Scores in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section
Integrated Reasoning: An Assessment of Analytical Skills
The Integrated Reasoning (IR) section was added in June of 2012 and is currently defaults as the second section of the GMAT test, although you can change this if you like. Almost all the questions in this section will present data or graphics followed by at least two questions about the information presented.
There are four types of questions in the section, including Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning.
The IR is scored on a scale from 1-8 with one-point intervals. There is no partial credit given on the IR. This section will have 12 prompts, but not all of them will count toward your score. Because of this, scoring is somewhat opaque. Three or four of the questions you get asked will be experimental, and will not count towards your score. Unsurprisingly, GMAC does not want you to know which questions are experimental, so there is no way to choose to skip those questions which do not contribute to your score.
What do we know?
With all the uncertainty of the Integrated Reasoning scoring, it is important to remember that there is quite a bit of information we do know.
- You will see all four types of questions on the exam. There are 12 questionas and 4 types, so you will certainly see more than one of some of the types, but you won't know how many of each type until you take the test. Still, you should be prepared to answer each type as you will see each of them at least once.
- The IR section is not computer adaptive. This means that the questions and their order are randomly decided at the beginning of the test. You should not extract any meaning from perceived difficulty or lack thereof of the questions you get – it is not an indicator of how well or poorly you are doing.
- There are no clear indicators as to which questions will count towards your score and which ones are experimental. Each question should be treated as if it is going to be scored.
- You will first get a raw score based on the IR questions you answer correctly. There is no partial credit, so any questions you miss for a prompt will make the whole prompt count against you. Once raw scores are determined, they will be converted to a scaled score of 1-8 and will be accompanied by percentile scores.
- The IR score is separate from the Analytical Writing Assessment score and the Verbal and Quantitative scores.
With the above facts, we can construe that, while there is a lack of transparency in the scoring for the IR, there are certainly ways to feel more confident going forward with this section of the test. Take some practice tests beforehand so that you have a clear vision of what your strengths are and what you need to practice before the day you sit for the exam. When you practice, make sure to use timing as well so that you can see which questions take you a long time and how many questions you can complete in the amount of time given. Do not waste any of your time trying to guess which questions will count toward your score and which ones will not. Also, do not read into how difficult or easy you observe the questions to be.