I’m befuddled.

Point system needs better explanation

Points.

I believe Smarterer is a great concept, yet in its fledgling stage.

One thing that concerns me is that it seems the point/scale system is arbitrarily placed. Some questions deduct no points for wrong answers, others, hundreds of points. I believe there should be a standardization of the point system across the board so there aren't "Experts" after answering 3-4 questions, and then back to "Beginner" after another 2-3 questions. Seems too drastic. Thoughts?
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  • Hi there,

    It's definitely confusing, especially given the current interface. (We did have a "tutorial" mode that explained the concepts of our scoring system, but it's being overhauled at the moment.)

    The main factor to understand is that we have an adaptive scoring system: The score you see on your badge represents how well you've done relative to other users who have taken the test (similar to the SAT or GMAT). It's less a case of individual questions, and more of how many other users scored better or worse than you have, so far.

    The questions themselves are also undergoing a similar ranking system; Rather than being defined as "easy", "medium", or "hard", questions have a "level" of their own based on the skill of the users who have answered them, correctly or incorrectly. The system tries to match you with questions appropriate to your skill level, but in general, it's more rewarding to get Hard questions correct, and worse for your score to get Easy questions wrong.

    Since anyone can add questions, there's also a "Nursery" system, wherein new questions won't deduct points from your score until they've been "proven", by having been answered a certain number of times without negative feedback. (This is where those "Great" and "Not So Good" buttons come into play; We also take the answering User's skill level into account.)

    This can lead to some dramatic ups and downs; It can be easy to score better than half the population, especially on a new test, but it's extremely hard to score better than 99% of the population (which is what you need to do in order to reach an 800), and at higher levels of skill, a single mistake can make a big difference in your ranking.

    It can be frustrating to do poorly on a test, but since new questions are being added daily, there's always a chance to "catch up" later, by answering more questions, or authoring (or helping to moderate) new content... That last part, especially, is something we're working on hard to improve right now.

    Thanks,

    - Dave
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  • Yikes, that's a mouthful.

    Gotcha. I guess I should have done some readin' before I went to typin'. :)

    Thanks for responding (and taking the time to do so).
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  • Glad to help!

    While we have some documentation pages, I have to agree that it would be even better if the Test itself could explain some of these concepts, as you were using it... That's definitely something we want to get back into as we continue to revise our interface.

    Thanks,

    - Dave
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