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Mastering the GMAT integrated reasoning section: Expert tips

Updated on: Jun 16, 2023
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The GMAT integrated reasoning section is one of the most challenging and important sections of the GMAT test. It tests a person’s analytical and problem-solving skills using a variety of different question types. This section requires a more holistic approach to problem-solving and requires the test taker to synthesize information from multiple sources.

In this guide, we will provide an overview of different question types and tips to master the GMAT integrated reasoning section.

Overview of GMAT integrated reasoning section

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is a 30-minute section that was added to the GMAT exam in June 2012. It is designed to measure a candidate’s ability to analyze and synthesize data from multiple sources.

The integrated reasoning section consists of 12 questions and is divided into four question types: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning. Each question type focuses on a different kind of data interpretation.

GMAT integrated reasoning section question types

The GMAT integrated reasoning section has 12 questions in total, divided into four different question types.

1. Table analysis questions

Table analysis questions test the ability to interpret data presented in a table format. These questions require you to identify relationships between the data and then answer questions related to this information.

The answers can range from numerical responses to multiple-choice options.

2. Graphics interpretation questions

Graphics interpretation questions have similar objectives as the Table Analysis Questions but use graphics instead of tables. With these questions, you need to understand the relationship between various graphical elements and answer questions based on this understanding.

You may be asked to match items, fill in blanks or select one or more choices from a list of options.

3. Multi-source reasoning questions

Multi-source reasoning questions test your ability to analyze information from multiple sources. For example, you may be given a passage and asked to answer questions related to the text. In such cases, you must read the passage carefully and draw conclusions based on the information provided.

You may also be presented with data in different formats (e.g., tables, graphs) and asked to combine this data accordingly to solve problems.

4. Two-part analysis questions

Two-part analysis questions require you to select two answers (one from each part of the question). The first part will consist of several possible answers, from which you must choose the best response. The second part will provide two or more options to choose from, and you need to pick the most appropriate one.

These questions focus on understanding relationships between different items and then applying this knowledge to answer the question accurately.

Expert tips for mastering the GMAT integrated reasoning section

To master the GMAT integrated reasoning section, it is important to understand the different types of questions and be able to apply the appropriate strategies to answer them. Here are some tips to help you master the GMAT integrated reasoning section.

1. Know the types of questions

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is comprised of 12 questions that are divided into four question types: table analysis, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and multi-source reasoning. It is important to have a good understanding of each question type and the strategies for approaching each type of question.

2. Practice with sample questions

Once you understand the different types of questions, you should practice with sample questions. Doing so will help you become familiar with the types of information you need to look for, the order in which you should approach the questions, and the types of logical reasoning you need to use to solve them.

3. Learn how to approach each question type

Each question type in the GMAT integrated reasoning section requires a different approach. It is important to understand the different approaches in order to answer the questions correctly. For example, the table analysis questions require one to analyze a set of data and make inferences from the data.

4. Develop a strategy for the section

Developing a strategy for the integrated reasoning section is important to manage your time efficiently and improve your accuracy. It is a good idea to practice with a timer and to break up the section into manageable chunks. This will help you to focus on the questions and to develop a strategy for tackling them.

5. Take timed practice tests

Taking timed practice tests is important to prepare for the test. This will help to develop your test-taking skills and your ability to manage your time efficiently. It is also important to review the explanations for the questions you answer incorrectly so you can understand where you went wrong and avoid making the same mistakes on the actual test.

6. Take advantage of the scratch paper

The scratch paper for the GMAT integrated reasoning section is an invaluable resource. Taking advantage of the scratch paper will help to organize your thoughts and to reduce errors. It is also important to make sure that you are familiar with the scratch paper before the test in order to maximize its potential.

7. Utilize resources

The GMAT exam provides several resources to help you prepare for Integrated Reasoning questions. For example, both the Official Guide for GMAT Review and the Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review include sample Integrated Reasoning questions. Utilizing these resources will help you become more familiar with the questions you will encounter on exam day.

8. Employ the Process of Elimination

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is designed to be difficult, so it is important to use the process of elimination to your advantage. For example, if you are presented with four answer choices and are unsure of the correct answer, look for answer choices that are obviously wrong, or that can be eliminated for other reasons. This can help you narrow down the choices and increase your chance of selecting the correct answer.

9. Utilize GMAT tools

The GMAT exam provides several tools to help you answer Integrated Reasoning questions. For example, you can use the on-screen calculator to make calculations or highlight or annotate text or graphics to help you organize your thoughts. Familiarize yourself with these tools to be comfortable using them on exam day.

10. Practice Time Management

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is time-sensitive; there are only 30 minutes to complete 12 questions. Therefore, you must practice with a timer, so you become accustomed to answering within a specific time frame. Try setting time limits for each question type and stick to them.

Conclusion

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is a challenging and important component of the GMAT exam. It requires strong analytical and reasoning skills, as well as the ability to synthesize data from multiple sources. By familiarizing yourself with the different types of questions and learning strategies to approach them, you can significantly improve your chances of success on the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section.

What does the GMAT integrated reasoning section test?

The GMAT integrated reasoning section tests a person’s analytical and problem-solving skills using a variety of different question types. This section requires a more holistic approach to problem-solving and requires the test taker to synthesize information from multiple sources.

What is the duration of the GMAT integrated reasoning section?

The GMAT integrated reasoning section is a 30-minute section that was added to the GMAT exam in June 2012.

What are the different types of questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

The integrated reasoning section consists of 12 questions, divided into four question types: graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, table analysis, and multi-source reasoning.

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