The GMAT has been facing competition from the GRE for some time. Around 600 business schools accept the GRE scores. The less expensive revised GRE, introduced last year, has changed its gears a bit and moved from a heavily vocabulary-based Verbal section to one based more on reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills.
In other words the GRE has become more similar to the GMAT. The GMAT is gearing up for this challenge with the new Integrated Reasoning section.
The Graduate Management Council itself says: “Today’s business word is rich in data. To succeed, you’ll need to analyze information from a variety of sources, and develop strategies and make decisions based on that information. It’s called Integrated Reasoning and it’s something you do every day.” On MBA.com they also say that in a recent survey, 740 management faculty worldwide identified several skills as important for prospective graduate management students. These are skills that the business community says are — and will continue to be — essential to success at the management and executive level:
1. Synthesizing information presented in graphics, text, and numbers
2. Evaluating relevant information from different sources
3. Organizing information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems
4. Combining and manipulating information to solve complex problems that depend on information from one or more sources
Therefore the new Integrated Reasoning section, which is intended to test these skills, consists of questions requiring a blend of skills in critical reasoning, complex problem-solving, interpretation of visual data and conversion of quantitative data between graphical and verbal formats. Though this sounds very complicated, it’s not all that difficult according to the official blog on MBA.com: “Students who have participated in pilot studies for the Next Gen GMAT and who have taken the Integrated Reasoning section have told us that they are already using these skills in their undergraduate study or at work. One student said, ‘…it’s just the PowerPoint, spreadsheet paradigm we live in every day.’”
To read a good analysis of the competition between the GRE and GMAT read this article: ‘The Battle of the B-School Gatekeepers‘