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    Score Calculation for GMAT IR Section

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    Every MBA aspirant wants to stay ahead of the competition while preparing for competitive exams like GMAT where the contest is not just to score good but to be in the top percentile of GMAT Score. The candidates who are to take the GMAT examination, must be aware that the most important sections in this examination are that of the Quantitative Aptitude and the Verbal Ability, this is because they are the only sections which are used in calculation of the overall GMAT Score. It is, however, important to give equal importance to the GMAT Integrated Reasoning as well. Candidates can follow the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Preparation tips for better performance in the exam. 

    Many top B-Schools prioritize the candidates with the same GMAT scores using the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section percentile. Graduate Management Admission Council introduced the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section in 2012. This was based on feedback from business schools, employers and other partners to assess skills which both business schools and employers are looking for in candidates and provide an additional data point for students to distinguish themselves from other GMAT test-takers. Overall, the GMAT Integrated Reasoning forms a very important parameter not just for the B-School offering a course but also for the employer offering a job.

    GMAT IR score report and its fine prints

    The GMAT Integrated Reasoning consists of four types of questions namely, 

    • Graphics Interpretation (GI)
    • Two-Part Analysis (2PA)
    • Table Analysis (TA) and 
    • Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR)

    All of these types of questions will be asked in the exam. However, the breakdown of the question type will differ from one person’s Integrated Reasoning section to another person’s because the questions are selected randomly from a pool of questions before the beginning of the section.

    Also, various questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning will be having multiple sub-questions and in order to score full credit in such questions, the candidate must be able to successfully solve all the sub-questions. Another point to notice in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is that some questions will require more than one response. This is done to measure the level of understanding while integration data as well as whether the candidate is able to solve complex problems in a limited period of time.

    GMAC has kept quiet on its methodology of breakdown criteria in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section and that how many questions of these 12 would be experimental. The most challenging part is that as a GMAT test taker, the candidate is never aware of whether the question in context is experimental or not. Thus, it is much better to treat each and every question as to the same and work out the solutions similar to the Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability sections.

    Candidate can also follow the below pointers for GMAT Integrated Reasoning section score report:

    • GMAT Integrated Reasoning score is reported separately and the Score in this section does not affect the overall score out of 800.
    • GMAT Integrated Reasoning has a score range from 1 to 8, with a single point increment.
    • There are 4 concepts on which a total of 12 questions are asked.
    • All of the concepts which are tested in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning are covered adequately in the Quant and Verbal section.

    GMAT Integrated Reasoning section – Is it computer adaptive?

    While GMAT is known for its adaptive test, this property is applicable only to the Quantitative Aptitude and the Verbal Ability sections, whereas, in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning, the questions are selected randomly from the pool of questions at the beginning of the section. All the questions in GMAT Integrated Reasoning section have a variety of difficulty levels.

    Fact of the matter is that there is no proper way to find out which of the questions are experimental and whether they are being marked differently or not. Candidates should rather focus on solving each question assuming that all questions have the same marking scheme and not fret over the experimental questions because they are ultimately not considered in the final scoring used to prepare the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score Report.

    Candidate can also follow the below pointers for GMAT Integrated Reasoning section question pattern:

    • The GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section is not adaptive in nature
    • A total of 12 questions of varying difficulty levels are given to the candidate which are selected from a pool of questions before the beginning of the section.
    • Even though there are a few experimental questions added in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, they are not used to prepare the final score of this section.

    GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score Range – Complete details

    The raw score calculated for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is based on the correct answers which do not include the experimental questions. This raw score is scaled to a maximum score of 8. This reflects the difficulty level of the questions asked in the section. In addition to this score, a percentile score is also calculated and reported in the GMAT Scorecard which is similar to the Quantitative Aptitude and the Verbal Ability sections. The percentile will reflect the candidate’s performance in comparison with respect to the other test-takers.

    Candidate can also follow the below pointers for GMAT Integrated Reasoning section score range:

    • The Integrated Reasoning section will be scored in the range of 1 to 8. There is no partial score for a sub-question, so in case there is a question in which there are three different sub-questions (e.g. true/false), the candidate must answer all the three sub-questions correctly to get the score for that one question, and in case any of the sub-question is attempted incorrectly, the whole question is marked wrong and no score is allocated.
    • Graduate Management Admission Council has kept its recipe secret on the score conversion, i.e. how are the raw scores converted into the scaled scores. However, the number of questions attempted correctly will get the candidate a good raw score. In the final report, the candidate will have the scaled scores accompanied by the percentiles.

    Experts believe that even though what may seem to your advantage or disadvantage may not work out that way as the algorithm followed by Graduate Management Admission Council which converts the raw scores to scaled scores is highly unpredictable. Also, the fact that there are no partial scores in a multi-part question posses challenges making it harder to earn points on individual questions. However, if this question is difficult for everyone, the candidate might get lower raw scores and still get a higher percentile grade. Also, in case all the questions are easy to attempt, then most of the candidates will get these right. This would place many candidates at the top because of good raw scores, but in terms of percentile, this would be a challenge. Thus, what matters is how well a candidate is performing in comparison to other test takers and not how easy or hard is the test.

    In between the time period of 2015-2017, with a sample size of 761k candidates taking the GMAT examination, the mean score was 4.29 out of 8. The below points lists the score along with the percentile ranking which could give a perspective to the preparation:

    • Score – 8, Percentile Ranking – 92%
    • Score – 7, Percentile Ranking – 82%
    • Score – 6, Percentile Ranking – 70%
    • Score – 5, Percentile Ranking – 54%
    • Score – 4, Percentile Ranking – 38%
    • Score – 3, Percentile Ranking – 24%
    • Score – 2, Percentile Ranking – 11%

    GMAT IR scaled and percentile score calculation

    Candidate can also follow the below pointers for GMAT Integrated Reasoning section score calculation:

    • Candidate must be aware by now that the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score is reported separately and does not affect the overall score out of 800.
    • This section is not Computer adaptive, and hence questions of varying difficulty levels can appear at any point in the test as they are randomly selected from a pool of questions at the beginning of the section.
    • The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section scaled scores range from 1 to 8. These scores are reported in a single point interval with 8 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.
    • Only the correct answers of the non-experimental questions contribute towards the scaled score. However, there is no method to understand whether the question at hand is an experimental question or not.
    • All of the questions asked in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section carry the same score excluding experimental questions that are not used in the final scoring and are there just for GMACs understanding to prepare questions for future tests.
    • The Percentile score represents a candidate’s GMAT Integrated Reasoning section performance with respect to other GMAT test-takers.

    Eventually, even if this score is not going to be used in the GMAT final score calculation which ranges from 200 to 800, it still is an important section which would help the candidate in taking the lead in the competition where many candidates are stuck on the same GMAT Score and percentiles.

    Since most of the top recruiters need the skills tested through the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section in a candidate, this score is further used in recruiting applications, which further becomes a condition of getting an offer as well.

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