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Integrated Reasoning and Your GMAT Prep
Integrated Reasoning (IR) is the newest section on the GMAT exam. Introduced in 2012, it aims to test your ability to analyze and interpret data. The questions include graphs, tables, charts, and passages. Ideally, you will show skill in synthesizing data from multiple sources and successfully draw conclusions from that data. So, what does it take to do well on this section of the GMAT? And what role should it take in your GMAT prep? Read on to learn more.
A Focus on Data
Ultimately, the Integrated Reasoning section of the exam is all about data. You will be able to sort the data in the tables and charts you see. The goal is to pick out the vital data use it to make decisions and draw conclusions. Developers added the section when, according to GMAC, employers around the world rated integrated reasoning skills as essential for potential employees. Making decisions based on large amounts of data is a regular requirement in the business world. Therefore, it is a principal indicator of a candidate’s success in both business school and future careers.
Types of Questions
IR is a test of your ability to integrate your math and verbal skills. There are four types of questions on the IR section of the GMAT exam: multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphics interpretation, and two-part analysis. Within the 12 questions in the IR sections, there should be equal representation of each question type. Additionally, each question has multiple parts. You must answer every part of a question right for it to be considered correct. There is no partial credit. IR questions are linear, meaning they are pre-chosen and will not become more or less difficult according to your answers.
Skills to Practice for Success
Unexpectedly, one of the best things you can do to increase your IR score is to focus on your Quant and Verbal studies. The reason for this: every skill you need on IR questions is something you are expected to know for another section. IR is an opportunity to combine the skills you have developed in other areas. So studying for Quant or Verbal is really studying for IR as well.
Additionally, time management is imperative for the IR portion of the GMAT. In your GMAT prep, practice completing IR questions in about 2.5 minutes each. Because this section doesn’t scale up or down, it’s better to guess and move on if you get stuck rather than risk running out of time.
While Integrated Reasoning is not the most crucial part of your GMAT score, it’s necessary to include it in your GMAT prep. Not only will practice improve your score on that portion of the exam, but it will show you new ways of using and thinking about your Quant and Verbal skills. As always, if you are looking for the best GMAT prep materials on the market, check out the EMPOWER GMAT online course. With real GMAT questions and an improvement guarantee, our materials are the most effective path to an excellent GMAT.