GMAT Integrated Reasoning is like the second round of a quadrathlon: you need to get through it as quickly as possible, but without exerting yourself so much that you drop behind on the next two sections. With many B-schools still undecided on how they want to use candidates’ IR scores, it is understandable that students – and test prep institutes – take this section more lightly than quant and verbal.
Yet, the importance of IR must not be underestimated. Your GMAT IR score can be anywhere between 0 to 8, out of a total of 12 questions that must be attempted within 30 minutes. The GMAC has revealed that the global average in the IR section is 4. So, you certainly need to beat this score.
Here are a few tips to get the best out of the IR section during your test:
- Minimum effort, maximum results
Test-takers typically make 2 mistakes when it comes to IR: under-preparation and over-commitment. Under-preparation is when test-takers fail to take IR seriously, putting off any prep on this section until it is too late to make a difference. Over-commitment, on the other hand, is when test-takers – especially the under-prepared ones – pursue questions without regard to time or mental effort, leaving them harried and exhausted and in no frame of mind to tackle the tougher quant and verbal sections. The best way to approach IR is to start preparing for the same at least a couple of months before the test date, covering four types of GMAT IR questions: Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR), Table Analysis, Graphical Interpretation and Two-Part Analysis. For each of these, prepare your strategies and identify the sort of questions that trouble you the most.
2. Practice Well
Use practice tests for preparing yourself for IR as well – it will be a good opportunity to identify comfort/discomfort zones and fine-tune your approach for different types of questions. Use the Time/Guess method to review your attempts.
3. Guessing is not a bad idea
Unlike other sections, IR gives you a certain leeway when it comes to guessing because there are no penalties for wrong answers. As mentioned in point #1, keep in mind the sort of questions that you will not be able to answer within 2-3 minutes (fractions, tables, etc.) For such questions, guess immediately and move on to the next question – this tactic will give you more time for attempting questions you are confident of solving correctly. If you are aiming for a score of 4, you can safely afford to guess 3 or 4 questions; if you want a score of 5, you can guess 2 or 3 questions safely.
Remember: the last thing you want is to be mentally exhausted when you start your quant section. A well-planned IR strategy will help you get through this section with minimum damage and maximum scores.
For more tips on how to tackle the IR section, feel free to talk to BYJU’S Classes GMAT counselors! We’ll be happy to help. You can reach us on +918884544444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org