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June 2012

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GMAT Exam Integrates New Reasoning Section

Following three years of development, a worldwide survey of 740 faculty, and research testing involving more than 44,000 test takers around the world, the GMAT exam with Integrated Reasoning launched worldwide on Tuesday, June 5.

“The information age is demanding a new set of skills that require the integration of verbal and quantitative abilities to analyze different types of data from various sources. The new section on the GMAT measures these skills, which have become essential for success in the classroom and in the business world,” said Dave Wilson, GMAC president and CEO.

Using the exam’s computerized format, the new Integrated Reasoning section introduces four innovative question types that measure data-analysis skills and the ability to evaluate data from various sources and formats, such as graphs, tables, charts, and spreadsheets. The 30-minute section features 12 questions and is scored on a scale of 1 to 8. Performance on the IR section does not contribute to the GMAT Total score.

The skills being measured were identified as important for incoming students to have by a worldwide survey of 740 management faculty. Throughout the test development, test takers, schools, and employers universally stressed the section’s relevance and importance for management study. Nearly 70 percent of pilot test takers surveyed in January thought the skills Integrated Reasoning skills tested are either relevant or very relevant to both graduate management education and the corporate environment. And 97 percent of the 636 corporate recruiters surveyed worldwide for GMAC’s 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey said that Integrated Reasoning skills were important in new hires.

“For us it's about leadership potential,” said Rich Lyons, dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “The Integrated Reasoning section will make us better at identifying it. This type of reasoning is an important input to innovative leadership, which our businesses and societies need more than ever.”

The addition of Integrated Reasoning is the most significant change to the GMAT exam since 1997, when the test became the first high-stakes test to be offered exclusively in the computer adaptive format worldwide. Yet it is just the latest innovation to help meet the needs of business and management programs since the Admissions Test for Graduate Study of Business was launched in 1954.

“The GMAT has a more than 50-year track record as a reliable and proven predictor of success in management programs,” said Larry Rudner, vice president of research and development and chief psychometrician. “With the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section, the GMAT exam is an even more relevant tool to help schools evaluate talent.”

As business and management programs around the world start receiving scores for the GMAT exam with Integrated Reasoning, the Graduate Management Admission Council will continue to help admissions professionals understand, use, and interpret the scores. More information about the exam, including videos, sample questions, handouts, and FAQs, is available at gmac.com/ir. In addition, free webinars for schools professionals are being held through August and will also be archived on gmac.com.

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