Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Evaluating the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section

GMAT's new Integrated Reasoning section is now a regular pat of the GMAT test. How will MBA programs evaluate your result?  The consensus seems to be that school admissions officers will continue relying on what they know well - the verbal, quantitative and AWA sections, to determine your academic potential, although by no means is every school disregarding the new section.  Read on through a short series of links to see what exactly schools are saying about the integrated reasoning section.

First, courtesy of ClearAdmit.com, a short refresher on what the test is and how it is scored:

Now - how will schools be evaluating this new IR section?

The Stanford GSB admissions team wrote pretty directly that they will see the IR score, but will focus on the verbal, quant and AWA sections as they evaluate your candidacy.  After reviewing IR scores throughout this admissions year, they'll consider how to evaluate it for the next year:

Poets&Quants, a portal to MBA applicants that provides high-level interviews, trends, analyses and information, recently offered this article on the Integrated Reasoning Section noting that several other school seems to be echoing Stanford's stance:

In the article, INSEAD and Kellogg are mentioned.  Here's what each has to say about the GMAT IR.

In INSEAD's admissions pages, they summarized the changes to the GMAT, and then in a series of FAQs noted that they will not be using IR scores until they are able to benchmark a candidate's score against a meaningful pool of applicants:

Kellogg notes that while the IR section will provide an additional number, the numbers which provide them with a more consistent evaluation are the other sections of the GMAT:

On a counterpoint, at The GMAT Project, they have summarized a GMAC (GMAT maker) twitter chat with admissions staff from both Wharton and the London School of Business.  According to the article, both schools will consider the IR section, though they won't consider it more important that any other part of the application:

Summary and Conclusions:

As you may anticipate, do your best on this new section.  Some schools state they will consider the numbers, and others don't, but the one thing we do know is that every school to which you apply will have your IR section score. So, as with anything else in your application, make sure it is as good as possible to help your chances of getting admitted to your top choice program.

John Couke