### Archives For Integrated Reasoning

Integrated Reasoning, the newest addition to the GMAT, was added to the GMAT in response to real skills employers are looking for in new hires – namely, the ability to analyze information presented in multiple ways – in order to succeed in today’s data-driven workplace. Sounds tough, right? The good news is that Integrated Reasoning can be learned.

And we’ve created a new tool to teach it—available for free for a limited time only!

The complete GMAT INTERACT platform (coming in June!) will teach every section of the GMAT, but you can get started on the IR section right now, for free. It won’t be available for free forever, though, so be sure to sign up before it’s too late!

Your performance on Integrated Reasoning (IR) can affect the part of the test you really care about: the Quant and the Verbal. Follow the below 3 Keys to Success and you’ll be sitting pretty on test day.

## Key #1: Minimize Brain Power Expended

Too many students have made this mistake already: they don’t study (or barely study) for IR, then kill their mental stamina during this section. When quant and verbal roll around, they’re mentally exhausted and what was already a hard test becomes impossible.

Your IR score does not directly impact your Quant and Verbal scores, but you’ll always have to do the IR section before you get to quant and verbal. In order to avoid an adverse outcome, you want to make sure that you can get a “good enough” score on IR without doing too much.

What’s a good-enough score? As of March 2014, the general consensus is to aim for a 4 or higher on IR; if you’re planning to apply to a top-10 school, aim for a 5 or higher. (The top score on IR is an 8.)

NOTE to future readers! The advice in the previous paragraph will likely change over time, so if you are reading this a year or two from now, check our blog for more recent advice.

Do not put your IR study off until the last minute. At least 6 weeks before the test, start to learn about the four types of IR problems: Multi-Source Reasoning (MSR), Table Analysis, Graphical Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis.

Learn:

(1) the strategies needed to answer each question type

(2) the one or two question types you like the least

I’ll recommend one of our own products to help you with this: our IR Interact lessons. You’ll learn everything you need to know via a very engaging series of interactive videos, and best of all, it’s completely free (as I’m writing this right now—no promises for future!).

## Key #2: Know When to Guess

Next, do you generally like quant or verbal better? How do you feel about fractions, percents, and statistics, the math topics the most commonly tested on IR? Do you like those topics more or less than you like critical reasoning problems? Do you like pulling data from tables and manipulating it to conclude something? Interpreting graphical information? Or do you prefer synthesizing material from two or three primarily text-based sources?

Decide what topics you like least and combine that information with the one or two question types you like least. For instance, let’s say that you dislike fraction and percent topics the most. You also hate graphs and you aren’t too thrilled about tables either.

We have some exciting news for you today! We have launched GMAT INTERACT™ for Integrated Reasoning, a truly interactive, video-based digital learning platform that engages you in all facets of learning.

INTERACT is our dynamic digital learning platform, and it’s unlike anything you’ve used to study online. It’s designed to engage your whole brain, keeping the student-teacher connection at the core of every lesson. It’s been called “the best self study method out right now.” Our full GMAT INTERACT program will be launching in 2014, but we’re bringing you all five IR lessons now, for free, so you can kick off your studies.

INTERACT prepares you for the newest section of the GMAT, Integrated Reasoning, which is the most significant overhaul of the GMAT in its 60 year history. The feature component of INTERACT for IR is an expert, on-screen instructor who engages with you as if you were actually receiving private tutoring. The INTERACT program, unlike simple video tutorials, actually receives answers from you and responds to them.

INTERACT has been a two year process of technological innovation, in which Manhattan Prep designers, coders, instructors, and videographers meticulously worked together to create the most interactive student-teacher focused experience available online.

Happy studying: http://www.manhattangmat.com/INTERACT/

Exciting news! GMAC (the owners of the GMAT) announced on Friday that, starting immediately, we’ll get our unofficial IR scores as soon as the test is over. They already do this for our Quant, Verbal, and Total scores, so IR will be added to the mix.

As with the other scores, the IR score will be considered an “unofficial” score until you receive your official score report. You can consider these test-day scores essentially official, though, as it’s incredibly rare for something to change after that day. The folks over at GMAC are professionals; they’re not going to release scores if there’s even a small chance that something could change, upsetting students who thought they had earned a different score.

So now you won’t have to wait to find out how you did on IR. (You’ll still wait for the essay score, of course, but that’s not quite so nerve-wracking, is it?)

Need to practice IR? Try our new free GMAT Interact lessons for Integrated Reasoning.

Happy studying and good luck on test day!

My title is a little odd there “ why the very specific timeframe? Well, we know that business schools aren’t using the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section much (if at all) this first year, for admission in the fall of 2013, but we also know that IR will probably become more important over time.

How much more important? Nobody knows, but it’s a good guess that the process will be fairly gradual. We have decades of data for the quant and verbal sections, so the schools can feel confident in interpreting that data to help make admissions decisions. After the first year of IR, we’ll still have only one year of data; as a result, it’s highly unlikely that IR will suddenly rise to the same level of importance as quant and verbal.

So what should you do if you’re taking the GMAT sometime this year in preparation for a fall 2014 start? How much attention do you really need to pay to IR and what kind of score will be good enough?

Here are the current percentile rankings for the 1 to 8 IR scoring scale:

 Percentile Score 92% 8 81% 7 67% 6 52% 5 37% 4 24% 3 12% 2 0% 1

I’ve been wanting to do this problem with you for a while, but I’ve been delaying because well, you’ll see when you get to the table. It takes a lot of work to recreate that in a blog post. But that ridiculously large table is also the reason why I want to talk about this one “ so let’s test it out!

## Try the problem

This problem can be found in GMATPrep© 2.0. Normally, on table problems, you’re able to re-sort the data according to various column headers. I can’t recreate that functionality in a blog post, but I’ll give you a hint: sorting actually isn’t necessary for this particular problem.

Set your timer for 2.5 minutes. (You can take up to 3 on this one, but if you do decide to use extra time, use it wisely! Otherwise, it’s better to cut yourself off faster.)

After seeing quite a few Integrated Reasoning problems floating around out there, I’ve found that one of the toughest situations to deal with is when instead of providing a single solution, the GMAT constructs a world with multiple possible solutions and then asks you to pick something that works within those parameters. Let me show you an example:

x, y and z are positive integers. The sum of x and y is 40. The positive difference between y and z is 20.

In the table below, identify values for x and z that are together consistent with the information. Make only one selection in each column.

x z
15
20
25
45
60

Found the answer yet? If not, I think I might know why: You’re trying to solve for y. The problem is, y could be almost any integer from 1 to 39, as long as you pick values for x and z that work. You could figure out x and z for every single value of y, but that’s a very time-consuming strategy! Without the answer choices, there are more than 50 different solutions to this problem. So what is a better strategy than trying to solve for y?

This is the latest in a series of How To Analyze articles that began with the general How To Analyze A Practice Problem article (click on the link to read the original article). This week, we’re going to analyze a specific IR question from the Graph prompt category.

Let’s try out the question: here it is. Just in case that link changes, you can also click on this link to go to the mba.com website, and then, about halfway down the page, click on the Graphics Interpretation link. We’re going to try the 2nd of the 4 questions. If you’re going for an average IR score, give yourself 2.5 minutes; if you’re going for a really good score, give yourself between 1.5 and 2 minutes.

Note: when you are done, do NOT click the next button. Just leave it up on the screen and come back here.

First, read the complete solution to the problem. In that article, I discussed how I was able to answer one of the questions correctly even though I wasn’t 100% confident that I understood part of the description of the graph. I also talked about an important lesson I learned regarding how to read the questions.