Needless to say, it felt weird to not have the low-down on the current state of one of the most important parts of the MBA application. Thank goodness for the presence of outside parties who can stay more up-to-date on these things than I do.
Fortunately, Ellie Jesse from the team at HowToMBA.com was able to come through in the clutch and provide a quick summary of the updated version of the GMAT. Her organization stays in the know about a range of topics related to MBA admissions and, when she reached out to me, I immediately knew where she could provide value to my audience. Based on her summary below, it sounds like the new Integrated Reasoning section could be a big thing for future test takers to focus on during their preparations. Good thing I got the GMAT out of the way over 10 years ago.
I’d like to send a huge “thank you” shout out to HowToMBA.com for contributing this article and I look forward to additional content contributions from them in the future.
Things You Need to Know About the New GMAT
By Ellie Jesse, HowToMBA.com
Standardized testing is par for the course with almost any advanced academic or professional study. Graduate programs in the arts and sciences use the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), just as the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exists for students seeking entry into medical school. For those hoping to earn their Master of Business Administration (MBA), there is the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). More than 5,400 programs use the test as part of their admissions requirements, and while most prospective students taking the GMAT are interested in an MBA, others take it for finance, accounting and other programs that are related more broadly to the business field.
Developed in 1953, the test has understandably gone through many changes since then to accommodate new developments in business as well as to test skills that are emerging as significant to a student’s managerial acumen. The GMAT recently underwent yet another round of revisions. Here is a summary of a few of the most significant changes:
The most significant change to the test is the inclusion of an Integrated Reasoning section. This section, which accompanies the standard Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections, will have interactive questions for which test takers must interpret data from multiple sources. The goal of this section is to judge students’ capacity to solve complex business problems with insufficient information or information from multiple sources. Test takers will be allotted 30 minutes to complete this new section.
From Two Essays to One
Due to the inclusion of the Integrated Reasoning Section, test takers will only be required to write one essay during the Analytical Writing portion of the exam. Test takers will have the same amount of time on this section as they do on Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes).
Changes to Scoring
While the Verbal and Quantitative sections will be scored the same as they have been in the past (from 0 to 60), the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections will be scored separately. The Analytical Writing scores range from 0 to 6, and the Integrated Reasoning scores range from 0 to 8. Despite the fact that test takers will receive separate scores for both of these sections, they will still only be capable of scoring between 200 and 800 on the test as a whole.
No Changes to Length
Despite the inclusion of the new Integrated Reasoning section, the total length of the test will remain the same, at three and a half hours. The full breakdown is as follows: 30 minutes for the Analytical Writing question, 30 minutes for Integrated Reasoning, 75 minutes on the Quantitative section and 75 minutes on the Verbal section. Good luck!
Ellie Jesse is the content coordinator for HowToMBA.com, a site dedicated to providing objective, expert advice in order to help students find the right MBA program, get accepted, and pay for their MBA. In the past, Ellie has worked on marketing campaigns for several major retail brands and blogs for several career sites such as Experience.com. You can connect with Ellie on Twitter or LinkedIn!