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Kaplan Survey: Two Years After its Launch, a Majority of Business Schools Still Not Sold on the Importance of the GMAT’s® Integrated Reasoning Section; Most Deem it Unimportant, but Students Ignore it at their Own Risk

Oct. 9, 2014

All Graduate Level Programs, Press Releases, Survey Results


New York, NY (October 9, 2014) – According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States*, 60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score. This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s Integrated Reasoning score was not important. Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall. And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the exam.

“The fact that a majority of MBA programs are still not currently placing great importance on the Integrated Reasoning section of GMAT is somewhat understandable since they may want to gather additional performance data before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process. It’s important to remember that because GMAT scores are good for five years, many applicants in 2012, 2013 and 2014 probably submitted scores from the old GMAT, which did not include the Integrated Reasoning section.” said Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “As more and more applicants submit scores from the current GMAT over the next couple of years, business schools may decide that Integrated Reasoning performance should play a more critical role. Until that time though, Kaplan strongly advises MBA applicants not to discount the importance of preparing for and doing well on the Integrated Reasoning section. Similar to how not scoring well on Integrated Reasoning cannot be masked by good performance on other sections because it receives its own separate score, doing well on Integrated Reasoning can set you apart from other applicants in a positive way. Use it to your advantage.”

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers, please contact Russell Schaffer or 212.453.7538.

*For the 2014 Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.

GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council™. Kaplan materials do not contain actual GMAT items and are neither endorsed by nor affiliated in any way with GMAC.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep ( is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire.

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Press contacts:

Kaplan, Inc. Russell Schaffer
Office: 212.453.7538
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