MBA admission special - Reactions to the new Integrated Reasoning section in the GMAT exam
MBA News Barbara Barkhausen / 07-25-2012
The official GMAT website says: “The skills being tested by the Integrated Reasoning section were identified in a survey of 740 management faculty worldwide as important for today’s incoming students. The Integrated Reasoning score will provide a new data point for schools to find the right candidates for their programs, and for you to stand out.” But what do students and business schools say? We’ve searched forums and talked to Rotterdam School of Management at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
THE BUSINESS SCHOOL OPINION
Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp is Director Marketing & Admissions at Rotterdam School of Management at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
MBA Channel: Does your school support the new GMAT exam (including the inte-grated reasoning section) and why? Will it help you to improve the admission process and how you choose your applicants?
Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp: At RSM we have always supported the GMAT exam as part of the evaluation process of our MBA candidates. The test has traditionally given us insight into the verbal and quantative capabilites of our candidates and with the new integrated rea-soning section of the test we will be able to have information on even more aspects of their profiles. We will read the integrated section in relation to the rest of an applicant’s application, as we do with the other GMAT sections. However, we would never look at any single aspect of an application in isolation, the GMAT being one of them. Thus, the GMAT provides us with more information on certain skills/capabilities of a candidate which we will then take into consideration when evaluating the total application.
THE STUDENT OPINION
JoelCairo posted the following comment in the GMAT Club Forum on Sunday, 10th of July:
“I took the GMAT a couple days ago and I was one of the integrated reasoning guinea pigs. After the test I sat for another 12 questions in the new format. They had two basic types:
The first is an elaborate decision flow chart, resembling a complex snowflake or some wacky molecule. The questions were about following the logical flow of the chart, like "If [A] then, [B], [C] or [D] etc?" The second type looked like a reading comprehension thing, with text on one side and questions on the other, except instead of a 3 paragraph block of text, there was just a few sentence introductory blurb, and then other tabs you'd click on to reveal tables of data. The questions were all about reading the tables. Interestingly, these questions had a calculator to use within the software, since many of the questions boiled down to "which row has the following ratio between column A and column B." Basically, the questions seemed to be testing PowerPoint and Excel literacy, respectively, which I guess is pretty pertinent to the modern B-school curriculum (certainly more so than dastardly data sufficiency inequalities about the absolute value of various unknown variables would be)