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Communicating With Students About the Next Generation GMAT

GMAT test takers may schedule an exam six months in advance, so questions may arise about which version of the exam to take—the current version, or the Next Generation GMAT exam with the Integrated Reasoning section, launching June 5, 2012. It is likely that candidates may direct questions to you: What’s on the new test? How is the scoring changing? Should I take it now or later?

GMAC is providing the following information to schools to assist in answering questions you may encounter. GMAC has developed a student-focused video and FAQs that address many common questions and explain to test takers and potential applicants, the purpose, origin and value of Integrated Reasoning as a new section of the GMAT exam. If you find them useful, please feel free to post this information on your admissions websites.

For more on how to embed the video on your admissions website, go to the Next Generation GMAT Information Center.

What’s new on the test?

The Next Generation GMAT exam will feature a 30 minute Integrated Reasoning section, which measures your ability to analyze data presented in different formats and from multiple sources. The new section will have 12 questions in four new formats, which will involve interpreting graphics, using the computer to sort tables, combining data from different sources, and solving complex problems.

Why wait until June 5 to take the GMAT exam?

The Next Generation GMAT exam, available on June 5, will give you one more score to help differentiate yourself from other applicants by demonstrating, objectively, skills that management faculty say today’s incoming management students need.

Is the Next Generation GMAT exam harder than the current exam?

Harder? No. Different? Yes. The Integrated Reasoning section of the new GMAT exam replaces one of the two 30-minute essays, so it will be the same length as it is now. The new section measures your ability to analyze data in different formats and from different sources, a skill that management faculty say incoming students need and that all of us do, to varying degrees, every day on the job or in undergraduate studies. The new section includes four new question formats, so you should make sure you’re familiar with the formats before you sit for the exam.

How is the scoring changing?

The Quantitative, Verbal, and Total Scores are not changing, and the Analytical Writing Assessment score will remain separate but be based on one 30-minute essay rather than two. Like the AWA, the Integrated Reasoning will have a separate score and will not figure into the total score, which is based only on your performance on the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam). The score scale for the new Integrated Reasoning will be announced in April.

Should I take the GMAT exam now, or should I take it after June?

You should take the test when you’re ready. The GMAT exam is a timed test that includes question formats that you may not have seen on other standardized tests. You should be familiar with the question formats and the pacing required to finish the exam before you sit for the test, whether that is before or after June 5, 2012. Keep in mind that most of the test is not changing, including the Quantitative and Verbal sections, which count toward your Total Score.

When will Integrated Reasoning test prep materials be available?

The new GMATPrep™ software, with free practice exams, as well as the Official Guide to GMAT® Review, 13th Edition (available through the MBA.com store), will be available in April. An updated GMAT Information Bulletin addressing both versions of the test is available on mba.com, and a printed version with the new score scale will be published in April. You can find the most up-to-date information about the Next Generation GMAT exam, including videos and interactive examples of the new question formats, at mba.com/nextgen.

If I have taken the GMAT before, could I take the Integrated Reasoning section without taking the rest of the test?

No.  The Integrated Reasoning section will not be offered separately, so if you have already taken the GMAT exam but want to have an Integrated Reasoning score, you will have to retake the exam. Official Score Reports will continue to provide all scores from the past five years.

How long will it take to get Next Generation GMAT scores?

Official Score Reports will be available within 20 days after the test date. GMAC has promised a 20-day score report turnaround for many years, but over the past few years, test takers and programs have experienced a quicker turnaround. With the launch of the Next Generation GMAT exam, GMAC continues to promise a 20-day score report turnaround, and test takers and schools will most likely experience a turnaround closer to the 20-day time frame. As usual, you should test well in advance of any application deadlines.

For more information, go to gmac.com/nextgen (schools) or mba.com/nextgen (students).

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