GMAT Integrated Reasoning Overview

In June, 2012, the GMAT underwent its most significant change in more than a decade. After years of analysis and consultation with business schools, the Graduate Management Admissions Council decided to keep the majority of the GMAT intact, but replaced one of the Analytical Writing Assessment essays with a new Integrated Reasoning section. The addition of an Integrated Reasoning section adds a new dimension to GMAT score reports, and schools will begin to incorporate that scoring into their admissions decisions in the first application rounds of late 2012.

All Veritas Prep GMAT courses teach you everything you need for the new Integrated Reasoning section. We cover a lot more detail on our GMAT Integrated Reasoning Frequently Asked Questions page!

What Changed on the GMAT?

Test Section Old GMAT New GMAT
Analytical Writing Assessment Analysis of an Issue: 30 minutes
Analysis of an Argument: 30 minutes
Analysis of an Argument: 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning N/A 12 questions
30 minutes
Optional break (8 minutes)
Quantitative Reasoning 37 questions
75 minutes
37 questions
75 minutes
Optional break (8 minutes)
Verbal Reasoning 41 questions
75 minutes
41 questions
75 minutes

What exactly is the Integrated Reasoning section?

In short, it asks students to analyze a small compilation of data — presented in various forms, including words, charts, and tables — and pull out key insights to answer multiple questions about the data. The questions vary by type, and may ask the test taker to judge whether a statement is true or false or to interpret the cause of a certain trend in the data.

How is the Integrated Reasoning section scored?

Integrated Reasoning scores range from 1 to 8, in single-digit increments. So, your Integrated Reasoning score could be an 8, or a 7, or a 6 (and so on). Your score will be separate from your Quantitative and Verbal scores, and it will not factor into your total GMAT score out of 800.

How is the Integrated Reasoning section different than what was previously on the GMAT?

The Integrated Reasoning section goes beyond the traditional “pick one of these five answer choices” format. It asks test takers to assess information in a variety of formats, synthesize the information given, and draw conclusions from the information given.

The Integrated Reasoning questions certainly are more open-ended in that you may be asked to select which statements are true given a set of data, and one, two, or even all five statements could possibly be true. In this case, students won’t be tasked with simply converging on THE right answer each time. However, there is STILL a correct way and an incorrect way to answer a question. See our Integrated Reasoning FAQ to learn more about how the questions work.

Why we love Integrated Reasoning questions

Integrated Reasoning questions get even closer to measuring the type of analytical skills that truly matter in business school and beyond. The Integrated Reasoning format actually looks very similar to the mini-case studies MBA students get when interviewing for management consulting or brand management jobs. This sort of exercise – “Here’s a pile of information. Can you pull out the two or three things that matter and tell me what’s going on?” – is a great measure of someone’s analytical abilities. That skill is just what many recruiters at top business schools look for.

All Veritas Prep GMAT courses teach the Integrated Reasoning sections. We developed Integrated Reasoning sample problems to help you get ready for this section of the test. We will frequently add new new sample problems, so check back often!