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IR Explained: Q23: University Scores

August 1, 2012

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This post is part of a series--IR Explained--that walks through the sample Integrated Reasoning questions provided in the latest edition of the GMAT Official Guide.

In this Table Analysis question, 15 universities are listed along with four different types of scores: academic, employer, citations, and total. Each score is between 0 and 100. Also, the country of each university is listed.

The country column comes in handy for the first question, 23A. To quickly find the United States universities, sort by "Country." Check each one to determine whether the employer score is less than the total score. In fact, the first US university on the list, Harvard, has an employer score of 78.0 and a total score of 77.5--the employer score is higher, so 23A is No. There is no need to check the remaining US schools.

For 23B, sort by either employer score or citations score, the two numbers referred to. Since a quick glance at the table reveals that most citations scores are below 50, sort by citations score to identify those few schools that score above 50.

It turns out that five schools have citations scores above 50, and once sorted, they appear at the bottom of the table. Look one column to the left, and find that of those five schools, only one (Harvard) has an employer score above 50. Thus, 23B is Yes.

23C requires a bit more work. Here, approximation skills come in handy. To narrow down the possibilities, sort the table by Total score, since the school with the biggest differential between academic and total scores will probably have one very high score and one very low score. Thus, when you sort by Total, the correct answer will be somewhere near the top or bottom.

Since the question asks about University of Tokyo, first check that school. Its academic score is 79.7, while its total score is 53.6, for a difference of approximately 26. (Work quickly by estimating--only check exact differences if it turns out to be necessary later on.)

Now, scan the rest of the list looking for differences that may be greater than 26. The first several on the list are nowhere close, such as Columbia, with scores of 46.2 and 50.5. Princeton has a somewhat large gap of ~19, Cal Tech is ~21, Berkley is ~22, MIT is ~25, but no school has a greater difference than Tokyo. 23C is Yes.

Stay tuned (or subscribe) for more Integrated Reasoning explanations

About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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