Introduction to multi source reasoning on the gmat

An Introduction to Multi-Source Reasoning on the GMAT

Multi-Source Reasoning questions are one of the four Integrated Reasoning question types which will begin appearing on the GMAT. Multi-Source Reasoning provides three pieces of information on tabbed pages – charts, data, articles, emails, etc. The pieces provide a lot of information, not all of which is necessary to answer the question. The pieces may be Quantitative in nature or Verbal, or a combination of both. You may click back and forth between all three pieces to locate the needed data.

The questions consist of either a set of yes/no statements, or multiple-choice questions. Information from more than one tab will be required to answer the questions, but the same tab can be used for more than one question. According to GMAC, this question type is designed to mimic “the case study approach used by many management programs” and tests the “ability to integrate different types of information…from different sources.”

[ RELATED: What’s Tested on the Intergrated Reasoning Section of the GMAT ]

Sample GMAT Multi-Source Reasoning Question

Let’s take a look at a sample Multi-Source Reasoning question to see how we can approach this question-type.  Read through all three sources and then proceed to the question below.

The Question

Consider each of the following statements. Does the information in the three articles support the inference as stated?

  • Politicians usually do not agree with one another on issues of global warming and fossil fuel consumption.
  • An increase in worldwide demand for crude oil has made the oil companies safety standards’ fall.
  • Dr. Goodman would likely support a public referendum on whether to require the oil companies to have better safety and ecological regulations.
  • The actions of the oil companies have led some voters to reject measures it considers costly.

[ RELATED: How to Prepare for Integrated Reasoning questions ]

The Answer

The answer is No for the first statement. The statement in question is not necessarily true, as we do not know what politicians “usually’ do, and therefore this is not a valid conclusion just based on the information provided.

The answer is No for the second statement. This is not a correct cause/effect statement. There is nothing to support a direct link between the demand for oil and the oil companies’ safety standards. Remember that there is no evidence given that the safety standards have indeed fallen.

The answer is No for the third statement. In Article 2, Dr. Goodman is shown to have little faith in the public as the solution to the global warming issue, since the public has continually shot down measures it considered “costly.”

The answer is No for the fourth statement. No direct correlation is made between the actions of the oil companies and the votes cast by the public. Be careful not the conflate information from two separate articles.