New SAT Writing and Language : Table Interpretation

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for New SAT Writing and Language

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Example Questions

Example Question #233 : New Sat Writing And Language

The traditional view of archaeologists usually involves a college professor who spends much of his or her time digging and researching in ancient foreign libraries or a museum curator who works every day to preserve the artifacts the museum holds. While this view isn’t completely incorrect, it is incomplete, both in terms of the types of jobs available to archaeologists and in the types of work within those jobs. For example, college professors may spend summers at dig sites, but much of their time is also spent writing grants, teaching students, and writing about their research projects. Additionally, although there are still many people who work in archaeology as professors and museum curators, the demand for these jobs far outstrips the number of positions available, making the positions difficult to acquire.  1

 

The author is considering adding the following table to the end of this paragraph:

 

Construction Companies

Governmental Agencies

Museums

Universities

Applicants

14,138

12,415

9,884

15,232

Jobs Filled

9,224

5,380

766

2,014

% of applicants hired

65%

43%

8%

13%

The table above details the number of applicants for archaeology-related positions and the number of archaeology-related jobs filled for the year 2018 in the United States.

Should the author makes this addition?

Possible Answers:

No, because the information in the table shows that most archaeologists apply for jobs at universities.

Yes, because the information in the table proves that archaeology professors spend most of their time on teaching and writing.

 

No, because the information in the table does not specify whether the jobs at museums are curator jobs.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

Correct answer:

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

Explanation:

The information in the table shows that while many people apply for archaeology jobs at museums and universities, the actual number of jobs is much smaller, so only 8% and 13% of applicants will find those jobs.  This supports the claim that “the demand for these jobs outstrips the number of positions available, making these jobs difficult to get.” This makes " Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph."  

Among the other answer choices:  "Yes, because the information in the table proves that archaeology professors spend most of their time on teaching and writing" is incorrect as the table shows what types of jobs are available but does not talk about the activities that take place within the “University” jobs column.  "No, because the information in the table shows that most archaeologists apply for jobs at universities" is incorrect because while the table does show that more people apply to universities than any of the other four categories, that doesn’t mean that “most” (more than ½) do.  Also it is perfectly consistent with the author’s point that many people apply to university jobs (that’s “demand”); the author just adds that not many of those jobs exist, and the table also supports that.  And "No, because the information in the table does not specify whether the jobs at museums are curator jobs" is incorrect because, again, the “because” reason here is consistent with the author’s point that there aren’t many jobs as university professors and museum curators. If the very small number of museum jobs were to even include museum jobs that aren’t for curators, that reinforces the point that the jobs people tend to visualize as archaeology jobs aren’t, in fact, what most archaeologists do.

 

 

Example Question #1 : Table Interpretation

One of the easiest ways to see the way that earthworms change their environment is in the effect that the number of earthworms has on soil fertility, a measure of how hospitable an environment is to plant growth. Even the least fertile soil has around 62 worms per square meter, and as the number of worms increases so does soil fertility. As worms move through the different layers of soil, they eat, digest, and excrete massive amounts of organic matter. They leave their excretions behind in the form of nutrient-rich droppings known as casings. As these casings decompose, they release nutrients into the soil. This process not only moves nutrients from one layer of the soil to another but also converts the nutrients to forms that plants can absorb and process more easily.  1

At this point the author is considering the addition of the following table.

Figure 1: Corn growth by worm count, rainfall, and temperature

Sample

Worms per square meter

Avg. monthly rainfall (centimeters)

Avg. daily temperature (℃)

Avg. corn plant height (meters)

A

82

22

14

1.77

B

106

14

22

1.94

C

93

34

15

1.84

D

124

17

25

2.03

E

168

23

21

2.14

F

88

26

17

1.81

G

113

31

19

1.98

(Adapted from a study of seven unique subclimates in the farmlands of Manitoba, Canada. Measurements were taken for the growing season of 2017, with average corn height measured as of September 1, 2017.)

Should the author make this addition?

 

Possible Answers:

No, because the information displayed in the table is not directly referenced by or connected to the passage.

