Two-Part Analysis

Two-Part Analysis

There are four types of questions found in the Integrated Reasoning section of the Executive Assessment Course. The two-part analysis type of question is one of them.

Structure and logistics

Assume that 3-4 of the 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section are going to be two-part analysis questions.

Usually, you will have a single slide containing a quantitative or verbal scenario to evaluate. You will have to make two selections per slide. Hence the name two-part analysis. You have to get both parts correct for credit on that slide.

Strategic implications

Two-part analysis questions tend to take a little bit longer on average than simpler graphic interpretation and table analysis questions. You will need to allocate about 3 minutes on average per two-part analysis question, but have a hard maximum of 4 minutes for any two-part analysis question slide.

Read and identify question task(s) and subject(s) for each slide before going into the slide and figuring out what the pertinent information is. This is because you will need to determine the quantitative or verbal tactics applicable to the problem. It could be a problem-solving style quantitative scenario, or it could be a critical reasoning or reading comprehension style verbal scenario that you need to evaluate. So you need to be sure of what you need to do before you start working through the problem in order to maximize efficiency.

This is the primary question type within the Integrated Reasoning section to guess and skip proactively if you are behind pace. Remember that we are supposed to spend 12-15 minutes on the first half of the section in the integrated reasoning section of the Executive Assessment, and ideally 15-18 minutes for the second harder half of this section (provided you’ve done well on the first half). So if you are behind pace, and if you have not already sacrificed two questions in that first half, a longer two-part analysis scenario may be an opportunity to gain back time and make sure that you are not going beyond the 15-minute limit, and you are closer to the 12-minute target for the first half.  

Two-part Analysis Process

Problem-Solving Example

If Abby cycles 500 meters in a minute, Barry cycles 800 meters in b minutes, and Abby cycles faster than Barry, if they each cycled at least 10 hours at their respective constant rates, which of the following values for a and b would result in the two friends cycling 80 kilometers total (1,000 meters=1 kilometer) in 8 hours?

$$\begin{array}{c|c|c}\textbf{a} &\textbf{b} & \\\hline
{✓} & & \textbf{5}\\ \hline & & \textbf{6}\\ \hline
& & \textbf{10}\\ \hline & {✓} & \textbf{12}\\ \hline & & \textbf{24}\\ \hline
& & \textbf{30}\end{array}$$

Problem-Solving Process

Broadly, it will have the same approach as any other standard problem-solving style question would be in the quantitative section, except there is a calculator here.

Step – 1. Set up Scratch Pad Listing choices vertically from A to F. you could write down the numbers in this case because they are simple. 

Step – 2. Skip to the end of the problem to identify sought value & label Choices as such.   

  • Values of a and b for the two friends to travel a combined 80km=?

Step – 3. Read from the beginning, taking notes and completing needed Steps as you go

  • Abby → 500 meters in a minute = 1km in 2a mins
  •  Barry → 800 meters in b minutes = 0.8km in b minutes = 1km in 1.25b minutes (you could use a calculator to divide 1 by o.8)
  •  Abby rate > Barry rate
  • Seeking a scenario where the two-cycle a total of 80 km in 8 hours
  • Requires a combined rate of 10 km /hour

Step – 4.       Consider the best possible tactic at the moment. 

Our question seeks specific numeric values with real numbers in choices in ascending order. This is a backsolving set of clues.  We will just plug in values and see what happens in our situation. 

Let’s begin with a for Abby, and pick 10 from our answer choices.  a = 10 minutes. If it takes 10 minutes for Abby to go 500 meters, it is going to take 20 minutes for her to go 1 km. This means that she will go 3km/ hour.

But Abby is supposed to be the faster of the two. Abby’s rate must be greater than 5 km/ hour to be faster than Barry’s at a combined rate of 10 km/hour.

This means that she also can’t take 6, 12, 24, or 30 minutes because those are all going to be too slow as well. Even if she takes 6 minutes, that will result in her going 5km/h which will still not make her faster than Barry.  

