Will a low GMAT IR score affect my chances if my GMAT is competitive?

Many applicants are particularly interested in and want to learn more about the new, relatively unfamiliar, one-of-a-kind section: integrated reasoning or the IR section. We are frequently asked, “Is the GMAT IR part difficult?” “How will the IR portion affect the overall score?” Let us explain what IR is and affect your GMAT score overall.

The new section is designed to assess candidates’ ability to manage the more data-driven courses that business schools have adopted as preparation for complex real-world challenges. The test will continue to be scored the same way, with a combined score for the quantitative and verbal components and independent writing. In addition, the IR port will be graded independently on a scale of 1-8.

When it comes to admissions, IR can be a game-changer. A few years ago, IR was not given much importance. However, as the world shifts to more data-driven industries, the real world wants quick thinkers and quick decision-makers, who can calculate risk and make decisions, and that’s where IR comes in; it tests you based on a few factors that play an important role in real-life situations.


The GMAT examination has proven to be a reliable, strong predictor of academic success in MBA and other business master’s programs. In addition, it provides a consistent measure of academic skills for admissions professionals who must select candidates from a vast array of educational programs and undergraduate majors throughout the world, as well as varying degrees of professional experience.

The GMAT online exam assesses the most important abilities for graduate business education: This section is divided into four sections, 

– Assessment of Analytical Writing (AWA) 

– Verbal reasoning, 

– Quantitative reasoning, 

– Integrated Reasoning

A detailed breakdown of the GMAT:

Assessment of Analytical Writing (AWA) – evaluates your critical thinking and communication skills.

Verbal reasoning – tests your ability to read and comprehend written material., evaluate arguments, and edit written material to comply with standard written English.

Quantitative reasoning – evaluates your ability to use thinking abilities to examine evidence and develop conclusions.

Integrated reasoning – evaluates your ability to assess data and evaluate the information offered in various ways.


ScoringHow the Section is Scored
Analytical Writing Assessment0.0-6.0Professional essay raters and a computer algorithm are used to grade essays. 
The score is provided in 0.5 intervals
Integrated Reasoning1-8The number of questions successfully answered determines your Integrated Reasoning score.
Some questions may have numerous sections; in order to gain credit for that question, you must properly answer all parts. 
Scores are provided in one-point increments
Quantitative and Verbal6-51The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning parts are adaptive at the item level, and your score is determined by three factors: 
1. The number of questions you respond to 
2. Check to see whether your answers are right. 
3. The level of difficulty and other factors of the questions you replied 
You will receive a better score if you answer more questions properly, answer more questions correctly, and qualify for questions of a higher difficulty level. 
Scores are provided in one-point increments, with a standard error of measurement of three points.
Total200-800Total Scores are based on your calculated performance before the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning parts are scored. 
After that, the raw computation is translated to a number in the Total Score range. 
Scores are provided in 10-point increments. The standard measurement error is 30-40 points..

Taking the GMAT is one of the most important steps toward admission to a top business school. A good GMAT score demonstrates your academic prowess and ensures the business school that you will complete the difficult MBA program quickly.

Our GMAT score article will provide information on the scores accepted by universities in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Suggested Reading: Average GMAT scores for top MBA programs – US, Europe, Canada


The GMAT Exam’s Integrated Reasoning (IR) part assesses your ability to evaluate facts to answer difficult issues. Business schools want to show that you can utilize data to make effective business choices, and the GMAT IR score measures this.

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning portion consists of four question types—multi-source reasoning, table analysis, graphical interpretation, and two-part analysis—for a total of 12 questions with a time limit of 30 minutes.

Graphic InterpretationThese questions require you to examine data given in the form of a scatter plot, x/y graph, bar chart, pie chart, or statistical curve distribution, among other formats, and then provide solutions based on your interpretation.
Table AnalysisThe applicant must analyze a table or a spreadsheet in these questions and then interpret the data into practical knowledge.
Multi-Source ReasoningThis question will provide several sources of information and then ask you to analyze the different sources for important data and produce conclusions or answers if the data is relevant.
Two-Part AnalysisThese tests your abilities to solve complex problems and simultaneous equations to determine the link between the various aspects of the problem. 
There are no partial points if you receive a subsection to a question.


