Comparing percentage with absolute numbers on GMAT Critical Reasoning
Comparing Percentage with Absolute Numbers on CR
In GMAT critical reasoning, there are several different types of questions that you will encounter. In this short article, we will cover questions wherein the trap involves confusion between percentages and absolute numbers.
Comparing Percentage with Absolute Numbers
One type of fallacy found in GMAT CR questions is comparing percentages with absolute numbers. This fallacyoccurs when a percentage or proportion is compared to absolute data.
Please take a look at this example:
Example 1: Jack improved his score by 200%. Thus, Jack performed well.
We have taken this example before. If Jack’s original score was only 1/100; in this case, after a 200% increase Jack’s score would be 3/100, which may not be enough to say that he performed well.
Please take a look at the following GMAT- like example:
Example 2: Albaroand Caavi are neighboring countries. Albaro’s Gross National Product (GNP) is 5% less than Caavi’s. As per international fiscal observers, Albaro’s GNP is likely to grow by 12% in the next fiscal year whereas Caavi’s GNP is likely to grow by only 4%.
If the statements above are all true, which of the following can be properly inferred on the basis of them?
Here, we have an argument followed by a question stem.
Step 1 – Read the question stem.
Step 2 – Read the argument.
Step 3 – Come up with a broad expectation from the correct answer choice.
Please try this yourself before reading on.
What we know is that the GNP of “A” is, let’s say, 95, and the GNP of “C” is 100. “A’s” GNP will grow by 12% and “C’s” will grow by 4%. So, GNP of “C” will be 104, and GNP of “A” will be around 106-107; the exact value does not matter. So, we know GNP of A will be greater than GNP of C.
Please look at this answer choice.
Option 1: By the end of the next fiscal, the per capita income of Albaro’s citizens is likely to be higher than that of Caavi’s.
In this case, we know that the total GNP of “A” is going to be higher than that of “C”, but we do not know what the populations of the two countries are. Therefore, we cannot determine which one will have the higher per capita income.
This is not the correct answer choice; it commits the mistake of comparing percentage with absolute numbers.
Please take a look at this answer choice.
Option 2: By the end of the next fiscal, the GNP of Albaro is likely to be higher than that of Caavi.
This answer choice compares the GNPs of the two countries, and we have established that the total GNP of “A” is going to be higher than the total GNP of “C”. Thus, this answer choice is correct.
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to the Experts’ Global Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.