GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Scoring Scale is Out

May 28, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogAlthough it is yet to be seen how Integrated Reasoning scores will actually be used by admissions committees, we do now at least know what they will look like.  Starting June 5, 2012, the New GMAT goes live with one less essay (Issue) and one more section (Integrated Reasoning).  Contrary to what some might have heard, your performance on the new IR section will not impact your 200-800 point GMAT score.  Rather, you will now receive five separate scores across four separate scales.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – 0 to 6 points in ½-point increments
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR) – 1 to 8 points in 1-point increments
  3. Quantitative – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  4. Verbal – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  5. Aggregated Quant and Verbal (Total Score) – 200 to 800 points in 10-point increments

On test day, immediately upon completing the exam you will receive your total score.  Up to 20 days later (though it often takes less time than that) you will receive your Official Score Report as will the institutions you selected to send your scores to upon sitting for the exam.  In that official report from GMAC, you will receive your AWA, Integrated Reasoning, Quant, and Verbal scores as well as an affirmation of your total score.  [Note: your total score will not change from what you see on test day.]

A wild card in all of this is the instability of the translation of your 1-8 IR score into a percentile ranking.  All reported scores are coupled with a percentile ranking.  In other words, each listed score will be shown alongside the proportion of scores below your score in order to communicate how your scores compare with those of other GMAT test takers.  For example, if you receive a total score of 700 then you will have scored better than 89% of your peers, hence putting yourself into the 90th percentile.

Typically, GMAT score percentiles are based on three years of performance data moving through time.  That is, your percentile ranking is based on the data set created by all individual GMAT scores created on the day you took your GMAT aggregated with all other GMAT scores from the three previous years.  What this means is that the point value of your score today will change in percentile terms over time.  While your Official Score Report hardcopy will remain constant, as will those score reports sent to the (up to) five selected institutions, any future score report requests will reflect the most current data.

Since IR is brand spanking new, GMAC will update percentile-ranking distributions with greater frequency (monthly) for the rest of 2012 as the organization grows its sample size.  From 2013 forward, IR score updates will follow the same updating schedule as the other generated GMAT scores (annually).  All of this translates into a notable and interesting unknown.  We can say for sure that your IR score as a percentile value will change.  For better or worse?  Well, only time will tell.

Are you studying for the new test?  How are you coming along with the new section?


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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