New GMAT Section Announced


There’s big news from the GMAC.

Perhaps because they are feeling the competition as more schools begin to accept the GRE, the GMAC has announced that it will add a new section to the test called Integrated Reasoning.

According to the GMAC, this new section is designed to measure people’s ability to evaluate information from multiple sources.  It was created with a goal of making the GMAT ever more relevant to business school. The GMAC has been polling faculty at business schools for the past four years, and this new development stems directly from their feedback.

The Integrated Reasoning section, writes BusinessWeek, will involve analyzing charts and data points, and even include audio. It will last 30 minutes and replace one of the current essays (the AWA.) The total exam will remain three and a half hours long, and the AWA and Integrated Reasoning sections will be graded separately from the quantitative and verbal portions of the test.

So what does this mean for GMAT test-takers?

Chris Ryan, our director of product and instructor development, noted that because this new section will not affect the main section of the test, GMAT-takers should not worry about huge differences.  Students should continue to focus most on the verbal and math portions of the test.

While the Integrated Reasoning section may give the GRE’s data interpretation section a run for its money, Chris sees it as a smart move on the GMAC’s part to integrate what could be quite similar to a mini business case.

As for admissions, Chris believes that because members of the business school faculty were instrumental in suggesting and implementing the change, the new Integrated Reasoning section may take a higher place than the AWA, but the unchanged verbal and math sections will still be the most important parts.

Students do not have to feel like it’s going to change the preparation for the test all that much, said Chris Ryan.

For more information, check out these articles:

GMAC press release

BusinessWeek: The GMAT Gets a Makeover

Financial Times: GMAT revamp focuses on reasoning

Inside Higher Ed: Multiple Task Questions

Bloomberg: GMAT Test for Business School Has Biggest Change in Decade

  1. Carola Steimle June 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm

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  2. Frederick Benny June 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Any idea how this will effect the people who have give the GMAT this year (before this new section is rolled out) but apply after 2 years (after this new section is integrated) ? Would B-Schools have any qualms regarding such candidates?