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]  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 is a full-time instructor for Kaplan Test Prep and he loves preparing GRE students for Test Day. The classroom is Lucas’ arena. When he cannot be found in one of Kaplan’s cage matches of learning, he is very likely dancing around DePaul University’s College of Commerce/Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago professing various courses offered by the Department of Management, up to and including monikers such as: “Managing for Effective and Ethical Organizational Behavior,” “Entrepreneurship Strategy,” “Strategic Managements and Analysis,” “Human Resource Management,” “Recruitment and Selection,” and “Foundations of Business Thought and Theory.” (Although that last one was cancelled just before the quarter started and he’s still not gotten over it.) Lucas spent most of his formative years in North Carolina, but hit the long road as soon as he was able. A world traveler with a currently expired passport, he has lived on and wandered around three continents with the expressed intention of finishing the job. He holds a BFA with a concentration in sculpture as well as an MBA with dual concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance. When not challenging standardized tests to a duel or wondering how to corrupt the business students of America, Lucas can be found brewing delicious beers, riding-then-fixing-then-riding his motorcycle, hanging out with dogs, pretending he’s a good cook, and feeling like the luckiest guy in the world to have such a fantastic wife and endlessly amazing young son. He’s in Milwaukee now, but is in Chicago often. Email him anytime about anything at:

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