Understanding Gmat scoring

This forum is dedicated to our GMAT Avengers study group. Connect with fellow test takers and stay up-to-date with the latest Avengers' news. Experts are free to contribute in answering questions.
This topic has expert replies
User avatar
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Understanding Gmat scoring

by aabhish » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:44 am
Hi Guys,

I took two Gmat Free practice tests recently. I got 640(46,33) and 620(49,28) respectively. But the problem is number of incorrect answer. In the first exam I had 19 and 20 incorrect answer for quant and verbal respectively. While in second attempt they were 13 and 12. Which is a significant difference. I am not able to understand that despite more correct answers why I am getting lesser marks in my second attempt.

Please help me.



User avatar
Elite Legendary Member
Posts: 10392
Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Thanked: 2867 times
Followed by:510 members
GMAT Score:800

by [email protected] » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:21 am
Hi aabhish,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. It takes into account a number of different factors, including the relative difficulty of the question, whether you were expected to get it correct or not, the placement of the question, what's going on "around it", the "strings" of correct and incorrect answers, whether the question even counts or not (some questions are "experimental" and are worth 0), if you leave questions unanswered and incur a penalty, etc. 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.

Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. Your scores are all 'in range' of one another though, so assuming that you took the ENTIRE CAT and did so under realistic 'test-like' conditions, then these scores serve as a reasonably accurate assessment of your abilities.

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.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Contact Rich at [email protected]