CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: Topic Wise Strategy, Tricks and Online Preparation

    Anam Shams Anam Shams
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    There are three sections in CAT: Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal ability and Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. DILR section is considered to be the most time-consuming. Though the questions seem tricky, if the correct methodology is applied, it can help you to score high. Before we start talking about the preparation strategy, it is important to note what all skills are tested through this section. Basically, through this section, the candidates’ ability to deal handle the challenging situations is evaluated along with candidates’ common sense and ability to apply it. The first task that one needs to make is to have a look at all the 32-questions that are asked in the CAT data interpretation and logical reasoning. CheckCAT DILR Exam Pattern

    Latest Update: CAT 2020 notification has been released on July 29 by IIM Indore on official website Exam is scheduled to take place on November 29, 2020. Check Details Here

    CAT 2020 is an online entrance exam taken up by more than two Lakhs candidates every year to secure a seat in top-level management colleges of India. Given below are some points to contemplate before moving to How to Prepare Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT?

    • There are a total of 100 questions to be attempted in 3 hours duration.
    • DILR section was considered to be the trickiest section in 2019 exam though the level of difficulty was similar to 2018. 
    • Candidates who can solve about 15 – 18 questions with an accuracy of 80% will likely clear the sectional cut off.

    CAT DILR Tips for Beginners

    CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Preparation Tips for Beginners

    Before we start discussing the 6 months preparation strategy, lets have a look at the topics that you need to prepare for Data Interpretation.

    • Caselets
    • Bar charts
    • Line charts
    • Bubble charts
    • Games & Tournaments
    • Pie-Charts
    • Pyramid Charts
    • Tables
    • Networks

    Read Business Newspaper and Magazines – The business newspapers and magazines are the most reliable way to prepare for DI & LR. It is a good practice to calculate the pictorial and graphical representations in charts, bar graphs, tables etc. that are mentioned on the business section of newspapers. You can refer to business newspapers like The Hindu and magazines so that you can set your business aptitude and interpreting data skills.

    Develop familiarity with Caselets –Another important topics and type of questions asked in the DI and LR section are caselets. A case or situation will be described that is followed by three to four questions. In the DI section, the questions will be in the form of line and bar graphs, pie charts etc while in the LR questions, the candidates are expected to make arrangements, blood relations, family tree, Venn diagrams, etc. To develop wider understanding of the caselets, the candidates can take sectional CAT mock tests so that they can understand the kinds of caselets.

    Mock Tests – Taking mock tests will help you to prepare for the upcoming examination in a more elaborative way. First, you need to start with small and easy questions before directly jumping to the bigger and logical based cases. Always check your performance after giving mock test and review them carefully to get an idea of your performance.

    Practice - The more you practice different styles of questions from DI & LR, better understanding you will have. Since there is no theoretical aspects or formulae that you can mug up in this section, so your performance totally depends upon your practice that can help you to ace the test. Both LR and DI are considered to be the most difficult part of CAT which can only be conquered by practicing more.

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    To prepare well in the DI and LR section, the test-takers are advised to follow the beneath steps:

    • CAT aspirants need to begin their preparations as per the latest trends on Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning questions. Refer to the questions that were asked in CAT of previous years.
    • All the students must start preparing by referring to the best books of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning suggested by the toppers.
    • More practice is the key to ace the sections of DI and LR. The candidates are suggested to practice last year questions based on DI and LR questions each day.
    • It is important for the candidates to improve their calculation skills. In case you are able to calculate mathematical equations mentally, you can save a lot of your time.
    • Accuracy is of the most essential thing while doing DI and LR questions of CAT. The candidates need to be careful while doing the calculations as slight variations in calculations, can lower your score.
    • Refer to the best online study material provided by the famous coaching institutes of CAT as they can be of great help.
    • The candidates planning to give CAT 2020 must take more CAT mock tests post completing their course as it will help in analyzing their performance in each exam.
    • All candidates must stay aware about using the approximations correctly and most importantly when you should use them.

