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Discrepancy in GMAT Prep Scoring

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Discrepancy in GMAT Prep Scoring

by asn27 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:53 pm
I've taken two practice tests on the GMAT Prep Software and the scoring didn't make sense:

Test 1
Q49, V36 = Score 710

Test 2
Q49, V37 = Score 700

How is it that my score on the second practice test is lower than the first one?

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:49 pm
Hi asn27,

GMAC has publicly stated that a Test Taker's score on the Official GMAT is within +-30 points of actual ability. Thus, these two scores are essentially identical. The difference likely comes down to the minor 'curve' that exists in the GMAT scoring algorithm (and it adjusts based on the scores of the overall pool of Test Takers). Since these two CATs were likely 'calibrated' from different groups of Test Takers, the built-in curve might be a little different.

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by DavidG@VeritasPrep » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:22 am
Test 1
Q49, V36 = Score 710

Test 2
Q49, V37 = Score 700

How is it that my score on the second practice test is lower than the first one?
Apparently, the raw scores are a little more fine-grained than what we see on score reports. Not all 49's are created equal - you could have a "high 49" or a "low 49." It stands to reason that this is why your composite score dropped a bit despite your raw scores seeming to have improved. But for all intents and purposes, you got the same score both times. I can't imagine that schools would treat an applicant with a 710 any differently than they'd great an applicant with a 700.
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by asn27 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:13 pm
Thanks for your responses - perfectly clear.

I've used both your programs and I've improved my practice scores quite a bit. Hoping this translates to actual test day!

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by DavidG@VeritasPrep » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:24 pm
I've used both your programs and I've improved my practice scores quite a bit. Hoping this translates to actual test day!
Glad to hear! (That is the beauty of this community.)

My advice going forward: thoroughly review those practice tests, particularly the verbal, and write down 4-5 strategic adjustments you can make before the next practice test. Do some additional drilling. (Feel free to use our free q-bank, if you haven't already: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat-question-bank/)

When you're ready to take another practice test, pick up the two additional tests from mba.com: https://www.mba.com/us/store/store-catal ... ack-1.aspx

Keep us posted!
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by Rich@EconomistGMAT » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:42 pm
Hi asn27,

As a bit of encouragement, you should actually be pleased with only a 10 point difference between attempts, especially since you're in the 700 range. Although it might have been initially disappointing to see the slight dip, this does confirm that you're currently in that range. Continue doing what you've been doing and you should be in good shape on test day.

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by ceilidh.erickson » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:21 am
The GMAT scoring algorithm can be very confusing!
asn27 wrote:I've taken two practice tests on the GMAT Prep Software and the scoring didn't make sense:

Test 1
Q49, V36 = Score 710

Test 2
Q49, V37 = Score 700

How is it that my score on the second practice test is lower than the first one?
Here's the simple answer: your 49 on quant isn't really a "49." It's rounded from a raw score: think about the range from 48.5 to 49.49999.... So there is a such thing as a "high 49" and a "low 49," although you'd never know which one you had.

Your 200-800 score is actually based on the RAW scores, not the rounded SCALED scores. So, a Q "high 49" + V "high 36" might track to something higher overall than a "low 49" + "low 37."

Make sense?

Just keep in mind - business schools know that there is a margin of error of +/- 30pts, so the difference between a 700 and a 710 won't hurt you.
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education