All of us have known for a while that there is a substantial penalty for not completing either or both the sections in the GMAT test.
I have provided a simplified version of how the penalty works – based on the inputs received from the GMAT Test Prep Conference held on Dec 9, 2011 @ Gurgaon.
Let us say I attempt 34 out of the 37 questions in the GMAT Quant section. And to make things simple, let us assume that I have got all the questions correct. This gives us an interim score, which, let us say is equivalent to a Q46. Since, I have skipped 3 out of 37 questions, this interim score gets further adjusted.
Let us see how this adjustment happens. I have skipped 3 out of the 37 questions in the quant section. i.e., 8.1% of the questions in the quant section or I have attempted 91.9% of the questions. I will attract a penalty of 8.1% and my score will get multiplied with this percent of questions attempted. That is, after applying the penalty for skipping questions, my adjusted score after the penalty will be 91.9% of 46 = 42.
It clearly points to the fact that – even if I had attempted and marked something for 35th to the 37th question, even after assuming that none of the last 3 answers were correct, I would have retained my score of 46 without attracting any penalty. Skipping questions gets you a double penalty – you lose marks for not attempting these, and the overall score gets scaled down to reflect percentage of attempts. So, anyone taking the GMAT, please do not skip even a single question.