Taking the GMAT before the test change: What if something goes wrong?

May 26, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogA lot of people are taking the GMAT this month.  June 2nd is that last day to take the test in its current form, and after a two day blackout the New GMAT goes live on June 5th.  The only real change will be the addition of a new 30 minute, 12 question section called Integrated Reasoning (IR), which will take the place of the Issue essay.  [To learn more about the test change and how to prepare for it, visit www.testchange.com.]  The savvy aspirant graduate student has made the strategic decision to avoid the Integrated Reasoning section and take the GMAT before that section launches.

The decision is a sound one, but these test prep strategists find themselves in a stressful situation.  No one wants to take the GMAT more than once, but we all know that is a very real possibility if test day does not yield the GMAT score needed to reach our goals.  In order to avoid IR, everyone has a hard stop to their study schedule—no one can buy more time.  This, of course, begs the question:  What if I have to take the GMAT again?  Am I back to square one studying for a whole new test?

Fortunately, the answer is, “No.”

While it is true that Integrated Reasoning questions are new and the format of the section is unlike any of the other GMAT sections (AWA, Quantitative, & Verbal), IR questions lean heavily upon the skills and competencies tested throughout the rest of the test.  In short, you will need to spend a good deal of time studying and practicing IR, but all of the other studying you have done for the GMAT’s quant and verbal sections will absolutely transfer to the IR section.

New GMAT test takers can expect four new question formats built to sample their skill at integrated reasoning.  To learn more about each of these new question formats, read my series of blog posts beginning here (navigate to the rest of the posts from the links just above the post title).  What you’ll find in my IR exposition is that the GMAT is not springing a bunch of new stuff on us with the inception of this new section.  Rather, the quantitative and verbal skill set all you May test takers have been solidifying over the past months will absolutely be utilized in IR.  Thus, you can walk into the testing center in a couple weeks with a little less stress.  If you have to take the GMAT again, you’ll be just fine.

Looking for more details?  Tell me about your specific situation, and I’d be glad to help you think it through.


Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email (lucas.weingarten@kaplan.com) or through the comments thread after his blog posts.



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