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GMAT Integrated Reasoning what it tests

Know what GMAT Integrated Reasoning tests so that you can prepare for it.

If you’re trying to prepare for something, it’s probably a good idea to know what you’re facing.

Or, as the famous military strategist Sun Tzu said, “Know thy enemy.”

When it comes to the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, there are a lot of moving parts. There are four major question types, some of which involve graphs, some of which involve tables, some of which involve a combination of reading comprehension and quantitative data, and others of which ask seemingly straightforward math questions with multiple parts.

It can seem quite overwhelming on the surface.

In truth, nearly everything you’re expected to know for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is also expected of you on the main Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections that comprise your “main” 200-800 point score. As such, I always encourage my students to spend most of their time preparing for the Quant and Verbal sections because it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Once you’ve mastered all of that content, it translates well to the IR section as well. All you really need to do at that point is familiarize yourself with the unique question formats that the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section presents.

That said, I was at a conference recently at the headquarters of the GMAC, the folks who make the GMAT, and they shared a slide about what’s tested on GMAT IR that I think you’ll find helpful. After all, why not pay attention to what the test-makers themselves think they’re trying to test? It’s sort of like having an Integrated Reasoning cheat sheet!

So without further ado, here’s the slide (note: click the image for full size if it’s hard to read):


what is tested on the GMAT integrated reasoning section


If you haven’t already mastered all of these topics, check out our comprehensive GMAT Quantitative and GMAT Verbal courses. We cover it all.

And of course you can get additional instruction and practice with GMAT Integrated Reasoning in our courses and on the GMAC’s website at mba.com.

Questions/comments? Please post them below. Good luck and may you dominate the GMAT!