This week the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) released its first percentile table for Integrated Reasoning scores, based on GMATs taken since June 5, when the new Integrated Reasoning section launched. As GMAC explains on the mba.com website, these percentiles will be updated monthly for the remainder of 2012. After that, Integrated Reasoning percentiles will be updated on the same schedule as percentiles for the other sections of the GMAT.
Why the frequent updating? Integrated Reasoning is still so new that every new wave of test takers can have a noticeable impact the overall pool. For the other, more established sections of the GMAT (which are taken about 300,000 times per year), percentiles will move very slowly and subtly. But, when only ten thousand or so students have taken the test, these percentile numbers may keep moving around a bit (especially as test takers become more familiar with the new section), and GMAC wants to recognize that fact by adjusting its numbers frequently.
Here is the first Integrated Reasoning score percentile chart, published by GMAC on June 25:
What the Integrated Reasoning Percentiles Mean
Let’s get back to basics for a second, just for anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with the idea of percentiles. In the above table, we see that a score of 6 would put you in the 70th percentile (70%). This means that 70% of test takers have scored below a 6 since the Integrated Reasoning section was launched. Also, notice that a perfect score of 8 is in the 94% percentile. That means that 94% of test takers scored below and 8. Said another way, 6% of test takers earned a score of 8 on the exam. (Yes, it will almost certainly be impossible to score in the 99th percentile on this part of the GMAT… The scoring scale simply isn’t granular enough.) As noted above, these numbers may shift over time, although we bet that they will stop moving significantly after the first couple of months.
So What’s a Good Integrated Reasoning Score on the GMAT?
Don’t fixate on that 6% too much! In fact, don’t stress over these numbers much at all. As we have written before, admissions officers know that score percentiles may fluctuate in the first year. And, they still need to develop their own feel for what’s a great score, what’s a bad one, and how much they should focus on your IR score. So, don’t worry about it too much yet!
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