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Data Context 2

Price Indices

Price indices

One of the most common data contexts is asset prices and indices, with questions

focussed on past growth or future growth based on an annual rate.

Question 5: What would the price of a tonne of corn would be in Year 10 if it rose by 6% per annum from its

Year 6 price?

Price of Corn

Year

A: $744.86

(31-Dec)

(1-Jan 31-Dec)

1$

400

3.10%

2$

415

3.50%

3$

420

2.20%

4$

450

5.50%

5$

510

4.10%

6$

590

6.20%

B: $567.89

C: $652.65

D: $788.78

E: $444.12

Price indices (e.g. CPI, RPI)

Solution to Question 5: What would the price of a tonne of corn would be in Year 10 if it rose by 6% per

annum from its Year 6 price?

Task:

Solution:

Calculate the compounded price growth of corn for the 4 years (from 6 th to 10th year), then multiply Year 6 price

by this number.

From 6th year through 10th year there would be 4 years. Using standard formula (1+6%)^4 = 1.26248

1.26 (compounded price growth rate) x 590 (Year 6 price) = 744.86

4 years i.e. (1+6%)^4-100% = 26% will only be slightly higher

than direct multiplication i.e. 6% x 4 years = 24%. So to

estimate you could take 6%x4+1=124% or 1.24 AND multiply

this by 590 = 731.6. Because the answer should only be

slightly lower the real answer, the closest answer choice

would be 744.86.

Tip 2: This is for estimation questions only: When annual

rate is below 10%, the compounded growth rate over a few

years is only slightly higher than direct multiplication of

growth rate by the number of years. So you can multiply

growth rate by the number of years, then look for a slightly

bigger number as the correct answer.

Price of Corn

Year

(31-Dec)

(1-Jan 31-Dec)

1$

400

3.10%

2$

415

3.50%

3$

420

2.20%

4$

450

5.50%

5$

510

4.10%

6$

590

6.20%

Data Context 8

Comparing Several Companies

Comparing Market Shares

Typically compares market shares of one or several companies in a specific market in terms of

revenue, sales or costs.

Question 29: Between which two years did WPPs percentage share of the global advertising market sales

increase?

25

billions $

20

22.02

23.92

23.61

22.54

15

10

12.43

13.33

2006

2007

19.22

15.68

16.75

2009

2010

18.53

17.58

WPP

The rest

14.68

A: 2006-2007

B: 2007-2008

2008

C: 2008-2009

2011

D: 2009-2010

E: 2010-2011

Comparing Market Shares

Solution to Question 29: Between which two years did WPPs percentage share of the global advertising

market sales increase?

Solution:

First of all, understand the question and look for clues in the graph. For example, percentage share of global sales

means that you need to calculate the ratio of WPP sales to the total sales (including WPP), for each year. Then you

need to identify where this percentage has fallen from the previous year. The problem is that 1 minute would not be

sufficient to calculate the above percentage shares of WPP for each of the 6 years! See Shortcut method below.

Traditional method would be to calculate WPP market share as % of total market for each year (as follows).

2006: 22.54 / (22.54 + 12.43) = 64.46%

2007: 23.61 / (23.61 + 13.33) = 63.91%

2008: 22.02 / (22.02 + 14.68) = 60%

2009: 23.92 / (23.92 + 15.68) = 60.4% - an increase from 2008

Shortcut:

The graph comes with an answer. Notice that the trend

for The Rest of the world is up while WPP trend is

down with an upward spike in 2008-2009 period.

The task is to identify the period where WPP market

share increased from the previous year. WPP actual

sales increased from 2008 to 2009. Hence, 2008 and

2009 would be the best data points to start with - to

save a lot of time! If you dont have time to calculate

you could just choose 2008-2009 period from the

graph.

Indeed, 23.92 / (23.92 + 15.68) = 60.4% which is an

increase from 22.02 / (22.02 + 14.68) = 60%

Tip: Look for clear trend changes and noticeable

spikes in linear graphs for quick answers.

25

20

billions $

Task:

22.02

22.54

23.61

15

10

12.43 13.33

14.68

23.92

19.22

15.68

16.75

2009

2010

18.53

17.58

The rest

5

2006

2007

2008

WPP

2011

Data Context 4

Pie charts with value components

Pie charts with several % components (of total sales, costs or investment value)

Pie charts are used for data representation, especially, when the data has various

compositions. Most common pie charts show sales, cost and investment values.

Question 12: If 11% of the value of the China holding is moved to India, what proportion of the total fund

will the India investment represent?

Current Value of Global Government Bond

Fund

Total value = 210 million

US

25%

Brazil

5%

China

10%

India

9%

Russia

12%

UK

39%

A: 11.7%

B: 12.5%

C: 10.1%

D: 9.9%

E: 9.5%

Pie charts with several % components (of total sales, costs or investment value)

Solution to Question 12: If 11% of the value of the China holding is moved to India, what proportion of the

total fund will the India investment represent?

Task:

Solution:

The key task is to calculate the value that will move from China holding to India holding. Then add it to the actual

value of existing India holding, then divide the sum by the total value of the Fund.

Total value of China holding: 210m x 10% = 21m

11% of China holding: 21m x 11% = 2.31m

Total existing value of India holding: 210m x 9% = 18.9m

Total new value of India holding: 18.9m + 2.31m = 21.21m.

Percentage representation: 21.21m / 210m = 10.1%

the calculations. Simply, take 10% China holding, multiply by 11%,

then add the result to the existing 9% India holding:

10% x 11% + 9% = 10.1%

Bond Fund

US

25%

UK

39%

Brazil

China

5%

10%

India

9%

Russia

12%

NUMERICAL REASONING TEST TUTORIAL EBOOK

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