No, because corn is not the only type of plant that should be able to grow in soil fertilized by earthworms.

Yes, because it proves that corn can only grow when there are more than 62 worms per square meter.

 

Yes, because it demonstrates that corn grows higher when there are more earthworms in the soil.

Correct answer:

No, because the information displayed in the table is not directly referenced by or connected to the passage.

Explanation:

While this table is somewhat related to the topic of earthworms’ impact on soil fertility, note that the passage doesn’t directly link the metrics in the table (corn height, in particular) to soil fertility itself.  Without that direct connection, the table is out of scope of the passage’s subject matter - it’s somewhat related but doesn’t quite fit. That makes choice "No, because the information displayed in the table is not directly referenced by or connected to the passage. 'a good option.

But as in most SAT questions that provide you with Yes/No answer choices that include reasons, this problem is best attacked with process-of-elimination.  With choice "Yes, because it proves that corn can only grow when there are more than 62 worms per square meter.", recognize the extremely strong language in “prove” and “only” - the table does show that for these 7 locations in Manitoba, corn grows and the worm count is above 62 worms per square meter.  But these seven locations don’t prove that that is the only case; there could very well be other corn-growing locations with lower worm counts that just weren’t part of this study. So "Yes, because it proves that corn can only grow when there are more than 62 worms per square meter." has logical problems, and like "No, because the information displayed in the table is not directly referenced by or connected to the passage." alerts you to the topic doesn’t directly connect to the passage, which doesn’t call for proof of worm density in soil.

With "Yes, because it demonstrates that corn grows higher when there are more earthworms in the soil."  the logic of the “because” portion is sound (the table does show that corn grows higher when worm concentration is higher) but the passage doesn’t include language to connect corn height to soil fertility, so this lesson doesn’t directly connect to a main point of the paragraph.

And with "No, because corn is not the only type of plant that should be able to grow in soil fertilized by earthworms.", note that if the table were connected to the passage in language it could very well be helpful - showing that earthworm concentration is the best predictor of corn height could very well make the case that earthworms are extremely influential with regard to soil fertility. The table doesn’t have to prove that this is true for all plants in order for this finding from one type of plant to help demonstrate the case that worms are good for the soil. So "No, because corn is not the only type of plant that should be able to grow in soil fertilized by earthworms." is wrong in that the issue with the table isn’t that it only includes corn, but that the passage doesn’t directly connect the idea of corn height to soil fertility.

 

Example Question #2 : Table Interpretation

Ecosystems are made of a complex system of energy and nutrient transfers from one organism to another. Some of these transfers are in the form of predation: one organism eating another – while others are in the form of ecosystem engineering, an organism changing the environment around them. One major form of ecosystem engineering is niche creation, the process of an organism changing its environment to create a competitive advantage. In order for an organism to be considered as creating a niche, three things must be true: the organism must significantly modify its environment, those changes must affect other organisms’ survival, and those changes must lead to an evolutionary response in another organism. 1

One of the world’s most influential “niche constructors” - species known for changing the environment around them - is the earthworm, an organism found almost everywhere on the planet. Earthworms were originally aquatic organisms that were ill-equipped to survive on land. A scientist only concerned with evolution would predict that, in order to live on land, earthworms would have to significantly change. Earthworms didn’t change their physiology a great amount, however, instead, they changed the soil to make it more like the ocean in order to survive. Land with earthworms is less compacted, is more nutrient rich, and is better mixed than land without them, leading to monumental changes in the ecosystem.

To be considered true niche constructors, however, earthworms must change the environment in such a way as to alter the evolution of another species. One of the easiest ways to measure this effect on evolution is in the effect that the number of earthworms has on soil fertility, a measure of how hospitable an environment is to plant growth. Even the least fertile soil has around 62 worms per square meter, and as the number of worms increases so does soil fertility. As worms move through the different layers of soil, they eat, digest, and excrete massive amounts of organic matter. They leave their excretions behind in the form of nutrient-rich droppings known as casings. As these casings decompose, they release nutrients into the soil. This process not only moves nutrients from one layer of the soil to another but also converts the nutrients to forms that plants can absorb and process more easily. Because it is easier for plants to get the proper nutrients, plants don’t have to invest time and energy into making better root systems to gather nutrients. As a result, plants have, over time, lost some of these mechanisms – a form of evolution.

