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IR Prep Tool

Multi-Source Reasoning

Multi-source Reasoning questions are accompanied by two or three sources of data presented on tabbed pages, which may be a combination of text, charts, and tables.  

What the test gives you

On the left side of the computer screen, you’re presented with data on two or three tabbed pages. You click on the tabs to examine the data and figure out what you need to answer the question, which appears on the right side of the screen. The data on the tabbed pages may include:
  • Text passages
  • Tables
  • Graphics
  • Or some combination

The data may relate to each other, but each tabbed page offers different material.     

Directions


You will work with two kinds of Multi-Source Reasoning questions.
1. For multiple-choice questions, you select the best answer choice you’re given.
2. For questions with opposing answers, you’ll see a set of statements and two opposing answer options (for example, yes/no, true/false, inferable/not inferable). You select the response item that’s accurate for each statement.

You’ll use the same data set of tabbed pages for more than one Multi-Source Reasoning question. After you confirm your answer to one question, you’ll get a new screen with the same data set on the left and a new question on the right. Note that questions with opposing answers will each require more than one response. 

Strategies


DON’T EXPECT TO BE COMPLETELY FAMILIAR WITH THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IN MULTI-SOURCE REASONING SETS. 

You may find some graphs, charts, tables, or verbal passages easier to understand than others; all the material is designed to be challenging. Even so, the data you need to answer the questions will be provided.

ANALYZE EACH SOURCE OF DATA CAREFULLY, AS THE QUESTIONS REQUIRE DETAILED UNDERSTANDING OF THE DATA PRESENTED.

Text passages often build ideas sequentially, so note as you read how each statement adds to the main idea of the passage as a whole. Some of the passages used with Multi-Source Reasoning items will be purely descriptive; others may contain strong opinions. 

The graphic elements in the Multi-Source Reasoning items come in various forms, such as tables, graphs, diagrams, or charts. So briefly familiarize yourself with the data presented. If scales are provided, note the marked values and labels. Also note the major graphical elements of the information presented.

READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY, MAKING SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ASK.

Some questions will require recognizing discrepancies among different sources of data. Others will ask you to draw inferences using data from different sources. Still others may require you to determine which one of the data sources is relevant. 

You can refer back to any of the data at any time while you’re answering the Multi-Source Reasoning questions by clicking on the tabs in the graphics.

SELECT THE ANSWER CHOICES THAT HAVE THE MOST SUPPORT BASED ON THE DATA PROVIDED.

If you happen to be familiar with the subject matter, don’t let this knowledge influence your answer choices. Answer all questions only on the basis of what the various sources of provided data tell you.