Graduate Management News

October 2014

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

IR Scores Help Predict Success in Business School

With more and more applicants submitting IR scores, many schools are considering how best to use this relatively new piece of information.

Integrated Reasoning

With more and more applicants submitting IR scores, many schools are considering how best to use this relatively new piece of information. Some schools have suggested using IR scores as a tie-breaker, but consider this: How alike do applications need to be for them to be considered ‘tied’? Through GMAC validity research, schools are given a technical way they can sort through the stack of unresolved applications based on previous applicants and students from their programs. 

For instance, consider the graphs below, which come from the data of two schools who conducted validity studies this year. The proportions of each admission factor indicate the weights that yield the best prediction of student performance in that program. Because the weights are based on actual student data, they differ for each program. Now, consider two different applicants: Applicant X has an exceptional Verbal score, but the other scores are average, while Applicant Y has an exceptional IR score with the other scores average. Which applicant will do better in the program? Based on the graphs, Applicant X would do well in Program A, but probably not as well in Program B, while Applicant Y would do well in Program B, but not as well in Program A.

Program A and Program B

Graphs such as these can help break the ties, and can also help schools see the value of IR for their programs. Although the relative weights differ, the graphs above also show that IR adds unique information to prediction of success that is not already explained by the other factors. 

Learn more about IR validity and how your program should use this information.