Without earthworms, modern land-based ecosystems would look very different. There is no way to predict the exact changes that would exist without earthworms, but it is easy to recognize earthworms’ impact. As research continues into the effect of earthworms, scientists are confident that it will show an even more complex picture of the earthworm’s contribution to the land-based ecosystem.

 

 

The author is considering the addition of the following table:

Organism

Environmental Modification

Organism with Survival Impacted

Evolutionary Response 

Elephant

Tears bark off of trees

Lizards live on perches created by tree damage

n/a

Caterpillars

Use silk to tie leaves together

Sawflies and beetles live in the shade of the tied leaves

n/a

Azorella monantha

Increase water and nitrogen concentration in high elevation soil

Other plants can thrive in the otherwise harsh soil

n/a

The table above outlines the unique ways in which several organisms have impacted their ecosystems to the benefit of other species.

Should the author make this addition?

 

 

Possible Answers:

No, because it introduces irrelevant information that disrupts the flow of the passage.

No, because it does not include a varied enough sample of different organism types.

Yes, because it shows the various ways in which niche constructors benefit other plants and animals.

Yes, because it demonstrates that not all organisms fit the three-part criteria of being niche constructors.

 

Correct answer:

No, because it introduces irrelevant information that disrupts the flow of the passage.

Explanation:

Whenever you’re asked whether an author should add a sentence, graph, or table, you should look to see where that addition would go and how well it connects to the rest of the information on either side of it. Here the table would be placed immediately after a discussion of the three characteristics of a niche constructor and immediately before the scope of the passage shifts to focus on the earthworm.  Importantly, none of the organisms in the table would qualify as niche constructors, as none has inspired an evolutionary response, and there is no discussion that directly connects to why such a table would fit: were the author to say that niche construction is quite rare given the narrow definition, for example, or that many organisms dramatically impact their ecosystems even without being niche constructors, this table would have a connection to the passage.  But no such reference exists: the passage is meant to go from the general definition of a niche constructor to several paragraphs talking about the earthworm in particular. So choice "No, because it introduces irrelevant information that disrupts the flow of the passage."  is correct - the table is irrelevant to the discussion that surrounds it.

Among the incorrect choices: "Yes, because it demonstrates that not all organisms fit the three-part criteria of being niche constructors."  is “true” in what it says about the table, but the passage doesn’t have any context that calls for such a discussion. "Yes, because it shows the various ways in which niche constructors benefit other plants and animals." is incorrect, as none of the organisms in the table count as niche constructors.  And "No, because it does not include a varied enough sample of different organism types."  misses the point that the table itself isn’t connected to the context, so it doesn’t matter how many organisms are listed as the table just doesn’t have a place.

 

 

Example Question #3 : Table Interpretation

In recent years, there has been an influx of natural disasters, largely attributed to climate change. In January of 2019 alone, there were over 461 earthquakes with a 1.8 magnitude or higher in the California area. This led to a massive 7.1 magnitude earthquake in July of that same year. The foreshock, or beginning of the waves, occurred over 30 hours prior to the main event with a 6.4 magnitude. In November, Albania, across the world, experienced the deadliest earthquake of 2019 with a death toll of 51 and a magnitude of 6.4.

The author is considering adding the following table at this point in the paragraph.

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.39.21 am

Should the author make this addition?

Possible Answers:

No, because the information in the table does not specify the amount of deaths related to different earthquakes.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

Yes, because the information in the table proves that the larger the magnitude, the higher the death toll.

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Correct answer:

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table does not match up with the information provided in the passage. This therefore eliminates the “yes” options as the table should not be added because the data is inaccurate according to the passage. The table does, however show the amount of deaths related to the different earthquakes, even though it is inaccurate, the response “No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage,” would be the best option for this question.

