MATH VS VERBAL

July 19, 2006
Checking the answers that I’ve been receiving to my last post, I received a very nice thing from Aashim, I thought that it would be nice to place it here...

While we are on the topic of Maths vs. Verbal.It's true that verbal directly impacts your score much more than quant but that's only after you get a certain minimum in quant.Here's why(Scaled score vs. percentile):Verbal Quant Percentile39 49 90Because people score so much higher in Quant anything less than a scaled score of 49 can really take your score down badly. On the flip side anything above 50 in Quant will not get you much in the way of a higher overall score.Verbal is where the GMAT can be cracked.


As you see with a 39 scaled score you can reach 90 percentile. Considering the verbal maximum scaled score of 51, means that there are still 13 scaled score pts to go to reach a perfect 51- there surely is room for improvement. In fact anything higher than 44 in verbal is the 99th percentile!!
Q-50 V-38: 720 or 730
Q-48 V-38: 690 or 700
Q-51 V-38: 730!!
Q-47 V-38: 670
Q-46 V-38: 640!
You can see the score fluctuation with a constant verbal and how a low quant pulls the score down.

My strategy/recommendation is to ratchet up the quant to 50 or at least 49(Coz then you have at least 720 in the bag, unless you screw up verbal badly). And then work totally on verbal. (Then with a quant score of 49/50 in the bag, improvements in verbal can max out your score beyond the 750 levels). It's not so easy to score above 40 in verbal and anyone who scores less than 49 in quant has surely made some very stupid mistakes. And obviously GMAC thinks that someone who scores less than 49 in Quant does not deserve to have a high score.


Thinking about this message, I remembered what I read the other day at the beatthgmat.com site, where they have a section called ask Manhattan Gmat, and here I am attaching two extracts from some considerations about obtaining 700+ and a 750+ score:

Your overall score out of 800 results from your performances in quant and verbal, each of which is first scored independently on a scale of 0-60. These subscores are then combined to yield your overall score according to formulae to which only Pearson (the organization that administers the GMAT) is privy. Each subscore (verbal and quant) receives a percentile ranking as well. This indicates the percentage of test-takers who scored below your level over the past few years. So, for example, if you receive a verbal subscore of 40, you are in the 90th percentile, which means that 90% of all test-takers did not perform as well as you in verbal. Some recent scores of 750 broke down as follows: 41V/51Q, 46V/47Q, 44V/49Q, 45V/48Q, 47V/47Q. Notice that both sections are strong. Some recent scores of 760 broke down as follows: 51V/46Q, 42V/50Q, 46V/48Q, 44V/50Q. Again, these test-takers posted excellent subscores. To break 750, you more or less need to reach at least the 84th percentile in quant (subscore 46) and the 90th in verbal (subscore 40). While a significant number of test-takers can reach one or the other of these goals, very few can reach both on the same exam. Hence the reward of 99th percentile status to those who can.

Let's take a look at what happens at the highest levels of the exam: 700+. A recent test-taker received a scaled score of 45 in verbal (98th percentile) and 40 in quant (66th percentile) and an overall score of 700 (93rd percentile). Notice how much closer the overall percentile is to the excellent verbal percentile. If the overall percentile were simply an average of the individual percentiles, this person would have received about 640. But because the combination of an outstanding verbal performance with a fair quant performance is so rare, the overall percentile and score will be much higher than the lower quant percentile. Another person, who scored 49 in verbal (99th percentile) and 37 in quant (56th percentile), received 710 (95th percentile), even though the quant performance here was a full 10 percentile points lower than that in the previous example. Again, an outstanding performance in verbal significantly offset a middling performance in quant. Does this work in reverse? That is, will an outstanding performance in quant so dramatically offset a middling performance in verbal? No. This combination is much more common, given the increasing number of international test-takers, who often have excellent math skills but relatively weak command of English. Even among native speakers of English, it is more common to see relatively high quant scores coupled with fair to middling verbal scores. Because these combinations are less rare, they are not rewarded as highly. For example, a test-taker recently received a 50 in quant (97th percentile) and a 37 in verbal (82nd percentile), but "only" a 670 overall (89th percentile). So the truly excellent quant performance was not enough to pull the overall score above 700. While an excellent verbal performance can indeed take up some of the slack from a weaker quant score, keep in mind that most business schools want to see strong skills in both sections. In fact, some of the top 20 schools apply the "80/80 rule", which requires that successful applicants reach at least the 80th percentile in both sections. So do not put all your eggs in one basket: make sure you prepare well for both sections.


O.K. What is the point of all these considerations and stuff? First of all, that you need good scores in both areas in order to get accepted. In my case where math is problem, I think that I really need to work on verbal, to compensate, but maybe with the gmat it will happen the same way as in other test, that I get better scores on my weak areas and not so good on my strong ones, that is why, I decided, that after I finish the Algebra book, I’m gonna stop focusing so much in math, and work a little more with verbal... Anyway, the final key is tons of practice on every section ;)


I would really like to hear people opinion on this subject, which I think is very important on test prep.
 
posted by Catalina at 7/19/2006, |

3 Comments:

  At 7/24/2006 6:18 AM Anonymous Punit Sethi said:
Hmm.. very interesting. Lotsa analysis here.

However, one very imp thing that I would be interested in knowing is - at what number of correct/ incorrect questions would we normally get v42 or say q48 (i mean score out of 51). That would allow one to link correct/incorrect answer numbers with scores that one is targetting.

Any ideas on this?
As far as I know, is not only about the amount of correct or incorrect answers, but also how hard they were, so I don´t know if there is an actual data.
  At 7/24/2006 2:21 PM Anonymous Aashim said:
Catalina,Punit.

I trust this helps:

Verbal

# mistakes score

0-1 51

2-4 50-45

5-7 40-44

8-13 39-35

Quant

# mistakes score

0-2 51

3-5 50

6-11 49

11-14 48

But PLEASE keep in mind that this is the approx scores for the Current GMAT and GMAT prep Algo.
Here you get a lot of tough questions - especially in Math. Hence even with 5-10 mistakes you can end up with 49 0r 50..

Not so with Powerprep and the older GMAT.
( If you get anything wrong in the first 5 in powerprep, you can't get more than 49 more often than not)

Also the locations where you get the answers wrong does not matter so much as it did last year. For ex you can still get a 51 in Quant with 2 mistakes in the first 15.

However GMAC will penalize you heavily if you get more than 1 question wrong in a row.
Get the last 2-3 questions wrong consecutively and kiss goodbye to a decent scaled score :)

Moral of the Story: In the new GMAT under Pearson, pace your questions equally. Do not spend overtly excessive time on the first 10 questions!