Thursday, November 03, 2011

my confusion is justified

Manhattan Prep, the parent of Manhattan GRE and Manhattan GMAT, has just published a blog post that validates my confusion at seeing how my scores have been rendered, and how percentiles have shifted. Well worth a read.

Item #3 on that post leads me to believe that I must have broken 750 on Quant, per the old scale, since my newest Quant score has me in the 86th percentile. I'm also wondering whether my most recent Verbal score is actually lower than 710. It may, in fact, be the same or higher: because of the extensive re-scaling of scores, an equivalent or slightly higher old-style score might translate as a lower score/percentile in the new scoring system. For all I know, I did just as well this time around in terms of my raw score.

While I'm still frustrated that my Verbal score isn't higher than it is, I'm happy that my Quant score went up despite an apparent toughening of the math problems. What killed me, I'm sure, was my inability to answer two questions on standard deviation. I'll be ready for that next time.



John from Daejeon said...

You might want to try and make sure that both you and ETS are disinterested when using words'original meanings and those used "presently."

Kevin Kim said...

The title of that article was kind of funny: it had a prescriptivist tone to it.

All the same, I can see the article was written rather tongue-in-cheek: the author provides a "metric" for determining whether to hold on to a word's older meaning. (I also saw that he'd been corrected several times!)

I agree with what he says here, though:

"...when it comes to language, there is no right or wrong in a metaphysical sense, only a consensus that holds for a particular period of time."

That's how it works. Language has no roots in the bedrock of reality. If it did, I imagine we'd all be speaking the same language. But as I mentioned before, language also has structure and continuity, so it's not as if we can't speak of "right and wrong" in language. If a 2-year-old points at a fire truck and shouts, "DVD! DVD!" --he's wrong.