Integrated Reasoning Section (IR)
Integrated Reasoning Section (IR)

Integrated Reasoning Section (IR)

The Integrated Reasoning section (IR) is the newest section of the GMAT test, and was introduced in June 2012. The addition of the IR proved to be a significant change in the GMAT, something that had not been done for many years.

General Information about the Integrated Reasoning (IR) in the GMAT

The duration of the IR section is 30 minutes, without internal time division - you must manage your time. Although this section is not adaptive like the quantitative and verbal sections, you can't go back to a question you have already answered and you can't skip a question without answering it.
Unlike the quantitative section, a calculator is permitted in the IR section and appears on the computer screen.

This section includes 12 questions from 4 different types. Examinees usually receive 3 questions from each type but this is variable.

Questions Types in the IR section:

• Graphic Interpretation: You are required to complete two sentences by analyzing visual information (a graph, diagram or chart) . For each sentence there is drop down menu with several possibilities.
Table Analysis: You are presented with a table containing a lot of information which can be sorted by columns (like Excel table). Based on this table, you need to refer to 3 statements and determine something about them (i.e., true or false, it can be concluded or not, data can be justified or not etc).
• Two-Section Analysis: You will be presented with a text containing information (verbal or quantitative), and you will be asked to answer two questions about it. For each question, you are required to choose one answer out of several possibilities in the column. The two solutions are always linked to each other in some way (different characteristics of an object, relationship between two numbers etc).
Multi Source Reasoning: On half of the screen you will be presented with three tabs of information. The information in the different tabs is closely connected. For example, the connection can be different aspects of a certain project (e.g. schedule, manpower and budget), written correspondence between different employees and so on. You can move freely between the tabs. On the other half of the screen there is a question with 2-3 clauses regarding the information in the tabs.  Multi Source Reasoning questions are always presented in sequence one after the other and refer to the same text. This means that the tabs on the left side of the screen will remain after you finish answering the first question and will be relevant for the next two questions.

The IR section scores

The score in the Integrated Reasoning Section is given in whole points, on a scale of 1 to 8 (inclusive). The score is basically determined by the amount of correct answers the examinee provides, but there might be slight divergences in the scoring of each question, according to the percentage of examinees who answered it correctly.

Unlike the verbal and quantitative sections, in the IR there isn't a penalty for not answering questions (but then of course, you won't get any kind of score for them). Each question is composed of several different parts. In order for an answer to be considered correct, the examinee has to answer correctly on all of the parts (there is no partial scoring) and so in this section, it's very hard to “blindly” guess a correct answer. If, in the quantitative and verbal sections, the chance of guessing an answer correctly is 1/5, then in the IR section, the chances can be 1/8, 1/9 and even less for certain questions.

Like the rest of the test, the IR section score also comes with a percentile, so that you and mainly the business schools you are applying to, can understand the significance of your score and compare it to scores of other applicants.

The following chart shows the updated percentile table for the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT:

For example, the score 7 is in the 81st percentile, meaning that 81% of the examinees who sat the GMAT worldwide in the last two years got 7 or less.

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