The Integrated Reasoning is slightly different from the other questions you generally see on the GMAT. It is unlike the verbal and quantitative sections with five-choice multiple choice questions. It consists of four completely different question categories. GMAT IR integrates information, data analysis and decision making. It comes up with questions very unlikely to be found anywhere else in the GMAT.
There are four distinct question types of integrated reasoning in GMAT:
- Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR)
- Table Analysis (TA)
- Graphics Interpretation (GI)
- Two-Part Analysis (2PA)
There are various tables with information presented to you. Your job is to gather information from these tables. Tables will contain information in the form of text, numbers, percentage or binary/Boolean values (Yes/No, 1/0, True/False). Sometimes, you will also see charts in addition to tables.
You will be provided information in the form of tables. The information can be text or numerical form. And the question is of the format Yes/No, True/False with multiple statement options under each question.
You get a graphical representation of certain data. From the graph, you are expected to study the data and figure out what the whole picture is. What can you infer from the graph? The question is on completing a statement with what is given as options in a pull-down menu. You need to select am option from the pull-down menu.
You have a question and multiple choices provided. The answers in a table form have the two components occupying the first two columns and the answer options in the third column. Of all the options provided, you have to choose only one option under each component to complete one answer.
The IR section is easy if you have been in a work environment where you have studied graphs and made decisions based on numbers and charts. If you are not a math nerd, familiarize yourself with graphs, charts, number based applications and representations. The Wall Street Journal and The Economist have archives on data representations and problems that are presented/resolved through data studies. Today, data science is a major field of interest because business decisions today are made through data analyses. Managers are expected to be data savvy. So, reading a graph is the starting point. This is why the GMAT which is a test for B-schools that train managers, tests you on integrated reasoning among other skills.