GMAT Two-Part Analysis Questions

Two-Part Analysis question type

The Two-Part Analysis questions begin with a short verbal or quantitative problem. After the passage will be a table with three columns. In one column is a list of five or six answer choices, each one having two selection choices generally in some diametric form which are located in the second and third column. The question may test you on GMAT quantitative concepts, say, two aspects of a right-circular cylinder – Height and Diameter. Similarly, for verbal concepts, it may ask questions on strengthening/weakening the argument, inferable/not inferable premises, assumption/fact distinction, existence of cause/effect, characteristics/predictions distinctions, or strategies applicable for, say, companies X and Y.

The Two-Part Analysis prompts are static, with no tabs or sorting options available.

Strategies and Concepts

As mentioned on the Integrated Reasoning overview, there are four types of questions you will find. Out of these four parts in the IR section, the Two-Part Analysis questions are the ones you will see most frequently. It is important to remember that in order to get credit for these questions, you MUST answer both parts correctly. There is no partial credit offered in the Integrated Reasoning section.

There are three types of questions asked in Two-Part Analysis:

  1.  Quant-based – in this type of question, you will likely see numbers or forumulas and will be asked to calculate something, much like you would do on the Quantitative Section of the GMAT. You are not expected to learn new material for the IR section. These questions will take a little bit longer because they are two-part; however, many people find that while they are more work, they are less tricky.

  2. Logic-based – in this type of question, you will be asked to complete some sort of scenario. Perhaps you will have some kind of table or other information to provide constraints or parameters for the scenario you are asked to complete.

  3. Verbal-based – in this type of question, you may be asked to use critical reasoning to analyze arguments, such as finding which details help to strengthen or weaken an argument, or you may be asked to find some kind of connection or correlation in the information provided.

A Two-Part question ask two aspects of a question. The answers to both parts must be compatible with each other.

A word of caution: there are two answers, so be careful to mark each part with its respective answer.

Two-Part Quant Questions

Two-Part-Quant questions are more focused than one-part GMAT Quant PS/DS questions, which tend to be trickier and vaster in scope. Two-Part Quant questions have comparatively lengthy word problems that focus on basic arithmetic and preliminary algebra. You must possess good problem-solving skills to solve them.

Those who are good at Quant questions will find Two-Part Quant-based questions relatively easy. The good news is that the key is to prepare well for the Quant section of the GMAT, which you should already be doing.

Process of Solving Two-Part Quant Questions

  1. Understand the data set

    Solving Two-Part Quant questions is similar to solving any Quant question. You should read the information and understand it, translate it into mathematical language, and write it on the scratch board.

  2. Develop an approach

    As with any quantitative question, there could be two or more ways to find a solution. Many times, solving one part leads to the solution of the other part.

  3. Apply the approach

    Apply the approach you developed in the previous step. There may be a question where you end up with only one linear equation with two variables. Though here, there is no unique solution possible for the question, many consistent and compatible solutions are always possible. Only one such consistent and compatible solution would be given in the options. Also, remember that there is a time constraint, so when you feel confident that you have found the solution, you can stop your calculations.

Two-Part Logic Questions

Two-Part Logic-based questions are like those you might have come across in the LSAT or other aptitude tests. The narration of these questions is comparatively lengthy, and involves a mix of quantitative and verbal skills.

Process of Solving Two-Part Logic Questions

  1. Understand the text

    For the Two-Part Logic questions, you will need to begin by reading the text to understand both the scenario you are asked to solve and all of the constraints given which affect how you can accurately create the scenario proposed.

  2. Develop an approach

    After reading the text carefully once to get a global understanding of what you are being asked, use your notes to organize the pertinent information. Remember, it is important to note both the scenario you are to complete and the constraints presented.

  3. Apply the approach

    Using your notes, you should first narrow down the possibilities of the scenario before trying to find the main solution. Eliminating the irrelevant options will help you use your time more efficiently.

Two-Part Verbal Questions

Two-Part Verbal questions are similar to the Critical Reasoning questions you come across in the GMAT Verbal section. The questions may test your critical reasoning skills by asking about two aspects of widely known concepts such as assumption, strengthen and weaken, evaluate, strategize, and role play.

Solving Two-Part Verbal questions often requires that you find two statements which are diametrically opposed to one another, such as identifying both a statement which strengthens an argument AND a statement which weakens an argument. In a traditional verbal-based critical reasoning question, you are only looking for one thing, such as a statement which strengthens OR weakens an argument. With this information in mind, you will want to be sure you understand what it is you are looking for in the text.

Process of Solving Two-Part Verbal Questions

  1. Understand the text

    As with all Two-Part questions, you will want to take a moment to read the text carefully, being sure to identify the conclusion or conclusions being made. Take note of the question stem so that you can later focus your search for relevant details.

  2. Develop an approach

    Once you have read the text and understand the question being asked, look back to the conclusions the text made so that you can effectively use a process of elimination of the options which are unrelated to the conclusions or to the type of information you are looking for, such as points which strengthen or weaken an argument. Sometimes it is easier to eliminate the wrong answers than it is to choose the right answer.

  3. Apply the approach

    Apply the approach you developed in the previous step. Double-check that you understand the question itself (whether it is asking for two argments with strengthen or an argument which strengthens and one which weakens, for example). If the answers do not appear obvious to you, start by eliminating answers which cannot be the answer to help you efficiently find the correct answers.


Working individually, Alex, Betty, and Cherry can do a job in 8, 24, and 48 hours, respectively. It was decided that each of them will work on the job successively for an hour. Anyone can start the work and others will follow. Select in the table "Minimum hours" and "Maximum hours" required to complete the job.

Make only two selections, one in each column.

Minimum hoursMaximum hours

Solution—Both Parts

You must identify that Alex is the fastest worker, finishing 1/8 of the work in an hour, while Cherry is the slowest worker, finishing 1/48 of the work in an hour.

Also, note that Anyone can start the work and the others will follow. It means that anybody: Alex, Betty, or Cherry can start or finish the job.

When Alex, Betty, and Cherry each work, in that order, for an hour, then in a total of three hours, they accomplish:

$\frac {1}{8} + \frac {1}{24} + \frac {1}{48} = \frac {9}{48} = \left(\frac {3}{16}\right)^\text{th}$ of the job.

After five rounds, in a total of $5 \times 3 = 15$ hours, they complete $\frac {3}{16}\times5=\frac{15}{16}$ of the job. So, $1-\frac{15}{16}=\frac{1}{16}$ of the job remains.

To find the maximum time to do the job, choose the slowest worker (Cherry) to take the next turn. She does another $\left(\frac{1}{48}\right)^\text{th}$ of the work in an hour. Then choose the next slower worker, Betty, to do another $\left(\frac{1}{24}\right)^\text{th}$ of the job in the next hour. This covers the remaining part of the job after the initial five rounds:

$\frac {1}{48} + \frac {1}{24} = \frac {3}{48} = \frac {1}{16} = \text{remaining job}$

So, the maximum time to do the job would be $15 + 1 + 1 =17$ hours. The answer for the second part of the question is option D, 17 hrs.

To find the minimum time to do the job, after the initial five rounds, select the fastest worker, Alex, to take the next turn. He would need just $\frac{1}{2}$ an hour to do the remaining $\left(\frac{1}{16}\right)^\text{th}$ of the job.

So, the minimum time to do the job is $15 + 0.5 =15.5$ hours. The answer for the first part of the question is option B, 15.5 hrs.

The correct answers are options B and D.

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