It is important in IR table reading questions to make sure you know exactly what information you are given, as well as what, exactly, the question is asking. The following is my take on each part of this question, which asks us to make an assessment
based on the information provided.
Quote:
A. Of the 3 universities, University Y had the smallest total fall enrollment in each of the years 2000 through 2008.
This is a trap designed for the test-taker who looks down the University Y column and notices that the numbers are lower than those on either side for any given year. The problem is, the table provides information on the
percent of women within the total enrollment at a school, not the
number of women enrolled. With a little knowledge of weighted averages, we can tell, without actually crunching the numbers, that the number of women at University Y in Fall 2000 must have been
greater than the number of women at at least one of the two other schools, since the Province A average, 50.6,
must be brought down by a number below, well, 50.6, and the percentage of women at both universities X and Z is above that number. Alternatively, you could set the number of
students at all three universities equal to each other and derive the number of female students, just to see how the percentages would work out. For instance, say that each university enrolled 1000 students.
University X: 0.528 * 1000 = 528 female students
University Y: 0.442 * 1000 = 442 female students
University Z: 0.585 * 1000 = 585 female students
Total: 3000 students, 1555 female students
Deduction: Since 1555 is greater than 50.6 percent of 3000—50 percent is 1500, and even 1 percent more (of 3000) is 30, so 51 percent is 1530—there must be more female students at University Y than the 1000 we have accounted for.
Conclusion: The statement
cannot be true based on the information provided, so it is
FALSE.
Quote:
B. In 2008, fewer women were enrolled in college in Province A than in 2000.
Again, this is a trap designed for a rookie test-taker who does not consider the difference between a percent and an actual number of something. We cannot make any such year-to-year comparison without a number attached to the total student enrollment (or some part therein, such as the
number of female or male students at a given university) for both years in discussion.
Conclusion: The statement
cannot be true based on the information provided, so it is
FALSE.
Quote:
C. Each of the 3 universities experienced at least one decline from one fall to the next in the number of women enrolled as a percent of the total enrollment.
Unlike in the previous two statements, the keywords in this one match up with those of the table. That is, we
can make a percent-to-percent comparison from one year to another. Any of the following yearly intervals would suffice:
University X—2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008 (the
percent decreased each year from 2002 to 2008)
University Y—2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007
University Z—2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007
Notice that the statement does
not specify that the decrease must have occurred within the same time period, even if that happens once (2006-2007). In any case, this is probably a statement that we could justify with nothing more than a glance.
Conclusion: The statement
must be true based on the information provided, so it is
TRUE.
I hope that helps. Good luck with your studies.
- Andrew