Know the Next Generation GMAT with Integrated Reasoning Section

 | November 22,2012 11:43 pm IST

The GMAT exam has introduced a new section designed to measure candidates ability to convert data from multiple sources and in different formats into relevant information to solve problems. The newly introduced Integrated Reasoning section will measure skills identified as important for incoming students to have based on a survey of 740 management faculty worldwide.


The Integrated Reasoning Section will mostly comprise of:
Synthesizing data presented in graphics, text, and numbers
Converting data from multiple sources into meaningful information
Organizing information to see relationships and solve multiple, interrelated problems
Combining and manipulating data from one or more sources to solve complex problems


Innovative Question Formats


 Multi-Source Reasoning: Different data from two or three tabbed pages must be used to answer questions.




Two-Part Analysis: Solutions involve two components, and possible answers will be in a table format with a column for each component.



Graphics Interpretation: Graphs or graphical images must be interpreted to fill in the blanks of answer statements accurately.


Table Analysis: A sortable table, similar to a spreadsheet, has to be analyzed to determine whether statements are accurate.


Test Structure And Scores
The GMAT exam will remain 3 hours, 30 minutes (approximately four hours with breaks).
The GMAT Verbal, Quantitative, AWA, and Total scores will not change.
The Analytical Writing Assessment will consist of one 30-minute essay (Analysis of an Argument) rather than two.
The 12-question Integrated Reasoning section will immediately follow the essay.
You will receive a separate Integrated Reasoning score, on a scale of 1-8, in single-digit intervals. As with the AWA, your performance on the Integrated Reasoning section will not count toward your Total score.


CoolAvenues spoke to Mr. Ashok Sarathy, vice-president, GMAT programme, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) about the new format of GMAT:


Q: Why is Integrated Reasoning being added?
Since 1953, the GMAT exam has been developed for business schools, by business schools, and it has evolved along with their needs. In a 2009 survey, 740 management faculty worldwide indicated that Integrated Reasoning skills are a prerequisite for 21st century management students.


Q: How is the scoring changing?
The Quantitative, Verbal, and Total scores are not changing, and the Analytical Writing Assessment score will remain separate but be based on one 30-minute essay rather than two. Like the AWA, the Integrated Reasoning will have a separate score and will not figure into the Total score, which is based only on candidates performance on the Quantitative and Verbal sections. Integrated Reasoning scores will range from 1 to 8 in single-digit intervals.


Q: How long will it take to get Next Generation GMAT scores?
Official Score Reports will be available within 20 days after the test date. Candidates are encouraged to test well in advance of program deadlines.


Q: Why is the writing section being streamlined?
Admissions directors have said, and recent research has shown, that most test takers get similar scores on both essays, making a single essay acceptable for predicting performance.


Q: Will the Next Generation GMAT exam allow calculator use?
An online calculator with basic functions will be available for Integrated Reasoning, but not for the Quantitative section. Candidates will not be allowed to bring calculators into the testing room.


Q: Is the new section computer adaptive?
No, but it is timed, and pacing is important. You may not skip questions.


Q: Should one take the GMAT exam now, or should it be taken after June?
One should take the test when theyre ready. The GMAT exam is a timed test that includes question formats that one may not have seen on other standardized tests. A candidate should be familiar with the question formats and the pacing required to finish the exam before he/she sit for the test, whether that is before or after June 5, 2012.

One should keep in mind that most of the test is not changing, including the Quantitative and Verbal sections, which count toward the Total score.


Q: Is the Next Generation GMAT exam harder than the current exam?
A: Harder? No. Different? Yes. The new section measures a candidates ability to analyze data in different formats and from different sources, a skill that management faculty say incoming students need and that all of us do, to varying degrees, every day on the job or in undergraduate studies. The new section includes four new question formats, so one should make sure theyre familiar with the formats before they sit for the exam.