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After 18 years,GMAT test format set to see a change

With the introduction of a new section called “integrated reasoning”,the format of the Graduate Management Admission Test is about to change.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | New Delhi | Published: June 1, 2012 1:55:49 am

With the introduction of a new section called “integrated reasoning”,the format of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is about to change. The new section will replace one essay in the analytical writing assessment section of the paper with a set of 12 questions. Till now,students were required to write two essays.

After a survey identified the need for data skills,GMAT will include the new section from June 5. “While the verbal and quantitative sections will not undergo any change,one question from the Analysis Writing Assessment section will be dropped,” said Ashish Bhardwaj,a spokesperson for the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) — the body which conducts the GMAT exam.

The performance on the integrated reasoning section will not affect the total score. “This 12-question section will be scored separately on a scale of one to eight,” the spokesperson said.

A worldwide survey of 740 business schools conducted by GMAC in 2009 had “highlighted the need for processing,analysing and interpreting” different types of information. “The current GMAT format has been in effect since 1994 and we believe in constant evolution,” Bhardwaj said.

He said the section reflects the “new realities” of today’s business world and the way we use multiple sources of data to make sound business decisions.

The section will include four new question formats — graphic interpretation,table analysis,multiple-source reasoning and two-part analysis. The section has been designed to measure the ability to convert data from various sources and formats into relevant information to solve problems.

“The survey had identified emerging data analysis skills needed to succeed in the classroom and the professional world. These were not tested in the GMAT,” said the GMAC spokesperson.

Ashutosh Singh,a candidate who recently appeared for the exam said,“The essay was graded on the basis of quality and now points will replace grades. The new changes are unlikely to make any difference to the marking of GMAT.”

Kuber Sharma,who scored 780 in GMAT last year,said the scrapping of the essay was a good thing as it delayed results. “Everything else is multiple choice but an essay has to be read and graded,which takes time,” he said. He said the essays were redundant as there were 30 expected topics that most people learnt by rote before the exam.

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