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Changes to the GMAT® Exam

On June 4th 2012, GMAC, the organization behind the GMAT, introduced a new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section to the exam, which is designed to measure a test taker's ability to evaluate information presented in new formats and from multiple sources.

With this introduction, the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) has been shortened, so the AWA score will be based on one essay rather than two; the total test time will be the same as before, 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The IR section will be scored separately on a scale of 1-8 and will not affect the AWA, Quantitative, Verbal or Total scores; the results from the IR section will not be included on the unofficial score reports provided to test takers immediately after the exam but will be on the Official Score Reports (available 20 days after).

According to GMAC, the IR will evaluate a test-taker's ability to:

  • Synthesize information presented in graphics, text, and numbers
  • Evaluate relevant information from different sources
  • Organize information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems
  • Combine and manipulate information to solve complex problems that depend on information from one or more sources

A snapshot of the new test compared to the existing one is below:

     Next Generation GMAT Exam Comparison

Source: GMAC -


Frequently Asked Questions:

1.) Will INSEAD still accept GMAT scores from the old version of the GMAT exam?

Yes, assuming your test results are still valid (five years from the date of test to time of application), INSEAD will accept them.

2.) How will INSEAD evaluate the IR section - what score is required for admissions?

Until there is more benchmarking data from test-takers to consider, INSEAD will not be using the IR section to review a candidate's performance in the GMAT; we will continue to focus on the quantitative and verbal scores as well as the total score. However, over time, the Admissions Committee aims to incorporate this section into the overall assessment of a candidate.

3.) Does this change impact the INSEAD MBA admissions process?

Not at this stage. The MBA admissions process will continue as outlined on our website and the admissions criteria remain unchanged. As soon as we have a clear benchmark, we will publicize this on our website and will communicate with our current and prospective applicants.

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