When the IR (Integrated Reasoning) section was introduced in 2012, questions were addressed directly to various business schools. At the time, their comments were of two types: (1) we are not evaluating the IR because there is insufficient evidence, or (2) we examine all elements comprehensively. Let’s skip to 2022. When asked the same question, several business schools say they have begun to consider the IR score seriously.

Yes, IR demonstrates how quick you are to think and solve problems. 

– It combines Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning abilities.

– IR puts your practical approach to real-world situations to the test.

– Business schools and corporations place a premium on your ability to cope with real-world facts.

In business life, fast decision-making is important, and large corporations such as Bain & Co. are one example of a corporation that may begin requiring students to declare their IR scores in addition to the Quantitative and Verbal scores separately.


1. Reading and analyzing data. – Don’t haste to answer a question. Go slow, understand the question completely, even if you have to re-read it. Check to see whether you understand what the inquiry is asking. It is intended to be difficult, but all of the information needed to answer the questions is provided. Analyze each data source thoroughly since the questions need a thorough grasp of the information offered.

2. Avoid making assumptions.- Don’t let any prior knowledge of the question influence your response. Consider the question null and void if the information is not included in the questionOr else you’ll need to figure out how one piece of information affects another. Many questions will require you to use the facts to develop a conclusion based on a particular relationship. As a result, you’ll need to get used to figuring out how the data fits together.

3. Go through all of the possible answers. – Reading your response options may also assist you in determining your answer since it may remove an answer alternative, Sort through the extraneous data to get the vital information. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information provided by the GMAC with each question. You will always get irrelevant information on all of the queries. That is an element of the test–you must determine which sections of the charts/tables/graphs/etc. are relevant to the question.


The average IR section score is 4; however, you usually try to score at least 5 out of 8 in the IR section to get an edge, to be one step ahead of the game


Even though the portion only counts for 8 points and is not included in the 800 GMAT score, it is nevertheless an essential component that should not be overlooked.

Quick thinkers and problem solvers are essential in the corporate sector. With the sheer amount of daily challenges that businesses worldwide encounter, it’s critical for an employee, much alone an industry leader, to remain calm and perform at a high level, even in a demanding atmosphere.

Over time, the IR sector is becoming more critical. Many candidates with 700+ GMAT scores did not pass the process because they did not do well in the IR section. All of the scores are submitted to the schools. Including the IR AWA, Verbal and Quantitative scores, and the “GMAT SCORE” are all factors to consider. When schools look at your grades, they truly see the score unaffected by the IR. However, when comparing two candidates with the same score, it is important in some ways. In general, they like a balanced score.

Supposing there are only two seats left and there are two applications:

Q48 / IR 8 Candidate A

Q50/ IR 4 Candidate B

Now the question is who will get the seat; based on the facts; candidate A will get it; schools do not want someone who has only one strong side; rather, the candidate should have the best qualities of all, so candidate A has it over Candidate B. 

The keyword here is reasoning, and from its beginnings, the GMAT has evaluated higher-order reasoning ability. 

IR has a rudimentary on-screen calculator, which does not mean that IR will require more sophisticated computations. The calculation level will remain the same. The IR section is not adaptive, which means there are some simple, some medium-difficulty questions and tough questions.

Solving these questions requires practice and guidance; the IR section is something that no applicant should take lightly, it can be a twister when your GMAT is competitive, which is where our experts come in, they create a structure based on your past performances and give you the right direction on how to approach IR and other GMAT sections, schedule a call to find out where you fall short of the competition and get answers from the experts.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does IR score affect GMAT score?

The Integrated Reasoning score does not go towards the final GMAT score. The GMAT IR Score is recorded independently and has no bearing on your overall score out of 800.


Does low IR matter GMAT?

Yes, however, your GMAT score of 800 is considerably more crucial. However, GMAC has said that IR scores link more strongly with first-year MBA grades than Quant, Verbal, or the 800 scores.


How hard is GMAT IR?

The IR section is not adaptive, which means there are some simple, some medium-difficulty questions and tough questions.

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