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2.3 Graphs

This is one of the hardest sections to generalize in terms of what to expect in the exam, however, you should focus here on the ability to read information from any kind of graph and once you are comfortable in doing that, attempting any kind of question would be easy in any context if the basics are strong.

How do you get the basics strong? For a start we have put down some common types of charts that at the very least you should know how to read then you can practice more questions that expose you to many different kinds of questions. Beyond that, expose yourself to reading charts in news articles etc. to broaden your visual reading capability.

Bar Chart

On left chart, X-axis shows name of people while y-axis is showing their heights in inches and the height of the bar is the relevant height so as an example Adam’s height is 70 inches. It should be noted that the x and y-axis can be swapped and the information can still be readable. Like the chart on the right above is giving same information.

Line Chart

Above chart shows the weight of the same people using line chart with weights on the y-axis and the relevant person on the x-axis and line position indicating the weight.

Combined (Bar-Bar, Line-Bar, Line-Line)

The three charts above are conveying same information as the charts seen before them i.e. heights and weights of individuals. The information is combined here in different forms. The chart on the left is showing information with bars only, middle one with line and bar and right one with lines only. In reading these, the important thing is to read the legend to understand which color represents what information (e.g. yellow means weight). It is also important to note which axis is giving what information, like the chart on left has both heights and weights on one y-axis while the remaining charts have heights and weights on separate y-axis

Pie Chart

Another form of chart commonly used when it comes to showing proportions is the pie chart. The above chart is showing the split of Adam’s expenses. It is important to read the legend and the labels in this kind of chart.

Bar chart showing split

The above chart shows the split in another way where a comparison is also made using bar chart. Each color indicates proportion of relevant expense and the bars are cumulative percentages unlike the pie chart above.

Radial Charts

Another way these kind of proportions can be displayed is using radial charts. The radial chart above is giving same information (though in a complicated way) as the bar chart showing split of expenses.

The above list is not exhaustive and there can be many different kinds of charts, however, the underlying skill is to understand what the axis are saying, what the legends and data points are telling. If you are across this you should be fine.

One more thing to note for exam is that quite often questions ask you to recognize information given in one chart in another chart or sometimes multiple chart types are combined. Again, it is a matter of getting the basics right. If you know how to read charts you should be in a good position to solve these questions.

There are three broad types of questions you can expect in exam:

2.3.1 Exam Question Type 1

2.3.2 Exam Question Type 2

2.3.3 Combinations

Study notes of this section and other resources can be accessed here:

2.3.4 Study Notes & Resources

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