Everyone has been talking for awhile about the "New" GMAT. The Princeton Review advertises that they teach the best strategies to prepare you for the new section and Veritas Prep releases videos telling you you're behind if you don't know about it already. Even the makers of the GMAT have launched a new Official Guide to cover the revised section. THIS IS ALL HYPE! Here are five reasons why you shouldn't care about the new GMAT (note: some of these ideas are controversial!):
1. Only one section of the GMAT changed. At the beginning of the old GMAT, there were two essays: Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. The makers of the GMAT have dropped the issue essay (the argument essay is still there) and add an Integrated Reasoning section of 12 questions. That's it! The quantitative and verbal sections of the test have not changed at all.
2. The score for the Integrated Reasoning section isn't included in your 200 to 800 score. This is absolutely the best reason not to worry about the New GMAT. The score you get on the essay and IR section don't count in the score that MBA programs judge you by.
3. Your Integrated Reasoning score doesn't appear on your unofficial GMAT score report. If you're like most students, you may take the GMAT just before you apply to business schools and will, therefore, have to submit your unofficial GMAT score report (the report you get on the day of the test). Submitting an unofficial score report is perfectly acceptable for the majority of MBA programs. However, the IR score won't be on this report, which means you will probably be accepted to your MBA program before they know your IR score.
4. There is no comparison for the Integrated Reasoning section score. Since the section was just released, the makers of the GMAT and business schools don't really know how to compare student scores yet. It will be at least two years before enough people take the test to yield any useful data so you no one can really take the section seriously for now.
5. The Integrated Reasoning section tests skills you already have and can waste valuable study time. The IR section includes tables, graphs, Venn diagrams, analytical questions, and basic mathematical calculations. You've probably developed many of these skills if you're a working professional. If you study for the rest of the GMAT (the quantitative and verbal sections that matter), you will refine these skills and be well prepared for the New GMAT. Don't waste valuable study time mastering a section that doesn't matter!
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