The Integrated Reasoning section is comparatively a new addition to the GMAT exam. It was launched in 2012 as it has replaced one of the AWA essays. It is designed to test a candidate’s ability to analyse the data which are presented in various formats and solve relevant problems. The questions in this section are divided into four different types, namely: table analysis, graphical interpretation, two-part analysis and multi-source reasoning. There are 12 questions in total and the score ranges between 1 to 8. The duration of the section is about 30 minutes. However, one key point to note here is that the IR score does not contribute to the overall GMAT score.
The GMAT Integrated Reasoning questions are said to include open-ended questions which ask the candidates to use both their Quantitative as well Verbal skills in a row. As a test-taker, you would have to analyse data given in the form of charts, tables, words etc. and derive insights from each of the questions.
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Types of GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) Questions:
Let’s take a close look into the four types of GMAT IR questions:
- Table analysis: In this category, the data in these questions are presented in a tabular format which is sorted along with three different questions. In order to answer these questions correctly, you’ll need to comprehend between essential and insignificant information.
- Graphical interpretation: Under this category, you would be asked to decipher the data presented in a chart or graph. There would be two questions with answer choices which are presented in a drop-down menu.
- Two-part analysis: Under this, you would be asked to answer a question with multiple choice options. The questions are long-winded and have small tables attached with components in the first two columns and the answer options are updated in the third column. You’ll be asked to choose two correct answers out of available multiple choices.
- Multi-source reasoning: In this category, you would be asked to navigate and gather information from multiple tabs and analyse the data presented in charts or tables and choose the answer from multiple choice options.
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Although GMAC, the administrative body of the GMAT exam does not disclose too much information about how the section is scored. There are 12 questions in total in the GMAT IR section with a scoring range of 1 to 8. As this section is non-adaptive in nature, it is safe to assume that every question carries the same value irrespective of the difficulty level. We leave it to the judgment of the test-taker to guess which questions are experimental and judge the importance of the IR section in the GMAT exam as attempting this section cannot benefit him/her in the total GMAT score. As a matter of fact, the Integrated Reasoning GMAT score is scaled to a range of 1 to 8 (with single point increments), and percentile is awarded based on the number of candidates whom you would have outperformed in the GMAT exam. To reach the pinnacle GMAT percentile of 99%, you’ll have to score a 760 or above. Since IR is a section of the GMAT exam, the GMAT IR score is delivered within 20 days from the date of the test along with the official GMAT score report.
Although the IR score does not count towards the overall GMAT final score, yet many candidates focus on the IR section once they are done with preparing for the verbal and quantitative sections. We bring you a few tips and strategies while upskilling your IR section preparation:
- Try to be well-versed with graphical content and tables, charts etc. to hone your interpretation skills. For doing this, you can try reading business newspapers or magazines like Economic Times, Wall Street Journal to stay upbeat with your IR prep.
- Try to analyse your strengths and shortcomings of different types of data interpretation questions and work on those areas which need improvement. Try to attempt the IR and AWA sections too of the GMAT exam to get the right momentum on the day of the exam.
- It is always a good idea to practice using an on-screen calculator. Although it can be used sparingly, this is definitely a huge time-saver for complex quant questions.
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