Integrated Reasoning Scoring Scale

So we’ve all been waiting patiently for the scoring scale for the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning section. This week GMAC released the scoring scale: 1-8 points in one-point increments.

According to Lawrence Rudner, the psychometric guru at GMAC, scaled scores are used to mitigate issues that arise from raw scores, help better interpret results, and allow for more accurate comparisons across various test results.

We now know that the IR section will have 12 questions. We also know that the scoring scale for IR differs from the Quant and Verbal scores, as well as the Total Score, because IR questions are not computer adaptive and don’t rely on Item Response Theory. Instead, IR questions will, according to Rudner, “use different test forms designed to measure the same skills, and the results will be based on the number of correctly answered questions.” Note that last part: results will be based on the number of correctly answered questions.

This begs some consideration about what’s important to keep in mind when tackling IR:

  • Pacing is important – Although the number of correct questions is the chief determinant of results, this is not to say that your goal is to rush through the questions. Rather, you should seek to balance speed with accuracy. It may be in your best interest to slow down some on the questions you do to ensure you get them right, which will almost certainly necessitate not working on others. Along similar lines…
  • Pick and choose your battles – The IR is not computer adaptive. If you come across a question that appears particularly time consuming or difficult, skip it to use the time on the questions you can get.
  • Do the Math – Because the scaled score is based on the number of correct answers, each “correct” response is worth two-thirds of a point. Why did we put correct in quotes? See below…
  • Pacing is really important - To get an IR item “correct,” you need to correctly answer all of the questions for that item. There is no partial credit given. What this means is a greater likelihood of throwing away perfectly good points and wasting effort when a single part of a question is answered incorrectly. All the more reason to slow down and avoid careless errors. Don’t throw away points or effort!

That’s the latest on the Integrated Reasoning scoring. In the weeks ahead we’ll be posting about strategies and insights to help you manage this new section. Stay tuned! In the meantime, click this link to view all of our other posts about IR.

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