GMAT Impact: Stanford GSB Will Not Evaluate Integrated Reasoning This Year

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We have been hearing from admissions officers for quite some time now that they will not be using Integrated Reasoning (IR) scores much, if at all, this first year—but these comments have always been off the record or made during private conversations. Well, Stanford has now gone on the record on its own blog.

Allison Davis, associate director of MBA admissions at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB), affirms that, during this admission’s season, the school “will focus on the verbal, quantitative, AWA [analytical writing assignment], and total scores.” She goes on to state explicitly that the school will use this first year to study the IR scores so that it can “determine how to evaluate them in our process for next year.” Nor does the GSB care whether you have taken the old or new version of the GMAT—the old version is still perfectly valid and will not in any way detract from your chances for admission.

Further, Ms. Davis says that the GSB does not “play favorites” with respect to the GMAT and the GRE; the school accepts both exams equally, apparently. (I have heard admissions directors from other schools say that they discount the GRE quant scores a bit because they feel GMAT quant is harder.)

In a nutshell: Stanford has confirmed publicly that it will not be evaluating IR scores as part of this year’s admission process. I would expect other schools to follow suit.

Note also that Stanford has said that it will be using the data from this first year to figure out how to bring IR into the admissions process starting next year—so if you are taking the GMAT now but might want to use the score next year (or later), then you do have to think a bit more carefully about IR. My guess is that there will continue to be a bit of leeway next year as well, but the IR score will be a factor.

Longer term, assuming that GMAC has done its job (and I see no reason to think that it will have failed), the IR score will eventually become an important part of the admissions process, possibly on par with quant and verbal scores.

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