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Strategy #2: Reading tables

A table, made up of rows and columns, can be a fairly simple way to present data involving at least two sets of variables. Although tables are useful for conveying specific information, they do not create comparisons as pie charts or bar graphs do. Using left to right (row) and up to down (column) eye movements, tables are generally easy for students to read if they understand how they are constructed.

As an example, take a moment to look at this table illustrating information about international students by academic level.

Academic Level 2006-2008

Teaching students to read this graphic is relatively simple. For example, if they need to know the number of international graduate students for 2007-2008, they would simply look down the column for "graduate" and then move their finger across the row for 2007-08 and find the total of 276,842 students.