Integrated Reasoning

In the Studio answers questions about Integrated Reasoning

These episodes of In the Studio with GMAC feature questions and answers about the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT Exam.

Scoring Guide

In our inaugural edition of In the Studio with GMAC, Ashok Sarathy responds to requests from schools for a scoring guide for the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT exam. We’ll delve into other topics important to business schools during future shows.


Key highlights from this video:

  • GMAC has not published a score interpretation guide for Integrated Reasoning scores because this section of the GMAT—like the verbal and quantitative sections— measures a test taker’s ability objectively, based on the number and difficulty level of questions answered correctly or incorrectly. In essence, there are right and wrong answers. By contrast, the Analytical Writing Assessment, which has a score interpretation guide, is a descriptive response, and scores are based on judgment.
  • GMAT Integrated Reasoning measures a test taker’s ability to synthesize information from multiple sources, then manipulate and organize that information to solve complex problems and estimate likely outcomes. IR scores range from one to eight, and schools can divide these scores into bands that reflect the test taker’s facility with these skills.
IR Score Table

What questions are asked during this episode of In the Studio with GMAC?

  • How should schools interpret Integrated Reasoning scores? 00:49
  • Why can't schools receive a score interpretation guide, like the one for the analytical writing section? 1:51
  • What is the difference between a norm reference scale and a criterion reference score scale? 2:15
  • Is there one final piece of advice you can give admissions committees with regard to Integrated Reasoning scoring and selection this year? 4:57

If you have a question you’d like us to answer—or just want to share a comment or suggestion—send it to us here.

Receiving Score Reports

In this edition, Ashok Sarathy, vice president of the GMAT program, explains why it is taking longer than before for schools to receive Official GMAT Score Reports.


Key highlights from this video:

  • The introduction of the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT exam has temporarily increased the amount of time it takes for Official GMAT Score Reports to be sent to schools. This is because GMAC does not yet have enough data on test taker performance on the IR section to adjust for differences in difficulty between questions in advance, a process called pre-equating.
  • GMAC has always advised schools that it could take up to 20 days for Official GMAT Score Reports to be ready. But prior to the launch of the IR section, score reports were typically available in as little as five or six days because of pre-equating.
  • GMAC expects to be able to deliver score reports more quickly beginning in the second half of 2013, when enough data about test taker performance on the IR section should be available to permit a return to pre-equating.

What questions are asked during this episode of In the Studio with GMAC?

  • Why is it taking longer for schools to receive Official Score Reports since the launch of Integrated Reasoning? 0:40
  • Why is Integrated Reasoning different from the Verbal and Quantitative sections in terms of score reporting? 1:26
  • How long until GMAC is back to producing score reports quickly? 2:00

Validity

In this edition, Ashok Sarathy, vice president of the GMAT program, discusses the validity of the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT exam.


Key highlights from this video:

  • In surveying faculty and conducting a series of comprehensive pilot studies, GMAC has established both “content” and “construct” validity for the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT exam. “Predictive” validity will be determined once a sufficient number of test takers with IR scores have matriculated into management programs.
  • Schools should encourage test takers to give their best effort on the Integrated Reasoning section, as that will provide the most accurate picture of “Predictive” validity.
  • Initial data from testing is demonstrating that Integrated Reasoning can be a valuable data point in admissions.

What questions are asked during this episode of In the Studio with GMAC?

  • When will Integrated Reasoning be part of the validity studies? 0:38
  • Are there any tools provided to schools until a validity study is available? 2:10

Data

In the fourth edition of In the Studio with GMAC, Ashok Sarathy, vice president of the GMAT program, explains what the data about people's performance on the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT Exam are showing.


Key highlights from this video:

  • Data from test taker performance on the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT exam demonstrate that, as intended, the IR section measures a distinct set of skills. There is only a modest correlation between how well people do on this section and the scores they earn on the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam.
  • The IR section provides another data point for schools to use when evaluating applicants. Test takers who score highly on the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam may not do as well on other parts of the exam, which can help differentiate applicants who otherwise may appear to be very much alike. 
  • The addition of the IR section to the GMAT exam does not affect the way test taker scores on the other sections of the exam are reported—smoothing the way for admissions officers to compare applicants who have IR scores with those who took the GMAT exam before the IR section was introduced in June 2012.

What questions are asked during this episode of In the Studio with GMAC?

  • Are Integrated Reasoning data revealing anything that may be useful to application committees as they evaluate prospective students? 0:41
  • Does Integrated Reasoning seem to be measuring similar skills as the Verbal and Quantitative sections? 1:14
  • How is it evident that Integrated Reasoning is evaluating new skills? How will this be most obvious to admissions directors and committees as they are reviewing applications? 2:18
  • In light of the fact some students have Integrated Reasoning scores and some do not, how do you advise schools to use Integrated Reasoning scores in this cycle? 3:11

Band Reports

In the fifth edition of In the Studio with GMAC, Ashok Sarathy, vice president of the GMAT program, explains how Integrated Reasoning can enhance the business school admissions process. 


Key highlights from this video:

  • GMAC will provide customized IR Band Reports that show the distribution of IR scores sent to a particular program within a certain Total Score range. A sample IR Band Report for the range of Total Scores from 600-640 is shown below:

    Integrated Reasoning Score Distribution

  • If you are interested in accessing your customized IR Band Report, please send an email to gmatprogram@gmac.com. In your email please specify the program for which you are interested in an IR Band Report as well as the Total Score range. We need a minimum of 30 scores within that range to produce a report.
  • GMAC is conducting concurrent validity studies that involve current second-year MBA students taking a 30 minute IR section. GMAC will provide participating schools with a comprehensive report that, depending on the number of student participants, will include the average IR score for your program, aggregate IR scores by undergraduate major, pre-MBA industry and job function, post-MBA industry, and career choice. The report will also correlate IR scores with academic performance. If you are interested in participating in a concurrent validity study, please send an email to gmatprogram@gmac.com.

What questions are asked in this episode of In the Studio with GMAC?

  • Data from Integrated Reasoning are showing that this section is measuring different skills than the Verbal and Quantitative sections. What is GMAC doing to help admission committees harness this new data point when deciding which applicants to admit? 0:50
  • Do we know anything about Integrated Reasoning performance and how well students actually succeed in the business school classroom? 2:04
  • How can schools help with validating the Integrated Reasoning section? 3:04