Repeated questions on successive tests

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby fierydemon » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:37 pm

I noticed that a bunch of people commented that there were at least 10 questions in common between the September and October Math GRE tests. Is it common knowledge that questions are repeated in successive versions of the tests? I was pretty surprised when I heard this. This tilts the scale heavily in favour of applicants who take the test multiple times

GT
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby GT » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:06 pm

[delete]
Last edited by GT on Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

ghjk
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby ghjk » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:10 pm

fierydemon wrote:I noticed that a bunch of people commented that there were at least 10 questions in common between the September and October Math GRE tests. Is it common knowledge that questions are repeated in successive versions of the tests? I was pretty surprised when I heard this. This tilts the scale heavily in favour of applicants who take the test multiple times


Are you serious?? If that's the case, we should email our protest to the ETS. This would be a HUGE disadvantage to poor people like me:P

PS: How did those people do btw? I heard that a LOT OF people who retook the test said they screwed up this one cause it's much harder than those in April and September.

GT
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby GT » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:47 pm

[delete]
Last edited by GT on Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby fierydemon » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:59 pm

GT wrote:How about you?
It seems that you took math subject test at least three times!


That is absolutely correct. However, I did not take it thrice in a row. Questions seem to be repeated only in successive exams. There was a gap of at least one exam in all my attempts. So maybe GRE is trying to stack the odds in favour of people taking the exams multiple times in a row...?

fierydemon
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby fierydemon » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:01 pm

ghjk wrote:
fierydemon wrote:I noticed that a bunch of people commented that there were at least 10 questions in common between the September and October Math GRE tests. Is it common knowledge that questions are repeated in successive versions of the tests? I was pretty surprised when I heard this. This tilts the scale heavily in favour of applicants who take the test multiple times


Are you serious?? If that's the case, we should email our protest to the ETS. This would be a HUGE disadvantage to poor people like me:P

PS: How did those people do btw? I heard that a LOT OF people who retook the test said they screwed up this one cause it's much harder than those in April and September.


I'm quoting a post by Latex on a previous thread:

"This was my third attempt. Last October I could only answer ~40 (with plenty of guesses, not prepared at all). I took it last month and I could do ~50 with some guesses.

This test was so much harder than both of those. I was much better prepared and had at least 10 repeats from the September exam and it was still brutal. I think I answered ~43 this time (0 guesses). It was so rough that I feel like the entire third attempt was just a waste of time and money. I'm just going to pick schools based on my September score and if I get a few extra points this time it'll just be icing on top."

danieloliveira56
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:37 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby danieloliveira56 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:15 pm

I wonder if discussing about this violates the stuff we signed on test day?

There is a huge incentive for anyone that figures this out to keep their mouths shut. It would be a little irrational to invalidate an exam that you succeeded. :lol:

ghjk
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby ghjk » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:21 pm

danieloliveira56 wrote:I wonder if discussing about this violates the stuff we signed on test day?

There is a huge incentive for anyone that figures this out to keep their mouths shut. It would be a little irrational to invalidate an exam that you succeeded. :lol:


Sound like you're among them:) But you're right...It's just...completely pointless in that case for those grad programs to take these test results seriously, as the test did not measure OBJECTIVELY the mathematical "ability" of each student due to favoring the rich over the poor one...Haha

BCLC
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:10 am

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby BCLC » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:49 pm

fierydemon wrote:I noticed that a bunch of people commented that there were at least 10 questions in common between the September and October Math GRE tests. Is it common knowledge that questions are repeated in successive versions of the tests? I was pretty surprised when I heard this. This tilts the scale heavily in favour of applicants who take the test multiple times


If so this is unfair to those who can take the exam only once in their area of residence?

Pentaki
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:14 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby Pentaki » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:52 pm

I found that having repeat problems didn't help. It mostly psyched me out. Several times I had an instinct of what the answer was, and did the problem only to get a different answer. There was only 1 problem I was confident in answering without redoing and it wouldve only cost me 30 seconds to work out. Also there was one problem that I knew how to do in September but couldn't do in October, and that frustrated me during the test.

I'd bet ETS has data on this and wouldn't be doing if it hurt their integrity. Then again, it's in their best to motivate people to take the exams multiple times.

LaTex
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby LaTex » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:45 pm

For what it's worth, the repeated problems were mainly ones I couldn't solve the first time, and I didn't memorize and study them over the next month. So it's not like I had a significant advantage. However, there was one problem that I actually remembered the answer to from the September exam, and I literally just chose the answer without reworking the problem. Hopefully there wasn't a small change I didn't catch.

There's another type of problem (not the exact same numbers) that was in the Princeton Review book and all 3 GRE exams I took.

Also, 10 might have been an exaggeration. But I'm pretty sure there were at least 5 repeats.

And I took the exam in two different cities, so maybe that's related to the number of repeats.

ghjk
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby ghjk » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:09 pm

LaTex wrote:For what it's worth, the repeated problems were mainly ones I couldn't solve the first time, and I didn't memorize and study them over the next month. So it's not like I had a significant advantage. However, there was one problem that I actually remembered the answer to from the September exam, and I literally just chose the answer without reworking the problem. Hopefully there wasn't a small change I didn't catch.

There's another type of problem (not the exact same numbers) that was in the Princeton Review book and all 3 GRE exams I took.

Also, 10 might have been an exaggeration. But I'm pretty sure there were at least 5 repeats.

And I took the exam in two different cities, so maybe that's related to the number of repeats.


The unfair part is that not every re-takers are like you...we don't know if a LARGE number of them actually knew the answers/ways to solve those questions beforehand....Anyway, life is never fair after all.

Shikhar329
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:20 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby Shikhar329 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:05 am

Hi,

In that case, I guess the raw scoring and percentiles' formation would be in our favor! Don't you think? :o

solveit
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:42 am

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby solveit » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:40 pm

This is worthy of a massive information campaign. Email the graduate offices of every school with a math department.

danieloliveira56
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:37 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby danieloliveira56 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:07 am

I don't think it is that serious. Sure, I was a little disappointed with ETS, but give them a little credit, they offer these exams in more than 180 countries, to me that's pretty amazing. I think the graduate programs are well aware of the GRE shortfalls and consider them while evaluating candidates.

korobeiniki
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby korobeiniki » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:21 pm

...this has always been the case with subject test GREs, I wonder why you are all dumbfounded at this "revelation".

How do you think they arrive at percentiles for each question you see on practice exams?

danieloliveira56
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:37 pm

Re: Repeated questions on successive tests

Postby danieloliveira56 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:37 am

korobeiniki wrote:How do you think they arrive at percentiles for each question you see on practice exams?


:shock: nice observation




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