    Topic Wise Tips for CAT DILR

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    Topic Wise Preparation Tips for CAT DILR

    Data Interpretation

    This is the calculation intensive section of the CAT exam, as it includes lots of graphs, charts and tables from which the candidates need to analyse and predict the data. The best way to do this section is to identify the main pieces of data that are needed to solve the questions.

    • The examiner tries to confuse the students by presenting a large amount of data, most of which are not relevant. Therefore it is important for the students not to lose hope even if you see 10 columns occupying one whole page.
    • The students are suggested to read the questions first as it will give them an idea regarding the kind of data they need to search in the graphs/charts/tables in the main question asked.
    • Another amazing feature of Data Interpretation is that the students can will not face difficulty in all the questions as all questions have a different set of difficulty level. Also, there are many easy questions as well in the sets, and one need to identify the level of difficulty of questions so they can decide which questions you need to answer first.
    • There is no particular rule stating that you need to attempt all questions in a set, so it is a perfectly all right in case you attempt a few selected questions across your DI section, them moving to the next section. While preparing for this section, you refer to the textbook or software as the test books include a lot of graph and chart type questions, most of which will help you to ace your CAT preparation.

    Logical Reasoning

    This is one of the toughest section of CAT as it includes a lot of logical puzzles with several questions that need to be answered. The most important and initial step to solve an LR problem is to pen down all the available information given either in a box, table or diagram. For instance, if the problem includes standing arrangements near the round table, you are advised to draw the table first and then look at the possible permutations and combinations of people standing around the table.

    • Once you have drawn the figure for the problem, you can clearly come to a conclusion with more clarity. LR problems usually include many statements that offers clues and helpful in solving the problem. Thus, try to solve the problem in a more methodical way and move step-by-step rather than trying to directly come to the solution. Step by step approach will help you to not confuse you and you will be able to do your best in the test.
    • LR problems are mostly ‘all-or zero types, means if you are able to crack the problem you will get the answers immediately but in case you finding it difficult crack the problem, then answering even a single question will become difficult for you. The reason to this is in case the logic to the problem is clear to you, the questions that follow it will also become easy to solve. Hence, you must know how to select the problems so that you can come to the conclusions.
    • Solving problem can be a tricky task but with the regular practice, you can easily crack the questions before switching to another set or section. However, in case this section is taking much time, you can move to another section and can come back later if you have the time.

    LR needs the maximum amount of practice among other sections. So along with including problems in your CAT preparation material, try to look for puzzle books or newspaper leisure sections that include puzzles that can be solved by applying logical skills.

    Data Sufficiency

    This is the third portion of the section, and many DS questions were asked in the CAT paper 2019. Data Sufficiency problems are mostly similar to the logical puzzles and are in the form of a question followed by two statements. The test-takers need to answer whether they can solve the problem using the mentioned statements individually, or using both of them together.

    • The short cut to answer key to answering such problems is to assume that one statement does not exist, try to solve the problem, and then again assume that the other statement does not exist and solve the problem again.
    • These problems are mostly tricky, but a lot of practice and perhaps solving towards the end of the section, after you have solved the other problems will help a lot.
    • There is no second opinion to the fact that DI/LR section is one of the maximum scoring sections in the CAT, so keeping that in mind, you must practice more so that your overall scores improve. Although in the previous CAT tests, there are almost 4-5 question sets, but you can get 1-2 question sets as well. DS questions have never appeared in sets.

    Best Books for CAT DILR

    Best Books for CAT Data Interpretation and logical reasoning Preparation

    Many books of CAT available in the market. But the real question that arises in the minds of all the test-takers is to how to get the best books for CAT preparations? The internet is flooded with lots of that sometimes make the selection task difficult for the students. To make selection easier for the test-takers, we are discussing some of the best books for CAT preparation that can be referred while doing the preparations:

    CAT Important Books


    How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

    Author: Arun Sharma

    • This book is written as per the latest CAT syllabus
    • It can be used to prepare for other competitive exams as well.
    • It offers quick and accurate problem solving skills.
    • New chapters are a part of this book.

