Graduate Management News
GMAT Transition News

Next Generation GMAT: Multi-Source Reasoning

This is the first in a series of Graduate Management News articles spotlighting the four new question formats making their debut in the GMAT exam in June 2012. Accompanying each of these articles will be a short video further exploring that new question type.  Included with this first article, is also a short video introduction to Integrated Reasoning.

Introduction to Integrated Reasoning

The Next Generation GMAT exam will include a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section with new question formats to  measure skills that management professors have identified as important for incoming students to have.

Introduction to Multi-Source Reasoning

Skills tested: Multi-Source Reasoning requires test takers to assimilate data from different sources, and sometimes combine different kinds of information, to solve problems. Presented with more information than they need, test takers have to figure out what is relevant to solve problems or determine whether answer statements meet certain conditions. The information on the tabbed pages can be similar─such as the three emails in the question example─or different. Multi-Source Reasoning items can require verbal or quantitative reasoning skills, or both. Questions may require inductive or deductive reasoning.               

Description: Each Multi-Source Reasoning prompt presents data on two or three tabbed pages on the left side of the computer screen. Test takers click on the tabs to examine the information and figure out what data they need to answer the questions, which are presented on the right side of the screen.

The data presented on the tabbed pages may be text, tables, graphics, or some combination of these. The data may relate to each other, but each tabbed page will offer some different information. Questions may be yes-no or multiple choice, each with just one correct answer. The same Multi-Source Reasoning prompt may be used to answer more than one question.

Why relevant: As technological advances have allowed the production of more data, and more types of data, the ability to integrate different types of information and information from different sources and  figure out what is necessary to solve specific problems has become increasingly important. The case study approach used by many management programs relies heavily on this skill, as does real decision-making in the business world.

Quote: “As we deal with information overload, the ability to discern what is relevant and what is not relevant is critical. Multi-Source Reasoning addresses this aspect of problem-solving, which is becoming even more important in an intensely competitive and rapidly changing global business environment.

“MBA programs in general develop students’ ability to view decisions from different viewpoints by integrating information and data from multiple sources.  In Operations Management specifically, we ask students to consider both qualitative and quantitative information to make operations run effectively and efficiently.”

─ Vinod Singhal, Brady Family Professor of Operations Management and Associate Dean for MBA Programs, Georgia Institute of Technology   

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