You probably know that the GMAT is changing in just a few months. You could even register to take the new test now if you wanted. If you are planning for your next-season application early and trying to decide which test to take, good for you! The new Integrated Reasoning section represents an unknown variable for many, but if you’re able to do well with the quant and verbal questions already, you should be in good shape with these new problems too. You can see some sample IR questions here. There’s little reason to be wary of this new section.
The bigger question is, when are you applying, and should you try to take the current version of the test from a timeline perspective? This is important because the addition of the IR section means that those taking new test will result in delays in release of test results. So if you’re going to be applying in the next few months and you don’t yet have your GMAT score in hand, this matters.
Here’s the official party line from GMAC:
This is because of a 20-day lag for when your official score results will become available. GMAC has always officially allowed for this 20-day lag, but in recent years, official results have typically been released much more quickly than that. They’re expecting to need more time in releasing official results for awhile while the test is new, and so many people will experience this delay. So, if you are planning for a late-season application, such as to an EMBA program or to a part-time MBA where a Round 3 application might still be feasible, then keep this in mind as you plan your approach.
Here’s the official video about the new GMAT with the Integrated Reasoning section.
Many of you reading this post in real time (when it went live in early Jan. 2011) are all done with test-taking stress, since you probably just submitted your last Rd 2 apps, so you can breathe easy on this part (you’re in are-they-gonna-invite-me-to-interview stress which is a whole different game of fun!).