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How to Answer Graphics Interpretation GMAT Questions

Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson will delve into the Integrated Reasoning section of the Graduate Management Admissions Test by discussing and showing examples of the Graphics Interpretation questions that will be encountered.

Integrated Reasoning

The integrated reasoning section of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is different than the other sections in the exam. A student is only allowed 30 minutes to accomplish the 12 problems within the section. These 12 problems will have two to three questions posed on each, increasing the amount of time that's needed to answer each one. This section isn't computer adaptive, which means the questions will not become harder or easier depending on the correctness of the previous answers. Instead, the problems vary in difficulty randomly. The problems are broken down into four types:

  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation
  • Two-Part Analysis
  • Multi-Source Reasoning

We'll be looking at the Graphics Interpretation section in this lesson.

Graphics Interpretation Questions

Graphics interpretation questions are fairly simple in format. The problem with provide the student with a graph, and then two sentences that must be completed about the data shown on the graph. The sentences will have a blank spot, which will contain a drop down box. This drop down box will have three, four, or five answers to choose from to fill out the sentence, as will all of the questions in the integrated reasoning section. All questions must be answered to get credit; there is no partial credit given on the GMAT.

The point of these questions are to make sure the student can read the graph and interpret the data successfully. So, make sure to review the graph and all the text/data given before tackling the questions. This will give a better foundation for the questions, and cause less confusion.

Sample Problems

To help give a better idea of problems that may be seen on the GMAT, we've created a few sample problems. The answers will be listed beneath the problem in multiple choice format instead of a drop down box, as will be seen on the exam.

Problem 1

Bar Graph of Vehicle Sales
Bar Graph


Company A - Sells cars

Company B - Sells vans

Vertical Axis - People that purchase cars and vans (thousands)

Horizontal Axis - Year 2000, Year 2001, Year 2002, Year 2003


1. The percentage of car sales that went down for Company A from 2000 to 2001 was what?

A. 66.7%

B. 85.7%

C. 33.3 %

D. 14.3 %

Answer: A

2. In which two years did Company B have identical sales?

A. 2000; 2002

B. 2001; 2000

C. 2002; 2003

D. 2003; 2000

Answer: B

Problem 2

Pie Chart of Internet Sales
Pie Chart

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