Business Schools Still Not Sold on the Importance of the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Section

guest blog post by Russell Schaffer of Kaplan Test Prep 

New York, NY (October 9, 2014) — According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States*,  60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.  This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s Integrated Reasoning score was not important.  Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall. And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the exam.


“The fact that a majority of MBA programs are still not currently placing great importance on the Integrated Reasoning section of GMAT is somewhat understandable since they may want to gather additional performance data before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process.  It’s important to remember that because GMAT scores are good for five years, many applicants in 2012, 2013 and 2014 probably submitted scores from the old GMAT, which did not include the Integrated Reasoning section.” said Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep.  “As more and more applicants submit scores from the current GMAT over the next couple of years, business schools may decide that Integrated Reasoning performance should play a more critical role.  Until that time though, Kaplan strongly advises MBA applicants not to discount the importance of preparing for and doing well on the Integrated Reasoning section. Similar to how not scoring well on Integrated Reasoning cannot be masked  by good performance on other sections because it receives its own separate score, doing well on Integrated Reasoning can set you apart from other applicants in a positive way. Use it to your advantage.”

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers, please contact Russell Schaffer at or 212.453.7538.

*For the 2014 Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.

originally reported here:

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