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Penality for leaving questions blank

This topic has 4 expert replies and 4 member replies

GMAT/MBA Expert

Penality for leaving questions blank

Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:21 pm
Stacey Koprince just shared this information in another thread--but the data is so important that I had to start a new topic with her message.

Here's what Stacey said:

***

Just want to add a tidbit. I just got back from a conference put on by GMAC and one of the slides illustrated the penalty for not answering 5 questions at the end (not guessing on those 5, but leaving them blank).

Your score goes down by 15 percentile points.

If you leave even 1 question blank, you go down about 3 percentile points.

So if you were at the 80th percentile and ran out of time with 5 questions to go, you would now be at the 65th percentile for that topic.

They didn't have the specific numbers for what would happen if you did guess on those 5 and got them all wrong, but the penalty will be nearly as substantial.

In other words, the penalty is HUGE.

***

The main takeaway--DO NOT LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED ON THE GMAT. If you run out of time, blind guessing is better than nothing!

Thanks for the tip, Stacey!

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Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:16 pm
I just took a GMATPrep Test and my breakdown was as follows.

Total Score: 610
Math: 40
Verbal: 34

However, on the verbal I left the last two blank. How much would my total score have increased if I randomly guessed the last two verbal questions and answered them incorrectly?

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:20 pm
gmat8000 wrote:
I just took a GMATPrep Test and my breakdown was as follows.

Total Score: 610
Math: 40
Verbal: 34

However, on the verbal I left the last two blank. How much would my total score have increased if I randomly guessed the last two verbal questions and answered them incorrectly?
I don't think there's enough data to on the algorithm to predict what your increase would be.

At a high-level though, the main takeaway from Stacey's message is that it hurts more to leave answers blank than incorrect. I don't know if we can read into any more details than that.

Good luck!

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Post Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:54 pm
Yep, we don't have more detailed info than that. Your overall score may or may not have changed if you guessed and got them both wrong. If you guessed and randomly got one right, though, that might have increased your percentile in verbal by about 2-3 points. You'd then have to look at a percentile chart to see what that would translate to in terms of score. I'm not sure whether they publish those charts or whether you only see that when you get your score report - if the latter, you can ask someone to look at the chart on their score report.

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Post Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:41 pm
I just finished a practice exam and earned the following.

550
31 Quant
34 Verbal

I ran out of time on the Quant and ended up leaving 10 questions blank. Is it safe to estimate that I may have earned in the 56th percentile( starting at the 26th percentile then adding 15 percent for every 5 questions missed)

Your response is greatly appreciated! Meanwhile I'm going to look up tips on time management Smile

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Post Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:44 pm
Now I think about it further if anything it means I may have been around the 56th percentile before running out of time. Is that more accurate?

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Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:56 am
What type of practice was it? If it was the Free Veritas Prep Computer adaptive test I can tell you precisely where you were on the exam at question 28 -- when you ran out of time.

Quote:
Now I think about it further if anything it means I may have been around the 56th percentile before running out of time. Is that more accurate?
Yes. This is a better way to think of it. Basically the percentage of questions that you did not answer comes off of your score. 10 questions is 27% of 37 total so that is sort of a general estimate of what you might lose in a penalty.

Therefore it is likely that the computer had estimated your ability at about the 50th percentile before you failed to answer 27% of the questions.

Of course there is no way to know what your score "would have been." You may have gotten more questions correct because of your slower pace so that if you had gone at the pace needed to complete 4 questions in the time you took to complete 3, you might have missed a few more. The likeliest prediction is you would have score somewhere between the 26th percentile and the 50th.

next posting: time management

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Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:26 am
Now the first thing that you want to do in terms of a timing strategy is to be sure to give yourself at least a look at each of the 37 questions. Here is the reason why:

Of those 10 questions that you had to just leave blank on the Quant section, at least some were very likely questions that would have been great for you. Perhaps questions that you could get correct in 1 minute! This is the problem with leaving anything more than just two or three questions at the end. What you have done by spending too much time on problems that are difficult for you (and that you probably missed anyway) is that you now had no time for the problems that you would have done well on.

What you need is a strategy to help you do 2 things: Get the questions right that you can and get away from the questions that are going to take to long and you will end up missing anyway.

You need to do a sort of triage like they do at the hospital. Figure out what is wrong with the patients and decide where to devote your energy. This article "think like a doctor and diagnose your way to success" is designed to help you do just that. Pay attention to the drill used in the article to help you understand when you should slow down and get a question right and when you should guess on the question and move on. http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/04/04/think-like-a-doctor-and-diagnose-your-way-to-gmat-success

So assuming that you get your timing strategy to a better place, you should hopefully not be facing more than 1 or 2 questions as you run out of time. However, if despite your efforts something goes wrong on test day you should still have an idea of what to do if you do run out of time.

GMAC has done the research and it turns out that if you have five questions to go and you are running out of time (10 questions is just too many to leave blank so the data was collected for 5 questions) you are better off at least entering a guess IF YOUR SCORE IS AT LEAST AT THE 50th PERCENTILE. Assuming that your score will be at the 50th percentile or above you will want to guess at all 5 before the time runs out.

However, if you keep track at all, you will know that you are running out of time long before you have five unanswered questions at the end. Here is an article on what to do when you realize that you have only 12 minutes left and still have 10 questions to answer. http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/12/running-out-of-time-at-the-end-of-the-test/

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hsudhan37 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:41 am
hi i just scored 590 in my kaplan practice test
QA 17
VA 18

i got only 17 correct in quants but it says my quant percentile is 80 . how is that possible ? explain

also i got 18 in verbal and my percentile was very low in it . how does the system extimate the percentile in this system .
is it the same in Gmat also ?
also i guessed last 10 questions in a hurry as i was left with only 1 minute to answer these . what would have happened if i had left all these blank ?

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