Learn the 4 Things You Must Know Before Taking the GMAT!   Download it Now!

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the New IR Section

Everyone is trying to figure out what to make of the new GMAT section, Integrated Reasoning, which debuted in June 2012. More specifically, if you’re like most of my students, you’re probably trying to figure out how much weight to give it in terms of study time based on how much emphasis MBA admissions offices are giving it when evaluating your GMAT score.

Good news for you: What I’ve been hearing from admissions officers of all the major business schools is that they’re taking a “wait and see” approach to the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning section. Most want to collect a year’s worth of data before deciding how much weight to give the new section.

Stanford GSB Associate Director of MBA Admission Allison Davis confirms this in a recent blog post: “For this application year, we will see your IR score if you have taken the new GMAT, but will focus on the verbal, quantitative, AWA, and total scores,” she says. “Once we have had the chance to review IR scores in this first year, we will determine how to evaluate them in our process for next year.”

Of course, you certainly don’t want to completely bomb the new IR section, as that could indicate either that you didn’t take it seriously (a red flag in terms of how you might approach business school itself) or that you didn’t have the mental capacity to grasp the new question types in comparison to the other sections of the GMAT (also a red flag). Moreover, remember that your GMAT score is good for five (5) years so if you’re planning to take the GMAT now but you know that you won’t be submitting your score for a year or two, you’ll want to make sure to adequately prepare for the IR section so that it doesn’t potentially hold you back from being admitted when admissions offices almost certainly will be placing more of an emphasis on your Integrated Reasoning score.

If you’d like to become more familiar with the GMAT Integrated Section or go more in-depth and learn strategies and content for each of the four new major questions types, check out our a-la-carte IR video lesson by clicking here.