There is much anxiety in the air due to the upcoming GMAT exam. Unfortunately, there has not been much information released about the exam, which has only added to the suspense.

GMAT takers, starting on June 2012, will be the first to take the new edition of the test.

There are a number of changes to the new GMAT. In particular, the new exam is presenting a section called Integrated Reasoning, or IR. This section will measure your ability to analyze different types of data from several sources. The taker will need to consider a number of presented options and take decisions in the same way they would in the real world.

The IR section is intended to resemble a real-life scenario, and may involve resources from budget sheets, emails, and notes from top management. Test takers will then need to evaluate and synthesize the data, and to design possible decisions.

Differently from the prior format, which included verbal, mathematics and analytical writing sections, the Next Generation GMAT exam will exchange one part of the writing section for the new integrated reasoning section. Because this part is intended to emulate real-life business environments, the answers are either correct or incorrect and there is no partial credit.

Christine Poon, dean of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, was quoted saying that, “This has been called the era of big data, and it is increasingly evident that the future will be claimed by those able to see the critical patterns among overwhelming complexity.” Many other business school recruiters also believe this exam was created in response to the necessities of the business world and admission committees.

The IR section will include different types of questions including:

– A sortable table of information, similar to a spreadsheet

–  A multi-source reasoning question providing test takers with various types of information in multiple tabs (text, charts, and tables),

–  Interpreted graphs and graphical images.

Although test takers are nervous about the upcoming GMAT exam, business schools and employers are excited to see what the results of this initiative are.

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