A Kaplan survey published this month reveals that most business schools still are not sure how to use the integrated reasoning score even two years post its introduction to the GMAT exam.
The IR section was added to the GMAT exam in June 2012 and was supposed to enable schools to better evaluate candidates’ abilities to cope with MBA studies since test takers must answer questions by analyzing data presented in different manners (tables, graphs, etc.). This section is scored individually on a scale of 1-8 with the average score being 4.32.
The survey showed that 60% of 204 admissions committee members responded to the survey that the IR score is not an important element in their consideration of the candidate’s general GMAT score. Surprisingly, this number shows an increase since 2013; then only 57% considered the IR score insignificant. We would expect that as time progressed, schools would grow accustomed to this section and would learn to use the section to evaluate candidates. One reason for the IR’s low importance is that candidates who took the test before June 2013 whose scores are still valid do not have IR scores, and it is therefore difficult to compare them with candidates who have a score. It is reasonable to assume that in a few years, when all candidates have an IR score and the schools learn how to use the score, its significance will grow.
The survey also showed that 50% of schools reported that an overall low GMAT score is a central factor towards a candidate’s rejection.