GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section
The Integrated Reasoning section, added in June of 2012, is currently the second section of the GMAT test if you use the default order. If you choose to take the Verbal section first or the Quantitative section first, it is the third section of the test before the AWA. 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. Each are discussed below.
The Graphics Interpretation questions will involve a graph with two multiple-choice questions about the graphic information. Both questions will be in the form of sentences with drop-down menus of multiple-choice answers for accurately completing the sentences. The types of graphs can vary widely, from Venn diagrams to bar charts, line graphs and several other types of graphs.
In some cases, the charts might be particularly complex. One part of a graphic might be a magnification of another part of a graphic, for example. For this reason, it is important to read the short synopsis under the graphic before answering the questions. The text synopses in the Integrated Reasoning section are always under 300 words, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Test-takers should budget no more than 2.5 minutes to complete these two-part questions.
The types of questions in the Two-Part Analysis section vary greatly. They can involve mathematical equations, or text-based reasoning problems that can look more like reading comprehension. Each problem comes with two questions to answer. What is unique about this section is the way the multiple-choice part of the problem is formatted.
If it is a math problem for example, the questions following the equation may ask the test-taker to solve for X and for Y. There would then be a bar chart with one column listing several different numbers that could possibly be values for X or Y. Next to the column listing values, there would be a column labeled X and another column labeled Y and the test taker would have to click the appropriate button corresponding to the correct value in each column. It is relatively straightforward as long as the test taker pays careful attention to which column is which. Each of these two-part problems should be completed in 2.5 minutes.
The Table Analysis section includes some form of table, often with a short accompanying text, and three questions pertaining to it. The three questions will all be yes-no, true-false, or some other form of 50-50 choice. There is also a pull-down menu that allows the test-taker to sort the data in the table by different criteria. It is important to take advantage of this feature, as it is a time-saver which is provided to the test-taker to help show analytical thinking. When crafting these questions, the test-makers are giving limited time to see if test-takers understand how to effectively and efficiently use sorting tools to isolate applicable data and solve a problem.
Problems in the Multi-Source Reasoning section generally have three tabs of information that need to be read. Following the question, there are either multiple-choice or yes-no type questions (or both) pertaining to the data in the three tabs. Often the answers can be derived by piecing the data from the different tabs together. In other cases, information on some of the tabs is relevant, while information on other tabs is not. This portion of the test evaluates the test taker's ability to discern which data is needed as well as the ability to integrate and compare data from different sources.