Are you taking the GMAT? Wondering how to go about the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section? We will provide you with some tips to help you attempt the GMAT Integrated Reasoning questions easily and efficiently. But before that let’s give you an overview of the Integrated Reasoning section. 

Integrated Reasoning (IR) Section: Overview 

The Integrated Reasoning (IR) section has relatively been a newer addition to the GMAT exam. It was introduced in 2012  by the GMAC to test if you can synthesise, access, and organise information from various data sources to solve complex problems. The IR section consists of 12 questions, which you have to complete within 30 minutes. The scores for this section range from 0 to 8, which increases by a one-point increment. 

The IR section consists of four different question types— Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis. Each question type tests your ability to analyse a specific type of data source.

 Let us take a quick look at each question type. 

Multi-Source Reasoning: This question type tests your ability to analyse data from multiple data sources. These data sources could be tables, graphs, visuals, passages, or even a combination of various data types. You will be required to answer multiple-choice questions based on these data types. Some questions might ask you to identify the errors in the data and some other questions might ask you to point out the differences.  

Table Analysis: This question type tests your ability to analyse a table and requires you to answer questions based on the same. These questions will require you to verify if the information provided is relevant or not.

Graphics Interpretation: This question type tests your ability to interpret a graph or a graphical image. Some of the graphical images include a pie chart, bar chart, and scatter plot. These questions will require you to draw inferences from various graphical images and identify the relationship between two or multiple figures.

Two-Part Analysis: This question type tests your ability to solve complex word problems. These questions can test your verbal skills or quantitative skills or even a combination of the two. These questions will require you to measure two entities, identify the relationship between them, and solve equations at the same time.

We have given a brief overview of the GMAT IR section. Let us now move on to why you should have a good score in the Integrated Reasoning section.

Importance of a Good Score on GMAT Integrated Reasoning 

As you might be aware, the sum of the Verbal Reasoning and Qualitative Reasoning scores make up for the total GMAT score. Hence, a common assumption is that doing well in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections will guarantee you a good GMAT score and that will in turn guarantee admission into your preferred university. However, if you are applying to business schools, the admission committee takes into account how you have performed in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section as well. This is because pursuing an MBA degree requires you to translate your knowledge in analysing various data and being able to interpret them with ease in real-life situations, both of which are tested in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section. 

While Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measure your knowledge of verbal and quantitative skills, the Integrated Reasoning section tests how you combine the verbal and quantitative skills you have gained to evaluate and manipulate information as and when needed. Hence, scoring well on the GMAT IR section can fetch you brownie points when applying to a business school. We will list some tips to help you attempt the Integrated Reasoning questions effectively. 

Tips for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section:

Here are some tips and strategies you can incorporate into your study plan to help you attempt the GMAT Integrated Reasoning questions with ease: 

  • Read the Question Carefully: To begin with, read the questions carefully and attempt to understand what is expected of you. Some questions might ask you to draw an inference from the data provided while some others might just require you to distinguish between the various data sources provided to you. So, make it a point to read each question thoroughly before you begin to attempt it.
  • Be Familiar with the Question Types: As mentioned above, the GMAT IR section consists of four question types and you need to familiarize yourself with all four of them. It is not enough to be familiar with just the questions but also the format in which the question will be presented to it. Since the IR section consists of various data sources, you need to have a look at the questions formats so that you are not overwhelmed by all the figures and data on the day of the exam. 
  • Practice with Sample Papers: An easy way to familiarise yourself with the GMAT IR section is practicing with the help of sample papers or mock tests available online. However, make sure you use the official GMAT mock tests as they use a unique and specific algorithm. If you are familiar with the algorithm, you can easily navigate your way through the GMAT IR section on the day of the exam.
  • Make Use of the Sorting Functionality: The biggest challenge when attempting the GMAT IR section is sorting through various data within a limited time frame of 30 minutes. The GMAT for this very reason provides a sorting functionality feature. The sorting functionality feature provides you with a drop-down menu from which you can choose how you want to sort the data provided to you. You can arrange your data by ascending order, descending order, alphabetical order, or you can even separate the table by columns. The objective of this feature is to allow you to use various permutations and combinations to rearrange your data in a manner where interpreting and analysing data becomes simplified. Hence, make sure to put this feature to good use because it will most definitely help you go through the data quickly and efficiently.
  • Practice with the On-Screen Calculator: You might be aware that you are not allowed to carry any electronic devices to the GMAT examination hall. Now, this can be rather difficult with the GMAT IR section, as you have to solve complex problems with multiple values. The need to use a calculator in such a scenario becomes very crucial. Yet again, the GMAT offers a way out! 

The GMAT IR section is equipped with an on-screen calculator that you can make use of to solve complex problems quickly and accurately. However, you should practice attempting a few questions with the on-screen calculator to get the hang of it. If not, it can overwhelm you on the day of the exam. Hence, make sure to attempt a few mock tests with the on-screen calculator so that you can easily operate it on the day of the exam.

Hope these tips on how to attempt the GMAT Integrated Reasoning questions are helpful. These tips will not only help you prepare for the GMAT IR section but will also boost your confidence along the way. 

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