Thus far, the “new” Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT (added in June 2012) has been almost an afterthought for most applicants. We can hardly blame test takers for focusing their studies on the “traditional” elements of the GMAT—the Verbal and Quant sections—because admissions officers have been quite clear that candidates’ IR scores would not be immediately relevant. Admissions representatives were candid in explaining that they would need to wait and see how a few cycles of students fare in their selected MBA programs before determining whether a correlation can be drawn between their IR test results and their subsequent academic performance.
By May of 2014, some students with IR scores will have completed a year of business school, and admissions officers should be able to start data mining. We are most likely still in the earliest stages of the IR section’s relevance, but conscientious/conservative applicants should assume that its value will only increase for admissions committees. Meanwhile, some MBA employers—consulting firms in particular—are considering using students’ IR scores as a factor in hiring decisions, which means that your IR score might be more relevant on your way out of business school than it was on your way in.
Recognizing that the significance of the IR section will likely grow, our friends at Manhattan GMAT designed “GMAT INTERACT for IR,” a five-lesson curriculum for test takers that is free. Yes, FREE! After an introductory session, applicants engage in four lessons, each focusing on a type of IR test question: Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning and Two-Part Analysis. Manhattan GMAT’s INTERACT is not just a series of video recordings—it is truly… interactive! It engages students the same way a tutor would and allows them to make choices that direct their learning.
Students who have taken the “GMAT INTERACT for IR” modules thus far have given enthusiastic feedback about the experience. We are encouraging our clients to try it out as well, so it only seems fair to let you in on the “secret.”