GMAT Integrated Reasoning Guide

The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) is implementing a new section on the GMAT called Integrated Reasoning which gives emphasis to real world topics such as Decimals, Percents, Statistics and Reading Comprehension. One of the primary challenges of Integrated Reasoning is to get used to its unique question format. As the name suggests, the topics are integrated, combining Quantitative and Verbal reasoning and incorporating real-world data. You will be able to use a simple on-screen calculator. This section is basically a sample of the case analysis that you will encounter in business schools. It focuses more on real-world topics than on math puzzles and grammar. To prepare for this section you need to be familiar with the question format, understand to reasoning it requires, and not let anxiety obstruct your test performance.

There are two basic skills that are critical for Integrated Reasoning. First, you need to find and analyze relevant data from a table or a graph. Second, you need to extract the important information from a large and varied set of information. Here are two strategies to help you prepare for Integrated Reasoning:

  1. You should emphasize critical reasoning. You will rarely be asked to simply perform a calculation; you will first need to identify the relevant data to analyze. So you need to practice identifying the information necessary to answer a given question.
  2. Ensure that you are comfortable with graphs; understand what every axis and data point means. Practice data analysis by seeking out tables and graphs in news sources and books.

The Integrated Reasoning section is comprised of twelve prompt questions. There are four main question formats:

  • Multi-Source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Two-Part Analysis

The following pages have descriptions and examples of these question types.

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