GRE Data Interpretation for Hipsters

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Here are two hilarious — but mathematically GRE-like — problems written by Manhattan GRE instructor Tommy Wallach.

As on the real GRE, both questions use the same set of two charts. The first question is multiple choice; the second requires you to enter your own answer. You may use a calculator.

hipster chart

1. If the five categories of irony were placed in the slice appropriate to them in the first chart, approximately what would be the internal angle of the slice labeled nostalgia, in degrees?

  1. 7
  2. 21
  3. 25
  4. 57
  5. 70

2. If a hipster’s priorities were expressed as a percentage of 500 priority points, what would be the point difference between knowledge of craft beers and ironic attitude, rounded to the nearest tenth?

Give these problems a shot before reading further.

Ready for solutions?

For the first question, the category irony in the first chart is exploded outwards in the second chart. Nostalgia makes up 18% of that second chart. If we were to include that as a part of the irony category in the first chart, it would be 18% of 39%, or about 0.07. Because the whole circle is 360 degrees, we simply multiply 360 by 0.07, and get approximately 25 degrees. The answer is C.

Second question: If the top chart represents 500 points, then knowledge of craft beers is simply 0.14 times 500, or 70. To find the percent represented by attitude, we have to take 14% of 39% (because attitude is a subset of irony). So, 0.014 times 0.39 = 0.0546. Then we multiply that by 500, to get 27.3. Finally, 70 “ 27.3 = 42.7. The answer is 42.7.

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