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Survey Reveals Admissions Officers' Take on New GMAT Section
By Chris Hassan
In August 2012, the Graduate Management Admission Council introduced the Integrated Reasoning section to the GMAT. This 30-minute section was added so that management school faculty would have a better sense of which candidates displayed integrated reasoning skills, which according to GMAC's website, will be valuable in technologically advanced work environments.
As this section is still relatively new, prospective Master of Business Administration students may wonder just how much their performance on Integrated Reasoning questions matters in the admissions process. Based on the results of a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey, the answer is not much.
Too Early to Tell
Between July and September, 152 admissions officers from U.S. business schools shared their thoughts with Kaplan Test Prep, according to a press release. In terms of the Integrated Reasoning section's importance, 54% of respondents were unsure. Meanwhile, 24% said the new section was not important, while 22% said it was.
"It's not surprising that a majority of business schools are not currently placing too much importance on the Integrated Reasoning section, since it makes sense they'd want to gather performance data on a new section before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process," said Lee Weiss, executive director of pre-business programs at Kaplan Test Prep.
It Still Matters
Even if many business school admissions officers are undecided about the weight they will give Integrated Reasoning scores, Kaplan Test Prep still advises applicants to take the section seriously.
"Moving forward, business schools may decide that Integrated Reasoning should play a more critical role," Weiss said. "In the meantime, prospective MBA students should not take Integrated Reasoning any less seriously than the Quantitative or Verbal sections. It still matters."
Weiss added that GMAT scores are usable for up to five years. As a result, many business school applicants submitted scores from before the Integrated Reasoning section was introduced. Once all GMAT results feature scores from this section, admissions officers should begin to form more informed opinions.
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