    It has mock tests and sample papers so that the students can build better understanding

    Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT

    Author: K. Sinha Nishit

    • Fundamental and advanced topics
    • Examples with detailed explanations are mentioned.
    • Foundation, moderate and advance are the three levels for preparation using this book
    • Helpful in preparing for other competitive exams as well

    Some other popular books

    1. How to prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT - Arun Sharma

    2. The Pearson Guide to Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation - Nishit Sinha’s

    3. Great Book of Puzzles & Teasers - George J Summers

    4. Puzzles to Puzzle You- Shakuntala Devi

    Approach to Solve CAT DILR

    Ideal Approach to Solve CAT DILR Section

    The DI-LR Section will have almost 32 questions. For the correct answers, three marks will be given to the customers while one marks will be deducted for the wrong answer. Some of the important topics like arrangements, grouping, puzzles, games & tournaments, etc. have higher weightage as compared to other sections. Most of the questions are calculation based that are asked in this section.

    TopicExpected weightage
    Data Interpretation16 questions (4 sets- 4 questions from each set)
    Logical Reasoning16 questions (4 sets- 4 questions from each set)

    As per the latest exam pattern, DLIR section contains 32 questions in total, attempting these questions are tricky and time consuming. Therefore it is important that the candidates learn the shortcut methods which can help a lot in solving the questions. This section aimed at testing the test-takers decision-making skills along their speed using limited input in fixed period of one hour. Through this section, the candidates understanding in regard to the hidden hints in the question is judged.

    The candidates must get involved in some brainstorming sessions like doing Sudoku, riddles on blood relations, crossword puzzles, etc. that improves their required skills.

    Expected weightage

    TopicsExpected No. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
    Blood Relations2 to 3 QuestionsModerate
    Puzzles1 to 2 QuestionsModerate
    Graphs Related5 to 8 QuestionsModerate
    Data Sufficiency3 to 5 QuestionsModerate
    Seating Arrangement6 to 7 QuestionsModerately difficult
    Case studies3 to 4 QuestionsReasonably difficult
    Clocks & Calendars1 to 3 QuestionsRelatively Easy

    Important Tricks for CAT DILR

    Tricks to Solve CAT Data Interpretation and logical reasoning Questions

    Some of the important tricks that can help the candidates in solving Data Interpretation and logical reasoning questions are mentioned below:

    1. Take the first statement and combine it with the main statement and try to find the answer.
    2. Next, combine the 2nd statement with the primary statement to find the answer.
    3. If you still do not arrive at an answer using the 2nd statement then add both statements with the main statement. 
    4. If you do not arrive at the answer, tick both statements are insufficient.

    Inequality Trick:

    To solve questions based on inequality, we shall use the King, Soldier and Public technique. While doing so, we should remember the following points-

    1. King is more powerful than Soldiers.
    2. Soldiers are more potent than Public.
    3. In case of a conflict between two Kings, then there will be no conclusion.
    4. In case of a conflict between two soldiers, then there will be no conclusion.
    5. King should have the highest priority, then the soldiers and lastly public.

    Applicants can use this table to put the above rules into use for Inequality questions-

    King< or >
    Soldier≥ or ≤
    • Data Interpretation: Students must read the question properly. They must pay attention to the proper unit present and use approximation techniques wherever possible.
    • Syllogisms: It is a very scoring topic, and the accuracy level is high. Candidates must use Venn diagrams to solve these kinds of questions.
    • Blood Relations Concepts: These questions might appear long and complicated. However, they are quite easy to solve. Use diagrammatic representation to solve these questions. Applicants must know the general blood relations well to attempt these questions. Another essential thing to remember is that participants should not assume the gender in such questions.
    • Seating Arrangements: The necessary steps to be followed for circular seating questions are-
    1. Draw the circle and decide the clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation as per the instructions.
    2. Follow the statements in proper order.
    3. Choose the 1st character such that it is related to at least 2 characters. The co-element should be one that fills maximum seats and whose exact location is known.
    4. At a point with dual possibilities, students must draw 2 figures and see which diagram satisfies all the conditions.

