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Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score?

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Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 09:07
Hello all,
I read an article by MGMAT from June saying it will take the GMAC years(!) to evaluate IR stats.
Can anyone share light on when b-schools will start to consider the IR score as a meaningful factor for the application process?
Thanks,
Roy
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 12:07
No one can tell that for sure.

Though I'd recommend to look at the new section seriously. There is no reason that schools will not look at a given set of information that helps them to distinguish between the candidates from a large pool.

The statement only means it will take GMAC sometime to 'standardize' the question difficulty. GMAC can do this once they have relevant data and this may take a couple of years.

No reason you should not prepare for it. It is an important part of the test.

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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 15:06
jumsumtak wrote:
No one can tell that for sure.

Though I'd recommend to look at the new section seriously. There is no reason that schools will not look at a given set of information that helps them to distinguish between the candidates from a large pool.

The statement only means it will take GMAC sometime to 'standardize' the question difficulty. GMAC can do this once they have relevant data and this may take a couple of years.

No reason you should not prepare for it. It is an important part of the test.

thank you for your input.
any suggested method on how to approach this section? and time strategy?
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 15:12
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 15:52
I would venture out to say (and possibly make a fool out of myself since we are guessing the future here) that the section will need at least 2-3 years for the GMAC to prove that it actually works.

What GMAC likes to do is take the IR scores and compare them to the student's grades/GPA in Bschool. Do not ask me how they get the GPA results or correlate it because they do and have been able to do it in the past (run regressions for the general GMAT score and GPA).

Assuming they pursue the same path here (to convince bschools that IR is indeed legit and how it should be used), they will need 2-3 years to make that case. It will further take 1-2 years for schools to start adopting it and do their own research and splice hairs whether a score of 6 is good enough or does one really need to have a 7, and so forth.

Therefore, I would say you are safe for at least 3 years but that could be a bit too conservative to me (so at least 2 on a more aggressive adoption scale). Which means a) Do not skip or get a zero on IR; b) Do not stress if you got a 4; c) Focus on the Applications; d)Got an 8? Well... too bad nobody is going to do anything with it...
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 16:17
bb wrote:
I would venture out to say (and possibly make a fool out of myself since we are guessing the future here) that the section will need at least 2-3 years for the GMAC to prove that it actually works.

What GMAC likes to do is take the IR scores and compare them to the student's grades/GPA in Bschool. Do not ask me how they get the GPA results or correlate it because they do and have been able to do it in the past (run regressions for the general GMAT score and GPA).

Assuming they pursue the same path here (to convince bschools that IR is indeed legit and how it should be used), they will need 2-3 years to make that case. It will further take 1-2 years for schools to start adopting it and do their own research and splice hairs whether a score of 6 is good enough or does one really need to have a 7, and so forth.

Therefore, I would say you are safe for at least 3 years but that could be a bit too conservative to me (so at least 2 on a more aggressive adoption scale). Which means a) Do not skip or get a zero on IR; b) Do not stress if you got a 4; c) Focus on the Applications; d)Got an 8? Well... too bad nobody is going to do anything with it...

I cant agree more with what you are saying but,
i did several IR's and I think that what they are testing sometimes, especially the parts with e-mails and understanding what to do with information, is not related to b-schools.
We are trained to summarize and answer questions while this method tries to imitate a day to day life (?) of a business manager.
I wont lie, I dont like the IR and i find it tiring. I heard that there was an issue writing assignment before which is much easier.
So now, instead of just writing 2 essays, we need to "Warm Up" for the quant and verbal with the IR.
In my eyes, it hurts one's score rather than improves it.

all in all, I cant change it so ill fight it like the rest of us
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 16:28
roygush wrote:

I cant agree more with what you are saying but,
i did several IR's and I think that what they are testing sometimes, especially the parts with e-mails and understanding what to do with information, is not related to b-schools.

So, in your opinion compared to 1 year ago, do you feel the GMAT has become more or less relevant in regards to evaluating the skills one will need at the bschool?
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 16:30
bb wrote:
roygush wrote:

I cant agree more with what you are saying but,
i did several IR's and I think that what they are testing sometimes, especially the parts with e-mails and understanding what to do with information, is not related to b-schools.

So, in your opinion compared to 1 year ago, do you feel the GMAT has become more or less relevant in regards to evaluating the skills one will need at the bschool?

The GMAT as a whole, ofcourse. Verbal and Quant are a good measure of how will one do in school (combined with GPA from undergraduate degree).
The new IR addition, again in my eyes, is irrelevant.

