Forming a staple portion across ability-testing and competitive exams, Data Interpretation questions can vary from being the most uncomplicated tasks with the answer staring right at your face to the convoluted ones that could take up all day. Along with sections of Logical Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning, exams comprise of data interpretation through a dedicated section or indirectly as a mix of questions include CAT , SCRA Exam, AFCAT Exam, SSC CGL, GRE, GMAT and much more. This blog specifically focuses on the types of data interpretation questions that usually come in varied exams as well as a few examples to help you practice well.
Understanding Data Interpretation
In general, Data Interpretation is typically asked through graphical charts and tables. Here are a few popular categories in which data interpretation questions are asked in popular exams:
Plotted against two axes, a bar graph depicts data wherein one variable is independent and the other variable dependent on it. Bar graphs can be further divided into simple bar graphs, composite bar graphs, stacked bar charts and bar charts to show deviation. Further, histograms are also a form of bar charts which are usually included in data interpretation questions.
Connecting data points on the highest levels of bar graphs, a line chart is another way of demonstrating data. Line charts are useful in showcasing multiple data categories. For these types of data interpretation questions, a line chart is given with a data problem which either is based on percentage calculation or other kinds of data calculations.
Data interpretation questions in the form of pie chart are an interesting way to portray data. Divided into different segments and portions, the region covered by the respective segment signifies the percentage with respect to the whole. Imagine a pizza and its slices as an illustrative example. Usually, market share, expenditure etc are picturised through pie charts.
Data interpretation questions on mixed graphs combine multiple graphic representation methods. Probability questions, percentage questions and Time and Distance Questions, amongst others, may also be based on mixed graph methods.
Other than the above-mentioned ones, the types of data interpretation questions can also come in the form of:
- Tabular Form
- Missing Data Interpretation
- Caselet Form
For illustrative purposes, below we are providing a few questions based on the following data that would give a rough sketch about the types of data interpretation questions asked.
In a factory, there are four working units, named Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. A year-wise production level for each of these four units has been listed in the following table. Answer the subsequent questions based on your interpretation of the table.
1. Point out the year in which Alpha unit has a total contribution of approximately 20%?
Correct Answer: a. 2015
2. What was the percent decrease in production from the year 2016 to 2017 in unit Delta?
Correct Answer: d. 23.5%
3. Carefully examine the table and point out the pair of years in Alpha unit which have identical levels of production.
a. 2015, 2017
b. 2015, 2019
c. 2017, 2018
d. 2018, 2019
e. 2015, 2016
Correct Answer: b. 2015, 2019
4. Point out the year in which the production of Beta unit was the highest?
Correct Answer: c. 2017
5. In the Gamma unit, what is the average production level throughout the five years?
Correct Answer: d. 234.6
While attempting data interpretation questions or Reasoning Questions in general, it is important to get acclimated with the pattern of the examination (online or offline), and practice from trusted study material as well as sample and practice test papers, amongst others. Along with Data Interpretation tricks, these are some of the essentials which every candidate must possess. Overall, the success mantra is to meticulously practice your way through your exam.
Thus, if you aspire to crack any exam, be it national-level competitive exams or exams to study abroad such as GMAT, GRE, IELTS etc., a well-planned strategy and study schedule is an important prerequisite. To build your own personalised plan or for guidance, consult the experts at Leverage Edu in a free 30-minute counselling session and we will help you curate the right preparation strategy to sail through your exam with flying colours.