    General Preparation Tips for CAT DILR

    • For questions on arrangements, first, solve questions having only 5 variables. With ample practice move steadily towards 7-8 elements.
    • Students should wisely choose the sets of questions to be attempted. Quickly scan the sets and then decide to solve the more comfortable lot. Do not waste time on the hard questions.
    • Individuals must solve mock papers and previous years’ papers. This will help them to understand CAT Paper Pattern better.
    • The key is to read every statement in order and find links between them.

    For this section, the students are suggested to practice more questions as no one can predict what kind of question of DILR can be asked in the exam. However, the base set up of all the questions is almost the same. Take time to practice from last year question papers of CAT.

    • Take more mock tests, the more you practice, the better your understanding will be.
    • The questions asked in DI are calculation based and you need to have good speed in doing the calculations.
    • For the same, the on-screen calculator option is available in the CAT test.

    Studying Data Interpretation and logical reasoning for CAT: Coaching or Self Study

    Do I need to attend coaching classes to start my preparations for the Common Admission Test (CAT)? This is one of the common questions that arise in the mind of the test-takers.

    Since everyone has a different style of learning, some learn things and concepts better when they are studying alone while for others, group studying or class room plays a vital role. Based on your past experience and through your personality analysis, you are in a better position to understand your style of learning.

    • In addition to your learning style, there are many factors that can influence your decision to either opt for the coaching classes or start preparing for the CAT on your own.
    • Firstly, you need to understand your level of motivation. In case you are self- disciplined and know how to study without some monitoring you, then you opt to study on your own.
    • You need to spend at least 506 hours of preparation on a daily basis. In case you believe that despite your hectic work life, you can manage your studies, then you can opt for self study.
    • However, in case you are not good at managing the available time and need someone’s help, you can join a coaching center.
    • Many aspirants preparing for the CAT exam do full-time jobs as well which sometimes makes it difficult for them to manage their job and studies together. So in that case, you can opt for self-studying as your communicating time as lot of time will be saved which otherwise will get waste by travelling from workplace to the coaching centre or institution or vice versa.
    • Travelling can be time-consuming and tiring, so in case you have to travel long distances to reach the coaching centre, studying at your own is a better idea. Also, the saved time can be used for preparing for the examination.

    So we can say that there is no fixed rule about whether you should attend coaching classes to get good results in CAT or prefer studying on your own. Many students who have studied on their own were able to clear the CAT in their first attempt. Ultimately it’s your decision, you need to decide between coaching and self-study as both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Coaching Institutes for CAT DILR

    Read more  CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

    Best Coaching Institutes to prepare for CAT DILR

    CAT exam is given by lakhs of aspirants each year, thus there are unlimited options in the coaching institutes that can be considered while starting with CAT preparation. There are many coaching centers across the country that have proved their mettle in the last many years and many of their students have cleared CAT exam in first attempt.

    Some of the best coaching centers in India are mentioned below:

    • PT Education- New Delhi
    • Bull’s Eye- Chandigarh
    • T.I.M.E.- Connaught Place, New Delhi
    • Career Launcher- Kingsway Camp, New Delhi
    • IMS Learning Resources- Connaught Place, New Delhi
    • IMS Learning Resources- West Tambaram, Chennai
    • T.I.M.E.- Narayanguda, Hyderabad
    • Career Forum- Dadar, Mumbai
    • IMS Learning Resource- Sion, Mumbai
    • PT Education- Lal Kothi, Jaipur

    Online Resources For CAT DILR

    Online Preparation Resources For CAT DILR

    Some of the popular and most viewed online resources include:

    Rodha Education YouTube Channel – The Rodha YouTube channel is committed to help students in their CAT preparations, you can start with the basics before doing the difficult questions.

    Khan Academy YouTube Channel – It is one of the most renowned free learning platforms that provides various courses on its official website and YouTube channel. Their YouTube channel is liked by many of the test-takers as it help them in understanding the concepts without paying hefty tuition fees.

