The GMAT is changing this June with the addition of a novel section called Integrated Reasoning (IR).
- What is IR?
- When is IR?
- What Will MGMAT Have, and When?
- When Should I Take the GMAT?
- Why IR?
- IR Content Snapshot
- Our Advice
- Advanced Workshop Video
A new 30 minute section replacing one essay
The IR section replaces one of the two essays at the beginning of the test. Like an essay, Integrated Reasoning takes 30 minutes, so the whole exam takes the same amount of time as before. It tests the same core skills as GMAT Quant & Verbal, but with a twist or two and rest of the GMAT stays exactly the same.
Separately scored from the rest of the GMAT
IR will not count towards your overall 200-800 score. The GMAT will release more news in April.
Only moderately important for now
Most likely, admissions officers will put only moderate importance on IR at first, until they observe how performance on the IR section correlates with academic performance in business school.
IR launches on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
The last day the current GMAT will be offered is Saturday, June 2nd, 2012.
|Public - April 24th||MGMAT students - April 9th|
If you can be ready by June 2nd, take it before
Why bother with a new section if you don’t have to? Schools will take valid older scores and popular slots and locations are likely to fill up.
If you aren't ready until June 5th or after, it's fine
All the work that you’ll have done is worthwhile—just do some additional prep on IR specifically. Your official score will take 20 days to arrive.
Most business schools use case studies to teach some or even most topics. Cases are true histories of difficult business situations: they include vast amounts of real information, both quantitative and verbal, that you must sort through and analyze to glean insights and make decisions. In short, the new IR section seeks to measure your ability to do case analysis in business school.
Quant and Verbal are integrated
You'll see Quant questions with a lot of words and Verbal questions with a lot of numbers.
Unlike GMAT Quant, IR will contain ugly numbers and extraneous information.
You will need to use the on-screen calculator to work with the numbers provided.
IR tests the same core skills as the rest of the GMAT. By preparing for the GMAT Quant and Verbal you are also preparing for Integrated Reasoning.
An IR section contains 12 prompts and 4 types.
|Interactive Prompts (probably 2 of each)||Static Prompts (probably 4 of each)|
- Multi-Source Reasoning: Click on 2 or 3 tabs of info
- Table Analysis: Sort the table by any column
- Graphics Interpretation: Figure out a graph
- Two-part Analysis: Answer a two-part question
Four types of questions can be asked. The question types look only slightly different from each other and more than one response per question is required on the three new types of questions.
- Traditional Multiple-Choice: Pick one of five choices
- Either/Or Statements: Choose one side or the other for each 3-4 statements
- Drop-Down Statements: Make one choice for each of 2 statements
- Two-part question: Make one choice in each column
Required Mental Adjustments
The IR section will require a couple of interesting mental adjustments. On the Math side, IR will contain ugly numbers and extraneous information, while GMAT Quant will usually contain clean numbers and will require that you leverage all information given.
|Integrated Reasoning - Real World||GMAT Quant - Math tricks|
Numbers are ugly, as if from the real world. The calculator provided on-screen is useful, even necessary. Results are sometimes "real," as if to answer a business question.
Numbers are rigged. Once you see how, you can manipulate them nicely. No calculator is provided--or needed. Results are often artificial, like those for a math puzzle.
Extra information is often provided. You must sift the data to find what's relevant.
Example: In the following big table, how many cities have both >3% job growth and <8% unemployment?
Many cities in the table won't fit
Extra information is rarely provided. If you didn't use everything, you probably made a mistake. Your task is to follow a chain of deductions.
Example: x < y < z but x2 > y2 > z2, which one of the following must be positive?
Use all the constraints given.
Necessary data is provided in many different forms, such as tables and charts. Numbers can be embedded in lots of descriptive text.
Tables and charts are provided infrequently. Numbers are embedded in smaller quantities of text, such as short word problems.
On the Verbal side, IR will be closer to GMAT Verbal, with the exceptions outlined below. Most importantly, however, IR will require you to assess mindsets and interpret dialogs, while GMAT Verbal will require that you not read too much into the text.
|Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes)||GMAT Verbal|
Don't let IR mess up the rest of your test
Unfortunately, the Integrated Reasoning section is much harder than the Issue essay that it replaces. You have to absorb a ton of new data of various types, repeatedly shift mental gears, and make a swarm of decisions… all in 30 minutes. That’s some intense time pressure.
- You will have to work fast to avoid rat holes.
- Most importantly—you will have to recover very quickly for the rest of the exam, as your brain will be spent. How should you prepare to deal with this mental exhaustion?
- Build stamina in advance. Take more than one full practice exam with the IR section included.
- During review, study the fast and easy way to do each problem. Then drill that way into your head. Don’t be too cool to use the calculator.
- Replenish your brain’s food—glucose. During the break after IR, drink Gatorade or a similar energy drink. Nothing else will work faster to counter so-called “decision fatigue” and restore your mental willpower. As you go to your locker, only get a beverage or an energy bar. Do not touch your cell phone or anything else—your exam will be immediately disqualified.
Make a few adjustments after IRQuant adjustments
- The IR section will give you ugly numbers so you'll need to use the calculator given. The Quant section will give you rigged numbers and no calculator is provided nor is it needed.
- The IR section will make you sift through data and ignore much of it. The Quant section, however, will rarely give you extra information so try to use everything given.
- The IR section will make you interpret dialogues and assess mindsets. On the Verbal section, don't read too much into the text.
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