Abby has to go the fastest. Therefore, a = 5, and Abby’s rate is 6km/hour, so Barry’s rate must be 4 km/ hour

Using Barry’s rate, we can now set up some technical math,

  • 4km/hour = 1km/15minutes
  • Remember that Barry travels 1km in 1.25b minutes
  • 15 minutes = 1.25b. You can divide 15 by 1.25 using the calculator, or you can do mental math, \(15=\frac{1}{4}b\)

$$\begin{align*}60&=5b\\ b&=12\ \text{for the sought 4km/hour!}\end{align*}$$

Therefore a = 5, and b = 12.

These are a lot of steps. This is often the case with two-part analysis problems but if you use one of our alternative tactics from the quantitative section, you can cut a relatively time-consuming problem down to size and do it in that 3-4 minutes we usually allocate for these fairly complex problems in the integrated reasoning section.

Verbal Reasoning Example

NOTE: Once again, in this case, we have to read the question task first.  

It will probably be best to read the whole thing upfront and then engage with the question and track whether something is guaranteed to be true based on the statements or guaranteed to be false.

The Yup’ik of western Alaska recounts different reasons for starting a war: a boy’s game of darts gone terribly wrong; a deceitful murder during a seemingly companionable hunting trip.

What followed is handed down in stories of many fierce battles with arrows flying and tales of the tough and wily warriors who could withstand them. ‘‘Bow and Arrow warfare’’ was widely prevalent among the Yup’ik up to about 1800 and did not end until Russians came to Alaska at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The Yup’ik tales of these violent confrontations have been kept alive for hundreds of years through careful retellings by the elders. They are considered reliable histories, unchanged since the first written accounts by non-natives.

If each of the above statements is true, select one statement that must be true about the Yup’ik and one that must be false based on the information provided. 

$$\small{\begin{array}{l|l|l}\textbf{Must be true} & \textbf{Must be false} & \\ \hline & & {\text{The Russians were the first}\\ \text{non-natives to encounter the Yup’ik.}} \\ \hline
& & {\text{The yup’ik kept extensive}\\ \text{text accounts of terrible battles.}}\\ \hline &&
{\text{War was a common}\\ \text{occurrence within Yup’ik factions.}}\\ \hline
& & {\text{Foreign incursion forced the}\\ \text{Yup’ik to change some conventions.}} \\ \hline & & {\text{Alaska was not the original}\\ \text{homeland of the Yup’ik.}} \end{array}}$$

This is a fairly short reading comprehension passage, but with a lot of detail. Remember always that when addressing questions that have to do with inference (This is illustrated more in critical reasoning and reading comprehension discussions), we have to stick to things that are guaranteed to be true or guaranteed to be false. If something is possible but not certain, that is not going to be our answer. If something is extreme, that is going to be our answer.

Starting with our very first statement, “The Russians were the first non-natives to encounter the Yup’ik.” We see that Russians came to Alaska at the beginning of the 19th century, but that doesn’t mean that they were the first non-natives to encounter the Yup’ik.

For the second statement, “The yup’ik kept extensive text accounts of terrible battles.” We discover that the Yup’ik tales were kept alive by the careful retelling of the elders. And the tales are considered reliable histories, unchanged since the first written accounts by non-natives. Based on this set of statements, the second statement is definitely false.

The third statement, “War was a common occurrence within Yup’ik factions.” This is quite challenging. We have read about violent confrontations, and bow and arrow warfare. What we don’t know about is the Yup’ik factions. Without more information, we can’t say whether this is true or false.

For the fourth statement, “Foreign incursion forced the Yup’ik to change some conventions.” Bow and arrow warfare was widely prevalent among the Yup’ik, it did not end until the Russians came to Alaska. The Russians being the foreigners, came into Alaska, and that foreign incursion made them stop their bow-and-arrow warfare. This statement is guaranteed to be true.

For the fifth statement, “Alaska was not the original homeland of the Yup’ik.” We pick up around 1800, we cannot make any sort of absolute inferences about what was or was not the original homeland of the Yup’ik.

Make sure you are taking notes and scratching out on your scratchpad what your answers are using check marks and X marks. Be very deliberate with these questions. However, this is a perfect example of the kind of questions that you might sacrifice for time if you are behind pace in the integrated reasoning section because it has a lot of detail, you have to read very carefully, and make defined inferences. It is a time-consuming endeavor.

