Refurbished GMAT Will Add A New Integrated Reasoning Section And Have One Essay Less
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Refurbished GMAT will add a new Integrated Reasoning section and have one essay less

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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used for MBA admissions by a vast majority of business schools across the world will add a new section that will test advanced reasoning skills, starting June 2012.

The new section, known as ‘Integrated Reasoning’, will feature questions that will test skills of data analysis and interpretation, the ability to form relationships between information from multiple sources and form judgments.

Even though the ‘next generation’ GMAT will add another section, the total duration of the exam will remain the same at 3.5 hours (excluding the breaks). However, the Analytical Writing section will have only one essay instead of the two in the present avatar of the exam.

The GMAT exam’s verbal and quantitative sections however, will not change. As a result, when the new section is introduced in June 2012, tests will be scored on the same 200–800 scale used today. Test takers will receive a separate score for the essay — as they do now — and another distinct score on the new integrated reasoning section. The new score would thus look like something on the lines of 800/6/X, where X would be the score of the new Integrated Reasoning section.

“The new test will be launched on June 4, 2012 at all locations worldwide and registrations will begin six months prior, as they do at present,” Ashok Sarathy , Vice President of the GMAT Program told PaGaLGuY over telephone from the US. He added that there will be no change in the price of appearing for the GMAT as a result of the test revamp.

Those joining the classes of 2013-15 at b-schools worldwide would thus be the first batch to receive admits based on the new GMAT.

The Integrated Reasoning section

According to Mr Sarathy, the new section was added after a survey of business school faculty across the world including India about the additional skills they would like tested in the GMAT.

The section will feature questions that would require test-takers to use information from multiple sources, such as charts, graphs and spreadsheets to analyze information, draw conclusions and discern relationships between data points, just as they must do in business school, he added.

A sample Integrated Reasoning question released by GMAC consists of an interactive spreadsheet listing traffic data at 21 airports across the world. Test-takers can sort columns of the spreadsheet to interpret the data from different viewpoints. Questions that follow ask the test-taker to examine a few statements based on the data and determine which ones are true. Questions may also have more than one true statements. Other types of questions would test the ability to assess the reason for, or the likelihood of certain outcomes.