# Top Tips for Integrated Reasoning:

by on October 12th, 2018

hen you’re approaching the GMAT for the first time, a few things tend look at least a little familiar. There’s a verbal section and a quantitative section, just like on many other standardized tests (think the SAT or ACT). There are multiple-choice questions, just like on many other exams you’ve taken throughout your life. But then there’s Integrated Reasoning…which looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, at least on a test.

Because Integrated Reasoning looks less familiar to us, a lot of new GMAT students balk at the format and don’t end up scoring all of the points they could. Here are a few tips to guide you through the section!

1. Know the question formats.
This is true of all GMAT sections, but it’s especially true for IR, where the questions can look a little weird, to say the least. However, there are only four question types—but you’ll see them every single time. These are Multi-Source Reasoning (presented as cards); Table Analysis (presented as tables); Graphics Interpretation (presented as, well, graphics); and Two-Part Analysis (charts).

2. Know the question types.
In Multi-Source Reasoning, there are two question types: multiple-choice and “dichotomous” choice. The first is pretty straightforward. The second will present a dichotomy (like true/false) and then present you with statements to match with either side of that dichotomy. Table Analysis questions will all be in this format. Graphics Interpretation presents new challenges, with fill-in-the-blank sentences to be completed by choosing the right answer from a drop-down menu. Finally, in Two-Part Analysis, you’ll come across a question type that involves selecting answer choices that answer two questions.

3. Learn the scoring system.
You can’t get partial credit on GMAT IR, meaning that you need to answer any question with more than one part entirely correctly to get that point. You’ll see 12 questions, but each question will have two to three parts (except in Multi-Source reasoning).

4. Make time-management inferences based on the scoring system.
If you’re completely unsure about two parts of a three-part question, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the point anyway, so why spend a lot of time on the third part of it? Time to make your best guess and move on.