Beginning in June 2012, the GMAT will have a new format. Currently the GMAT test includes two 30-minute Analytical Writing Assessments. The new format will substitute a 12-question Integrated Reasoning section for one of the two writing assessments.
The overall length and difficulty of the test are not expected to change. However, test scores often drop following a significant change in format. Here’s what you need to know to do your best on the GMAT.
First of all, if you have any plans to enter an MBA program within the next few years, think about taking the test before June 2012. Then you won’t have to deal with the format change at all. If that isn’t feasible, then be assured that the new format will not be more difficult – just different. As suggested by the name, the Integrated Reasoning section will test your ability to take information from different sources, analyze it, and come up with the best answer or answers. You may be presented with graphs, tables, spreadsheets, even emails, all bearing upon the case at hand, and from those sources you will need to gather the data you need – product prices, share issues, competitors’ market share, forecasts, distribution networks -- interpret it, and evaluate the probable outcomes of the situation.
The GMAT Exam has always been designed to measure your aptitude for the kind of advanced thinking required in graduate school. This new test format gives you a chance to be more creative in your approach to problems, while at the same time eliminating the ambiguity of an essay response. In the Integrated Reasoning section there will be right and wrong answers and your responses will be evaluated by computer, not human graders.
With good GMAT preparation and study, you will have no problem with this new format. The best thing about this format is that it is the one often used for job interviews, so you’ll be even better prepared when you graduate!