GMAT Impact: All About Integrated Reasoning, Part 2

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.

(Part 2 in a series; read the Part 1 here.)

Because GMATPrep 2.0 has launched, we now know exactly what an Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is going to contain. First, some terminology: we have question prompts, which are what we have to read to answer a question, and then we have the questions themselves. Some question prompts have just one question, but some question prompts have multiple questions (like Reading Comprehension [RC]).

Overall, the section includes four different kinds of question prompts: Multi-Source Reasoning, Two-Part Analysis, Graphics Interpretation and Table Analysis.

We’ll have one Multi-Source Reasoning prompt per IR section, and three separate questions associated with this prompt. One of the three questions will be a standard, five-option multiple choice question. The other two will each contain three “Either/Or” statements (true or false, yes or no, etc.).

We’ll also have four Two-Part Analysis prompts, each with one question. For each question, we will have to make two selections, not just one, but we’ll be choosing from the same set of answers.

We’ll be given three Graphics Interpretation prompts, each with one question. For each question, we will have to make two selections from a drop-down menu; there will be a separate drop-down menu for each.

Finally, we’ll see two Table Analysis prompts, each with one question. Similar to Multi-Source Reasoning, these questions will also contain three “Either/Or” statements.

These prompts can come in any order, but all Multi-Source Reasoning questions will come in a group (like RC).

We have a total of 30 minutes for this section. I used 29 minutes on this first test; while I do expect to become a bit faster as I practice IR, I’m guessing that I’m still going to need most of the time to complete the section. I think most people will struggle with timing on this new section just as much as we already do on the quant and verbal sections.

Because we have 12 questions, we have an average of 2.5 minutes per question—including the time it takes to read the prompt. It took me anywhere from about 1 minute to a bit over 3 minutes to answer the 12 questions, with most in the 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes 15 seconds range. Only a couple were close to 1 minute—these questions are pretty complex.

Next time, we’ll talk about some high-level strategies for IR, including some key adjustments we have to make compared with standard quant and verbal.

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