What do you think?
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 16:37
On the issue of when b-schools will start using the IR score, I think bb hit it on the head, as usual: it's hard to know exactly when schools will start taking it seriously, but odds are good that GMAC will need some time to complete the validity studies on the IR section, and then possibly another year or two to convince MBA programs to start using it.

The other issue is that it's not completely fair to use the IR when some candidates are applying with older test scores, taken before IR was added in June 2012. In theory, you'll still see applicants with "old" scores until the first half of 2017, so it's possible that schools will be reluctant to over-emphasize the IR section before then. I suppose that adcoms could start requiring applicants to submit a "fresh" IR score before 2017, but I wouldn't worry about that until it actually happens. Business schools have plenty of data points about candidates already, and my hunch is that they won't be in a huge hurry to start including the IR in their calculations... but I might look like a complete idiot if they change their minds in a few months.

In the meantime, I think it's best to be a little bit lazy on IR, and just treat it as a warmup for the verbal and quant sections.

I'm really curious to hear what everybody else says about the relevance of the IR section, and I'm happy that you brought it up, roygush. My feeling is that IR is a little bit less mechanical than, say, sentence correction or certain quant questions, and the section is a "purer" test of your logical skills. The data charts and tables and drawings seem silly sometimes, but I think those questions do a reasonably good job of testing your ability to cut to the heart of information quickly. And that seems more valuable than, say, overlapping sets or parallelism or number properties questions, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 16:47
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I am probably armed with more history about the debate but one of the issues that bschools have with the GMAT (of many) is the fact that Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs (God Bless his heart), Warren Buffett, and almost any other famous business leader or alumni of a bschool would not do well on the GMAT if you walked into their office and asked them to take the test.

I will venture out and guess that they would probably do better on the IR section than on the DS or some funky SC question.

BSchool is supposed to be about a few things, but namely - Leadership and Maturity. Drawing a parallel between Leadership and GMAT is pretty tough (many factors get in the way), so what GMAC did was draw a parallel between GMAT score and Bschool GPA, thus shifting the battle to the Schools turf. (GMAC is telling schools that the applicants with high GMAT scores are likely to have good grades as demonstrated by the research. If schools disagree, they should first revise their grading policies before making any arguments about the GMAT test - see how twisted the argument is?).

However, grades and GPA in the Bschool is one of the most useless things after graduation. I am yet to see a job application that would have asked me about my Bschool GPA or my bschool transcript. Do you really care that someone got out of Booth with 3.5 and another person from HBS with 3.0? Are you going to take the Booth guy or an HBS guy? It is irrelevant. What matters the most is what they have been able to accomplish before their MBA and how BSchool has amplified and improved their skills/vision/qualities. Using the same logic, if you have nothing to show for your work experience before bschool or during the internship, then it does not matter how good your grades were or possibly even what school you went to - it is impossible to make a judgement about one just based on the fact that they had gone to a top mba program and received a GPA of x.

The bottom line is - schools try to foster leadership and develop those skills. The grades do not catch that; they only show how likely one is to the homework and follow the directions while doing it. GMAT, on the other hand is very highly correlated to that piece of the Bschool. IR, on the other hand attempts to short-circuit the old system and go beyond the GMAT/GPA relationship but it won't be able to demonstrate that for quite a while (at least 2-3 years when the current class graduates, or possibly longer, 3-5 years, until the current class gets placements and salary figures).

P.S. I will again venture out to guess that GMAC will attempt to tie the IR with graduating Salary or Salary within xx months. No idea if/how they will be able to do that but that would be the next generation of the "ruler" which would allow GMAC to be close to "untouchable" from the relevancy standpoint.
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 22:24
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Thank you for all of that, bb. In some ways, I really enjoy the intellectual and psychological challenges of the GMAT, but I think it's an absolutely terrible measure of anything that really matters in the long run. Sure, it's a great predictor of first-year grades in b-school, but some of the validity studies suggest that the GMAT doesn't even do all that great of a job of predicting second-year b-school grades... and it's a completely useless predictor of success beyond business school, for exactly the reasons that you mentioned. (Yes, I read validity studies for fun. Judge if you must.) In some ways, it's really frustrating that people have to work like crazy to develop a narrow set of skills just for the GMAT, only to find that those skills are of limited value once they get through the core classes in business school.

