Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning
Sailesh Sitaula

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a crucial examination for individuals aspiring to pursue an MBA or other graduate management programs. One section of the GMAT that often poses a challenge is the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section. 

The Integrated Reasoning example problems contain several tables, charts, and graphs. Some questions will also feature text. In this section, you aim to interpret and synthesise data from many sources and then use that data to draw conclusions and assess statements.


30 minutes

Number of question

12 questions


Table Analysis, Graphics Analysis, Two-Part Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning, equipping you with the knowledge and strategies to excel in this aspect of the test.

Understanding GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Before diving into the intricacies of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, let's start by understanding its purpose and structure.

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What is GMAT Integrated Reasoning?

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section evaluates your ability to analyse and interpret complex data from various sources. It assesses your skills in synthesising information, evaluating relationships between data points, and drawing appropriate conclusions.

Structure of GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section consists of 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes. It comprises four different types of questions:

  1. Multi-Source Reasoning: These questions require evaluating data presented in multiple formats (tables, graphs, texts) to answer multiple sub-questions.
  2. Graphics Interpretation: In these questions, you will analyse a graph or chart and choose the correct statement that accurately represents the data.
  3. Two-Part Analysis: Here, you will solve complex problems by selecting two correct responses from the answer choices provided.
  4. Table Analysis: These questions involve organising and interpreting information presented in a table format.

The Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Now that we have a solid foundation let's explore the Complete Guide To GMAT Integrated Reasoning, encompassing effective strategies and tips for each question type.

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Multi-Source Reasoning: Cracking the Code

The Multi-Source Reasoning questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section often demand a systematic approach for successful completion. Here's how you can crack the code:

  1. Read the introduction: Begin by reading the introductory text, which sets the context for the data presented.
  2. Analyse the sources: Carefully examine each source of data (tables, graphs, texts) and understand the relationships between them.
  3. Focus on sub-questions: Pay close attention to the main question's sub-questions. They provide clues on which sources are relevant for each sub-question.
  4. Eliminate irrelevant data: Filter out any data or sources not required to answer the sub-question.

Graphics Interpretation: Visualizing Success

In the Graphics Interpretation questions, your ability to interpret visual data accurately is vital. Here's how you can visualise success in this question type:

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  1. Study the graph: Begin by understanding the axes, labels, and units of measurement used in the graph. Identify trends, patterns, and any other relevant information.
  2. Analyse the answer choices: Examine each answer choice and determine if it accurately represents the data presented in the graph.
  3. Eliminate distractors: Eliminate answer choices that do not align with the information depicted in the graph.
  4. Verify your selection: Double-check your chosen answer by ensuring it accurately reflects the data and addresses the question asked.

Two-Part Analysis: Doubling Your Confidence

Two-Part Analysis questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section require you to solve complex problems efficiently. Here's how you can double your confidence in tackling these questions:

  1. Break it down: Divide the question into two parts and analyse each independently. This approach simplifies the problem and enhances your chances of success.
  2. Eliminate incorrect combinations: Review each

answer choice and eliminate any that do not form a valid combination with both parts of the question.

  1. Test answer choices: Plug the remaining answer choices into the question and verify if they satisfy both parts of the problem.
  2. Identify patterns: Look for recurring patterns or relationships between the answer choices to help you narrow down the correct combination.

Table Analysis: Organizing Your Way to Victory

Table Analysis questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section demand effective organisation and interpretation skills. Here's how you can organise your way to victory:

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  1. Identify key information: Scan the table and identify the key columns, rows, and data points relevant to the question.
  2. Understand the table structure: Grasp the table's structure, including the relationships between columns and rows.
  3. Break it down: If the question involves multiple sub-questions, tackle them individually. Focus on one aspect of the table at a time.
  4. Cross-reference information: Compare information across different columns or rows to draw connections and answer the sub-questions accurately.

Skills Measured in GMAT Integrated Reasoning

The skills which are measured in this section are:

  1. Your ability to Analyze information presented in graphics, text, and numbers.
  2. Your ability to understand the relevant information from different sources.
  3. Your ability to organise the information, see relationships, and solve multiple interrelated problems.
  4. Your ability to Combine information to solve complicated problems that depend on information from one or more sources.

6 Things you should know About Integrated Reasoning Questions

In the Integrated thinking part, questions involve quantitative and verbal thinking, alone or in combination. Some questions may need more than one response.

  1. All the response alternatives for a specific question are displayed on the same screen.
  2. Before proceeding to the next question, you must submit responses to all sections.
  3. Only by accurately answering all of the sections of a question will you be able to get points.
  4. You may not alter your response once it has been submitted.
  5. You may receive several questions for a single set of data. If you answer one question poorly, it does not affect how you answer another based on the same facts.
  6. While the questions may contain mathematical components, they are not intended to assess your quantitative abilities. An online calculator with basic capabilities will, however, be provided.

Guidelines for Answering GMAT Integrated Reasoning Questions

Here are some pointers to help you prepare for the GMAT's Integrated Reasoning section:

  1. Improve your time management abilities so that you can tackle all of the questions and sub-topics.
  2. Make a note of each tab to assist you in maintaining track of the amounts of information in the question of multi-source reasoning.
  3. For table analysis questions, don't waste time reading the introduction text. Instead, read the question and table straight because the table contains all you need.
  4. Read the introduction paragraph of the two-part analysis questions very carefully.
  5. Before you begin evaluating a graphics interpretation question, look at the response possibilities in the menu.
  6. Check the value of each increment on the axes of the bar and line graphs to ensure proper calculation.
  7. Practice using the calculator installed on your computer to prepare for the online calculator.

FAQs About GMAT Integrated Reasoning

Q1: How much time should I allocate for GMAT Integrated Reasoning?

A1: The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section provides a total of 30 minutes for answering 12 questions. Spending around 2 minutes and 30 seconds on each question is recommended.

Q2: Are there any calculators allowed in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

A2: Calculators are not permitted in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section. The questions test your ability to interpret and analyse data without external tools.

Q3: Can I skip questions and come back to them later?

A3: Unfortunately, the GMAT does not allow you to skip or revisit questions. Once you submit an answer to a particular question, you cannot return to it.

Q4: Is there a negative marking in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

A4: No, there is no negative marking for incorrect answers in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section. It is advisable to attempt every question, even if you are unsure, as there is no penalty for guessing.

Q5: How can I improve my speed in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

A5: To enhance your speed, practice regularly with timed mock tests. Familiarise yourself with the question types, develop effective strategies, and improve your data interpretation and analysis skills.

Q6: Are any study materials or resources available specifically for GMAT Integrated Reasoning?

A6: Yes, several resources are available, such as official GMAT prep materials, online forums, and coaching centres that provide comprehensive study materials and practice questions for GMAT Integrated Reasoning.


In conclusion, the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section significantly assesses your ability to analyse complex data and make informed decisions. You can maximise your performance in this section by understanding the different question types and employing effective strategies.

Remember to practice regularly and seek relevant study materials to enhance your skills. With dedication and thorough preparation, you can conquer the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section and move closer to your academic and professional goals.

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