In this video from the new GMAT tutorial series produced by PrepAdviser and examPAL, we are going to discuss a specific type of question we see in this section called Multi-Source Reasoning.
Multi-Source Reasoning is a question format which is very heavy in data. In these questions we are given a lot of information, which is divided into separate categories, and these categories are separated into tabs. So we have three different tabs, in each of which we will find separate pieces of information. Some of these pieces, and usually all of them, relate to the questions we are being asked.
Now, we’re all familiar with using tabs from our everyday online use, but in this case – we don’t actually want to read everything. We only have 2.5 minutes on average per question in the Integrated Reasoning section, and that is not a lot of time at all relative to this amount of information. So, instead of reading everything, what we need to do is find only the information we need based on the questions we are asked. But in order to do that effectively, we need to understand what information we have – so, the first thing we want to do is read the titles, and figure out – what is this all about?
In this specific case, the tab that is already open is “Image types”, and the titles are CT, MRI and PET – these are explanations of various types of imaging techniques used in science or medicine. Then we have two other tabs: one is called “comparison”, so we can assume it will compare the different techniques in some way, and the other is something about “brain functions” – we’ll see what exactly, once we start answering our questions.
Now, we will focus on the right hand column - there we will see three statements, for each of which we will have to select one of two columns: “yes” and “no”. In this particular case we are asked to select "yes" if the statement can be inferred from the information, and "no" if it cannot.
As is the case with Integrated Reasoning in general – all three of these statements make up one question only, and getting this question right means answering ALL three correctly.
So here, for example, the first statement reads: “MRI poses less risk of DNA damage than CT or PET.” Now, this is asking us to compare the different techniques – which should immediately send us to the second tab, “comparison”.
Looking at this tab, we find two paragraphs – still a lot of text. We should scan this passage for something relevant to the statement. There it is, at the very end – DNA. Our answer will be here.
Let’s sum up what we have learned:
- We should get a quick impression of tabs and content by looking at the titles, but following this we should let the information lead us. We need to ask ourselves:
- What kind of information do we need? Are there any keywords we should be looking for?
- What information is missing?
- Is there a connection between different pieces of information?
- When reading the text, we’ll always take notes:
- For quantitative data – on figures and variables
- For critical reasoning questions – on all aspects of the argument the question relates to.
We also have to keep the time limit in mind.
- The same data is usually relevant for multiple questions, so it’s worthwhile to spend more time reading, if necessary.
- We’ll stop when we know the answer for certain, but continue when we have doubts – even at the price of missing a question. Remember – we are better off answering all three statements correctly in one question, than getting only part of two questions or more.
So this was the last out of four parts on Integrated Reasoning. Stay tuned for the rest of our GMAT tutorials!