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GMACLast Friday, I attended the biannual GMAC Summit, a special conference that the makers of the GMAT put on for test prep companies. I want to share various tidbits that you should know!

Integrated Reasoning (IR) has existed long enough now that GMAC is starting to be able to draw some conclusions about the efficacy of the section. Dr. Lawrence Rudner, chief psychometrician of GMAC, is quite pleased with the section’s performance to date.

Though they still need to collect more data to be sure, early results indicate that IR is actually a little bit better of a predictor of grades in business school than are the quant and verbal scores. It will still be a while before they can collect as solid / extensive data as they have for quant and verbal, but perhaps it will be the case that, eventually, IR will become the most important section! (Don’t worry: if you are applying right now, nothing has changed. Even if you aren’t planning to apply until next year, it’s unlikely that the importance of IR will change extensively by then.)

There were no admissions officers in attendance, but we did hear from GMAC that they have heard that admissions consultants are starting to consider using IR as a tiebreak for borderline cases. For example, let’s say a school considers 680+ a strong score and 630 to 670 an average score. For the pool of 630 to 670 candidates (only a few of whom are likely to be admitted), one potential tiebreak is the IR score.

If IR is not your thing, don’t worry: it’s unlikely that any school is making this tiebreak decision based solely on the IR score. After all, many different variables go into an application; they might also decide to use number of years of work experience, under-represented industries, or some other factor. If you do tend to perform well on IR, though, then bonus: that’s an extra mark in the plus column for you.

Interestingly, US students are tending to do a bit better on IR than all other students. (This is also true for the Verbal section of the test, while non-US students tend to do better than US students on the quant section of the test.) A lot of people consider IR more of a quant section, but verbal is just as important. If quant is your strength, then you’ll feel that IR is testing verbal more, and vice versa.

Scoring and Timing

I have only one piece of info for you here, but it’s quite an important piece of data. As we were discussing the scoring algorithm, someone asked the age-old question: whether certain questions were “worth more” than others. Dr. Rudner indicated (as he always has in the past) that the earlier questions are not worth more than the later ones. He did, though, indicate something that we suspected but had never heard officially confirmed: “outlier” questions ultimately count less towards your score.

What’s an outlier? Briefly, an outlier is a question for which your performance was unexpected. Read on to understand what this means.

An outlier is always relative to your own performance. (Note: we’re also talking only about the questions that count towards your score; the experimentals don’t matter here.) Most of the questions you answer will be within a certain range of difficulty. As a general rule, you’ll answer more of the easier questions in your range correctly and you’ll answer more of the harder questions incorrectly. This is the expected behavior.
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manhattan gmat integrated reasoningExciting news! GMAC (the owners of the GMAT) announced on Friday that, starting immediately, we’ll get our unofficial IR scores as soon as the test is over. They already do this for our Quant, Verbal, and Total scores, so IR will be added to the mix.

As with the other scores, the IR score will be considered an “unofficial” score until you receive your official score report. You can consider these test-day scores essentially official, though, as it’s incredibly rare for something to change after that day. The folks over at GMAC are professionals; they’re not going to release scores if there’s even a small chance that something could change, upsetting students who thought they had earned a different score.

So now you won’t have to wait to find out how you did on IR. (You’ll still wait for the essay score, of course, but that’s not quite so nerve-wracking, is it?)

Need to practice IR? Try our new free GMAT Interact lessons for Integrated Reasoning.

Happy studying and good luck on test day!

Catch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Here’s Why Applying To Harvard Business School Has Never Been Easier (Forbes)

Rather, it’s never been more straightforward – for you and close to 10,000 other applicants who are likely to apply this year for one of 940 or so places in the Class of 2016.

Want To Be An Entrepreneur? Then Get Your MBA (Really) (The Globe and Mail)

For those hoping to break into entrepreneurship, business school is an amazing path to do so because of its inherent opportunities.

10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools (U.S. News Education)

These private b-schools keep tuition and fees under $40,000 a year.

At Harvard Business School, Lessons in Leadership from Literature (Bloomberg Businessweek)

For the last 12 years, HBS students, who take a class on literature and leadership, have been scanning the pages of books for lessons to help them tackle business’s most challenging dilemmas.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Seek Online MBA Programs The Provide Travel Opportunities (U.S. News Education)

Traveling abroad can help online business students network and improve their resumes.

