GRE Data Interpretation Practice Set
The following pie chart shows the breakdown of revenues for a particular grocery store over the first quarter of this year. The bar chart shows the detail of breakdown for frozen foods.
1) What is the dollar amount of sales of canned goods in the first quarter of this year?
2) Frozen prepared meals constitute what percentage of the total sales for the first quarter this year?
3) During the first quarter this year, this particular grocery store was finishing its construction of an expanded bakery facility, which, when opened at the beginning the second quarter, will offer dozens of new cakes and pies, a whole new line of pastries, and several flavors of gourmet coffee. Assume that in the second quarter, the bakery sales triple, and all other sale stay the same. Bakery would then account for what percentage of total sales in the second quarter?
1) This is a straightforward read-data-off-the-chart question. The pie chart tells us canned goods sales constitute 18% of $200,000. Don’t go to the calculator for such a straightforward percent question!
Answer = D
2) From the bar chart, prepared meals account for about $17,000 in sales. This $17,000 is what percent of $200,000? Again, please don’t jump to the calculator for this.
Answer = B
3) This is a tricky question, because there’s a tempting wrong answer. The bakery accounts for 6% of the total sales in first quarter, so if you triple that, it’s 18%, right? Wrong! The new amount would be 18% of the total sales in the first quarter, but we want to know what percent would it be of the total sales in the second quarter? That’s a new total because, even though everything else stayed the same, bakery sales increased.
We don’t need to consider the actual numbers: we can just work with the percents. Bakery sales triple from 6% to 18% — that’s the new “part.” Since the bakery goes up 12% from 6% to 18%, and all other sales stay the same, the new total is 112% — that’s the new “whole.”
You can use the calculator if you like, although you could also approximate that the answer will not be 18% but rather something a little below 18%, because the “whole” has increased a bit. Either way, the answer = C.