# Table analysis questions requiring calculation in GMAT IR

Instead of just sorting and identifying information from a table, some table analysis questions require you to calculate values, such as mean, median, mode and range. Time is short, so you must simplify any calculations needed.

Take a look at the following example of a table analysis—calculating question.

This table represents the per capita income for some of the United States from 2009–2011.

STATE | 2011 DOLLARS | 2011 RANK | 2010 DOLLARS | 2010 RANK | 2009 DOLLARS | 2009 RANK |

Connecticut | 56,889 | 1 | 54,239 | 1 | 53,012 | 1 |

Massachusetts | 53,621 | 2 | 51,304 | 2 | 49,788 | 2 |

New Jersey | 53,181 | 3 | 51,139 | 3 | 49,549 | 3 |

Maryland | 51,038 | 4 | 49,023 | 4 | 47,611 | 4 |

New York | 50,545 | 5 | 48,596 | 5 | 46,824 | 5 |

Wyoming | 47,301 | 6 | 44,961 | 6 | 43,568 | 6 |

Virginia | 45,920 | 7 | 44,267 | 7 | 43,192 | 8 |

New Hampshire | 45,787 | 8 | 43,698 | 9 | 42,537 | 9 |

North Dakota | 45,747 | 9 | 42,890 | 10 | 39,790 | 17 |

Alaska | 45,529 | 10 | 44,233 | 8 | 43,259 | 7 |

Minnesota | 44,672 | 11 | 42,798 | 11 | 41,204 | 13 |

California | 44,481 | 12 | 42,514 | 13 | 41,301 | 12 |

Washington | 44,294 | 13 | 42,589 | 12 | 41,837 | 10 |

Illinois | 44,140 | 14 | 42,040 | 15 | 41,045 | 14 |

Colorado | 44,088 | 15 | 42,295 | 14 | 41,388 | 11 |

Rhode Island | 43,992 | 16 | 41,995 | 16 | 40,595 | 15 |

Hawaii | 43,053 | 17 | 41,550 | 17 | 40,572 | 16 |

Pennsylvania | 42,478 | 18 | 40,604 | 18 | 39,449 | 18 |

Vermont | 41,832 | 19 | 40,134 | 19 | 38,879 | 20 |

Delaware | 41,635 | 20 | 40,097 | 20 | 38,981 | 19 |

Suppose you were given the following statement:

*The top three states in per capita income had percent increases of at least 6% between 2009 and 2010, as well as between 2010 and 2011.*

*Is it possible to show that the statement is true based on the information in the table?*

You may notice that to calculate 6% of an uneven amount cannot be done quickly. Automatically you should be thinking that therefore this will not be necessary to do. An approximation will probably suffice. Let’s see.

The question asked you about increases of at least 6%. Therefore, try to find one that is less than 6% and you will be able to answer the question in the negative. Look for the smallest increase.

Scan the figures for the top three states. Look at the thousands component of the figures. There is always a difference of 2000 except in the case of the figures for Connecticut between 2009 and 2010. Ballpark the figures to 50,000. 6% of 50,000 is 3,000. The difference between 2009 and 2010 is less than 3,000. Therefore, the correct answer to the question is “No”.

Take a look at the table again, and suppose you’re given the following statement:

*The median state’s per capita income is closer to the 20th-ranked state’s per capita income than the 5th-ranked state’s per capita income for each year in the table.*

Can you show the statement to be true using the data in the table?

The median state’s per capita income, considering that there are 20 states, can be calculated by adding the 10th and 11th states’ incomes together and dividing by 2.

Look at 2011: Again, ballpark. The median is roughly 45,000. The 5th-ranked state has an income of about 50,000 and the 20th-ranked has an income of about 41,000. The median is therefore closer to the lower figure. So far, so good for 2009.

Move to 2010: The median is about 43,000, the 5th-ranked value is about 48,000 and the 20th-ranked value is about 40,000. Again the median is closer to the lower value.

Check 2009: The median is about 41,500. The 5th-ranked value is about 47,000 and the 20th-ranked value is about 39,000. The median is closer to the lower value. Therefore, the answer to the question is “Yes”. You can show the statement to be true,

Notice that the key to saving time in such questions is "ballparking" or estimating. Don’t calculate exact values unless ballparking does not provide a conclusive result.