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scoring & time strategies

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mehrabounr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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scoring & time strategies

Post Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:17 am
Hi Rebecca,

i have 3 questions regarding time issues and their effect on the score.

1- Some people say "your answers to the first 10 questions is very important because it makes the base of your scoring. so you should take more time for answering these first questions".
Is that true?
Cause i think GMAT considers your whole performance and even if you start bad you can get a good score.
Can you explain about this?

2- Can you explain about the "penalty for not answering questions" is there a negative score?
I think if you get 5 wrongs from 37 you get a fraction 5/37. if you don't answer 3 questions,which leaves you with 34 in total, you would have 5/34 which is a bigger fraction meaning your wrong percentile would be higher so your score would become lower.
Is this explanation right?
or penalty really means penalty like negative score?


3- I know they say that "If you know you don't have time to answer all questions, choose randomly and don't leave any questions unanswered". this is what most people say.

A tutor/consultant told me that "for example if you have 10 minutes for 15 questions and you know you have to choose 7 randomly, don't leave the last 7 for that random choosing. It will drop your score seriously. Spread these 7 questions. answer 1 and choose one randomly then solve another and so on."

Is this true?
Does it matter if you answer 7 questions wrong successively or at random intervals
for example if in Quantitative section, you answer the first 30 right and the last 7 wrong would you get a different score from someone who has 7 wrong in total

If you could answer these questions specially the third one, i would really appreciate it
thank you.

----
I remembered one more question. About break times on test day.Is it 5 minutes,7minutes or 8?
From the time you leave your seat till you come back, including scanning your palm?

(I've taken the exam before. They didn't scan me again! maybe because i didn't leave their sight.But there was no clock to tell me how long i was on break so i went back soon not to miss anything)

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rijul007 Legendary Member
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Post Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:38 am
Have a look at the following video by gmatprepnow. I hope this can give you some insight about how the GMAT scoring algorithm works.
http://youtu.be/a9kK8b8JS3M

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Post Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:53 pm
Hello, mehrabounr.

Lots of questions here! First, I should emphasize that the best way to get a good score on the GMAT exam is to study the practice questions, not the scoring algorithm! Your score will ultimately be determined by your ability to answer the questions on the exam. However, I am happy to help you with some of these common myths.

As for your first question, every question on the exam counts. It is true that the first 10 questions are used to estimate your ability, but the algorithm self-corrects throughout the exam. Your final score is based on all your responses and the difficulty level of those questions. It is important to finish the test, and pacing yourself properly is key. I do not recommend you focus on those first 10 questions at the expense of the rest of the exam.

As for your next two questions, our research team did an analysis of this very topic, and can explain to you in detail how both random guessing and leaving questions blank could impact your score: http://officialgmat.mba.com/2009/09/17/tactics-and-guessing/.

To address specifically the scenario your tutor suggested, I first want to emphasize that the best way to achieve your best score on the GMAT exam is to pace yourself appropriately so you allow sufficient time to answer all the questions. Neither tactic in the scenario you suggested will likely result in you achieving your best score. After you complete the exam, you will have the opportunity to cancel your score report. If you do indeed find yourself unable to answer all of the questions, you may want to consider canceling your score and retaking the exam. Beyond that, it is difficult to predict which solution you suggest would have a bigger impact on your score. Because the GMAT exam requires you to answer each question before moving on to the next one, you will not be able to predict which questions you will see and your ability to answer them. If you choose to alternate between random guessing and answering, you may find yourself making random guesses on questions you would have been able to solve. I will refer you again to blog I referenced above.

And finally, to address your final question, your optional breaks are eight minutes long. It is up to each candidate to monitor the time and return to the exam on time.
Good luck!

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mehrabounr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:11 am
Rebecca,
Thank you so much for answering my questions.
I know that for getting a high score you have to answer the whole exam very good but I needed to know these so i can answer questions people ask from me.

We don't have a center in our country. So considering the cost of an international flight,hotel ,exam and other costs for a 3-day trip, which adds up to more than $1000,(which means 5month salary) cancelling scores or taking the exam for the second time is not an option for a lot of people from my country.

With all the pressure of exam and the exhaustion of the trip, we have to consider everything, even if its effect on our score will be less that 1%.

These are the reasons that "strategy" questions rise in our forums and i have to find answers for them.

Anyway, thanks for addressing these questions.

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:53 am
I'm always happy to answer your questions, Mehrabounr. And I do understand that retaking the exam can be a daunting and expensive experience. That is why I emphasize that familiarizing yourself with the format and taking practice exams is key. You do not want to find yourself running out of time with too many questions left to answer. Neither of the scenarios you presented will result in you receiving the highest score you are capable of, which is why it is important not to take the exam until you are ready. A difference in score of "less than 1%" is unlikely to have an affect on your MBA application. Remember that schools look at your GMAT scores in the context of your full application, including undergraduate GPA, work experience, admissions essays and other factors they deem important. I hope that gives you a better context for my answer.

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mehrabounr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:31 am
Very Happy
Since they consider me the expert!!! they ask me and i have to find answers for them. (In a blind town, a one-eyed man is king)[/img]

You know the saying, "many a little makes a mickle"?
That's what happens with those 1 percents.

I know the "holistically" view at applications. But GMAT is the most important part for us.
Since we don't have high ranking universities or international companies to work for and get great job experiences or etc. We can't compete on the same level as other applicants on those aspects. Weight of GMAT is higher for us.

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