The GMAT utilizes a variety of skills that you will likely rely upon during your MBA program. One of the most important of these skills is the ability to reason. Integrated Reasoning and Critical Reasoning questions make up a significant portion of the GMAT exam. To help you prepare for this test, here are several reasoning-related tips (you may also want to enlist the help of a GMAT tutor):
While applying the concept of reasoning to the GMAT is not new, one section is relatively young. In 2012, the Integrated Reasoning section debuted on the GMAT. It is scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 8 that does not affect your total GMAT result. This 30-minute section contains 12 questions, and most questions have multiple parts. You must answer all parts of a question correctly to earn credit. This means that if you get one part of a question wrong, you do not earn a point.
There are four Integrated Reasoning question types: Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning. For all of these questions, you must sift through a great deal of information presented in word, number, symbol, or picture formats, and select the best answer choices in a limited amount of time. Similar to the Quantitative and Verbal sections on the GMAT, you will receive one question at a time. You must answer the question in front of you before moving on to the next one, and you cannot go back to a previous question to change your answer.
To perform your best on the Integrated Reasoning section, pace yourself, and read the questions carefully. Since you have 30 minutes to answer 12 questions, that gives you 2.5 minutes per question. You must also factor in time for reading, analysis, comparisons, and calculations. Instead of attempting to answer every question correctly in this section, it may be more practical to try to maximize your score. For questions that are easier for you, take your time to find the best answer. For questions you know you cannot solve, take your best guess, and move on to the next one.
The other type of reasoning on the GMAT is Critical Reasoning. The GMAT Verbal section is made up of three types of multiple-choice questions: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning. Passages in Critical Reasoning are usually less than 100 words long, and they are followed by one or two questions. These questions can be approached in five steps:
1. Read the passage.
2. Identify the argument.
3. Identify the assumptions that the argument is based on.
4. Determine what the question is asking for.
5. Use the process of elimination to find the best answer choice.
Check out a GMAT practice test online, and try out the above approach when working with Critical Reasoning questions.
Both the Integrated Reasoning and Critical Reasoning sections of the GMAT require analytical skills to find the best answer choices. Each reasoning question on the GMAT might seem intimidating, but with practice and careful GMAT prep, they will become much easier to navigate and solve successfully. If you find yourself needing help revitalizing your GMAT prep these 5 steps may help. The skills needed for these sections of the exam can also be translated to your business school classes, as well as to your management career. So, learning them now can prove fruitful in both the short-term and long-term of your MBA life.