Jun 25

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GMAT Test scoring method

We believe, that GMAT testing program (for each mathematical and verbal modules) starts off with a moderate set of questions, and depending on your performance in that set of questions, gives you the next set. On the GMAT test, if you answered the first set mostly correct, you are given a set of questions from a question bank with a higher difficulty. If you fail to answer most of the questions correctly, from the first set given to you, you are then given questions from a lower difficulty level. This goes on until you complete the pre-define number of questions for each module, which is 37 questions for quantitative and 41 questions for Verbal. You have 75 minutes each to complete both modules.

We know that many people advocate not spending more time on the first few questions on the GMAT test and concentrate equally and spend same amount of time on all the questions. But, we seriously opine that it is always better to get all the initial questions correct, even if you take a few seconds more on each question.

For ex: To complete the GMAT quantitative section, you have 37 questions and 75 minutes to finish those. That gives you about 2 minutes for each math problem. We think spending an average of 2.5 minutes on the first few questions will relieve you from the normal time pressure and give you more time to answer the questions correctly. If you answer those correctly you might get pushed into the next higher question set level and hence will be in a higher range of GMAT scores.

Critics of this theory argue that even though you jumped to the next level, if you answer most of the questions in the next level wrong, you’ll be pushed down. Yes, you’ll be pushed down, but you won’t be pushed lower to the first range you were in because the program knows you answered all those questions correct and hence you must be skilled better than that range.

Ex: Let’s say the first score range is 500-600, and you answer all the questions from that range correct. The program might start giving you questions from 600-700. If you answer some of these questions wrong, you’ll be given questions from 600-650, but (logically) not from any set below 600, because the GMAT testing program knows you answered every single question in that range correct.

Now consider this….

Let’s say you answered a few of the first set correct and a few wrong, then you might be given questions from 550-600 range, and you have to prove your mettle in that range and hence you are already down by about 50 -100 points at the first set itself.

Though nobody except GMAT test preparers know for sure, we believe that concentrating more on the initial questions will put you in the driver’s seat to a better score. Read our other GMAT articles for a clear understanding of the test and help yourself score better in GMAT and get admitted to your dream business school.

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1 comment

  1. gre practice test

    Preparation for gmat should focus on all areas with some extra time allowed for math and verbal as these are the two areas of the exam admissions staff will place more emphasis on these sections of the exam.

    If your score is within a schools median 80% range you’ll have a reasonable chance of being admitted.

    Take the preparation and exam itself with equal seriousness.


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