The Nuances of an MBA Resume (Poets & Quants)

In an application, a resume is more than a chronology of your academic and professional career.

How Getting an MBA can Help You Be a Better Entrepreneur (Upstart Business)

Whether an MBA is necessary to be an entrepreneur is the subject of lots of debate, but getting a master’s in business administration can be a huge help in getting your startup off the ground.

M.B.A. Admission Tip: Always Go for an Easy ‘A’ (The Wall Street Journal)

Business-school applicants with high undergraduate grade point averages are more likely to be admitted than those who performed slightly less well but did so amid tougher grading standards.

From a Dark Foundry to The Milanese Sunshine: Do An MBA, Says MIP Engineer (BusinessBecause)

Former technical manager of engineering giant Metec WA shares why all engineers who want to be recognized as good managers should get an MBA.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Best GMAT Books (Test Study Guides)

Test Study Guides shares their hand-picked list of the best GMAT prep books and explains why these are the most effective study guides for the test.

Maximizing the Minimalist MBA App (Poets & Quants)

You should view your MBA application as the admissions committees do: as a holistic package of documents that work together to provide a comprehensive and cohesive introduction to you.

Students Offer Inside Look at Harvard Business School Admissions Process (Business Administration Information)

The student news organization at HBS has produced an unofficial admissions and interview guide, offering potential b-school candidates an advanced look at what types of questions they will get in their admissions interview.

Target MBA Jobs That Pay Well, Require Fewer Hours (U.S. News Education)

Find out which jobs offer a competitive salary and also have more flexibility in their work hours.

Do You Need a Résumé in the LinkedIn Era? (Harvard Business Review)

Your LinkedIn profile should be the most-viewed and most current version of your professional life. That has many people asking: Do I even need an old-fashioned résumé anymore?

Bain May Use GMAT Integrated Reasoning Test to Help Screen MBA Hires (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Bain & Co., one of the most coveted MBA employers, may soon use scores on GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning section to screen applicants for consulting jobs.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

5 Essential Tips for Surviving Awkward Networking Events (Brazen Careerist)

Networking events are awkward. And when you don’t go to them often, you might have no idea what to do or how to act.

MBA students take their skills on the road (Graduate Guide)

Four Harvard Business School students are making a difference and learning in the process through a project known as MBAs Across America

Inflated GPAs Good For MBA Applicants (Poets & Quants)

To get into a highly selective business school, is it better to have a higher grade point average from a school where grade inflation is the norm?

Stress Management at B-School (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Case studies, class projects, recruiting, clubs, travel… the life of an MBA student is enough to make otherwise levelheaded adults crack under the pressure.

If You Don’t Define Your Personal Brand the Market Will (Both Sides of the Table)

Don’t forget about personal branding, the most important way to proactively control your career development and how the market perceives you.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

 

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Startups Recruiting More MBAs (Poets & Quants)

Startups are getting increased attention from MBAs and they’re apparently returning the love, according to a new survey.

Why Your MBA Should be Accredited (About.com Education)

If the degree or business school is not accredited, your achievements may not even be recognized by an employer.

14 of the Most Essential Lessons You Learn in Business School (Business Insider Australia)

Top business professors share which case studies they think are the most essential for future business leaders.

The Best TED Talks By B-School Professors (Poets & Quants)

Generally, the best TED talks by B-school faculty tend to be delivered by professors whose names are rarely mentioned outside their own schools.

Master the MBA Interview as an International Candidate (U.S. News Education)

Prospective students should anticipate making some mistakes when speaking English, but shouldn’t expect that to ruin the interview.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Wharton’s Record GMATs for New Class (Poets and Quants)

Despite a 5.8% fall in MBA applications, Wharton said it has enrolled a larger first-year class of 855 with an average GMAT score that is seven points higher at 725.

The World’s Best Business Schools (Business Insider)

Having an MBA can give you an edge in the cutthroat world of business—but only if you pick the right school.

Leadership Lessons from The Harvard of Europe (Forbes)

Associate Dean at HEC Paris talks about how leadership is far more about being knowledgeable and gaining respect than being able to do a good presentation in the boardroom.

Cornell To Offer One-Year MBA in NYC (Poets and Quants)

The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University will soon offer a one-year MBA program based at Google’s New York City campus.

MBA Teaching urged to move away from focus on shareholder primacy model (Financial Times)

Academics and others are being increasingly vocal about how deeply entrenched the idea of shareholder primacy is in management.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT