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Future MBAs who plan on taking the GMAT next month may experience some angst. They’ll be the first group of people to take the new version of the test.
The brains behind the exam that will either gain or deny you entry into business school is adding a new section called Integrated Reasoning, or IR, to test your ability analysing information from a variety of sources.
“There’s been a little bit of anxiety on the students side,” Michelle Sparkman-Renz, director of research communication at GMAC, the non-profit education organisation for business schools, told us. “But schools and companies are really excited.”
The new section is supposed to resemble real-life situations for those in the finance industry, and can include materials from budget sheets, emails or merely a note from your boss. Test takers are then required to evaluate and synthesize this information and map out alternative decisions.
Instead of the previous format with verbal, mathematics and analytical writing sections, the Next Generation GMAT exam will eliminate part of the writing section and include integrated reasoning. Since it’s supposed to mimic the real-life business world, there are only correct or incorrect answers and no partial credit.
Sparkman-Renz says that research for the new exam began in 2009 when GMAT was trying to figure out what employers in the future workplace wanted from their workers. The research includes opinions from 740 faculty members. Below are some examples of the questions from the new section:
A sortable table of information, similar to a spreadsheet, is provided for test takers to analyse.
A multi-source reasoning question provides test takers with different information in multiple tabs—which could be text, charts, and tables.
Questions may also require test takers to interpret graphs or graphical images.
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