How to Prepare for the Integrated Reasoning Section on the New GMAT

The GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning section is still a few months away from going live, but applicants are already buzzing about this new question type. They want to know what the new Integrated Reasoning section is, and — more importantly — how to prepare for it.

Integrated Reasoning question present students with various data — presented various forms, including words, charts, and tables — and challenges them to pull out key insights to answer multiple questions about what’s going on. The questions vary by type, but they all measure your ability to truly perform analysis, rather than your ability to apply rote rules or memorize content.

With the new Integrated Reasoning section, the GMAT gets closer than ever before to measuring the type of analytical skills that truly matter in business school and beyond. These questions actually look quite similar to the mini-case studies MBA students get when interviewing for management consulting or some finance jobs. This sort of exercise is a great measure of someone’s analytical abilities. So often applicants hear “analytical” and assume this means “quant” or “numbers,” but great analysis actually goes much deeper and is much more challenging than just crunching numbers. That skill is just what many recruiters at top business schools look for, which is why it makes sense for the GMAT to measure it as well as a standardized test can.

So, how do you prepare for Integrated Reasoning questions? The good news is that, if you prepare for the GMAT the right way, that work will already help you succeed on the Integrated Reasoning section. Furthermore, as this section is designed to test your analytical abilities in a business context, your day-to-day activities will help you prepare, and you should note items such as “which data are most relevant to a decision” and “how could this information be displayed graphically to highlight important trends” when you perform professional and personal tasks that involve numbers and decisions.

To get start, we recommend looking at some of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning resources that Veritas Prep has created, including sample questions. Give yourself enough time and approach the Next-Generation GMAT with the right mindset, and you should have no trouble with the new section of the exam.

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