GMAT Integrated Reasoning

By Samarpita Goswami Updated On - Jun 30, 2022 05:33 PM

Since the use of integrated reasoning skills is very prevalent in business schools, GMAC added this section to the GMAT. This guide will provide every minute detail pertaining to the GMAT IR section. 

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The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, introduced in June of 2012, aims to improve the skills of data interpretation professionals. It measures how well you can integrate data into complex problems and will help prepare you to be on par with the future business leaders of tomorrow. In addition, the section will also test your ability to synthesise and evaluate the various elements of information presented in text, graphics, and numbers. 

The Integrated Reasoning GMAT section consists of four question types and each type requires multiple responses. It also tests how students use the information gathered from various sources to solve complex problems. The Integrated Reasoning section consists of four question types, where each question requires multiple responses. This guide will go over everything that you need to know about the section, including its purpose and question types.

What is the Purpose of GMAT Integrated Reasoning?

According to the GMAC, analytical skill is very important for business success. In today's world, leaders must analyse and synthesise vast amounts of data to solve complex problems. In 2012, GMAC conducted a global survey to find out how important integrated reasoning skills are to employers. The majority of them stated that these skills are required for business school graduates.

During business school, students are exposed to various types of cases where they use integrated reasoning skills. Since the use of integrated reasoning skills is very prevalent in business schools, GMAC added this section to the GMAT exam. Although many employers support the importance of integrated reasoning skills, it is not clear how much emphasis they place on this skill in the GMAT.

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Does the Integrated Reasoning Matter in GMAT?

When it comes to admissions, business schools typically do not discuss how they value the GMAT scores. Instead, they insist that the admissions process is based on a variety of factors, including essay writing and recommendation letters.

According to a survey, the GMAT Integrated Reasoning score is the most crucial factor in determining admission to business schools. In 2015, 59% of the respondents stated that the Integrated Reasoning GMAT score was very important in their decision-making process.

The number of applicants submitting scores from the Integrated Reasoning section has grown significantly over the years. Although math and verbal scores are still important, the more important factor is the average IR score. If you're applying to a selective school, aim for a high score.

Before taking the GMAT IR section, make sure that you're familiar with the concepts that are tested. Doing so will allow you to mentally prepare for the section. This section can also help prepare for the other parts of the GMAT. It's important to start preparing for it before you even start taking the test.

Skills Required for GMAT IR

The GMAT IR section is designed to integrate your verbal and math skills. In this section, you will need to perform simple calculations and read passages to pick out important information.

This section will help prepare for the math and verbal sections. It doesn't ask rote questions and it pushes students to think critically. Each question in the Integrated Reasoning GMAT section is multi-part. You have to answer all of the questions correctly to get points. The four questions in the IR section are multi-source reasoning, graphical interpretation, and two-part analyses.

If you see a lot of question types that are probably unscored or experimental, then treat them as equally important. Although it doesn’t matter which ones are experimental, it is still important that you treat them as equally important.

Question Types in GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning GMAT Section consists of four types of questions: multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphics interpretation, and two-part analysis. Many of the questions in this section require multiple responses. This GMAT Integrated Reasoning section also has a special feature that allows students to answer the questions using an online calculator. Due to the complexity of the questions, students must correctly answer all of them. 

Multi-Source Reasoning Questions

Each multi-source question has three tabs that contain different information. You could see charts, tables, and passages. There are two formats: the first is a multiple-choice question, and the second one has five answer choices.

In the second format, the grid has two columns, with two separate dichotomous choices. An example of a multi-source question shows that it has three sources of data. On the real GMAT, you will be able to see all three sources.

How to Approach Multi-Source Reasoning Questions?

The most time-consuming type of question in the GMAT IR section is multi-source reasoning. It has multiple questions that are related to the same topic. As you prepare for the GMAT, you might want to take a few extra minutes to focus on the most challenging questions. In this section, you will have to analyze and compare the various sources presented in the question. It's similar to the verbal section.

