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GMAT to give more importance to reasoning

The article is about how GMAT will now test the reasoning skills of students more than their English skills.

Antony Chacko

Due to the changes in the GMAT exam format, there is now more emphasis on the “integrated reasoning” aspect. The reasoning section has been included in place of the essay section.

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The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) was initiated by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) to assess the students who apply for business & management programs in the UK and other parts of the world.

It is a test to evaluate if the student possesses the skills necessary to pursue higher studies abroad. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is another exam to be taken by students who are planning on going to USA or other English speaking countries for further studies. This aims at identifying the student’s ability to converse, analyze, think and write in English. The amount of importance given to the GRE scores differs between universities and depends on the course opted for.

The GRE system went through a complete change last year where the test was made more Reasoning based rather than familiarity with the English language. Similarly, now there seems to be an overhaul in the way GMAT exams are administered. There will be higher level of emphasis on the “Integrated reasoning” aspect. 

A new section will be added and the existing set based on Essays will be removed.  The section will feature 12 questions that needs to be answered by integrating, synthesizing, analyzing, and evaluating the provided data.

The data that needs to be integrated will appear in the form of spreadsheets, charts, texts, maps, codes, graphs and audio files. Apart from this, there will be questions that are based on multiple choices as well. The main objective of this new format is to judge the student’s ability to understand, think, examine and answer the questions, while deducing a conclusion from the analysis done. The reasoning section is to determine how strong or weak a candidate’s decision making abilities are.

However, there are a few sections that remain constant, like the quantitative and verbal section. The GMAT paper will feature a section on Reasoning included in place of the Essay.

Prep Tips

The quantitative and verbal sections remain as they were, and the candidate can prepare like always. They will have to familiarize themselves with the ability to read data across platforms such as graphs, text, charts, maps and so on. 

Many colleges consider the GRE score and don’t require GMAT, and so it is necessary for the students to figure out which colleges require GMAT and apply for the same, else they can ace through with GRE. For those taking the GMAT exams, preparations must commence from end March ‘2012 as they will be taking the new formatted test. Remember, it is the reasoning, thinking on ones feet and the analytical skills that matter now.


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Jyoti Sharma Jyoti Sharma,
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