GMAT Impact: Kaplan Survey Confirms IR Is Low Priority (This Year)

When it comes to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

As we discussed a few months ago, most schools are still determining how to use Integrated Reasoning (IR) during the admissions process. A recent US News & World Report article reports on a new survey just released by Kaplan Test Prep; the survey lends broader support to the anecdotal reports that we have been hearing from individual schools.

Kaplan surveyed 265 business schools, including 17 of the top 25, to find out how they have been using IR so far. A little over half are still figuring out what to do with the score, while roughly one-quarter of the respondents indicated that they already consider IR “important.” Even in that last category, though, the schools are still determining how much emphasis to place on IR. US News spoke with Dawna Clarke, director of admissions at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and while she does consider IR important, she also indicated that they are still figuring out exactly how to use the scores in the absence of well-established historical data. In a nutshell, people are not quite sure yet what the data mean or how much of an impact it all should have on admissions.

Expect all of this to begin changing next year. Assuming that the data eventually establish that the IR section does in fact identify strong business school candidates, the schools will likely begin using IR more seriously during the 2013 admissions season (for those who are hoping to enter a program beginning in 2014). How heavily will IR weigh in the admissions decision? We will not know that until we start to have better analyses of how useful the score is; if it turns out to be a strong predictor of B-school success, then IR is rapidly going to become a very important part of the GMAT.

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