# Sample Data Interpretation Questions

The ability to interpret data presented in tables, graphs and charts is a common requirement in many management and professional jobs. If you are applying for a job which involves analysis of or decision-making based on numerical data then you can expect to have to answer data interpretation questions.

Data interpretation problems usually require two basic steps. First, you have to read a chart or graph in order to obtain certain information. Then you have to apply or manipulate the information in order to obtain an answer. These questions often use very specific illustrations, for example the question may present financial data. However, an understanding of finance will not be needed to answer the question.

These types of question are commonly used in graduate and managerial selection and you can usually expect 20-25 questions in 20-30 minutes.

Sample Data Interpretation Questions

The table above shows imports for three types of steel over a six month period. Use this information to answer the following questions.

 1 Which month showed the largest decrease in total imports over the previous month? A B C D E Feb Mar Apr May Jun 2 What was the total value of sheet steel (in \$) imported over the 6 month period? A B C D E 56,750 75,300 55,550 42,370 44,750 3 What was the percentage of scrap steel imported in the 6 month period? A B C D E 37.5 35.2 36.1 31.2 38.3 4 What was the difference (in thousands of tons) between coil steel and sheet steel imports in the first 3 months of the year? A B C D E 10 16 18 19 20 5 What was the approximate ratio of sheet steel and coil steel imports in the first 3 months of the year? A B C D E 11:9 8:9 7:11 3:8 7:4

The pie charts above show the percentage of students in each faculty at North West University and the number of non-US students in the Arts faculty. These percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. There are a total of 1049 students in the Arts faculty. Use this information to answer the following questions.

 6 What percentage of students in the Arts faculty are non-US students? A B C D E 14% 9% 30% 11% 15% 7 How many students are there in the Engineering faculty? A B C D E 420 410 390 440 400 8 How many students are there at the university? A B C D E 4650 4560 4640 4450 4460 9 If six percent of Science students are Asian. How many Asian students are there studying Science? A B C D E 48 66 120 57 43 10 There are 34 European medical students. What percentage of the faculty does this represent? A B C D E 14% 18% 12% 16% 15%

Data Interpretation questions are very widely used to assessing candidates for graduate and management level jobs. Many people who have been out of the education system for a while or who don’t use interpret graphs, pie charts, scatter diagrams and tables of data on a day-to-day basis may feel overawed by these types of question. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to have studied mathematics to a high level to succeed. These questions are primarily tests of interpretation and the math needed is invariably straightforward.

You will usually be allowed to use a calculator for these types of question and investing in one which can handle fractions and percentages is a good idea. You should also try to work through a few numerical computation practice papers to get back into swing of these types of calculation.