GMAT Q&A: Multiple Tests

Recently we’ve decided to share some GMAT-related questions we’ve received (as well as our answers) in hopes that the information may be of benefit to others. Today’s question deals with how multiple GMAT scores may be interpreted by admissions officers.

Q: Is there a penalty for taking the GMAT multiple times, meaning do the schools see all your scores?

GMAT Q&A: Expected Improvement

From time to time we get questions from prospective GMAT test-takers we feel the answers to which might benefit others. This particular question came from an attendee at a recent webinar presentation given by Akil Bello for The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM).

Q: What is the typical improvement for a second test?

Sentence Corrections: Down to 2

For many GMAT Test-takers, Sentence Correction questions are both welcome and frustrating. Sentence Corrections are the shortest verbal questions, and often consume, on average, the least time per question. Moreover, Sentence Corrections are designed to test a relatively clear and finite set of grammar rules that make it similar to Quantitative questions in some respects. Given this, test-takers often have a greater affinity for Sentence Correction questions.

Grab the CAT by the Tail

Many GMAT test-takers are often confused by how scores are generated for the test. Lots of this confusion stems from the seemingly straight-forward, but not easily explained, notion of a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).

The confusion is pervasive enough, it seems, that GMAC often makes a point to clarify what a CAT is and does at various conferences, on their website, and on their official GMAT Blog. In a recent blog post, Dr. Eileen Talento-Miller provided some information about how CATs are designed and how they function in a way that even us lay-people can understand. Dr. Talento-Miller is a Ph.D.-certified psychometrician, and in many respects she does a sound job laying out the CAT basics in an easy-to-digest fashion.

Minorities and the GMAT

A few weeks ago, co-founder Akil Bello presented the above topic at GMAC’s Annual Industry Conference. The session was well attended and garnered positive responses from many of the industry professionals in attendance.

With over 20 years of test-preparation experience, as well as a focus in the last 10 on helping underrepresented minorities excel at standardized tests, Akil was well-positioned to provide the insights interested parties where there to hear. After significant research, and analysis of a wealth of survey data provided by GMAC, Akil brought his observations and conclusions to sunny San Diego.

The GMAT is A-Changin’

On June 25th a short press release from GMAC provided the first details on the previously announced changes to the GMAT that were announced late last summer. The press release coincided with the company’s Annual Industry Conference (AIC) in sunny San Diego, California. As is often the case, the AIC was a gathering place for the GMAC member schools and business school industry members. Our very own Akil Bello not only presented a workshop at the conference, but was also able to learn more about the upcoming Next Generation GMAT.

Here’s what we know so far about the new GMAT:

Making the Jump, pt. 2 – Higher Scorers

As we discussed a few weeks ago in Making the Jump Part 1, there are some general rules that everyone can apply to improve their scores or break out of the range they’re stuck in. For each type of scorer (low, medium, high), however, a modified approach would also be beneficial. In today’s post, we’re going to tackle some strategies that higher scorers can use to help them break through the often difficult 650 point barrier.

First, we have a testimonial from a student was able to break out of his range and get the higher score that would get him into the schools he wanted:

Evaluating Practice Tests, Part Deux: A Case Study

Any given GMAT score for an individual is really a specific value that can (and should) be seen as part of a range. What this means is that when you “think about” or “talk about” GMAT scores, you should do so in the context of a GMAT score range. To better understand what we’re talking about, consider that GMAC indicates the standard margin of error for the GMAT is 40 points, meaning that a person with a certain defined ability will score within 40 points of that ability from one test to the next (assuming no additional preparation between tests).

For more, see the following link:

Evaluating Practice Tests, Pt. 1: What NOT to Ask an AO

Because we are engaged in the business of preparing people for the GMAT, an integral part of their business school application, we often speak with AOs (that’s trade talk for Admissions Officers) about various facets of GMAT testing, among them the role the test plays in admissions.

Recently we had a conversation with an AO from a top 10 school that went something like this:

That Age-old Question: What’s a Good GMAT Score?

So you started preparing for the GMAT and you’re perhaps wondering, “What is a good score?” While there is no simple (or absolute) answer to the question of what a
“good score” is, here are two ways to evaluate your GMAT score and assess how much preparation you should do (or if you have taken the test already, whether you should apply with the score you have).

Personal Best Effort

Your personal best effort means you have done all you can to achieve your highest possible score. Defining your best effort can be tricky, but you must consider whether you have invested all the resources at your disposal to help you achieve your score. You will have to look critically at what you’ve done in preparation for the GMAT and what you could have done. You have to consider what you have invested (not just financially but also mentally) in preparing for the test, and whether that is all you could have invested.

The chart below shows the correlation between time invested preparing for the test and GMAT scores.

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