 7 questions in series will have how much impact on overall score?

On the actual GMAT, what should be strategy if I am short of time?

_________________
Victorious!
Rohan

Post Thu May 19, 2016 9:03 am
Hi Rohan

It's tough to define the exact penalty that you received for not answering those last 7 questions (for the reasons I described in my prior post), but it would have likely been considerable. As such, you MUST make sure to answer EVERY question in each section - even if you're just taking a guess. In the broader sense, you have to be aware of your remaining time in each section - the clock is an asset, so you have to use it to make sure that you're staying on a reasonable pace.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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eajamat Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
12 Jan 2015
Posted:
6 messages
Post Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:30 am
I don't know if this helps or not but a fellow test taker left last 4 questions in Verbal and got 660.
I really consider this information as vague because neither do I know his score distribution, nor his preparation levels.

rohankelkar81 wrote:
Hi Rich,

Thanks for your message.

I gave mock test last weekend and couldn't complete about 7 questions in verbal and 1 question in maths.
Before this, i was doing okay but not great. As a result, my score came very less. I want to know whether it was mainly due to my incompetence or also because I couldn't finish the test completely.

therefore my query is, not answering last 7 questions in series will have how much impact on overall score?

On the actual GMAT, what should be strategy if I am short of time?

Post Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:59 am
Leaving questions blank at the end DEFINITELY hurts your score. As Rich said, we can't put a number on exactly what that penalty is, because the algorithm is a complex combination of many factors. However, we do know that missing the last 7 questions carries more of a penalty than simply getting the last 7 questions wrong. (This is from Larry Rudner, former head psychometrician for GMAC).

If you're ever running out of time, it's better to just guess randomly on the last few questions than to leave them blank.

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Post Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:45 pm
One more technical answer to this is that in a standard IRT model, blank responses lead to higher standard error for the subject under observation (in this case, you, the test taker). So, in a very rough way, since the GMAT is less confident in its assessment of your skill because of the higher error associated with your test, the GMAC has instructed the test to err low and penalize you for not providing the expected amount of data.

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Post Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:47 pm
Another obvious factor here is that you can't skip any problems during a section on the GMAT, so your only blanks will come at the end. If you have more than one, you're not only missing the chance to do well, you're "doing poorly" in a row, which will really hurt you on an exam governed by IRT, where the basic philosophy is "Can you get this 60th percentile question? No? How about this 55th? No? How about this 45th? No? OK, we're pretty confident that you're below the 45th percentile."

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