The process

Step 1 – Read and identify the question task to determine which verbal or quantitative tactics are applicable to that particular problem.

Step 2 – Read what you need to address the question task. Read carefully to note problem-solving or Verbal details as required.

Step 3 – Execute proper Processes. Diligently perform all the steps to avoid traps and maximize efficiency. Remember to use the provided calculator if warranted. You don’t have to do the mental math in this section as you do for the qualitative section.

Step 4 – Always confirm that you are making progress toward a solution. Allow a maximum of a single calm reread, recalculate, or tactical reset for any two-part analysis problem. If you find yourself going back and forth between answer choices, that is a clear indicator that you have to move on. Remember that because of the unique format of the executive assessment, you can return to the question later on in the half as long as your pacing can allow it.

Consider this the primary format: Estimate, Eliminate, Guess, and move on in under 30 seconds to gain in your section pacing if you are not at that 12-15 minutes in the first half pace and 15-18 minutes in the second half pace.


A four-person committee is to be formed from eight coworkers consisting of four technicians; Pamela, Salma, Val, and Tevin; three marketers, Devin, Galvin, and Reid; and one middle manager, Merge. The committee requires one of each of the eligible employee types to be included. If Tevin is in the committee, then Galvin must be as well and if Val is not on the committee, then Reid cannot be either.

Provided that each of the above statements is true, select one technician and one marketer who cannot be selected for the committee simultaneously. Select one in each column.

$$\begin{array}{c|c|c} &\textbf{Marketer} & \textbf{Technician}\\\hline
\text{Reid} & & \\ \hline \text{Pamela} & & \\ \hline
\text{Devin}& & \\ \hline \text{Galvin}& & \\ \hline \text{Tevin} & & \\ \hline
\text{Val}& & \end{array}$$

As with all other two-part analysis questions, we will skip to the end to figure out what we are being asked for. In this case, we are being asked, “Provided that each of the above statements is true, select one technician and one marketer who cannot be selected for the committee simultaneously.”

 N/B: Taking notes on the scratch pad –  T and M, cannot be both picked

$$\begin{array}{c|c|c} & \text{M} &\text{T}\\ \hline
\text{R} & &\text{X} \\ \hline \text{P} & \text{X} & \\ \hline
\text{D}& &\text{X} \\ \hline \text{G}& &\text{X} \\ \hline \text{T} &\text{X} & \\ \hline
\text{V}&\text{X} & \end{array}$$

The we can start reading the statements from the beginning, taking notes as we go

Committee = 4

Coworkers =  8

Techs = P, S, V, T (this will help with our evaluation already because we know we got to pick one marketer and one technician). These are technicians so we can cross them out as marketers on our side grid.

\(Mktrs = D, G, R\). once again we know that these cannot be our technicians so we cross them out on our grid.

\(Mgr = M\)

The committee has four slots (Mg, Mk, T, and *, a wild card). The manager has to be Merge, so we can fill that slot with M.


 Committee   =   Mgr     Mk    T    *

                            If TT then GMK (If T is in the committee, then G must be as well)

                            If G then T (If G is not in the committee, then T cannot be) 

                            If VT then RMk (If V is not in the committee, then R cannot be either)

                            If R then V (if R is in the committee, then we must have V as well).

All we have to do at this point is think about how we can end up with more people than we need in the committee. We’ll look at the people that are relevant.

If we put in T as a technician, then we must have G, a marketer. But if we add R into the committee as a wild card, then we must also have V in the committee which gives us one more person than we can have. So, we cannot have T and R on the committee at the same time.

R is the marketer that we cant select, and T is the technician that we cant select.

These types of problems are to some degree logic games, so just take the notes down. Make sure you work through all the pieces and don’t get bogged down on what you don’t know in a two-part analysis. Focus on what they tell you, work through the problem, and you might discover that it is not as difficult as it initially seems.

Most importantly, do lots of practice with these types of questions in our online database and potentially, at the GMAC website as well, to get better at this type of integrated reasoning question in preparation for your Executive assessment.

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