Launching in June 2012, the Next Generation GMAT exam will include a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section with four new question formats, which measure skills that management professors have identified as important for incoming students to have. This is the fourth in a series of Graduate Management News articles spotlighting the new question formats, following Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, and Table Analysis.
Skills tested: Two-Part Analysis questions measure test takers’ ability to solve complex problems. The versatility of the format lends itself to a wide range of content and skills measured, including the ability to evaluate trade-offs, solve simultaneous equations, and discern relationships between two entities.
Click on the detail for an interactive example of a Two-Part Analysis question using Adobe Flash.
Description: Two-Part Analysis questions include text and solutions that have two components. Possible answers are given in a table format with a column for each component and rows with answer statements; test takers choose one answer for each column. The solution components may be dependent on each other or independent: for example, they may be combined to provide a solution, they could be two variables in a system of simultaneous equations, or they could be different rates of change, or two opinions about a particular issue. Two-Part Analysis questions cover a wide range of content and may be quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both.
Relevance: Management programs and the business world often deal with nuanced problems with multiple variables. Understanding how the components of a solution may or may not be related and evaluating trade-offs are staples of cost-benefit analyses, investing decisions, and other types of complex decision making.
"The new Two-Part Analysis question of the GMAT is testing the essential business skill of being able to think and reason at more than one level simultaneously. These questions will require weighing trade-offs and making decisions with more than one variable. The ability to make complex decisions given multiple levels of information is at the very heart of good, real-world decision making. This ability is necessary for students to do well in my classes, and more importantly is necessary for success in the business world."
Assistant professor of Decision Sciences
Graziadio School of Business and Management