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GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section to Debut in June 2012

A 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section will be added to the Graduate Management Admission Test assessing the ability to assimilate information from multiple sources to solve complex problems. The section, featuring question types that require test takers to generate solutions as well as simply select correct answers, will measure key skills for 21st century business students identified by business school faculty around the world. The Next Generation GMAT makes its debut June 4, 2012.

Like the current version of the test, the Next Generation GMAT does not test business knowledge or terminology, and test takers do not have to have a business background to do well. But the new question types may require students to make interpret graphically presented data, as well as sort spreadsheet-like tables.

“The new integrated reasoning section of the GMAT will be a microcosm of today’s b-school classroom,” said Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. “These questions will provide critical intelligence to schools about the ability of prospective students to make sound decisions by evaluating, assimilating or extrapolating data.”

As with previous versions of the exam, the Graduate Management Admission Council consulted leading business school faculty throughout the test development process. The most recent survey of 740 business faculty worldwide in 2009 revealed that they believed incoming students needed to assimilate, interpret, and convert data, evaluate outcomes, and listen. The Next Generation GMAT, now being pilot tested, will measure specific skills that modern graduate business programs demand, such as:

  • To assimilate and integrate information from multiple sources to solve complex problems
  • To accurately interpret visual and tabular data representations
  • To determine or estimate probability and statistics

To add the Integrated Reasoning section while retaining the four-hour length, the Next Generation GMAT will streamline the analytical writing assessment section of the exam. Admission directors have told GMAC, and recent research has shown, that the Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument scores are highly correlated, meaning one essay is sufficient in providing the predictive value.

Score reports for the Next Generation GMAT will include a separate score for Integrated Reasoning. Score reports will include individual scores for the Quantitative, Verbal, Analytical Writing Assessment, and Integrative Reasoning sections, with the total score incorporating only the Verbal and Quantitative scores.

As the only international admissions exam for business schools, by business schools, the GMAT exam has a long history of setting the standard for measuring the academic skills needed for graduate-level management education. Although the exam evolves continually, the Graduate Management Admission Council considers the current version the ninth version since a consortium of business schools joined together to administer the Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business 2,957 times in 1954.

The current GMAT exam is the only graduate-level management test administered exclusively in computer adaptive format worldwide, at more than 530 test centers around the world. The Next Generation GMAT exam will embrace state-of-the art security measures, such as biometric identification at test centers, which have made the GMAT exam a world leader in exam security. The new version of the exam will launch in June 2012 to coordinate with the admissions cycle of graduate business schools around the world.

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