Tips to Ace GMAT Integrated Reasoning
Integrated Reasoning [IR] requires some data analyses skills that are quite distinguishable from other GMAT test skills. This section of the GMAT test is focused on bringing out the ability of the exam candidate to interpret intellectual representations such as graphics, tables or chats, and to describe some relationships between their values. Now, this sort of questions can be said not to be clear cuts, when compared the Quant or Verbal styles of GMAT questions.
To finely address the questions that are usually found in a typical IR test, there are several formats that the candidate must bear in mind, or should know at their fingertips, to ease speed of reasoning and boost confidence in making the right choices. This is because, the data in most IR tests are displayed in near abstract forms. Therefore, the student must know certain tips that have been proven to enable successful students in the past to select their right answers.
These tips are quite simple and easy to understand, because they have been developed from retrospect of previous studies and performances. Although they would require some practice to get them on your fingertips. They will certainly enable you to synthesize and understand the examiners ploy, thereby enabling you to make successful choices for great scores.
Project Examiners Expectations
You could try to see through the examiners eyes or project what the examiner wants of you. But how can this be possible? Hang on. Don’t be too rash to say it is impossible. Because it is possible. What you need to do, is to understand the answers in your practice sessions. Since to achieve great scores, there are questions you must ask yourself, when faced with an IR question. These are; Can the variables be directly correlated or not? Is the flow of data streaming in a unique trend? What does the examiner want me to see?
At this point, you are beginning to get into the mind of the examiner. The next step to grasp an understanding of the question.
Understanding the Question
When you say to yourself in silence; I think I know what to do. You release a dose of adrenaline in your system, that tends increase your confidence immediately. So, based on your projection of what you think the examiner want from you, you immediately begin to address the question. Since IR questions are not like the typical four (4) or (five) choice answer options, you should familiarize yourself with questions such as; Graphical representations that could ask you to choose an option that would complete the answer statement, because it describes the relationship of the values best. Or with the two-part analyses kind of questions that would give you similar answers choices for every question, but would basically ask you two questions.
Understanding what is presented before you, gives you the mojo to make the right decisions, and the courage to look at the various screens with confidence, because you know where to look, and what to look for.
Where to look, and what to find
When you know where to look, and what to look for, you would not get entrapped in some of the basic mistakes many exam candidates fall into. Such as grasping the wrong information. You can simply avoid these mistakes, by following the tips we have laid out in this article step by step.
If you do, you will be able to tell what passage gives the relevant information you are seeking, which will then enable you to make the right choices. This becomes easier so long as you consider the question posed in your graph, table, chart or diagram carefully. For example, when a chart or graphical data is presented to you, ensure that you read the labels properly. Whether they be scripted on the ‘x’ or ‘y’ axes, the footnotes, column names, titles, or any piece of area on the screen close to the data. They demand unusual attention, which must be given to them. Special attention should also be given to any units such as the mm, g/kg, cm3, or minutes’, seconds”, and degrees0, etc., because these could change as the data screen changes.
How fast are you?
Do you know how fast you could be rated in decoding some practice questions? Are you improving each time you practice your preparation questions? These queries should be addressed to boost your confidence or to stimulate you to work harder.
This is so said, because, although we usually have about 75 minutes for 37 questions, and 75 minutes for 41 questions assigned to Quant and Verbal respectively, Integrated Reasoning sections do have 30 minutes assigned to 12 IR questions. However, the timing could be grossly misleading. Mostly because, one thing that is over-looked, when such a consideration is made, is that, IR questions do have multiple parts, and must be answered correctly to obtain your full test scores. Hence, improving on your speed is invaluable each time you practice. It is also important to identify your strengths and weaknesses based on how much time you spend on some type of questions in the various parts of the IR questions.
Know what to expect
It is important that the exam candidate knows what to expect. If you do, it makes it easier for you to apply the tips we have explored here from retrospect of previous studies and performances. It is as simple as knowing that the IR questions are divided into four entirely different parts.
These are parts are;
- The Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR)
- The Table Analysis (TA)
- The Graphics Interpretation (GI), and
- The Two-Part Analysis (2PA)
It is also vital to know that these parts are to be approached with different techniques and that the switch of your reasoning from one question to the other should be swift. Finally, not all questions can be answered on your first approach. It is imperative to know when to move on. Best Wishes!