The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has announced that those who take the GMAT between November 19 and November 24 will be among the first to see examples of the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning questions in a live test setting. This will strictly be for the purpose of evaluating the questions, and will have no bearing on students’ official GMAT scores. Anyone who completes the sample questions and fill outs a short online survey the next day will receive a $25 credit for their time.
Fortunately, even if you’re not taking the GMAT this month, you can still get a taste of how the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning questions will work. GMAC has released 10 sample Integrated Reasoning questions to get an initial read on test takers’ reactions to them. Note that these are question formats under consideration, and everything about them is subject to change. Some require you to read short passages, others have you gather information from a small spreadsheet, and others still require you to interpret a scatter plot. One question type even requires that you listen to an audio clip, rather than read a short passage.
Why all the variety? True analytical ability means much more than crunching numbers; it means being able to sort through a variety of information (delivered in any kind of format), recognize what’s going on, and pull out the insights that matter most. The more ways the test delivers information, the better it can assess your ability to truly analyze a problem and draw a correct conclusion, rather than your ability to apply a math shortcut or spot the incorrect use of an idiom in a passage. Not all of these question formats may make it to the actual new test that will debut in June, 2012, but we love that GMAC is getting so creative in making use of the computer-delivered testing format.
As we’ve written before, we love the new Integrated Reasoning question format. Why? Because it gets right at what the GMAT was designed to test: your ability to process and synthesize information. This is also a skill that MBA admissions officers — and, perhaps more importantly, potential employers — look for in their applicants. Watch the short video that accompanies this blog post to get a feel for what GMAC is going for with this new question type.
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