Starting your GMAT test with Integrating Reasoning section can affect your stamina. For the first year, Business Schools like Stanford has revealed that they will not give high priority to IR section, instead evaluate Verbal, Quant, and AWA along with the total score.
“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.”
This is because there are no substantial data on the IR score distribution and the correlation between IR and Total score.
Where would Integrated Reasoning Come into Play?
1) Low Quant Score
If you have evaluated the GMAT IR Questions types, you will realize that tackling this question type require analyzing data from various sources and finding data that would help you make decisions. This skill would be applied for Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning. Apart from Multi-Source Reasoning, every other section requires problem-solving skills that are similar to Quant section. If your Quant score is not balanced with the Verbal Score, schools might use IR section to evaluate your number crunching skills.
2) Too Close to Call
There can be scenarios where two candidates will have similar GMAT scores in both Quant and Verbal. Schools often don’t make decisions based on GMAT Scores but when there is very little to choose between two profiles in terms of GMAT Score, Quality of Experience and Potential; the IR section can give insights on how candidates work in real life. While we are at work, we often analyze data from various sources in different formats. Our effectiveness in Managerial positions depends on how effectively we can make decisions with the available data. Schools might use IR scores to evaluate real-world competence.
3) 2017 Onwards – New Data Set
The new GMAT IR Section was introduced in June 2012. The primary reason why top schools like Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, and INSEAD will not give any weightage for the IR Scores this year and probably take a couple more years is that many students take the GMAT test, just after college, and would have taken it at a time when the IR section was not available. Since the scores are valid for 5 years, schools will have to wait until June 2017 to map the scores in a uniform scale.
So what should you do?
We don’t recommend that you ignore IR section but like AWA, the two sections will not influence your total score. Pay much higher attention to Verbal and Quant sections.
Getting a Balanced Score is equally important to scoring a 700+ on the GMAT.
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