Example Question #4 : Table Interpretation

In 2018, the Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. With over 100 deaths and $50 billion in damage, the 2018 season was the third consecutive above-average season. The first named storm, Tropical Storm Alberto, formed prior to the official start of the hurricane season, which is June 1st.

The author is considering adding the following table at this point in the paragraph.

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.16.53 am

Should the author make this addition?

Possible Answers:

No, because the information in the table shows that there were more Hurricanes than tropical depressions.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim that the 2018 hurricane season was the most deadly.

No, because the information in the table does not specify whether the hurricanes were more deadly than tropical storms.

Yes, because the information in the table proves the data provided in the passage.

Correct answer:

Yes, because the information in the table proves the data provided in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table provides data for the information in the passage, showing the amount of named storms during the 2018 Hurricane season.  The table should be added as it provides evidence for the information in the passage, eliminating the “no” options. The table does not, however, validate a claim that the hurricane season in 2018 was deadly, also eliminating that option. Therefore, “Yes, because the information in the table proves the data provided in the passage,” is the best option.

Example Question #5 : Table Interpretation

An amendment to the United States Constitution occurs when Congress proposes an amendment, or change to the current Constitution, which is then sent to the states to be ratified. Since the inception of the United States, there have been a total of 27 amendments ratified and over 11,770 proposals since 1789 (as of January 2019). The first amendment to be ratified in the 20th century was the 16th amendment on February 3, 1913, which was the beginning of income taxes as we know it today. Between 1913 and 1992, 11 Amendments were passed, among them: The right to vote regardless of sex, the manufacturing or sale of alcohol (which was later repealed in 1933 via the 21st Amendment), limiting the amount of term limits for a president, and granting the District of Columbia electors for the Electoral College. 

At this point, the author is considering adding the following table:

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.42.39 am

Should the author make this addition?

 

Possible Answers:

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the paragraph.

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

No, because the information in the table does not specify the years the amendments were ratified.

Yes, because the information in the table shows an explanation of each amendment.

Correct answer:

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the paragraph.

Explanation:

The information in the table provides data for the information in the passage, showing the years and amendments that were ratified in the 20th century.  The table should be added as it provides evidence for the information in the passage, eliminating the “no” options. The table does not, however, show an explanation of each amendment, also eliminating that option. Therefore, “Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the paragraph,” is the best option.

Example Question #6 : Table Interpretation

Dogs are known to have a shorter life span than humans, but what dog breeds live the longest? The average lifespan of a dog is about 10-14 years and external factors such as diet and exercise can lengthen or shorten their lives, as with humans. Chihuahuas are one of the longest living dog breeds, living an average of 15 years, and even as old as 20 years. Dachshunds typically live an average of 15 years as well. The Guinness world record for the oldest living dog was set by Dachshund at 21 years old. Toy poodles are also known for their longevity, living up to 18 years old. Many Toy poodles experience orthopedic problems and eye disorders as they grow older. Jack Russell terriers are another breed that often reaches 16 years old. Smaller breeds tend to have a longer life, and the Shih Tzus prove it by rounding off this list with a common lifespan of 15 years or so. This breed also has predispositions to eye issues as well as other health conditions.

At this point, the author is considering adding the following table:

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.44.30 am

Should the author make this addition?

Possible Answers:

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Yes, because the information in the table shows the life span of 5 smaller dog breeds, validating the claim made in the passage.

Yes, because the information in the table proves that smaller dogs have a longer lifespan than larger dogs.

No, because the information in the table does not specify the breeds of dogs.

Correct answer:

Yes, because the information in the table shows the life span of 5 smaller dog breeds, validating the claim made in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table provides data for the information in the passage, showing the breeds of dogs and their life spans. The table should be added as it provides evidence for the information in the passage, eliminating the “no” options. The table does not, however, prove that smaller dogs have a longer lifespan than larger dogs, also eliminating that option. Therefore, “Yes, because the information in the table shows the life span of 5 smaller dog breeds, validating the claim made in the passage,” is the best option.

