Understanding GMAT Integrated Reasoning: Format and Strategies

6 mins

Mastering the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is key to securing your spot in a top-tier business program. This section assesses your capacity to analyze intricate data, synthesize information, and make strategic decisions—critical abilities for thriving in the business realm.

Our comprehensive guide offers expert tips and strategies to boost your confidence and proficiency in this demanding section. Mastering Integrated Reasoning will impress admissions committees and distinguish you from other candidates. Start your journey toward GMAT success today. Let us provide you with the essential tools to conquer the Integrated Reasoning section and pave your way to excellence in business education.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR): Overview and Significance

Let me help you understand what GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) is all about.

In 2012, the IR section was introduced to assess critical skills required for business school and beyond. It gauges your capacity to analyze data from various sources, such as tables, graphs, and text, and integrate that information to solve complex problems.

IR comprises 12 questions in four different formats, including graphics interpretation, table analysis, multi-source reasoning, and two-part analysis. It challenges you to think critically and draw insightful conclusions. Moreover, it is scored separately on a scale of 1-8, highlighting your data-driven decision-making proficiency, which both business schools and employers highly appreciate.

If you want to showcase your analytical skills and stand out in the competitive landscape, mastering the IR section is essential. It will open doors to top-tier business schools and exciting career opportunities.

Understanding the Format of Integrated Reasoning in GMAT

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning syllabus consists of 12 questions you must complete in 30 minutes. It evaluates your ability to interpret and analyze complex data from various sources, including tables, graphs, and multi-source reasoning. This section assesses your skills in synthesizing information, evaluating relationships, and making sound decisions based on data-driven insights.

The Integrated Reasoning section has four types of questions: Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, and Two-Part Analysis.

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Question Patterns: Insights and Examples

The Integrated Reasoning section assesses your ability to analyze and interpret complex data from various sources, including tables, graphs, and multi-source reasoning. This section of the GMAT syllabus measures your skills in synthesizing information, evaluating relationships, and making sound decisions based on data-driven insights.

These are all different question types commonly found in assessments like the GMAT or GRE. They each assess different skills:

1. Graphics Interpretation:

In this question type, you will be presented with a graph, chart, or diagram and accompanying questions. Your task is to analyze the information displayed and select the answer that best addresses the question.

2. Table Analysis:

Table Analysis questions require examining a table containing multiple columns of data. You must interpret and analyze the data to answer the questions accurately. These questions test your ability to extract relevant table information and draw conclusions based on the data.

3. Multi-Source Reasoning:

In this question type, you will be presented with information from sources such as text passages, graphs and tables. Your task is to analyze the information, identify relationships between the sources and answer questions based on the given data. This question type assesses your ability to integrate information from multiple sources and draw logical conclusions.

4. Two-Part Analysis:

Two-part analysis questions present you with a problem that consists of two components. You must evaluate each component separately and select the appropriate answer that combines both components to solve the problem. These questions assess your ability to analyze and evaluate elements and make accurate judgments.

Here is a table that discusses patterns:

Question TypeNumber of QuestionsScore
Graphics Interpretation31/8
Table Analysis31/8
Multi-Source Reasoning31/8
Two-Part Analysis31/8

Preparing for Integrated Reasoning in GMAT: Effective Strategies and Resources

It is essential to develop a well-organized study plan for effective preparation of GMAT Integrated Reasoning. You can use GMAT free resources to assist you in the GMAT exam. Here are some steps to help you create a plan that is tailored to your needs:

1. Self-Assessment

Begin your journey into Integrated Reasoning by assessing your current skill level. Engage with diagnostic tests or sample questions to identify strengths and weaknesses accurately. Explore the GMAT practice page here. 

2. Establishing Goals

Set clear targets for the Integrated Reasoning section. Define your desired score and outline achievable improvement goals. Specific objectives will guide your preparation effectively and keep you motivated.

3. Content Familiarization

Familiarize yourself with the content and question types encountered in Integrated Reasoning. Utilize resources like the official GMAT guide to understand the structure of the section and practice sample questions to gain insight into what to expect on test day.

4. Creating a Study Schedule

Craft a well-structured study schedule tailored to your routine. Plan study sessions that align with your daily commitments and allow for consistent practice. Break down your study time into manageable segments to maintain focus and productivity.

5. Identifying Areas for Improvement

Analyze your self-assessment results to pinpoint areas that require improvement. Allocate additional study time to practice and review questions related to these weaker areas, focusing on building confidence and proficiency.

6. Regular Practice

Emphasize regular and consistent practice as a cornerstone of your preparation. Engage with a diverse range of practice questions sourced from reputable materials. Aim for a balance between accuracy and speed to refine your skills effectively in preparation for test success.

Below is a table discussing the steps to help you create a plan that is tailored to your needs:

AssessIdentify strengths/weaknesses with diagnostic tests
PlanSet goals, familiarize with question types, and create a study schedule
Manage TimeRead, take notes, answer individually, and move forward
PracticeEngage with varied questions, balance accuracy/speed, and use error logs
LeverageApply Quant and Verbal skills to IR

Importance of GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score in MBA Admissions

Improving your GMAT Integrated Reasoning score requires a combination of effective strategies and consistent practice. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) score holds a nuanced position in MBA admissions. Though not as pivotal as Quant and Verbal scores, it carries weight in the eyes of admissions committees, particularly for certain demographics. Let's break down its significance:

1. Scoring System

The GMAT IR score ranges from 1 to 8, with single-digit intervals. It's reported separately and doesn't contribute to the overall GMAT score, which ranges from 200 to 800.

2. Relative Importance

While the IR section was designed to assess skills important for business schools and employers, its precise significance in MBA admissions is still evolving. It's neither as critical as Quant and Verbal sections nor entirely negligible.

3. Admissions Committees' Perspective

Admissions committees typically prioritize the overall GMAT score, along with Quant and Verbal scores. However, a strong performance in the IR section can make an applicant stand out, especially for Asian candidates seeking to differentiate themselves.

4. Impact on Admissions

Although not the primary focus, a solid IR score can enhance an applicant's profile. It showcases analytical and problem-solving abilities, qualities highly valued in business school environments.

5. Practice Integrated Reasoning Sets

Solve practice sets or complete Integrated Reasoning sections from official GMAT practice materials or reputable online resources. This will help you become familiar with the format, content and question types and improve your overall performance.

Understanding and preparing for the GMAT exam can feel overwhelming. From figuring out each section to finding study methods, there are many hurdles to success. But don't worry! Getting advice from experts can make a big difference. They'll give you the help and direction to face the GMAT journey confidently.

Check out mba.com if you need any specific information on GMAT.


In conclusion, To excel in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, you need to adopt a methodical and committed approach. This involves familiarizing yourself with different question types, honing your data interpretation and logical reasoning skills, and consistently practising. By doing this, you can improve your performance and achieve your desired score.

With a personalized study plan and clear objectives, you can move closer to proficiency and achieve your GMAT goals. This journey requires dedication and a willingness to improve your knowledge and skills continuously. Ultimately, expertise is gained by finding answers and striving for excellence.

Mentr Me
Follow us on:
Reach Out to us:
MentR-Me Education Pvt. Ltd.
Fourth Floor, Vijay Tower, Panchsheel Park North, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110049
Copyright © 2021 MentR-Me. All rights reserved.