Overview of the Integrated Reasoning Section for GMAT

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 GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is a challenging exam that evaluates the ability and readiness of students to enter a master's in business administration program. This lesson will provide an overview of the Integrated Reasoning Section for this exam.


The Graduate Management Admission Test is required by many universities for acceptance into their business programs, especially their master's in business administration (MBA). This exam is broken into four parts:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative
  • Verbal

The first section requires an analytical essay, while the last three contain a variety of multiple-choice questions. Scoring on the GMAT varies from a 200 to a perfect 800. Most scores are between 400 and 600. These scores are taken into account when universities look at students for acceptance into their schools. The Integrated Reasoning Section, which we will be reviewing today, is scored 1-8, with absolutely no partial credit available.

The GMAT is unusual because it's different for each student taking it. The GMAT is taken on a computer system, and that system will provide questions based on how the students answer the previous questions. For example, if Sally gets question 1 right, she will get a harder question 2. If she gets question 2 wrong, she will get an easier question 3, and so on. This type of testing is called computer adaptive. This goes on throughout the exam, except for the Integrated Reasoning Section.

Integrated Reasoning Section

In an office, employees have to deal with reports, meetings, and conversations to determine how to get a project done. This section takes those ideas and creates questions. The Integrated Reasoning Section is unique in this exam because it covers verbal and math skills. They will be blended into seamless problems, much like we would see in our day-to-day. The questions are meant to be practical as well, so the math is user-friendly.

There are 12 questions in this section, which the test taker is allowed 30 minutes to finish. These questions can be specific to math or verbal or a combination of both. The questions will require more than one answer as well -- meaning that there may be 12 questions, but there are more than 12 answers. The point of this section is to have potential students take information from different sources and combine them successfully, thus getting the correct answer.

Four Types of Questions

The Integrated Reasoning Section contains four types of questions. They vary in subject and difficulty, and as stated before, do not follow the computer adaptive format. The types of questions are as follows:

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