Prepare for the Integrated Reasoning Section

Think Critically and Analyze Data

The Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT® exam tests skills that business school faculty identify as important for your success in the classroom, such as your ability to analyze data presented in a case study. Worldwide, employers value business leaders who can sort through reams of data, determine what is relevant, and incorporate it into a strategic solution.

You will have 30 minutes to solve 12 questions of four types: Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis.

Your best performance starts with practicing with real GMAT questions from past exams using your FREE GMAT Official Starter Kit + Practice Exams 1 & 2. The Starter Kit includes tips and strategies for the IR section as well as 15 IR practice questions. You'll also have free access to two full-length, computer adaptive practice exams that use the same scoring algorithm as the real exam.

Review the Guide to GMAT Exam Prep Materials to find even more tools to help you prepare. Specifically, the Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool is designed to help you prepare and practice for the Integrated Reasoning section.

Six Things to Know About Integrated Reasoning Questions

The questions in the Integrated Reasoning section involve both quantitative and verbal reasoning, either separately or in combination. Some questions will require more than one response.

  1. All answer choices for a single question are presented on the same screen.
  2. You must submit responses to all parts before moving on to a new question.
  3. You must answer all parts of a single question correctly to receive credit. No partial credit is given.
  4. Once you answer a question, you may not go back and change the answer.
  5. You may see several questions for one graphic or set of data. If you answer one question incorrectly, your incorrect answer will not necessarily affect how you answer another question based on the same graphic or data.
  6. While the questions may contain quantitative elements, it is not a test of quantitative skills. An online calculator with basic functions will be available, but not necessary, for this section.

Multi-Source Reasoning Question Strategies

For each Multi-Source Reasoning question, you will be presented with information on two or three tabbed pages on the left side of your computer screen. Your questions appear on the right side of your screen. 

  • Don’t expect to be completely familiar with the material. It is designed to be challenging, but all the information you need to answer the questions is provided.
  • Analyze each source of data carefully, as the questions require detailed understanding of the data presented. Text passages often build ideas in sequences, so be mindful of how each statement adds to the main idea of the passage. Graphic elements come in various forms, such as tables, graphs, diagrams, or charts.
  • Read the questions carefully, making sure you understand what they ask. Some questions will require recognizing discrepancies among different sources of data. Others will ask you to draw inferences. Still others may require you to determine which one of the data sources is relevant.
  • Select the answer choices that have the most support based on the data provided. Don’t let your knowledge of the subject matter influence your answer choice. Answer the questions using only the data provided to you.

See a sample Multi-Source Reasoning question.

Table Analysis Question Strategies

For Table Analysis questions, you are presented with a data set in a table, which you can sort by column.  The answers you select will be a set of answer statements, each of which has two opposing answer options (yes/no, true/false).

  • Examine the table and accompanying text to determine the type of information provided.
  • Read the question carefully to determine the data analysis required and know the choice you have to make.
  • Judge each answer statement carefully on the basis of the condition specified (yes or no, true or false). Focus your attention on whether the given condition has been met.

See a sample Table Analysis question.

Graphics Interpretation Question Strategies

For each Graphics Interpretation question, you will be presented with data in a graphic or visual, and any supporting text that explains the graphic or provides additional information. Then you will complete statements with the most accurate value from an embedded drop-down menu.

  • Familiarize yourself with the data presented in the graphic. Make note of  the scales on the axis, marked values, and labels. Pay attention to any discrepancies between the units in the graph and the units discussed in the text.
  • Read any accompanying text carefully. The text might present data that isn’t contained in the graphic but that you need to answer the question.
  • Make sure you understand what the problem is asking you to do. You will interpret and integrate data, discern relationships and make inferences from a set of data.
  • Read all the choices in the drop-down menu. By checking the menu options, you will get additional information about your assigned task.
  • Choose the option that best completes the statement. More than one option in the drop-down menu may seem plausible. You will need to choose the one that makes the statement most accurate or logical.

See a sample Graphics Interpretation question.

Two-Part Analysis Question Strategies

Two-Part Analysis questions present a brief scenario or problem and asks you to select two answer choices related to the data. The answer choices are connected to each other in some way. For example, there might be two steps involved in solving a problem or two components required to complete a task. Your possible answers are presented in a table format with a column for each answer choice. You will mark the best answer for the first part of the question in the first column, and the best answer for the second part in the second column.

  • Read the information carefully. It may cover a wide range of content, including quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both. All the material presented is designed to be challenging. Don’t let any familiarity with the subject matter influence your response. Only use the data 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.
  • Review all available answers before making a final choice. Determine whether your 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.

See a sample Two-Part Analysis question.

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