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Few Business Schools’ Admissions Decisions Hinge on GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score, Survey Finds

A majority of business school admissions officers report that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score, according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

In its 2013 survey of business school admissions officers, Kaplan found that 57 percent of MBA programs say that they do not place significant weight on the scores applicants submit for the GMAT’s new IR section, which was launched in August 2012. However, the survey did find that more than half (51 percent) of MBA programs list a low overall GMAT score as “the biggest application killer” for prospective applicants.

GMAT test takers receive a separate score for the IR section, which means that even very strong performance on other sections of the exam can’t mask poor performance on this section.

“It’s not surprising that a majority of business schools are not currently placing too much importance on the Integrated Reasoning section, since it makes sense they’d want to gather performance data on a new section before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process,” Lee Weiss, executive director of pre-business programs for Kaplan Test Prep, said in a statement. Weiss went on to point out that since GMAT scores are valid for five years, not all applicants in 2012 or 2013 will have submitted the Integrated Reasoning section.

Business schools may decide that IR should play a greater role in admissions decisions moving forward, Weiss added. He cautioned that even though many business schools indicate that they are not placing significant emphasis on the new section yet, prospective applicants should still prepare for the new section as seriously as they do for the Quantitative and Verbal sections. “It still matters,” he stressed.

Kaplan’s 2013 survey included responses from 152 admissions officers from business schools across the United States, including five of the top 10 MBA programs, as compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

 

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