By Lucas Weingarten
Let’s have a quick look at one of four new question formats test takers will see on the New GMAT among the twelve Integrated Reasoning questions in the new section: Graphics Interpretation. From the test maker’s website:
“Interpret the graph or graphical image and select the option from a drop-down list to make the answer statements accurate.”
For your enjoyment, GMAC provides four in-format graphics consisting of two or three questions each (click here to get started). While the answers are provided, unfortunately the explanations are not. Also, be sure to either write down the answers you choose or look at the correct answer before you move onto the next graphic. If you answer all of them consecutively with the plan to go back and review them consecutively, you will be disappointed (like me!).
As for this inquisitor, I found the Graphics Interpretation questions to be pretty interesting. The math tested is straight from the GMAT quant section (e.g., probability, percents, overlapping sets). However, not all of the questions are based upon calculation or even your understanding of quantitative concepts. Rather, as the name of the new question format suggests, some questions rely on your ability to orient yourself and then “read” the graphical information (check out the second question about the Earth’s geological history graphic for an example).
I anticipate similar complaints from my future GMAT students to those I receive from my current GRE students: the graphs are hard to read. That complaint is usually associated with hard-to-distinguish starts and stops of bars, trend lines, etc. or data points that are difficult to correlate with x- or y-axis values. However, the GRE graphs associated with that test’s similar question type (Data Interpretation) seem of lesser graphical quality than the ones I’ve seen so far from GMAC. That is, the resolution for the GRE charts and graphs is worse making them more of a pain to use. For what it’s worth, the struggle to read the charts and graphs is an intentional element of the game.
Stop in next time for a brief review of Two-Part Analysis questions.
2/29/2012 - Now that all the posts in this series are live, here is a list with links:
~Article provided by the courtesy of Kaplan GMAT