Kaplan Method for PSAT Infographics

PSAT Writing and Language: Infographics

The PSAT will contain one or more passages that include infographics. Each infographic will convey or expand on information related to the passage.

The Kaplan Method for PSAT Infographics has three steps:

  • Step 1: Read the question
  • Step 2: Examine the infographic
  • Step 3: Predict and answer

Let’s examine these steps a bit more closely.

The Kaplan Method for Infographics

  • Step 1: Read the Question

    Analyze the question stem for information that will help you zero in on the specific parts of the infographic that apply to the question.

  • Step 2: Examine the Infographic

    Make sure to:

    • Identify units of measurement, labels, and titles.
    • Circle parts of the infographic that relate directly to the question.

    Expert Tip

    For more data-heavy infographics, you should also make note of any trends in the data or relationships between variables.

  • Step 3: Predict and Answer

    Just as in Step 3 of the Kaplan Method for Reading Comprehension, do not look at the answer choices until you’ve used the infographic to make a prediction. Asking questions and taking time to assess the given information before answering the test question will increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. Infographics vary in format—there can be tables, graphs, charts, and so on—so be flexible when you ask yourself these critical-thinking questions.

When you apply the Kaplan Method for Infographics, keep in mind that infographics will either represent data described in the passage or present new data that expand on what the passage is about.

Let’s look at the following PSAT infographic and questions. After the infographic, there are two columns. The left column contains test-like questions. The column on the right features the strategic thinking a test expert employs when approaching the infographic and questions presented.

Question Strategic Thinking
Reduction of Flying Animals in the Appalachians
Species 2007 2008 2009 2010
Kestrel 415 383 320 268
Bat 543 421 267 233
Eagle   58   45   34   33
Hawk 196 138   85   85
Assume that from 2007 to 2010, the number of wind power projects in the Appalachians increased. According to the table, during that same time period

(A) bat and bird populations decreased.
(B) bat and bird populations increased.
(C) bat and bird populations decreased and then increased.
(D) bat and bird populations did not change.

Step 1: Read the question
Assess the question to determine what part of the infographic to focus on. What information in the question stem corresponds to the infographic? The years 2007 to 2010.

Step 2: Examine the infographic
What are the units of measurement, labels, or titles? The units in the table are numbers. They aren’t labeled, so you’ll need to look for context; don’t blindly make assumptions. Because the numbers go down, and the title of the graph is “Reduction of Flying Animals in the Appalachians,” you can conclude that these must be populations.

Step 3: Predict and answer
Now that you understand the table, reread the question. Based on the question, what parts of the table do you need to look at? The number of each species as the years progress.

Which is the correct answer? Choice (A)

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