50% right questions, but 25 of score and 14% - How it works?

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Hi everybody,

I'm from Brazil and I'm studying for GMAT for three months. My plan is to take the test soon, but my challenge has been the Quantitative session. I have a doubt about how the score works. In my preparation tests, I'm getting about 50% of the questions right, but it only counts a score of 25 and a percentile of 14%. I wish to know why is this happening and what can I do to improve my score and percentile. Do I need to get more questions right, or do I need to do well in the first 10 questions, or do I need to answer the easy questions right?

Thanks! ;)

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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:27 am
It is not about the first 10 questions per say, it is more that you are getting easy questions wrong. Start looking at what you are getting wrong and work on those areas. Overall if the level of the questions is low and you are getting 50% right, then that is your level.


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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:37 am
Hi bdelfino,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. As such, you shouldn't be spending time trying to figure it all out. You'd be better served working on building up your skills.

A far more useful gauge would be to review each CAT and determine how many questions you SHOULD have gotten correct, but didn't (due to a silly/little mistake). Those mistakes are the things that you have to fix to score at a higher level.

1) What practice materials have you been using?
2) What is your goal score?
3) When are you planning to take the GMAT?

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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:00 am
Your scores are not based on how many questions you answer correctly; they're based on the level of difficulty of the questions you answer correctly.

To illustrate this, I'll share an experiment I performed.

When I was writing the article Taking the GMATPrep Practice Tests Multiple Times (https://www.gmatprepnow.com/articles/tak ... iple-times), I took GMATPrep Practice Test #1 four times, and each time I answered every second question correctly (I did this for the quant section only)

Given that I correctly answered exactly HALF of the questions each time, you'd expect my quant scores to be roughly the same for all 4 tests.

My 4 scaled scores were: 19, 23, 26 and 42

This represents a percentile range from approximately 8th percentile to the 63rd percentile.

So, don't worry about how many questions you answered correctly. It has little to do with your score.

Aside: If you're interested, we have a free video explaining the GMAT scoring algorithm: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gener ... es?id=1251

Cheers,
Brent
Brent Hanneson - Creator of GMATPrepNow.com
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by bdelfino » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:21 pm
Hi!

Thanks for all the replies, explanations and the additional references. I think I understood how it works and what I need to do in order to improve my score.

Answering the questions, my goal is to achieve 650. Until now, in my preparation tests, I got 420. I'm planning to take the test by the end of December or beginning of January.

I know it's hard to jump from 420 to 650 by only two months, but I'm struggling to make it. :)

It's been hard for me to memorize all the math concepts, and most of all, to apply them into the questions. Do you guys have some advices or references in how can I improve these math concepts and learn them more deeply?

Thanks again! ;)

- Bruno

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by [email protected] » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:35 am
Hi bdelfino,

For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. After spending a little time re-building those skills, you can start your GMAT studies.

While these materials are not GMAT-centric, they should help you a great deal to hone your math skills.

As far as your broader timeline is concerned, your current plan gives you just 1.5 months of additional study time, so you will likely have to adjust your plans to hit your score goals.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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