All About GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section is a fairly new addition to the GMAT, replacing one of the test’s Analytical Writing Assessment essays. Introduced in 2012, the IR section is designed to test a candidate’s ability to analyse data presented in different formats and utilise it to solve relevant problems. 

There are four types of questions asked in this section:

  1. Table Analysis
    In this category, the data is presented in tabular format along with three associated questions. In order to answer these questions correctly, you will need to distinguish between essential and insignificant information.
GMAT IR Section Figure 4
  1. Graphical Interpretation
    In question falling under this category, you will be asked to decipher the data presented in a chart or graph. There will be two questions with answer choices which are presented in a drop-down menu.
GMAT IR Section Figure 2
  1. Two-Part Analysis
    Under this, you will be asked to answer a question with multiple choice options. The questions are long and detailed, and have small tables attached listing components of the question in the first two columns and the answer options in the third column. You will be asked to choose two correct answers out of available multiple choices.
GMAT IR Section Figure 3
  1. Multi-Source Reasoning
    In this category, you will be asked to navigate and gather information from multiple tabs, analyse the data presented in charts or tables and choose the answer from multiple choice options.
GMAR IR Section Figure 1

The IR section is made up of 12 questions, with an allotted time duration of 30 minutes. It is scored on a scale of 1 to 8, and does not count for one’s overall GMAT score. 

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IR Scoring:

Although GMAC, the administrative body of the GMAT exam does not disclose too much information about how the section is scored, there are some conclusions that can be drawn from the available information.  

As the IR section is non-adaptive in nature, it is safe to assume that every question carries the same value irrespective of the difficulty level. We leave it to the judgment of the test-taker to guess which questions are experimental and how important the IR section is, considering that  attempting this section cannot benefit him/her in the total GMAT score. The Integrated Reasoning GMAT score is scaled to a range of 1 to 8 (with single point increments). Your score in this section is reported in the official score report along with the scores for all other sections. 

Although the IR score does not count towards the overall GMAT final score, many candidates do focus on the IR section once they are done with preparing for the verbal and quantitative sections. We bring you a few tips and strategies that you can use during your IR section preparation:

  1. Try to be well-versed with graphical content and tables, charts etc. to hone your interpretation skills. For doing this, you can try reading business newspapers or magazines like Economic Times, Wall Street Journal, and the like.

  2. Try to analyse your strengths and shortcomings with regard to different types of data interpretation questions and work on those areas which need improvement. Try to attempt mock versions of the IR and AWA sections too in order to get the right momentum on the day of the exam.

  3. It is always a good idea to practice using an on-screen calculator. Although it can be used sparingly, this is definitely a huge time-saver for questions that involve complex calculations.