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How The GMAT Is Changing In June 2012

In an announcement made last year, the GMAC told test-takers that on June 5, 2012, the GMAT will change its format to include a new section called Integrated Reasoning. Less than three months away, the changes should be taken into account when you decide on your GMAT Test Date.

Why the change? According to the GMAT, these changes were developed as the direct result of a 2009 survey of 740 business school faculty. The results from the survey led the GMAC to conclude that prospective MBA students needed to interpret different types of information, convert data between formats, and understand outcomes, so a new section, Integrated Reasoning, was developed.

The Integrated Reasoning section is a new 30 minute section that tests a mixture of Verbal and Quantitative skills. It’s most similar to data interpretation and data analysis, although can have elements of reading comprehension and word problems.  They are Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Multi-Source Reasoning, and Two-Part Analysis. While there isn’t a great deal of information yet available on these new questions, you can see examples of each question type from GMAC here:

Another feature of the new Integrated Reasoning section is its lack of adaptability. The Verbal and Quant will still be adaptive sections, but the new section will present questions independent of your ability to answer them. You will be required to answer all questions (as you currently must do on Verbal/Quant), and you will not be able to skip around within the section.

Luckily the Verbal and Quantitative sections as they currently exist will be unaffected. The content tested in each and the question-types (RC, CR, SC, DS, and PS) will remain consistent. They will be scored in the same way, so all older prep material will still apply to those sections post-June 2012.

How will the new section affect the rest of the test? While the Verbal and Quantitative will remain unchanged, the Integrated Reasoning section will take the place of one of the AWA essays. That means you will only be required to write 1 essay and not 2. The essay section will take 30 minutes rather than an hour. The actual length of the entire GMAT will (thankfully!) stay the same. The total time of the test will remain 3 ½ hours, so the total time it takes to sit the GMAT will remain constant. The GMAT itself won’t be longer, or even “harder.”

In the next two months, there is likely to be even more information on Integrated Reasoning available so keep checking for more info. Currently, private companies such as Kaplan, Veritas, and Grockit have begun releasing mock questions to stimulate the IR section. If you’re nervous about the section, you can best prepare by increasing your Data Interpretation skills and working on questions with graphs, tables, and charts, as well as word problems involving rates, ratios, and percentages. The better you become at reading, analysis, and synthesizing given information, the better you’ll do on the new Integrated Reasoning section!

For more information on the changes, contact GMAC at:

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