Monday, August 22, 2011

How the GMAT is changing

The World is coming to an end!

No, but the GMAT is changing. If you are like many prospective MBA students, preparing for and taking the GMAT is a daunting task. We want you to be as prepared as possible, so we want you to understand what the upcoming changes mean to you as a test taker. In June of 2012, the test will include an integrated reasoning section which is designed to provide a better assessment of your ability to evaluate information from multiple sources. Simply put, they are removing one of the analytical essays and replacing it with a new section designed to test integrated reasoning. The test will not be any longer, but it may be more challenging and your preparation for it also needs to change.

The new 30-minute section will present sets of data - charts, graphs and spreadsheets – and ask you to respond to a series of interactive questions about each data set. Within each group of questions in this section, you may wear headphones to listen to instructions or use an online calculator.

Why are these changes being made? Business faculty worldwide felt the test needed to more thoroughly and directly assess students’ ability to evaluate information within a real-world context. In recent years, business schools have adapted their curriculums to meet complex business needs so it only makes sense to change the entrance testing for these programs now, too.

As for scoring, the quantitative and verbal sections will still be scored on the same 200-800 scale and you will still exit the test with those unofficial scores in hand. The integrated reasoning and analytical scores will be scored separately on a different scale.

To stay up-to-date on these changes and any materials from GMAC that will help you prepare for the test, check their website, regularly. For more information about these changes, check out these articles or the video overview of the new GMAT:


U.S. News & World Report

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How the GRE has changed…

As of August 1, 2011, ETS launched the revised General Test for the GRE. What does this mean for you? The revised test still measures your verbal and quantitative reasoning skills, your critical thinking and analytical writing skills, but ETS has redesigned the test to be more user-friendly and to improve the test-taking experience.

For example, test takers are able to move back and forth between questions in a section, edit or change their answers and even skip and return to questions. This allows you to use some of your own test-taking strategies. The new questions are also more real-world based with less reliance on vocabulary out of context.

If you are thinking about how the new score scale affects you in the Admissions process, don’t start worrying! The new scale, in one-point increments between 130-170, simply allows admissions professionals to evaluate candidates more accurately. Small differences will still look “small” to us, while bigger differences between scores will still look…well, bigger.

But overall, we think the test is better for these changes and so should you. No matter what is new on the test, the focus is still on you, the test taker, and on making that test-taking experience more applicable to what you are doing now and what you will be doing in your future.

For more information, read this and this from ETS.