IR Explained: Q33: Dietary Intake

August 24, 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.

On this Graphics Interpretation question, you'll find a line graph representing dietary intake of four types of foods over nearly a decade. It is straightforward, so aside from a quick read-through of the introductory paragraph, you can jump into the questions.

33A asks when the graph indicates that the nation represented in the graph suffered a food shortage. In the introductory paragraph, we're told that a food shortage is reflected in dietary intake if consumption in all four categories declines.

Rather than combing through every detail of the graph, check the possible answer choices. There are only three: 1922, 1961, and 2000. 1922 is the correct answer: there is a minor tick down in all four lines leading to 1922. Neither 1961 nor 2000 shows the same evidence.

For 33B, you're first asked to find the year that intake of carbohydrates was the lowest. You don't need to be precise--it appears that year is sometime during the 1960s, when carbohydrate intake was approximately 380.

For those years, the intake of dietary fiber was about 20. Thus, the carb intake was approximately 380/20 = 19 times the comparable fiber intake. As is often the case when reading graphs, we've approximated; it turns out that the correct answer is 18, the only choice anywhere close to 19.

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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