Table Analysis Questions

You don't need to deal with multiple sources of data in a table analysis question. Instead, you just need to look at a large, full-featured table.

The table will have a sorting function, so you can easily rearrange the data by column. There are also two sets of statements that will allow you to answer: true or false.

How to Approach Table Analysis Questions?

When answering a table analysis question, you must understand what the query is asking you to do. For instance, the graph shows that the percentage of Russians who visit a natural history museum is the lowest among the countries on the graph. Another reason why fewer people visit these facilities is that it's believed that Russians prefer to avoid them.

A simple table analysis question can be challenging to follow. It's best to take some time to understand the statement and the question's context. A table can also be presented misleadingly. For instance, a question about a ratio may ask about a number from X to Y.

The query also asks about the various columns in the graph, which are country, political union, public library, zoo, and science/technology exam. By clicking on each column, the data will be arranged in order. Like online shopping, clicking on each column in the graph allows users to sort the data by its lowest price and highest value.

Graphic Interpretation Questions

Graphics interpretation questions are usually related to multi-source reasoning questions. They can also provide a variety of unusual charts and graphs. Instead of having to type in a blank line, the graphic asks you to fill in the blank. If the question is simple enough, people tend to quickly interpret it.

How to Approach Graphics Interpretation Questions?

To prepare for the questions, make sure that you have plenty of time to read and understand charts and other graphic representations. You may also need to find the mean and median of a graph or the range of data from a chart.

Two-Part Analysis

The first two-part analysis questions are preceded by some short introductory material. These questions can be both verbal and mathematical. Usually, the student has to find an answer for one column before they can come up with another one. For instance, the example below shows a two-part math question that asks how many litres of fuel a car uses.

How to Approach Two-Part Analysis Questions?

These two-part questions could require a lot of work on your math and verbal skills. To prepare, make sure you know what the two parts are asking you to do. Understanding the four question types and the concepts common to them will help you prepare for the GMAT IR section. Aside from the four question types, you should also review the concepts related to quantitative word problems.

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Tips to Prepare for GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Here are the tips that will help you prepare for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section:

Develop Graph Reading Skills

The Integrated Reasoning GMAT is typically not as comprehensive as the other sections of the test. This is because it only relies on the same skills that are required in the other sections of the test.

This section features various graphic representations of data, such as bar graphs and charts. To properly interpret the data, you should first review how to use these visual cues.

The amount of work that goes into the GMAT IR section can make it hard to keep up with all the data presented. Before taking the test, make sure that you are comfortable with the various graphical representations.

Get Familiar with Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning Amalgamation

You do not need to learn new formulas or develop new vocabulary to excel in IR. Instead, you should already be familiar with the basics of math. The skills you need to master in the math section are also important for success in the verbal section.

If you are practising reading comprehension, arithmetic, or critical reasoning, then you can also drill these skills with questions in the math section.

Take Mock Test To Get Familiar

Complex information is a major challenge for the IR section of the exam. There are over a dozen questions in each section.

Doing timed practice tests will help prepare you for the actual test. It will also help you set goals and gauge how many questions you should answer within a certain time frame. If, however, you still have not reached your goal, it’s better to skip a question and try to guess a later one.

Some question types, such as multi-source reasoning, take longer than others. For instance, some of these require more time to answer. You should also take time to reflect on how many questions you answered during the practice test. Some of these will help you measure how much time you spent studying.

Try Solving Sample Questions

Aside from taking timed practice tests, it is also important that you practice with realistic computer-based IR questions. You can find sample questions for free on GMAT Prep Software. Although unofficial practice questions can be found from third parties, they should be the same as the ones featured in the real test. One of the hardest things about the IR questions is figuring out how to approach them. By answering plenty of sample questions, you will be able to improve your understanding.

Solve Using On-Screen Calculator

You can't use your calculator, but you will be able to access one during the GMAT section. It's a time-saving feature that will help you avoid making many advanced math calculations. Having used an on-screen calculator before the test can be awkward, so practice with it before the day.

