April 2008 test

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aleph
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April 2008 test

Postby aleph » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:23 pm

Any comments on the april 2008 test? anyone think it was hard? easy?

ocean_sea
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby ocean_sea » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:10 am

i think this one was easy.But who can be sure that is mcq.so let 's hope good till the announcement.....

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quizivex
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby quizivex » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:37 am

I'm surprised that I regularly read that people think their test was easier than the practice tests. People said the same thing last fall (2007) and on the threads from prior years.

I thought the whole point of the test was that it was supposed to remain consistent over time. As people seem to be getting higher scores, I'm going to officially predict right now that when students in this coming fall (2008) get their scores, a 990 will be 96th percentile, instead of the 97th that it's been in the past.

Good luck, guys!

aleph
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby aleph » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:05 am

Yeah, but wouldn't that mean that it would take more points to get a 990 now than it did several year ago? Because I felt the same way, this april test was somewhat easier than the practice tests.

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quizivex
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby quizivex » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:55 am

Perhaps you're right, but I have a hard time believing the raw scores needed for a given scaled score would be much higher than they were for the 0177 practice test. Nevertheless, on a thread last fall we compiled some data on raw vs. scaled scores and realized that different students in different time zones took different versions of the test which had different score scales. So it would be hard to figure out for sure how all that stuff works.

I hope that they don't make the test so easy that you need an extremely high raw score to do well on it. There are 100 questions on the test, and I believe there are two main reasons a student can make a mistake on a given problem:
1) Not having the background knowledge or the ingenuity to solve it
or
2) Making a silly mistake or calculation error, factor of 2 etc...

I think it's reasonable to say that a given student will make random errors at about the same percentage rate regardless of the difficulty of the test. Therefore, I think it's only fair to the students (and the objective of the test) that the test be difficult enough so that the ratio of type #2 mistakes to type #1 mistakes is small. If the test is too easy, students will fly through the exam effortlessly and have to be nearly flawless to get a good score. Their score will rely more on luck than skill, and the test will separate students by virtue of computation accuracy rather than ability.

But of course, what I think doesn't matter, lol :lol:

Good luck!

ler1
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby ler1 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:08 am

quizivex wrote:
I think it's reasonable to say that a given student will make random errors at about the same percentage rate regardless of the difficulty of the test. Therefore, I think it's only fair to the students (and the objective of the test) that the test be difficult enough so that the ratio of type #2 mistakes to type #1 mistakes is small. If the test is too easy, students will fly through the exam effortlessly and have to be nearly flawless to get a good score. Their score will rely more on luck than skill, and the test will separate students by virtue of computation accuracy rather than ability.

But of course, what I think doesn't matter, lol :lol:

Good luck!


It sounds like youre describing the other exams given by ETS GRE General/SAT where scrore above a certain percentile are based on luck and not making a few errors.

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quizivex
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby quizivex » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:15 am

yeah exactly. especially the SAT math section, the problems are so easy that you need to get all questions correct to get a perfect score, so it can't discriminate among strong math students since everyone will get a perfect score unless they make some silly mistakes which will knock them down to ~80th percentile... that's one of the reasons it takes all kinds of games like club involvement, sports and community service to get into a top undergrad school... the SAT isn't very helpful.

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twistor
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby twistor » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:21 am

Standardized testing is a tool used to keep minority students out of decent schools.

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dlenmn
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby dlenmn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:54 am

twistor wrote:Standardized testing is a tool used to keep minority students out of decent schools.


The system in place before standardized testing was much better at doing that than our current system...

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twistor
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby twistor » Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:04 pm

And I'm not an advocate of that system, either.

aleph
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby aleph » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:24 pm

I might be mistaken, but I heard that people from outside the US where getting higher scores in the exam... isn't it giving them a chance to go to decent schools?

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butsurigakusha
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby butsurigakusha » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:40 pm

So twistor, what would be your preferred method of keeping minority students out?

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quizivex
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby quizivex » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:24 pm

twistor wrote:Standardized testing is a tool used to keep minority students out of decent schools.


Affirmative action and minority scholarships are thus nothing but an attempt to fight back against the standardized tests?

aleph, I think they mean different things when they speak of "international students" vs. minorities. Minorities refers to domestic groups. International students score high on the exam but the expectations are higher so they have a harder time getting accepted. But minority students are given extra consideration.

aleph
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby aleph » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:53 pm

so where do students who study in the US but are not citizens fall into? Do they get any minority benefits? or are still held at the higher standards for all other international students.

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dlenmn
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby dlenmn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:25 pm

aleph wrote:so where do students who study in the US but are not citizens fall into? Do they get any minority benefits? or are still held at the higher standards for all other international students.


I'm under the impression that they generally fall in to a category between US citizens and international students in difficulty and are unlikely to get minority status. It probably depends some on what the minority is. Chinese? Doesn't give minority status. Sub-Saharan African? Maybe it helps. Female? Same.

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twistor
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby twistor » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:04 pm

So twistor, what would be your preferred method of keeping minority students out?


That's a loaded question if I've ever heard one.

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twistor
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby twistor » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:06 pm

aleph wrote:so where do students who study in the US but are not citizens fall into? Do they get any minority benefits? or are still held at the higher standards for all other international students.


For applications purposes they are considered international though schools will take into it into account if they received their degrees from US institutions.

"Minority benefits" is an oxymoron.

ocean_sea
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby ocean_sea » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:32 am

one thing i wanna ask to you guys....
how can a shy and asocial (in fact intelligent) international student manage to communicate with the people and continue his life peacefully in US while trying to do research?i am asking like do you know any negative and positive example?And is the environment warm and welcoming such personolities or can it be like a trouble?

excel
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby excel » Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:47 am

My observation: Intl students can certainly live the life of their choosing in peace--I have seen students who stay alone with their work most of the time, and students who mix freely with lots of people. Basically, students can choose how they want to live.

One problem I have noticed is that many intl students segregate themseles into closed groups based on their nationalities. For example, you have groups of 4-5 Chinese students who keep to themselves and wont even speak in English in the presence of non-Chinese people, groups of 4-5 Indians, groups of 4-5 Russians, and so on. Somehow, I personally think it is alright to be asocial if that is what you want, but this kind of nationality-based groupism is not a healthy practice.

vicente
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby vicente » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:12 pm

excel wrote:One problem I have noticed is that many intl students segregate themseles into closed groups based on their nationalities. For example, you have groups of 4-5 Chinese students who keep to themselves and wont even speak in English in the presence of non-Chinese people



[rant]
I find this exceptionally rude on the part of this type of international student but everyone thinks I'm racist for thinking that.
[/rant]

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twistor
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby twistor » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:01 am

I can't say I blame them. If I went to another country where nobody spoke my native language I would try to find a group of Americans (or even British or Australians) and hang around with them all the time.

excel
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby excel » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm

I agree that this practice can come across as rudeness; I also agree with twistor that such a practice is quite natural; I see it as an inherent problem in the system--something that obstructs the communication between people that ocean_sea was talking about. It is a disease that grows quite naturally, but a disease nonetheless. And, I cant think of any protection against this disease, except maybe being aware of it.

TheHawkBat
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby TheHawkBat » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Just learn Chinese (or Indian or Russian). I hear they are easy languages to learn.

excel
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Re: April 2008 test

Postby excel » Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:29 pm

@TheHawkBat: Here, I am speaking from the perspective of an intl student, not that of an American student. What I am saying here is that some intl students create a problem for themselves by self-excluding themselves from the rest of the student body.




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