Graph Interpretation Question Type

The Writing and Language Test is the second section on the SAT. There are four question types under it. They are:

1. Grammar Question
2. Word-usage question
3. Passage structure based question
4. Graph Interpretation question

We will go through the Graph Interpretation question type in detail with the help of an example.

The Graph Interpretation question is a new question type on the SAT. The passages on a Graph Interpretation question will have a bar, graph, table, map, diagram, or some form of chart. Some of these questions will be based on the graph. The questions will require you to analyze the passage and the graph that accompanies the passage to answer questions. Your main task is to see if the information given in the passage matches the information provided by the graph. You may also have to look for relevance of information among the passage and the graph.

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Graph Interpretation question does not require you to do any calculations. It tests your analytical skills more than your language skills.

A typical Graph Interpretation question looks like this:

Transportation planners perform critical work within the broader field of urban and regional planning. As of 2010, there were approximately 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, 11 projecting that 16 percent of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. Population growth and concerns about environmental sustainability are expected to spur the need for transportation planning professionals.

Adapted from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.”All Occupations” includes all occupations in the United States economy.

11.

Which choice completes the sentence with accurate data based on the graph?

1. NO CHANGE
2. warning, however, that job growth in urban and regional planning will slow to 14 percent by 2020.
3. predicting that employment of urban and regional planners will increase 16 percent between 2010 and 2020.
4. indicating that 14 to 18 percent of urban and regional planning positions will remain unfilled.

Following are the steps that you can adopt while approaching a Graph Interpretation question:

Step 1: Read the passage actively and quickly to understand the topic, point and purpose of the passage. Go through the graph and understand the information given.

Step 2: Then read the question to understand what type of question it is that you are going to answer. Once you determine it’s a Graph Interpretation question look at the question number, match it with the right part of the passage.

Step 3: Read the paragraph that is in question.

Step 4: Guess an answer choice based on your analysis of the graph and the passage.

Step 5: Go through all the four answer choices and select the one which most closely matches your guess.

Let’s solve a Passage structure based question by applying the above steps:

Step 1: Read the passage actively and quickly to understand the topic, point and purpose of the passage. Go through the graph and understand the information given.

Transportation planners perform critical work within the broader field of urban and regional planning. As of 2010, there were approximately 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, 11 projecting that 16 percent of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. Population growth and concerns about environmental sustainability are expected to spur the need for transportation planning professionals.

Adapted from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.”All Occupations” includes all occupations in the United States economy.

The graph is giving us information on the projected growth of employment from 2010-2020. As can be seen above there are three categories given: Social scientists and related workers whose growth from 2010-2020 is 18%; Urban and regional planners growth is 16% and all occupations growth is projected to be 14%. This paragraph is a part of a longer passage. In here we read about the status of the transportation planners in work. Their work is important and falls within the broader field of Urban and Regional planning. There will be a steady job growth in this field; 16% projected growth is predicted for them. Their work will be even more important due to the likelihood of population increase and concerns about environment sustainability in the coming years.

Step 2: Then read the question to understand what type of question it is that you are going to answer. Once you determine it’s a Graph Interpretation question look at the question number, match it with the right part of the passage.

11.

Which choice completes the sentence with accurate data based on the graph?

1. NO CHANGE
2. warning, however, that job growth in urban and regional planning will slow to 14 percent by 2020.
3. predicting that employment of urban and regional planners will increase 16 percent between 2010 and 2020.
4. indicating that 14 to 18 percent of urban and regional planning positions will remain unfilled.

Step 3: Read the paragraph that is in question.

Transportation planners perform critical work within the broader field of urban and regional planning. As of 2010, there were approximately 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, 11 projecting that 16 percent of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. Population growth and concerns about environmental sustainability are expected to spur the need for transportation planning professionals.

Adapted from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.”All Occupations” includes all occupations in the United States economy.

For this question we have only taken the paragraph in question instead of the entire passage. Focus on the part numbered 11 and read it.

Step 4: Guess an answer choice based on your analysis of the graph and the passage.

The question asks us to choose an option that correctly completes the line ‘The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, 11 projecting that 16 percent of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning’. The information that follows this line must be matching the information given in the graph. In this line we talk about the steady job growth that is expected in the field of urban and regional planning. We can perhaps have some more information that reflects from the graph, saying that urban and regional planners will have a 16% growth or maybe the growth in all industries will range from 14-18% (as can be seen in the graph). Think for yourself and guess what more information could follow this line.

Step 5: Go through all the four answer choices and select the one which most closely matches your guess.

The current paragraph has only limited information about the overall steady growth in urban and regional planning field. It is not reflecting any information from the graph. Hence, I think there is a possibility to add more information to complete the sentence. So A is eliminated.

Answer choice B contradicts the information given in the paragraph. It talks about the industry slowing down while the paragraph clearly says that there is a steady job growth expected.

Answer choice C correctly reflects the information that is given in the graph. There is a growth of 16% expected for urban and regional planners. This matches our guess and hence is a good choice. Let’s have a look at the last option.

Answer choice D also gives us information that does not match the graph nor the passage. There is lack of evidence for this answer choice. The graph tells us about an increase and not about a slowdown. This answer seems contradictory and hence we eliminate it.

So, answer choice C is the best option among the four given.

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