As we discussed a few months ago, most schools are still determining how to use IR during the admissions process. A recent US News article reports on a new survey just released by Kaplan; the survey lends broader support to the anecdotal reports that we’ve been hearing from individual schools.
Kaplan surveyed 265 business schools, including 17 of the top 25, to find out how they’ve been using IR so far. A little over half are still figuring out what to do with the score, while roughly ¼ of the respondents indicated that they already consider IR important. Even in that last category, though, the schools are still determining how much emphasis to place on IR. US News spoke with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and while she does consider IR important, she also indicated that they’re still figuring out exactly how to use the scores in the absence of well-established historical data. In a nutshell: people aren’t quite sure yet what the data means or how much of an impact it should have on admissions.
Expect all of this to begin changing next year. Assuming that the data eventually establishes that the IR section does actually identify strong business school candidates, the schools will likely begin using IR more seriously during the 2013 admissions season (for those who are hoping to enter a program beginning in 2014). How heavily will IR weigh in the admissions decision? We won’t know that until we start to have better analyses of how useful the score is; if it turns out to be a strong predictor of b-school success, then IR is rapidly going to become a very important part of the GMAT.