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Help determining if someone cheated

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Help determining if someone cheated

by silverpig » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:32 am
Hi all,

I have a little problem and need some help with determining if someone cheated on their GMAT.

First, a little background: I wrote the GMAT a few years ago and got a 760 (Q49 V44). I went off to b-school, finished this past December, and landed a job in consulting. I am now doing some recruiting for a program associated with the MBA program at the b-school I attended, and we are looking at (amongst other things), GMAT scores.

The applicant has reported a GMAT score of 760, but his english is, quite frankly, terrible. The sentences in his cover letter hardly qualify as such; verbs aren't properly conjugated and articles ("the" and "a") aren't used properly. Pluralization is wrong in some instances. Some words that make no sense are just tacked on to the end of sentences required. <--like that. It almost sounds like he wrote the letter in another language and then google translated it.

The student is originally from China, and as far as I know was there up until a few months ago when he came to North America for his MBA.

I am trying to estimate what level of english he would have to have at minimum in order to get the 760, and if I grant him a Q51, some quick googling suggests that a 760 with a Q51 would mean he was in the V41 or V42 range. It's been a while since I wrote the GMAT, but is a V41 very far off of a V44? This is the only real baseline I have to compare that I can come up with right now. What level of english would a V41 typically have? Is there something going on here?

Thanks.

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by rishi raj » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:12 pm
A score of 41 on Verbal stands at the 92th percentile and 44 is at the 97th percentile. Usually people with 40+ scores seem to have a very good command over English. Even if the candidate was from China and would have never spoken in English, if he claims to have a 760 ,then that means that he'd have become quite good at Verbal too ,which doesn't seem to be the case as you have said.
I know the solution to this problem : Ask him for the unofficial GMAT report . The GMAT also sends a pdf of the candidates wherein it gives the scorecard of the candidate alongwith other details.

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by silverpig » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:03 pm
Thanks. 92nd percentile sounds like it is definitely out of this student's reach. I think I'll recommend we bring him in for an interview.

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by Psychodementia » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:42 am
I personally think that a GMAT score of 760 necessitates flawless English - even if not the other way round. So I would be surprised to see someone score a 41 with a below than average written English. Though I cannot comment on this candidate I would be very suspicious.

I think the best option is to check his AWA scores - since those test the writing ability part.

Arun

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by silverpig » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:00 am
Psychodementia wrote:I personally think that a GMAT score of 760 necessitates flawless English - even if not the other way round. So I would be surprised to see someone score a 41 with a below than average written English. Though I cannot comment on this candidate I would be very suspicious.

I think the best option is to check his AWA scores - since those test the writing ability part.

Arun
If he fully cheated, I'm sure his AWA scores are good too.

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by Ashish321 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:17 am
silverpig wrote:
Psychodementia wrote:I personally think that a GMAT score of 760 necessitates flawless English - even if not the other way round. So I would be surprised to see someone score a 41 with a below than average written English. Though I cannot comment on this candidate I would be very suspicious.

I think the best option is to check his AWA scores - since those test the writing ability part.

Arun
If he fully cheated, I'm sure his AWA scores are good too.
I am not sure whether you have any clue about how GMAT works

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by silverpig » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:49 am
Ashish321 wrote:
silverpig wrote:
Psychodementia wrote:I personally think that a GMAT score of 760 necessitates flawless English - even if not the other way round. So I would be surprised to see someone score a 41 with a below than average written English. Though I cannot comment on this candidate I would be very suspicious.

I think the best option is to check his AWA scores - since those test the writing ability part.

Arun
If he fully cheated, I'm sure his AWA scores are good too.
I am not sure whether you have any clue about how GMAT works
Sure I do. I wrote it.

I also know that in China and India there have been severe allegations of cheating, from being able to buy sets of the live questions, to having the test administrators bought off by bribes so you can have someone else sit the exam.

It is entirely possible he's just telling us he got 760 when he really didn't. It is less likely, although still possible, that he could have had someone else sit the exam for him.

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by Brian@VeritasPrep » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:41 pm
Interesting discussion - and one thing I just want to chime in on is the idea that a 760 GMAT score or a very high verbal score requires nearly flawless English. I don't think that's necessarily true - you can get pretty good at recognizing GMAT grammar errors, for example, without having a fantastic usage of grammar in your writing or speaking.

I say that less as any insight into this particular case and more as a word of encouragement to non-native English speakers. I really do think that you can narrowly focus on GMAT verbal and do really well with it without having to master too much subtlety of language outside of it. The GMAT is designed to test your reasoning and problem solving abilities, so while reading English is obviously a huge factor in your ability to showcase those skills, many non-native speakers have done extremely well without an overwhelming mastery of the language.

Average GMAT scores are actually higher in Asia than in North America, according to GMAC research (although there can be many explanations for that, such as that there are a great many more lowly-ranked schools in the US that accept the GMAT, so not as high a proportion of test-takers in the US have the same standards for themselves).

Silverpig - I wonder if your school has access to GMAC's (potential) information on score compromises. I know that the Scoretop scandal in 2008 was a big deal and that there was another pretty widespread scandal back in the late 90s or early 2000s; GMAC may be able to provide some of that information to member schools to help with a situation like yours.
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