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Kaplan Test Prep Survey: For A Majority Of MBA Programs, Scores On The GMAT’s New Integrated Reasoning Section Aren’t Important In Admissions Evaluation -- But Doing Poorly On The GMAT Overall Is An Admissions Killer

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 survey of business school admissions officers*, 57% of MBA programs say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s recently launched (August 2012) Integrated Reasoning section is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score. Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 51% of business school admissions list a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a competitive score overall.

In Kaplan’s 2012 survey, business schools were largely undecided about Integrated Reasoning’s importance, with 54% saying they were unsure how important an applicant’s score would be; 22% said it would be important and 24% said it would not be important.

Because test takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on other sections of the GMAT.

“It’s not surprising that a majority of business schools are not currently placing too much importance on the Integrated Reasoning section, since it makes sense they’d want to gather performance data on a new section before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process. It’s important to remember that because GMAT scores are good for five years, not all applicants in 2012 and 2013 submitted GMAT scores that included the Integrated Reasoning section -- many applicants submitted scores from the old GMAT,” said Lee Weiss, executive director of pre-business programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “Moving forward, business schools may decide that Integrated Reasoning should play a more critical role. In the meantime, prospective MBA students should not take Integrated Reasoning any less seriously than the Quantitative or Verbal sections. It still matters.”

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 survey of business school admissions officers, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

* For the 2013 survey, 152 admissions officers from business schools across the United States were surveyed by telephone between July and September. Among those 152 are five of the top ten MBA programs, as compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

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