As the name suggests, the Integrated Reasoning topics are integrated, combining quantitative and critical reasoning and incorporating real-world data. This section gives emphasis to real world topics such as Decimals, Percents, Statistics and Reading Comprehension. It 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. The questions will deal with material that you’ve already studied for other sections of the GMAT. The primary challenge of Integrated Reasoning is getting used to its unique question format.
For the Integrated Reasoning section, you will be able to use a simple on-screen calculator. It can take some practice to know when you should take advantage of the calculator and when it will only slow you down. The following video covers some strategy for knowing when to use it.
How to Approach Integrated Reasoning
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Scoring and Strategy
Types of Questions
The Integrated Reasoning section is comprised of twelve prompt questions. There are four main question formats:
- Graphics Interpretation
- Two-Part Analysis
- Table Analysis
- Multi-Source Reasoning
The following sections have descriptions and examples of these question types.