I think you're right that GMAC will probably try to connect IR to grander goals (salary, presumably) as quickly as they can, but I honestly don't know whether that will ever be possible. The IR section arguably does a better job of testing higher-order thinking than the rest of the test, but I don't think that any standardized test will ever begin to capture the qualities (leadership, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, judgment, intuition, etc.) that are essential to a stellar career in business. IR might do a better job of identifying a test-taker's ability to look "beyond the numbers" on some of the funky data analysis questions, and that seems like it's worth something. But will it predict a higher salary? I really doubt it.

But if GMAC can prove that IR predicts success beyond business school at all, then they will effectively squash the GRE as a competitor for the next couple of decades. And maybe that's their goal with all of this?
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 23:45
great discussion.

I have my doubts that GMAC will be able to perfectly co-relate IR with grander scheme of things (salary, job prospects etc.), but honestly, I would not be surprised if they were able to do that. I can see some co-relation, but only time will tell how significant it is. But again, we are talking about anywhere between 4-10 yrs so that they have enough data on the graduating class.

It would also be very interesting to know the co-relation between IR and the quant & verbal scores. At the end of the day, if IR is just an indicator of one's (advanced) quantitative abilities, it might not serve the purpose. Don't we already have quant scores for that?

I will be also interested to see whether the highly sought firms (consulting/PE) use IR as an indicator. It is unlikely, but, again, I would not rule out that possibility. Especially, because there is some overlap between the skillset required to succeed in the job. (data analysis)
These firms do conduct their own tests, but in future they might want to utilize a 'ready-made' data point, or use IR scores in conjugation with their own tests.

bb wrote:
However, grades and GPA in the Bschool is one of the most useless things after graduation. I am yet to see a job application that would have asked me about my Bschool GPA or my bschool transcript. Do you really care that someone got out of Booth with 3.5 and another person from HBS with 3.0? Are you going to take the Booth guy or an HBS guy? It is irrelevant. What matters the most is what they have been able to accomplish before their MBA and how BSchool has amplified and improved their skills/vision/qualities. Using the same logic, if you have nothing to show for your work experience before bschool or during the internship, then it does not matter how good your grades were or possibly even what school you went to - it is impossible to make a judgement about one just based on the fact that they had gone to a top mba program and received a GPA of x.

I wasn't aware of this, but I'm not too surprised either.
What about the first job after graduation ? Does your b-school gpa play an important role there? With all the non-disclosure policies and people from diff. schools interviewing together, is the bschool gpa just a hygiene factor?

Anyways for the OP, I will suggest to be adequately prepared and don't take the section very lightly. All this debate is great & interesting but just for what GMATNinja mentioned: 'analyzing intellectual and psychological challenges of the GMAT'.

There have been just way to many 'harmless' things that have come to bite me later in life

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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2012, 13:30
I think you've raised a pretty interesting question about how consulting firms (or investment banks or other employers) use GMAT scores, jumsumtak. I've never completely understood why employers use GMAT scores as part of their screening process, since those tests really aren't designed to test the skills that you would actually need in those jobs. Really, does number properties expertise make you a better investment banker?

Sure, there could be some correlation between GMAT scores and performance in consulting/finance jobs, but I suspect that the correlation is pretty weak if it exists at all. The GMAT probably does a good job of measuring basic quant skills and it does an excellent job of analyzing your ability to follow directions... but are those really the most important skills that employers are looking for? Maybe I don't really want to know the answer to that question...?

I've often suspected that employers use GMAT scores partially out of laziness. Consulting and finance firms have more perfectly strong applicants than they could possibly need, so maybe the GMAT is just a quick, convenient screening method? If that's the case, then it wouldn't be surprising to see them use IR as an additional screening method someday. I like a lot of things about the IR section, but I doubt that it's ever going to do a great job of identifying successful employees; still, it might give employers another quick, easy tool for winnowing the field of applicants... even if it really isn't a robust, valid way to identify the stronger applicants.
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score? [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2012, 09:00
I agree with everyone here.
One thing i can conclude is this:
I am a 26 year old mail with Engineering background and also served in the army. I have a long and solid working experience and managerial experience.
I am sure I will fit any MBA program and will do good in class too.
The GMAT can tell all this. If I am a slow learner and dont think exactly like the GMAC wants me to, it will be a problem.

What im trying to say is that the because of the GMAT, B-Schools sometimes loose good quality people who "didnt score well in verbal or quant".
The GMAT system will never change in my eyes and all of us will spend money and bust our asses for a good grade.
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Re: Approximately when will B-Schools start to look at IR score?   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2012, 09:00
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