How important is Integrated Reasoning Section?1


Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) sections are two sections which don’t count towards the overall score of GMAT. And, thus many GMAT test takers wonder about the importance of band score on these two sections.

GMAT Integrated Section tests your ability to

  1. Filter out relevant data and make useful decisions
  2. Use patterns, flowcharts and data to reach at a conclusion
  3. Understand information given in multiple sources and extract data from numbers to solve complex problems.

IR format

This section includes 12 questions to be attempted in 30 minutes, in the following four formats:

  1. Two Part Analysis
  2. Graphics Interpretation
  3. Table analysis
  4. Multiple-Source Reasoning

Business managers and professionals across the globe, on daily basis, have to deal with partial data to make important business decisions. Thus to take such decisions they filter out the data, analyze the facts from multiple sources and evaluate the information. This is the skill which is enhanced at the business school. Verbal and quantitative reasoning section of GMAT works as a good indicator of how students are likely to perform in business school, but these sections individually do not necessarily help to understand that how someone will combine all facts and perform to take strong decisions. Here, your performance on IR section comes into picture as this section is designed to test all such skills. You have to evaluate the given information and quickly find a solution to a problem.

Thus, an IR score is a very good evaluator of a candidate’s skills to understand and analyze complex ideas, bring them together and to use that data in a variety of formats.

IR section was introduced in June 2012. Admissions committee initially did not value the IR section much as there wasn’t enough data to make comparisons between various performances. As per various surveys conducted in the year 2014, about 40% of business schools said that they found IR scores to be integral part of the overall GMAT score while evaluating the applicant. Similar surveys were conducted in the year 2017, this time the number was up to about 59%. This upward shift makes sense because in today’s world you need to understand data-driven marketplace to successfully compete. Therefore, when it comes to MBA application, it is better to score well in the Integrated Reasoning section.

Business schools are not very clear or specific about IR scores on their forums so you have to see how others are performing on Integrated Reasoning Section of GMAT. 4.29 is the average GMAT Integrated Reasoning score. So, a good GMAT IR score should definitely be more than this average score. And, must be the one which does not give you sleepless nights after submitting your application.

Therefore, a good IR score would be in the range of 6 to 8.

Team Doyen-Ed