Mixed Reviews for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section

A survey out on October 24, 2012 from Kaplan Test Prep says that the new GMAT integrated reasoning section is getting mixed reviews, particularly from admissions officers.

According to a recent post over at Poets & Quants blog, over half of MBA programs are unsure how scores on the GMAT integrated reasoning section will weigh in the admission process, “with 54% responding ‘Undecided’ to the question, ‘How important will a student’s Integrated Reasoning score be in your evaluation of their overall performance on the GMAT?’ 22% say IR scores will be important, while 24% say IR scores will not be important.”

The survey included responses from 265 MBA programs, including most of those in the top 25. Poets & Quants reported in August, also, that most schools would likely ignore the GMAT integrated reasoning section scores for the time being.

There are four question types found in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, including table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning and two-party analysis. Poets & Quants go on to point out that, “such question types, introduced in the new section in June, 2012, are novel compared to the formats traditionally seen on graduate school-level admissions exams such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.”

Despite this recent survey data, “the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT test, believes that most business schools will ultimately find the new section useful. ‘The GMAT has always been about building an exam that provides the highest value to students by preparing them for the demands of the classroom and the highest value to schools through the exam’s validity,’ said Ashok Sarathy, vice president for the GMAT program at GMAC. ‘The IR score is designed to be an additional data point to help schools differentiate among the most competitive applicants.’”

Only time will tell how the GMAT integrated reasoning section will ultimately impact admissions, but for now it does not seem to be a major component in the process. It is very likely, however, that in time all the best business schools in Virginia will use the score in some way, though they may not be as critical in the upcoming application round.

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