    2iim YouTube Channel - 2iim is a CAT-coaching platform introduced by Rajesh Balasubramanian, a 4-time CAT 100 percentiler, and ex-student of IIM Bangalore. Through this channel, the students can view videos ranging from detailed solutions for last years' CAT papers to FAQs related to exams asked by the students.

    TIME YouTube Channel - TIME is one of the prestigious CAT-coaching organizations across the country. The concept videos uploaded on the channel include all the three sections of CAT, the concepts are explained by the experienced TIME faculty.

    Best Youtube Channels for CAT Data Interpretation and logical reasoning Preparation

    Preparing for MBA entrance exams such as CAT or GMAT, you need to practice a lot as it can help in getting good score in the test. If you are not able to join a coaching institute, due to any reason, you need not feel dishearten as there are many YouTube channels that help the test-takers with their preparations.

    • PerfectScores
    • Takshzila shikshak
    • Rav Singh Cetking
    • Career Luancer
    • MagooshGRE
    • Official GMAT
    • Dominate the GMAT

    Besides, the above-mentioned channels, there are many other reliable channels that can be trusted while preparing for CAT.

    Study Plan for CAT DILR

    6 months study plan for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

    • Starting your preparations considering the latest trends on Data Interpretation questions in CAT in mind. Refer to the best Data Interpretation Books.
    • Each of the aspirants must know his/her weakness and strengths before starting with the studies. Analyze and check where you stand.
    • Practice different kinds of Data Interpretation Questions and Answers
    • Solve more DI questions that differ according to their difficulty levels, Once you are done, develop the methodology that will help you to solve particular style DI questions.
    • Stay updated with the latest CAT Data Interpretation Preparation Materials and consider the best coaching institutes that you can join.
    • Take more mocks test and analyze your performance after every test.

    Last Minute Preparation Tips for CAT Data Interpretation and logical reasoning

    A few pointers will help to organize yourselves in a more productive way.

    · Stop doing new questions: It’s not the right time to do a new question in your practice now, rather revise what all you have studied in the past. Remember, the CAT is a reactive exam and the chances of understanding a new concept and that concept staying in your mind is almost zero.

    · Practice the questions you have done earlier- This is the most essential thing to consider while doing last minute preparations. If you have completed doing a fair number of questions in the past few months of preparation then you must reconsider them to improve your scores. While solving the CAT exam, the reactions and logics which you have studied in the past will help in overcoming the obstacles in the questions along with improving your scores.

    · Do some mock test-Do a few section tests along with taking some mocks tests, so that you can judge your performance immediately before the exam. Section tests can help a lot in preparing strategies and in improving the test-takers decision-making skills.

    · Don’t take pressure at all- In case you are feeling the pressure while taking the exam, try to get involved in some other kind of activity that can change your mood. Low motivation level while solving the paper will surely effect your performance and will lower your overall scores as well.

    FAQs for CAT DILR Preparation

    Question: Which books to buy for CAT preparation?

    Ans: Some of the best-recommended books for CAT preparation include:

    • How to prepare for CAT- Arun Sharma for Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation,
    • High School Grammer- Wren and Martin for Verbal Ability.

    Question: Do the coaching centers provide study material to the students?

    Ans: Yes, the study material is provided by the coaching centers but you need to refer to other books as well while doing your preparations. One must purchase the mock test series by any coaching or any test provided as mock tests are very helpful while preparing for the test.

    Question: What are the other sources, apart from the study material provided by the coaching centers while preparing for CAT?

    Ans: There are many sources apart from books that are referred to the students. One can check online study material that is available for free on the internet, also many coaching centers provide the test series that are helpful in the preparations.

    Question- What are the expected topics in DI 2020 CAT?

    Ans: The questions in MCQ and Non-MCQ format in DI 2020 in CAT are anticipated on beneath topics:

    • Data Tables;
    • Data charts
    • Bar diagrams
    • Pie charts
    • Graphs
    • Data analysis and comparison
    • Caselet Data Interpretation
    • Analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs, etc.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College




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