GMAT Integrated Reasoning and AWA: Do these sections really count for MBA Admissions?

The two sections of the GMAT exam: Integrated Reasoning (IR) and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) scores are not calculated towards the complete GMAT score. Often, this makes test-takers wonder about the significance of these sections in the GMAT exam. To clear the air of confusion and how these two sections have their own share of contribution towards MBA admissions, we’ve tried to capture and answer all these questions surrounding this topic.

Click here to know more about GMAT Exam 2019.

Scoring system of GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The GMAT score has a validity of up to five years. It is measured on a scale from 200-800. We’ve enlisted the scaled scores of IR and AWA sections in the table given below:

  1. Total GMAT Score – (200 to 800)
  2. Integrated Reasoning(IR) score – (1 to 8)
  3. Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA) Score – (0 to 6)
GMAT Section Scaled Score
Total Scaled Score 200-800
Integrated Reasoning 1- 8
Analytical Writing Assessment 0-6


Click here to know about the GMAT Score.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning(IR)

GMAT Integrated Reasoning is the section which assesses your capability to critically examine complex problems and solve them. You need to make an informed decision while choosing the answer to the questions. You can take such decisions only if you are aware of how to skim through the relevant and useful information and maneuver information from different sources to crack difficult problems. Therefore, the GMAT Integrated Section includes the following questions format:

This section usually consists of 12 questions and candidates need to solve it in half-an-hour or less. The question types are divided into four types:

  1. Table Analysis
  2. Multi-Source Reasoning
  3. Two-Part Analysis
  4. Graphic Interpretation

Table Analysis

In this type of question, you would be given to analyzing a long table with at least 3 columns and 20 rows of data. You need to sort the table and pick answers from true/false along with the multiple statements presented to you to answer each question.

Multi-Source Reasoning

In this question-type, multiple cards are projected on the left-hand side of your computer screen. Each card reflects different types of information like text, formula, chart, table, etc. You need to collate all the data from the different cards and answer the questions based on the set of information given.

Graphic Interpretation

In this question type, you’ll be given a graphical image or graph like pie-chart, scatter plot or line chart and asked to interpret it and answer the questions with statements from a drop-down menu.

Two-Part Analysis

In this type of question, you’ll be asked to answer a question provided with multiple choices. The answers will be structured in a tabular format with components in three columns; the questions are updated in the first two columns and the list of probable answer options in the last column. You need to choose the correct option from each component to complete an answer.

Implication of the GMAT IR score to business schools

GMAT IR section is specially designed to assess the reasoning power of the prospective management aspirants. As discussed above, you need to critically examine an argument and find a solution to the problem on the basis of your mathematical and qualitative skills. An IR score indicates your ability to combine complex ideas altogether and analyze the available information into different formats. A good IR score ranges from 6 to 8.

Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning(IR) score count for MBA Admissions?

Being introduced in June 2012, the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is the most recent addition to the GMAT curriculum. Although most B-Schools didn’t value this section initially due to lack of data for comparing different applicants. But in due course of time, it was found that various business schools considered the Integrated Reasoning section to be a significant part of GMAT score assessment. Its importance is growing because, in today’s technological era, applicants need to possess sound analytical skills and mindset to overcome various challenges in the corporate arena.

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA)

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA) section particularly evaluates the test-takers’ style of writing. They are asked to either write an essay or analyze an argument. After close examination of the argument, they need to figure out the reasoning behind the argument and come up with a systematic or structured approach to answer the question. While attempting this section, you need to be extra cautious about grammar usage and ensure to use proper vocabulary while you present the answer. Even while writing the essay, you should be able to communicate the thoughts behind your words in a clear and effective manner.

Is the GMAT AWA section important for business schools?

With the advent of the IR section, the GMAT AWA section was cut down to half. Irrespective of this, the AWA section is no less important. The score range of this section is 0-6, but if you score less than 4, you can ruin your chances of getting admission to a business school of your choice.

The sole purpose of this section is to determine how well you can convey your thoughts in written form. Having the power to convey in a lucid manner can help you a great deal in communicating with people in written form on a regular basis.

As a matter of fact, you can devote 8-10% of your exam time on the GMAT AWA section. Try to score a 5 or 6 in this section to stand a chance to selection and admission in a B-School of repute.

Are you planning to take the GMAT soon? Don’t worry! At BYJU’S we can help you with a personalized study plan and provide access to top-quality online content to prepare for the challenging exam. You can directly talk to our GMAT trainers for any assistance by simply giving a missed call at +918884544444, or can even drop an SMS. You can also write to us at for more information.