Future MBA students will soon have an additional section to study for, as the Graduate Management Admission Test has introduced a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning Section from June 5.
The IR section will consist of four question types: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis and multisource reasoning.
Why the Changes to the GMAT Exam?
The way we conduct business and the way we teach business change over time. For more than 50 years, the GMAT exam has kept pace with these changes to help schools find the right students, and help students find the right schools.
The skills being tested by the Integrated Reasoning section were identified in a survey of 740 management faculty worldwide as important for today’s incoming students. The Integrated Reasoning score will provide a new data point for schools to find the right candidates for their programs, and for you to stand out.
The new section is intended to gauge how well applicants can handle the more data-driven courses that business schools have been introducing as preparation for complicated problems in the real world.
“These are skills that businesses have said that they want,” said Bob Ludwig, spokesperson for the Graduate Management Admission Council, which produces the GMAT. “In the information age, if you don’t do data you don’t do business.
There’s an emphasis more and more on data analysis in everything from marketing to manufacturing … it makes sense that they would want students that have these skills.”
Scoring of the exam will remain the same, with a combined score for the quantitative and verbal sections and a separate writing score. The IR section will be scored separately on a 1-8 scale. Because data for placing students in percentiles for the IR section is currently unavailable, GMAC will be updating IR percentiles on a more frequent, monthly basis, rather than the rest of the exam’s three and a half year rolling average, Ludwig said.
Revised GMAT Exam Format
The GMAT exam, now with Integrated Reasoning, will remain 3 hours, 30 minutes (four hours with breaks). The Analytical Writing Assessment will be streamlined from two 30-minute essays to one Analysis of an Argument essay. Immediately after the essay question, the Integrated Reasoning section will start. Test takers will have optional breaks before and after the Quantitative sections.
If you have started preparing for the GMAT or are planning to, make sure you spend decent amount of time for the IR section. If you have any questions, please leave your comments below.