GMAT Tips: IR Section Insights from GMAT Pill

By - Jul 17, 14:25 PM Comments [0]

Next up in our series on IR tips and insights is Zeke Lee, founder of the GMAT Pill Study Method, a top-rated online GMAT prep course specifically designed to help students study less and score more. The GMAT Pill video course is now available on iPad devices for students on-the-go.

(Scroll down for an exclusive offer from the GMAT Pill.)

Accepted: What is the new integrated reasoning (IR) section testing?

Zeke from the GMAT Pill: In short, the new integrated reasoning section is a series of multi-part question types that generally better represent one’s reasoning abilities in the context of real-life business situations. These questions effectively “integrate” all the previous test sections into one section that puts them all together.

Types: The four types of integrated reasoning questions are:

  • Multi Source Reasoning (MSR)
  • Two Part Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Table Analysis

Quantity: You will see a total of 12 integrated reasoning questions. Your very first IR question is randomly generated so it is impossible to tell which question type you will see first. Just know that by the end of the 12 questions, you will have seen ~2-3 graphics questions, ~3-4 two part analysis questions, ~1-2 table analysis questions, and ~2-3 multisource reasoning questions. Of the 12 IR questions, a few of them will be experimental but as usual, it will be impossible to tell which ones are experimental.

Time: You will have 30 minutes to complete the 12 questions in the integrated reasoning section. On average, you should budget 2 minutes and 30 seconds per question.

Multiple Parts: Each question actually has multiple parts. Some question types have two parts. For example, graphics questions have two drop-downs. Two part analysis questions also have two columns of radio buttons to choose. Other questions have three parts including table analysis and multi source reasoning. The only exception will be a second type of multi-source reasoning question that is very similar to a multiple choice question, in which there is only one part to the question.

Partial Credit: For each of the questions that involve multiple parts, the test taker must answer all parts correctly in order to earn credit for that particular question. No partial credit will be given.

Accepted: What are your top three study tips for IR?

Zeke from the GMAT Pill:

A) Get familiar with the various question types. One resource we recommend is the interactive Practice Pill Platform for GMAT Integrated Reasoning Questions:

With this Practice Pill, you’ll be able to keep an online error logbook of mistakes you’ve made so you can revisit them and learn from them.

We also recommend getting the online question bank associated with the Official Guide 13th edition. These resources will prove valuable for your preparation.

B) Note that two-part analysis and multisource reasoning questions tend to be a bit more difficult than the graphics and table analysis questions so budget your time accordingly.

C) Don’t stress too much about it. The main show is still going to be your 800 score, which is dominated by the verbal and quant sections. The integrated reasoning section offers an additional data point for admissions committees, but the main verbal and quant sections are still the main show so don’t get psyched out.

Accepted: How have your test prep materials and courses changed to prepare students for the IR section?

Zeke from the GMAT Pill: We took the new change with the IR section as an opportunity to upgrade our entire site with a new interactive question platform that includes every question type you will see on the GMAT from sentence correction to data sufficiency to multi source reasoning. We also prepared unique core frameworks specially designed for this new section and made our video course available for students to download to their iPad and watch on-the-go.

In terms of IR, we added

  • Over 3 hours of video on two part analysis and IR frameworks
  • Over 2.5 hours of video on graphics interpretation
  • Over 1.5 hours of video on table analysis
  • Over 4.5 hours of video on multi source reasoning.

In total, that’s well over 10 hours of quality instructional video focused only on the integrated reasoning section.

Accepted: For 2013 applicants, do you think schools will make heavy use of the IR score and treat it as reliable and predictive as the other GMAT sections? Or do you believe they will rely more on the tried and true elements of the GMAT and less on IR this year?

Zeke from the GMAT Pill: During the first year, we believe schools will still place a heavier emphasis on the main 800 score. The IR score will be more important than the AWA essay score but less important than the main verbal and quant show.

We say this because applicants for this year’s MBA class include candidates who took their GMAT up to 5 years ago. It will be difficult for admissions committee members to compare students who have an IR score with students who do not have an IR score.

***The GMAT Pill is offering blog readers a $30 discount on its combo package. Purchase today and save!***

This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of

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