The new GMAT Integrated Reasoning section – does it matter?

So you have started preparing for the GMAT and have just learned that there is a new section – Integrated Reasoning (IR).  That’s got you wondering – does it matter?  And even more significantly, how will business school Admissions Officers use this in their review process?  The short answer is yes it matters.  Scores for the GMAT are reviewed on both an absolute and relative basis, so the AdCom will be able to see how you have done in comparison with other candidates.  However, at least for the next year or two, we will see a combination of applications with some submitting a GMAT score that includes Integrated Reasoning and others that don’t.  And to further complicate matters, many business schools accept either the GRE or the GMAT, and GRE currently does not have the IR section in their assessment.

Ultimately, it will be one additional data point that the Admissions Committee will use to review your application.  Just like other aspects of the application, it won’t be ignored, but it also won’t likely be the swing factor that get’s you in the door for an interview or an admission offer.  IR will help candidates who have a less analytical background as it provides additional perspective on skills related to data analysis.  But ultimately, until a larger subset of the applicant pool has an Integrated Reasoning score, and business schools can assess exactly how those score levels (and accompanying percentiles) translate into academic success in their respective programs it will likely be modestly incorporated into the review process.

If you have questions about the application process or would like to talk further about an application to the Simon School for MBA or MS study, contact us at

Rebekah S. Lewin

Rebekah S. Lewin, MBA ’02
Executive Director of Admissions & Administration
Univ. of Rochester, Simon Graduate School of Business
Rochester, New York 14627-0107
Phone – 585-275-3533
Fax – 585-271-3907



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