How does the grading system work on the GMAT?


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How does the grading system work on the GMAT?

What are the general scoring principles of the GMAT?

The GMAT is a computer adaptive test or CAT meaning that the difficulty of a question increases or decreases depending on whether you got the previous question right or wrong.  The initial question is of average difficulty meaning that about half of the people taking the test get the first question right and the other half gets the question wrong.

Can I miss several questions and still get a good score on the GMAT?

Everyone gets a lot of questions wrong, no matter the scoring level; that’s just how the test works.  In fact, depending on the difficulty of the questions that you miss you can miss around 10 questions on the math section and still get a 49 out of 51.

What happens if I miss an easy question on the GMAT?

Getting an easier question wrong hurts your score more than getting a harder question wrong. In fact, the easier the question, relative to your overall score at that point, does more damage to your score if you get the question wrong. However, in most cases it is still possible to get the score that you want even if you miss a few easy questions. 

What happens if I miss several questions in a row on the GMAT?

If you get three or four questions wrong in a row that hurts your score more, on a per-question basis, than getting the same number of questions wrong but having them interspersed with correct answers. In other words, the effective per-question penalty actually increases as you have more questions wrong in a row.  If you find yourself falling behind on time during the test it is likely that you’re going to get several questions wrong in a row at the end of the test, and therefore hurt your score more than you would have if you had stuck to the allotted time for each question.  Therefore, it’s usually better to move onto the next question if you get stuck in the middle of the exam than to miss several questions in a row at the end.

What happens if I don’t finish the GMAT?

From my experience the test penalizes you about 2 percentile if you don't finish – another possible consequence of falling behind while you’re taking the test.  This may not seem like much, but it could be the difference between a 690 and 700. 


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