GMAT Impact: All About Integrated Reasoning, Part 4

When it comes to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Since we started our three-part series on IR, GMAC has released even more information on this new test section. So let’s call this Part 4 of the no-longer-three-part series, and we’ll just see how long we can keep it going.

In Part 1, we talked a bit about scoring. We’ve since learned that scores will be based on the percentage of correct answers, and no penalty will be incurred for incorrect answers. (This is in contrast to the quant and verbal sections of the test.) Although the IR section is not adaptive, we are still not allowed to return to questions that we’ve already answered; once you answer, that question is gone forever.

What does that info mean? It means, luckily, that our strategies generally stay the same. Answer everything—never leave anything blank. There’s no penalty for getting the question wrong, and if you answer, you just might get lucky and get it right instead! Also, as with the quant and verbal, timing is going to be tight. Do what you can in the time that you have for each question, but know how to cut yourself off and how to make educated guesses when possible. Don’t spend so much time on too-hard earlier questions that you have to guess on later questions simply because you’re about to run out of time.

The section will also include experimental questions (questions that don’t count), just as we see on quant and verbal. Don’t try to guess which ones are experimental, and don’t let yourself get so caught up in one question that you blow a bunch of time—just in case it really is experimental.

Finally, all question types are created equal. The test involves four different question types, and the test does not weight any one of these types over any of the others. That’s good news—it means we can each concentrate on whatever types are the easiest for us, based on our own strengths and weaknesses.

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