GMAT Integrated Reasoning Question Types and Directions

Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

The integrated reasoning of the GMAT exam requires test takers to combine verbal and math skills. This lesson provides information on the question types and the directions you will encounter.

Integrated Reasoning Overview

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-based exam that is used by many universities to determine if students are prepared for graduate level business programs. Taking and preparing for this exam is important, because may colleges require it for admission. The GMAT exam is broken down into four parts: verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment. We will only be discussing the integrated reasoning section in this lesson.

The integrated reasoning section was added to the GMAT in June 2012, and was not part of the original exam. However, it now adds to the complete score. This part of the exam is unique in several ways. It is the shortest part of the exam (aside from the essay), with only 12 questions, and 30 minutes allowed. This section also covers both quantitative and verbal skills. Quantitative skills are basic math and calculations skills. Essentially, the test is trying to see if students can take information from several different sources and topics, and integrate them, thus finding the answer. Another difference in this section, is that the questions are not computer adaptive. This means that the questions do not get harder or easier depending on your trend of right or wrong answers. The questions will range from easy to difficult randomly.

Question Types

The 12 questions of the GMAT integrated reasoning section are broken down into four individual types:

  • Two-Part Analysis - These questions can be solely verbal or solely quantitative or a combination of both. The two questions will involve a word problem, and then a table that must be used.
  • Table Analysis - The idea behind these questions is that sorting the table by the different columns will help answer the questions. You will be provided with a sortable table, much like you would see in an Excel spreadsheet, and will have to answer three questions.
  • Graphics Interpretation - The goal of these questions is to successfully explain the graph's information. Along with a graph or chart, which can be anything from scatterplot to pie, there are two sentences that must be finished. Each sentence will have a blank word, and a drop-down box to choose from the available multiple-choice answers.
  • Multi-Source Reasoning - These questions are set up to provide different information in tabs or cards that will pull up when clicked upon. You will answer three questions based on the information provided by three tabs of information, whether it's text, a table or a graph.

Directions and Tips

Now that you know what types of questions are within the integrated reasoning, there are some directions you should know, as well as some tips to follow.


These directions can pertain to all of the GMAT, but are very key to remember when delving into the Integrated Reasoning section.

  • 1. All parts of the questions must be answered to get credit, because the exam does not give partial credit.
  • 2. Each problem is completely provided on one screen, so there is no need to move forward for more information. If you do go to the next screen, you cannot go back.
  • 3. You will need to make sure you answer all of the questions on the screen before you move forward. This is because once you move to the next screen, the previous question is gone for good.
  • 4. Make sure to check your answers again before you move on. There is no way to go back and change your answers. There is no back button in the GMAT.
  • 5. The multiple-choice answers provided in each question are unique and will not help you answer other questions on the exam.
  • 6. Each problem in the integrated reasoning section has at least two questions posed about the data. Sometimes answering the first question wrong will affect the correctness of the second (third) answers; however, this is not always the case.

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