The gateway to some of the top B-Schools in the world has just got tougher. Beginning today, the Graduate Management Admission Test popularly known as GMAT will have a new ‘Integrated Reasoning’ (IR) section that will test the candidates’ analytical skills along with their verbal and quantitative abilities.
According to the U.S. based Graduate Management Admissions Council, which conducts the exam, the IR section will require candidates to analyze information from a variety of sources and take decisions based on that information.
“The new section will judge a candidates ability to solve complex business problems with insufficient information or information from complex sources,” said Biloza Wani, faculty member, Career Launcher. This means, the section will measure a candidates ability to understand and evaluate multiple sources and types of information—graphic, verbal and numeric—as they relate to one another, use quantitative and verbal reasoning to solve complex problems and also solve multiple problems in relation to one another. It will be of 30 minute duration and include 12 questions.
“The section is somewhat similar to the logical reasoning and data interpretation included in management exams like the CAT and XAT,” said Ulhas Vairagkar, director, Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.). "There will be a lot of irrelevant data, how a student sifts the information to find the relevant part will be crucial," he said.
However the duration of the exam, about three hours and 30 minutes, remains unchanged.“This is because a candidate now has to write only one essay instead of two, as was required earlier,” said Vairagkar.
The changes in GMAT examination pattern was brought about following a survey conducted by GMAC in 2008 among faculty members from 740 business schools around the world. The respondents identified certain emerging skills as important aspect to BSchool education and in furthering the career of students.“Students will now have to practice for more hours,said Vairagkar of T.I.M.E.
“Moreover since IR section is harder than the essay it replaces and has to be taken before quanti- tative and verbal sections, the pressure on students will be higher,” he said. Coaching experts recommends that aspirants take additional 30-days to learn and practice building competency in the new area as they are likely to come under more pressure with only 2.5 minutes available per question.
Since IR is a new addition, the percentile scores for the section will be up-dated on a monthly basis till the end of 2012.
Source: Mail Today