GMAT Integrated Reasoning: Table Analysis Questions
Table Analysis questions are one of the four new types of questions that comprise the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. GMAC, describes the purpose of the Table Analysis questions as follows.
"An individual's ability to handle Table Analysis questions provides a clear sense of how well that potential student can use multiple sources of information to spot patterns and draw conclusions."
As you may expect, GMAT Table Analysis questions ask you to analyze a table. You must answer the questions, relying only on the data provided within the table. Quite often, these questions will require little or no calculations at all, but you have to pay attention to details and apply some common sense to them. Speaking of which, forget what you already know or believe to be true; focus only on the data at hand. It's not your job to contest the data, but simply to review it, find patterns within it and draw logical conclusions. For this reason, Table Analysis questions may be some of the easiest on the test. The only skills you actually need are the ability to understand a simple statement, choose an appropriate sorting mechanism to filter relevant info from the table, and see how that info supports, or does not, the statement.
Presented in a simple and similar format, GMAT Table Analysis questions require that you understand what, exactly, the table is attempting to present and then decide what you can state absolutely or infer based on that table.
The most common Math skills these questions ask you to apply are:
• Understanding the statistical concepts of mean, median, mode or range.
• Defining ratio, percentage, or probability.
• Correlating sets of data.
• Comparing rank for two or more categories.
Format of GMAT Table Analysis Questions
Unlike GMAT math questions, which present relevant information in verbal form, Table Analysis questions present information in numeric form, in a sortable table. Each table is followed by several statements. Your job is to determine whether the statement is true or can be inferred from the information provided.
Each of these items will present:
• A table
• A sort-by menu
• Three statements whose validity you need to assess.
To see an example of the Table Analysis question, take a look at this post .
How to Approach GMAT Table Analysis Questions
As I mentioned before, Table Analysis questions are rather easy, but a well organized approach can help you save some time. The next four steps will help you deal with these questions efficiently:
Step 1: Read the description that explains what is presented in the table; take some time to understand what data is provided in each column.
Step 2: Once you have a general understanding of what info you have and how it is organized, read the statements that you have to evaluate. Determine what specific information you need to evaluate each of them.
Step 3: Sort relevant columns and find that information.
Step 4: Evaluate each statement based on the information you found
To sum up, Table Analysis questions shouldn't give you too much trouble. If you review the definitions for the concepts mentioned previously, learn to filter relevant info, and remember to answer based only on the data in the table, you'll ace them. If you're unsure about something, sort the data.
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