The very first reason of testing MBA aspiring candidates on Integrated Reasoning (IR) is analysis of Data! B-schools need to know how good the applicant is in real life data analysis say with regards to chart, graphs or more specifically math-verbal integration. Until now, IR section did not play a key role in MBA applications, because of the simple fact that GMAT scores are valid for 5 years and it would have been injustice to test takers prior June ’12. But after 3 years of its induction in GMAT, slowly IR has made an impact, and now a good IR score definitely lifts your profile! And it would not be far distant that IR has got a major role to play in MBA applications.
12 data intensive questions to be dealt in 30 minutes that’s a lot of time pressure. Now, a key role of IR section in GMAT is its position. This section is after essay, you are a bit tired writing for 30 minutes and now you are dealing with intense real life data with at least one question in 12 prompts. That is a real test of patience and endurance. IR section has complete ability to drain your brain, unless you avoid the rat holes. The ideal way to deal with this time pressure scenario is to practice. And believe me there is no alternative for practicing minimum 4 full length GMAT tests prior to your D-day!
Couple of tips:
- Use calculator: At times IR demands calculations of big numbers within 10-20% of the right answers, there are times when approximations take more time to solve than actual calculator, and there is no shame in doing so. When you are provided with calculator, use it!
- Ignoring extra data: I believe apart from testing your skills in interpreting data, IR also has a important role to play in draining your brain before Quant section (this is probably to check the pressure handling situation of the candidate). Don’t get surprised to see totally unnecessary charts or graphs in your IR section. Be ready for it and try wasting your time hitting the bush!
- Read between lines: On IR section you at times have to make very subtle inferences from the real life communications, such as email exchanges, dealing with dialogues, paper advertisements. Practice such questions specifically from IR tool at mba.com
- One question at a time: Please avoid carrying the burden of the previous question, you will be dealing with quite a lot data and in order to make the right choices you need to focus on the question in hand, irrespective of it being a easy or difficult question.
- IR is not Adaptive: It is important to be aware that IR is not adaptive, so it does not matter how well/bad you have performed in your previous question, just make the best out of the question in front of you.
Hope that helps. All the Best! Do write us for more information on GMAT.