Seven Graphs or Charts That You May Encounter

As part of the on-screen section of the QTS Numeracy Skills Test, you will be asked questions that test your abilities to interpret data presented in graphs and charts.

There are seven kinds of graphs or charts that you need to be familiar with.


1. Tables

The data is presented in a grid. Every row and every column represents a different category, and each cell provides the value corresponding to the row and the column on which it is located. (Learn More)


2. Bar charts

The data is presented in vertical bars of different heights (or horizontal bars of different lengths). Sometimes more than one set of data will be presented on the same graph with the bars either displayed side-by-side or stacked on top of each other. (Learn More)


3. Line Graphs

The data takes the form of a series of points joined by straight lines. Often this kind of graph is used to track how something changes over time. It is possible that two or more categories may be compared by drawing multiple lines on the same graph. (Learn More)


4. Pie Charts

A circular chart is divided into sections that each show the proportion of a group that is in a certain category. The pie chart does not indicate the number in each category but the proportion of the whole (though sometimes the number in each category is given elsewhere in the question). (Learn More)


5. Scatter Graphs

This graph plots the values of individual cases in two different categories, represented by the vertical and horizontal axes. Each case is represented by a single point on the graph and the points usually form a trend. (Learn More)


6. Cumulative Frequency Graphs

These graphs plots a running total, shown by points on the graph joined by straight lines. The points always have an upward progression. (Learn More)


7. Box and Whisker Plots

These are five vertical lines joined with horizontal lines to form a central ‘box’ with two whiskers extending to the outlying values. The lines represent the highest and lowest values, the median and the quartiles. (Learn More)


More help on all of these graphs, along with practice questions, can be found in the Guide to the QTS Numeracy Skills Test’ book.