As you already know by now, the Integrated Reasoning section question formats are wildly different from either the verbal or quantitative reasoning sections. The most-commonly stated reason for these bizarre question formats has been to test higher order reasoning and analytical skills, but there is another, more basic reason: security.
The GMAC is mainly concerned with two types of cheating: people taking the test under multiple names, and “live” questions (problems currently in the GMAT question pool) being released on the Internet. Some GMAT test-takers will show up with fraudulent credentials and attempt to take the test for someone else. Other test-takers will take the test not with the aim of scoring highly, but simply remembering questions to reproduce and/or sell them on websites.
According to the New York Times, both types of cheating on the GMAT have risen over the past few years. Four years ago, a Web site reproduced and sold “live” questions currently on the GMAT. The number of test-takers with fraudulent credentials has also been on the rise. Now, test-takers are required to have their palms scanned by a sensor to prevent the same person from taking the test multiple times under different names. In some countries, such as China, students are required to present a passport as valid photo identification.
The new formatting of the Integrated Reasoning section is another way GMAC hopes to minimize the second type of cheating: test-takers attempting to memorize questions and reproduce them on the Internet. Since the questions come in new formats that use pull-down menus and have multiple answers per page, GMAC is hoping to make it more difficult for applicants to memorize and replicate the questions on websites, Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president in charge of the testing program, said.
The added security in the Integrated Reasoning section is just one more indication that the Integrated Reasoning section is likely to become more important in the coming years. If business schools are particularly confident that it is impossible for test-takers to obtain “live” Integrated Reasoning section questions in advance of the test, then they are likely to view this section as an even more reliable measure of future business school performance. So make sure you prepare thoroughly for the GMAT, and review those Integrated Reasoning problems extra-carefully. The Integrated Reasoning section is only going to become more important.
Looking for Integrated Reasoning practice? Check out the links below!