What is Ability?
As you all know, GMAT is an adaptive test that adapts based on your ability level i.e. your ability level governs the difficulty level of questions that the test serves you. Clearly, the higher your ability, higher is the difficulty level of questions served, and thereby higher is your GMAT score. So, your goal is to increase your abilities to the optimum levels so that you can reach your target goal.
What impacts ability?
Now the next question comes – what impacts ability.
Your ability to answer a question of a certain type depends on your understanding of the concepts associated with that question type and your proficiency in applying the process to solve that kind of question – so just merely knowing the concept is not sufficient. One also needs to know how to apply the concept to solve questions. So, remember – both the understanding of the concepts and the proficiency in application of the concepts impact your ability.
How do I know what my abilities are?
Next, you may ask – so how do I know what my abilities are?
Various kinds of abilities
To answer this question, we must first explain to you the various abilities that exist. Your GMAT score is composed of 2 kinds of abilities on section level – Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability. So, it is very much possible for a student to have a higher ability in one section vs. the other section. Furthermore, each of the sectional abilities is furthermore classified into sub-sectional abilities.
- A student’s quantitative ability is composed of
- Arithmetic ability
- Algebra/Geometry ability.
- A student’s verbal ability is composed of
- Sentence Correction ability
- Critical Reasoning ability
- Reading Comprehension ability
Ability Related Insights from SIGma-X Mocks
Now that you know what the various kinds of abilities are, we will explain to you what you will learn from SIGma-X mocks about your abilities.
SIGma-X mocks provide you your sectional abilities – As you can see, GMAT score of 680 is composed of two sectional abilities – Quantitative score of Q49, which corresponds to 74%ile and Verbal score of V34, which corresponds to 71%ile.
Next, SIGma-X mocks give you information about your sub-sectional abilities in the quantitative section – Arithmetic and Algebra/Geometry.
Likewise, SIGma-X mocks give you information about sub-sectional abilities in the verbal section – SC, CR, and RC abilities.
So, in essence after completing every SIGma-X mock test, you will get information about all the sub-sectional abilities.
Note carefully, that you do not get such insights even from Official Mocks. See this video to read more about the comparison of insights provided by the two mocks – SIGma-X and Official mocks.
Understanding Ability Numbers
Let’s take the case of a student who scored 35 is SC in SIGma-X mock test. Here is how she fared in SC in the mock. As can be seen, the entire mock test is divided into blocks of questions. And as explained in this article, the difficulty level of the questions in the next block is decided based are served based on the performance of the student in the current block of questions.
Now let’s go through the progression of this student in SC questions. The yellow line shows the difficulty level of questions served in the block. The blue bar shows the percentage of SC questions that the student answered correctly in that block.
- Block 1 – The test served questions of Medium difficulty level. This student did well in the first block and thus the test decided to increase the difficulty level of questions in the next block.
- Block 2 – The test served questions of medium-hard difficulty level in this block. The student performed well yet again. The test decided to increase the difficulty level of questions.
- Block 3 – The test served questions of hard difficulty level in this block. The student could not do well here indicating that this student does not have the ability to solve hard questions in SC.
- Block 4 – The test now served lower difficulty level questions – back to Medium-Hard. The student did decently well as expected (per his ability as displayed in Block 2).
So, as can we can see, SIGma-X mock has demonstrated that the student has the ability to solve Medium-Hard difficulty level questions well enough but when the difficulty level of questions increases to Hard, this student cannot handle those questions.
Read this article to understand how these ability numbers power your personalized study plan.