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Doubts concerning the diagnostic test

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Doubts concerning the diagnostic test

by Shyte » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:15 am
Hi Knewton people,

I recently registered on your website and I just wanted to express my doubts regarding your diagnostic test. I took it and scored 610 (40 Verbal, 33 Quant).

When I compare this result with my first probe test (with the official GMATPrep software) I sincerely don't understand it.

Here's why :

GMATPrep Test (1 month ago)
Quant : 34 (20 out of 37)
Verbal : 41 (33 out of 41)
Total score : 620

Knewton diagnostic test
Quant : 33 (28 out of 37)
Verbal : 40 (34 out of 41)
Total score : 610

As you can see, there's a significant difference between the two quantitative score (I jumped from 54% right to 75%) and I still got a smaller score. How is that possible ? I understand the nature of the CATs and I know that easy questions yield less points than more difficult ones.
However, on the Knewton diagnostic test I only suffered from one series of 3 mistakes in a row and still got a lower score than on the GMATPrep test on which I suffered from a series of 8 mistakes in a row !!

Therefore you'll understand why your algorithm looks rather strange to me.

Would it be possible to receive anymore explanation on this ?

Thank you very much

PS : Sorry for the small mistakes, English isn't my native language.[/u]

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by Jen@VeritasPrep » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:41 am
Hi there!

Remember that the GMAT algorithm does not score based on the number of questions you get correct/incorrect. This can be difficult to get used to when interpreting your scores, because we're so used to analyzing test results this way -- more questions right usually yields a higher score. The GMAT simply doesn't work like this. While there is often a correlation between the number of questions right and the final score, the scoring is actually determined by the types and patterns of correctly/incorrectly answered questions. It's certainly not uncommon to answer a greater number of questions correct and still see a lower score than you saw on a previous test.

It's natural to see variance in your practice scores, both from test to test and across prep platforms. Remember that the point of practice tests is really to give you practice with the format, length, and style of the test. When evaluating your performance, it's far more helpful to look at your results by concept and question. Which types of questions are you missing, and why? Strengthening these conceptual weaknesses is a much more productive study strategy than aiming for a particular numerical score on a practice CAT. If you know the concepts and strategies, your score on the test will be strong.

Thanks, and good luck studying!
Jen Rugani
GMAT Instructor, Veritas Prep

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