Learn to Pick the Data Required

There are a lot of details in each question that is not easily identified by their simple structure. Having a rough idea of the data may help you get started, but it’s also important to read the questions carefully. Instead of trying to interpret every piece of data, your goal is to identify what’s important and what isn’t.

The Integrated Reasoning GMAT introduced skills of data interpretation in 2012. This section will help prepare students for effective analysis and decision-making. The importance of the Integrated Reasoning section has not yet taken a huge leap forward. However, it is still growing in importance each year.

To prepare for the IR section, students should practice reading charts and talk about topics. They should also develop their critical reasoning skills. The objective of the Integrated Reasoning GMAT section is to develop critical thinking and analysis skills. This skill will help students make informed decisions in business school and beyond.

If you want to know more about the GMAT integrated reasoning section, write to us at and get quick replies to your questions.

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What is the integrated reasoning GMAT syllabus?

The GMAT integrated reasoning syllabus consists of four sections or types of questions. They are Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis. In Multi-source Reasoning, data from various sources have to be analysed. In Table Analysis, data has to be analysed from that given in the table. Various graphical formats have to be assessed in graphic Interpretation. In two-part analysis, questions test the ability to solve complex problems.

Is integrated reasoning GMAT important?

Yes, GMAT integrated reasoning is an important part which is the newest addition to the exam pattern. Integrated reasoning scores are important for MBA admissions because, in today’s technologically advanced and data-driven market, analytical skills are extremely pertinent to compete successfully.

How hard is the integrated reasoning GMAT?

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is considered one of the most challenging sections because of certain factors. Most of the 12 questions have 2-3 subparts that make it around 24-30 questions to be answered within 30 minutes. Each question gets just more than a minute to answer. The multi-part questions are connected with each other, so getting one wrong answer means that others questions may also turn out to be wrong.

What is the integrated reasoning GMAT time duration?

The time duration for GMAT integrated reasoning is 30 minutes. A total of 12 questions of four different types are asked in this section. The GMAT integrated reasoning section requires test-takers to analyse and synthesise data received from multiple sources in different formats. Students also require time to evaluate, organise, combine and manipulate data to solve complex problems given in the questions.

What is the Integrated Reasoning GMAT out of?

GMAT integrated reasoning is measured in a score range between 1 and 8 in single-digit intervals. The integrated reasoning scores are not included in the unofficial GMAT score report which is provided to test-takers after the GMAT exam. It is delivered on the official GMAT score report which comes after 20 days.

What is a good GMAT Integrated Reasoning score?

A good GMAT integrated reasoning score is 6 or above. The latest percentile rankings show that only 7% of the test-takers get a perfect score of 8. A score of 4.29 is the average GMAT integrated reasoning score which is received by most test-takers.

What are the best books for integrated reasoning GMAT?

The best books for GMAT integrated reasoning is "Manhattan Prep GMAT Integrated Reasoning & Essay Strategy Guide", "Manhattan Review GMAT Integrated Reasoning Guide" and "McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the GMAT Math and Integrated Reasoning" and "500 GMAT Math and Integrated Reasoning Questions to Know By Test Day". These books contain tips and strategies for IR and practice question papers with answer explanations to help test-takers.

Where can I practice GMAT Integrated Reasoning questions on the GMAT?

You can practice GMAT integrated reasoning for free on GMATPrep which is online software. There is another software called IR Prep Tool that contains 48 IR questions with answers and explanations. The Official Guide for GMAT Review contains 50 problems that can help in offline practice.

How to prepare for GMAT integrated reasoning?

Students can prepare for GMAT integrated reasoning by making a comprehensive study plan where they should study enough to meet their goals. They have to first learn to read graphs and also learn to understand the data given. They can practice using an on-screen calculator and practice only realistic questions which are similar to those that come in the exam.

Will a low GMAT IR score affect my MBA admission chances?

Yes, you can get admission to an MBA in USA without GMAT and work experience. In such cases, your voluntary experiences, research projects, resume, goal statement and letters of experience will be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is important that you have a strong academic record ready before you apply.

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