Integrated Reasoning Question Types

The integrated reasoning is a relatively new section on the GMAT (introduced from 5th June, 2012). One of the essays is replaced by the integrated reasoning section. As the name suggests, it involves some type of reasoning to answer the question. It includes analysis of some data which will be given in the question.
IR Question Types

The IR section presents you with 12 questions, one question at a time, and you have 30 minutes to answer them. To get credit for answering a question correctly, you have to answer all its parts correctly. You don’t receive partial credit for getting one part of the question correct. Unlike the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections, the IR section isn’t computer adaptive.

Four types of questions are used in the Integrated Reasoning section:

  1. Multi-Source Reasoning
  1. Table Analysis
  1. Graphics Interpretation
  1. Two Part Analysis

1. Table Analysis

Test takers will be presented with a sortable table of information, similar to a spreadsheet, which has to be analyzed to find whether answer statements are accurate. This is a three-part IR question, where you use the data to make judgments about three pieces of information; each of your judgments has to be correct to get credit for the question. Some strategies to follow in this section are listed below :

Read the question to understand and determine the data analysis which is required so that you know the option which you have to select. Evaluate each answer on a careful basis according to the conditions specified. Ensure to check if the condition has been satisfied. Closely examine the information given on the table to understand the same.

2. Graphics Interpretation

Test takers will be asked to interpret a graph or graphical images, and select an option from a drop-down list to make response statements accurate. Graphs can be bar graphs, pie charts or venn diagrams.

You will have to be familiar with the data presented in the graphical images, understand the scales of the axis given, labels, marked values etc. If there are any discrepancies between the information given on text and units of the graph, make a note of the same. If there is any accompanying text ensure to read the same in a careful manner. Read through all the choices in the drop down menu. When you check the menu options, you may get more information regarding your assigned task. Choose the option which best completes the statement, which appears most appropriate and logical.

3. Multi Source Reasoning

The questions are accompanied by two to three sources of information presented on tabbed pages. Test takers click on the tabs and examine all the relevant information, which may be a combination of text, charts, and tables, to answer questions. These tabbed pages will appear on the left side of your screen and the questions will appear on the right side.

You will have to analyse each source of data in a careful manner, since it requires a detailed understanding. The passages often add information to the main idea of the passage, so pay attention to each sequence carefully. The Graphics will be represented in many forms such as – Graphs, Diagrams, Charts, Tables etc.

4. Two Part Analysis

A question will involve two components for a solution. Based on a short written explanation of a phenomenon, situation, or mathematical problem, you come up with the proper assertions or mathematical expressions that meet the two interrelated criteria presented in the question.

Determine exactly what the question is asking. Pay close attention to how the question describes the tasks. Sometimes the response columns headings lack the details that could help you better understand what you are supposed to do. Ensure to check all available answers before you finalize on your answer. Figure out if the tasks are dependent or independent. Some questions will pose two tasks that can be carried out individually. Others pose one task with two dependent parts. Keep in mind that the same answer choice might be the correct response for both columns. It is possible that one answer option satisfies the conditions of both response columns.

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