GMAT Impact: Integrated Reasoning

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.

As we discussed recently, the GMAT is adding a new section, Integrated Reasoning (IR), in June.

What is IR? It’s math, yes, but it’s also reading comprehension and logical reasoning—it’s a mishmash of quant and verbal. It tests what I think are more normal, real-world reasoning and analysis skills, the kinds of things we might actually be expected to do in B-school or on the job.

The IR section will take the place of the analysis of an issue essay; it will also be placed before the regular quant and verbal sections. Access to an on-screen calculator for IR (but not for the regular quant section) will be provided, as will tons of information and data, more than we need to answer the questions. Part of the task is to sift the data—to figure out what’s important and what we can ignore. (Contrast that with the quant section, where we almost always have to use everything given in the problem.)

Four different kinds of “prompts” will be given (think of prompts as scenarios that set up the questions). The first is called Multi-Source Reasoning. It will consist of two or three tabs of information; it could be email communication between people, parts of a report with data or tables, and so on. Another type is Table Analysis, where we have to sort and parse info provided in tables. A third type is called Graphics Interpretation, and this one sounds like what it is. We have to interpret a graph or multiple graphs. The final type, Two-Part Analysis, requires us to solve a problem with a two-part solution.

Want to try one out? Go to this page on the Web site, scroll down to the Table Analysis section and click on that link, then try the third problem (you can try all three, of course!). When you’re done, click on this link to read an explanation. (Note: the question has been amended since the explanation article was published. The explanation article gives an explanation for four questions, but the current version of the problem only includes the first three questions.)

Good luck!

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