How are GAMSAT MCQs Scored?
With students following the age old practice of trying to second guess their scores, particularly in the multiple choice sections of the GAMSAT, they’re often shocked when their scores are nothing like what they think they should be. We’re going to clear up some confusion about how the MCQs are marked. We’re not writing this to amuse students of high order mathematics or to help potential GAMSAT Markers. Knowing this info about GAMSAT marking will not only give hope to students who think they’ve done badly, but could also serve as a warning to those who are over-confident! The main thing to remember is that whatever the mark scheme: Prepare well to give yourself the best chance of success.
The scores for sections I and III aren’t one to one scores, ie. if you get one answer right it doesn’t count as 1 mark. Instead, GAMSAT multiple-choice scoring makes use of a system called Item Response Theory (IRT). There is a lot of hard mathematics behind this, which of course we’re not going to go into but here are the basics of how it works:
Each question is given a set of parameters such as difficulty and guessability. These factors allow for a very mathematical evaluation of the scores against each candidates response.
Why GAMSAT is marked this way?
The exam is marked in this way as it allows the testers to keep an accurate track of the effectiveness of the questions. It allows them to see responses that might be confusing to candidates and also allow different GAMSAT tests, whether by session or country, to be fairly compared against each other. Using this also increases the chances that a person with a given ability will answer correctly. Guess work is reduced with, for example, candidates with higher science ability more likely to get a science question right.