Example Question #232 : New Sat Writing And Language

There is an abundance of diets to choose from, deciding which one is the best fit is almost as hard as the lifestyle change. There have been many diet fads throughout the years, each claiming to be better than the last. With several studies, many scientists set off to find the perfect diet. The low-carb, whole food diet helps people who are looking to lose weight, lower their risk of disease, and improve their overall health. This diet aims to eliminate any processed foods, which can be bad for our system. This diet is high in vegetables, meat, fruits, nuts, and fats, but low in sugars, starches, and processed foods. The Mediterranean diet is one that helps with heart disease prevention. It emphasizes foods eaten in the Mediterranean region such as vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, grains, beans, dairy, and lots of extra virgin olive oil. The Paleo diet is a newly popular diet that helps with weight loss and general health improvement. It also focuses on unprocessed food, having a diet much like our nomadic human ancestors, consisting of fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and some grains. The vegan diet has been steadily growing in recent years, and has been linked to a number of health benefits, such as weight loss, improved heart health, and better blood sugar control. Most vegans see this more as a lifestyle than a diet, as their focus is on preventing harm to animals, eliminating any and all animal products such as dairy and meat, focusing on plant-based foods. The Gluten-free diet became very popular in the mid-2010s, which came with an awareness of Celiac Disease, or gluten intolerance. Gluten is found in any product with wheat, rye, and barley. 

At this point, the author is considering adding the following table:

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.46.22 am

Should the author make this addition?

 

Possible Answers:

Yes, because the information in the table proves which diet is the best.

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

No, because the information in the table does not specify the types of diets.

Correct answer:

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table does not agree with the information provided in the passage. This, therefore, eliminates the “yes” options as the table should not be added because the data is inaccurate according to the passage. The table does, however, show the types of diets listed in the passage, leaving the response “No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage,” as the best option for this question.

Example Question #7 : Table Interpretation

During the 2016 Presidential election for the United States president, only 6 in 10 eligible voters participated. Many states had below 50% voter turnout, including one of the five largest states by population, Texas. Minnesota had the largest percentage of any state, with 74%. Florida had around 65% turnout while New York and California had roughly 55%. Many people have claimed they did not participate in the election because they felt that their voice didn’t matter. 4% of those who did not vote but were eligible to do so stated their failure to vote was due to registration problems, such as voter ID laws, registration difficulty, or criminal records. 

At this point, the author is considering adding the following table:

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.48.26 am

Should the author make this addition?

 

Possible Answers:

No, because the information in the table does not specify the states and the percentage who did not vote.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Yes, because the information in the table shows the accurate percentage of registered voters who did not vote in 2016.

Correct answer:

No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table does not agree with the information provided in the passage. This therefore eliminates the “yes” options as the table should not be added because the data is inaccurate according to the passage. The table does, however, show the states and the percentage who did not vote, however this was never mentioned in the passage, nor are the data provided accurate. This leaves the response “No, because the information in the table shows the incorrect data that does not align with the data provided in the passage,” as the best option for this question.

Example Question #2 : Table Interpretation

The Mark Twain Readers Award is an award to a children’s book that annually recognizes one book selected by Missouri school children. The nomination guidelines suggest that the book should interest children in grades four through six, be an original work written by an author living in the United States, be of literary value that can enrich children's personal lives, and be published two years prior to their nomination. Once a book meets this criteria, it must be voted on by the students in Missouri. The students must have read the book, as well as four other books that are nominated that year, and the student can only vote once. The 2018 award winner was The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. 

At this point, the author is considering adding the following table:

Screen shot 2020 09 29 at 9.50.11 am

 

Possible Answers:

Yes, because the information in the table shows the accurate winners of the award, as supported by the passage.

No, because the information in the table does not list the years the award was given.

Yes, because the information in the table validates the claim made in the last sentence of the paragraph.

No, because the information in the table does not support any information provided in the passage.

Correct answer:

No, because the information in the table does not support any information provided in the passage.

Explanation:

The information in the table does not agree with the information provided in the passage. This therefore eliminates the “yes” options as the table should not be added because the data is inaccurate according to the passage. The table does, however, list the years the award was given, however this was never mentioned in the passage. This leaves the response “No, because the information in the table does not support any information provided in the passage,” as the best option for this question.

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