A table is a set of data arranged in rows and columns and is one of the most common way of putting information across to people. A table consists of several boxes with information inside. The first row and the first column are generally used to denote the titles. While any type of data can be presented in table form, that too in a very accurate manner, interpreting the data in table form is more difficult and time consuming than the other modes, all of which are basically pictorial or graphical in presentation.
Tips on Solving Table Chart Problems
A: Read the data very carefully, as the smallest detail may change the meaning of the question completely. Similarly, the instructions have to be understood carefully to prevent wasting time in calculating data that is not required, and also to find out exactly what is the answer that is sought.
B: Try to understand the data provided carefully, before jumping to answer the questions. The questions are designed to be deceptive, and proper understanding of the requirements is a must. If the Data provided is of the combined variety or if there are more than one data table/charts/graphs, try to understand the relation between the given tables.
For Example, one table may talk about absolute sales figures, while the other table may talk of sales as a percentage of production. Hence, any question on excess production or Goods in stock, will require data from both tables.
C: Be very careful of the units used in the tables, and the units in which the answers (options) are provided. A mistake in the units may yield an entirely different answer. Also be careful of whether the answer is required in decimal or percentage. Such errors are common and easily avoidable.
Here is an example consisting tabular data:
The category receiving the least percentage help from the centre (in the entire data) is:
(A) Category B in 1995
(B) Category C in 1996
(C) Category B in 1996
(D) Category D in 1995
In this type of question, it is better to examine the alternatives given rather than trying to find the least percentage from the table.
Let us now calculate the required percentage of the given alternatives:
The difference between the average costs paid by the Centre during 1995 and 1996 is
(A) Rs. 66 lakh
(B) Rs. 13.2 crore
(C) Rs. 132 lakh
(D) Rs. 13.2 lakh
Adding all the cost figures in the 1995 column, i.e.
The correct answer is (C).
(Note how the answer needed conversion from crores to lakhs).
Monthly cost to the city receiving E category assistance in 1996 is most nearly:
(A) Rs. 1.8 crore less than that in 1995
(B) Rs. 2.1 crore more than that in 1995
(C) Rs. 2.1 crore less than that in 1995
(D) Rs. 1.8 crore more than that in 1995
Here, straight calculation is only needed. We need to look at the total assistance figures.
The correct answer is (B).
Assuming that 50% of the persons receiving category B help in 1995 were adults caring for minor children, but the city’s contribution towards maintaining these adults was 40% of the total contribution to B program in 1995, average amount paid by the city for each adult per year in 1995 is most nearly:
(A) Rs. 5900
(B) Rs. 6000
(C) Rs. 7500
(D) Rs. 3000.
The correct choice is (B).
Monthly costs to the city of category D during 1995 and 1996 bear a ratio (most nearly)
(A) 2 : 3
(B) 5 : 3
(C) 3 : 2
(D) 3 : 5
Again, we can straightaway determine the answer through simple calculation.
Since a ratio is required to be calculated, we can avoid the division by 12.
Directly from the table we have, total assistance in 1995 and 1996 for Category D as 26.4 and 42.6.
Hence the ratio is 26.4 : 42.6 = 3:5 nearly.