Learnist: An Overview of GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section was designed to measure test takers’ ability to interpret data from a variety of sources, and to draw meaningful conclusions from this information. It launched in June 2012!

To answer IR questions, first understand what the question is asking, then stop and consider which table, graph, chart, or part of the passage provides the relevant information you’ll need to solve for the correct answer. Harder IR questions will require you to use more than one screen or ask you to take information or figures from one screen and apply it to another. Pay attention to the trends in the presented information.

To make the calculations simpler on IR questions, look for ways to use relative math. To do this:

  • Determine which values are relevant to a correct answer
  • Estimate those values whenever possible
  • Calculate values only when the estimates are too close to call
  • Remember that the logical setup for the values is typically the crux of the question, not the calculation itself

Integrated Reasoning scores will range from 1-8, in single-digit intervals, and will not alter the existing Quantitative, Verbal, Total, and Analytic Writing Assessment scores. To get more fact about how to approach IR, check out this Learnboard!


The Basics of GMAT’s Two-Part Analysis

The relatively new Two-Part Analysis is one of the 4 IR Q-types. A short paragraph is followed by answer choices presented in several columns and rows. Choose one column and one row as your solution.

Why did “two-part analysis” become part of the new section of the GMAT in 2012? In this question-type, you will be tested on how well you separate relevant information from other data. You must think clearly in the midst of complex information.

So how should you study? On p.784 of the latest edition of the GMAT Official Guide, there are 4 tested concepts described as possibly appearing in TPA questions: – mixtures – trade-offs – budgets – action steps towards a specific goal. This page also suggests a timing guideline of approx 2 minutes 30 seconds for this question-type.

Check out some Two-Part Analysis video lessons and sample questions on this Learnboard!