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Understanding the Scoring Algorithm

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yourshail123 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Understanding the Scoring Algorithm

Post Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:41 am
Hi,
I want to better understand how the Raw Score, Scaled Score and Overall Score are evaluated.
Question is 'does a higher scaled score (i.e. out of 51) reflects higher difficulty level as well?
For a particular section, does a scaled score of 43-45 reflects overall score of 650-690? Does it actually mean that the difficulty level of the section is in the level of 650-690?

My purpose of asking is - I am scoring consistently on this level(scaled 43-45) in Quant, but lagging behind on the Verbal section (scaled 24-25). In my case, I am making 5-6 silly mistakes on Quant questions as well as some on the Verbal. So, correcting those will it increase the scaled score and eventually the overall score, and by how much?
Of course, I think my Verbal needs a hefty increase in difficulty level as well and not just correcting silly mistakes.

Appreciate your response!!

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David@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Post Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:43 am
While you wait for the official response I thought I would give you a quick reply. Those silly mistakes that you make are actually very crucial. This is one of the main things that the GMAT tests -- your ability to concentrate, focus, and not make these errors.

Avoiding those 5-6 silly mistakes will almost certainly increase your score. It will likely result in you getting more difficult questions as well. The test is adapting to you and it takes those things very much into account. The test does not know that you made "silly errors" and instead it only knows that you missed the questions - so it is as if you do not know how to do a question at that level. So the test will ask you a similar level or even a lower level question instead of a more difficult one.

These silly mistakes are called "false negatives" as they indicate something that is not true -- namely that you cannot do this level of question. With a Computer Adaptive Test GMAC does its job wonderfully, the test challenges you and gets to the level of your ability. But you must do your part as well and that means getting the questions right that you can get right. If you miss more than a couple of questions with these silly errors then the test cannot do its job of finding your level.

If you do your part, the test will do its job and your score will likely be higher than it is now.

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Post Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:24 am
Thanks for your question! To answer your basic question: "does a higher scaled score (i.e. out of 51) reflects higher difficulty level as well" the answer is yes, it does. As David indicated in his response to you, your GMAT score is based not just on the number of questions you answer correctly, but also the difficulty level of the questions you are able to answer. This is true of the scaled score as well as the total score.

Avoiding any errors that are costing you questions that you would have answered correctly will certainly help your score, although by how much depends on other factors such as the difficulty level of those questions.

I wish you the best of luck in your studies. And if you have any more questions, please ask away!

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yourshail123 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:22 pm
Thanks David and Rebecca.
Those replies are certainly clear and crisp.
So, I have to consider both avoiding silly errors and a bit to level up the difficulty as well. Smile

yourshail123 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:05 pm
Just re-read my response and found error in the last sentence, correcting it -
I have to consider both avoiding silly errors and a bit leveling up the difficulty as well. Very Happy

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