Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 23, 2012

GMAT Essentials You Need to Know

The Graduate Management Admission Council has revised their GMAT, so that it will go into effect by June 5, 2012.  I am sure many of you are familiar with the new Integrated Reasoning section that they are adding to the GMAT.  They have added this section in order to better test applicants on their reaction to real-world challenges that they face every day in today’s business environment.  The Official GMAT Website has an informative section about the new GMAT, along with videos, and the five things that you absolutely need to know.  They are listed below, along with some additional details that may be useful for you.

5 Things You Need to Know About the GMAT this June

1. Integrated Reasoning is a 30-minute section of 12 questions with a separate score.

Each prompt that the test taker is given will be a set-up for multiple questions.  If it is a narrative prompt, it will be no longer than 300 words.  Once given the prompt, the student must answer one question before going onto the next question, even if they are both regarding the same prompt.  They are also not allowed to go back to any questions once it is answered.  The prompt is made so that the questions are independent of one another so that the student doesn’t need to know one answer in order to know the next answer, which is a bonus for the student.

2. Features four new question types that let you showcase your data-handling skills.

 The question types will be one of four different formats: a graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning. Exact formats and examples are discussed further on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section, however below are overview descriptions with links to examples questions from the GMAT website.

Graphic Interpretation – Analyze the graph, and then decide which answer would make the proceeding statements accurate.

Two-Part Analysis – Solve a problem of a two-part solution by selecting two answers, one from each column.

Table Analysis – Use the table to determine whether certain statements are accurate.  The student may sort the table to organize the data in order to determine whether certain conditions are met. Each question will have statements with opposing answers.

Multi-Source Reasoning –The test taker must decide which statement is true after reviewing the information.

3. Integrated Reasoning replaces the AWA Analysis of an Issue essay.

In a survey of 740 management faculty worldwide, the skills being tested by the Integrated Reasoning section were identified as important for today’s incoming students. It gives the student the ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats and utilize skills that they need to succeed in a data-rich world.

4. Only one essay question. Quantitative and Verbal sections remain the same & so does the total score schools use.

The Analytical Writing Assessment will be streamlined from two 30-minute essays to one Analysis of an Argument essay. Right after this essay question, the Integrated Reasoning section will begin.

5. No change to the length of the exam.

It will remain a three hour and thirty minute exam, but that does not mean that the student will be able to slide by studying the same amount.  There will be more sections on the exam, so the student is most likely going to have to tack on extra hours in order to prepare for the GMAT section.

It should be noted that the Integrated Reasoning section will not be offered separately.  If you have already taken the GMAT exam but want to have an Integrated Reasoning score, you will have to retake the entire exam.

There have been some different opinions about this decision, but none that seem as controversial as the change to the upcoming 2015 MCAT from the Association of American Medical Colleges.  This is the first time the GMAT has been revised in over a decade since the change to a computer adaptive format in 1997.  I think that the GMAC should keep revising the test every so many years to keep up with the changes in practices and tools from today’s business environment. However, I do agree that it must be stressful on the test takers to prepare for a new addition to the exam, especially when they may be working a full-time job.  What do you think of adding sections to the GMAT or any other graduate test?