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Acing CAT: focus on accuracy for a high score in data interpretation

Mission MBA Updated: Nov 29, 2016 20:14 IST
HT Education Correspondent
HT Education Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Practice is the only way to get a good score in this section.(Imagesbazaar)

Getting a high score in the data interpretation and logical reasoning section (DILR) of the Common Admission Test (CAT) DI section is all about using your skills to the fullest.

Candidates often have problems with the language and length of the questions. They find the calculation part difficult and give up very soon. They switch to on-screen calculators without using methods such as eliminating options given in the question.

According to Pradeep Pandey, academic head, Triumphant Institute of Management Education, DI questions can be further divided into three types. Type-I: The questions which contain too much data which, however, is easy to summarise (data). This includes questions which require calculation and arithmetic skill of percentages, profit and loss, ratios, weighted mean and averages.

Do not pay attention to the format of the data - whether it is in tabular form, like a pie-chart, or scattered graph. “Scan the complete set of questions and be prepared for the questions you are not familiar with. With proper correlation of all available data, you should try to find a way to get through the unknown,” says Pandey.

Avoid unnecessary calculations as much as you can. Use the onscreen calculator judiciously.

Type-II: This includes questions which do not contain heavy data. Such questions require patience and an ability to comprehend the language as well as retention capacity. “Reading instructions carefully and a good grasp of English help you understand the different instructions quickly.

Type-III includes topic-based DI, Venn diagram-based problems, maxima-minima problems, among others. Practice is the only way to get a good score in this section,” says Pandey.

Logical reasoning includes caselets based on linear and circular arrangements and arrangements along with distributions. Gautam Puri, co-founder, Career Launcher, says, “Over the last two years, CAT has set a benchmark with respect to the level of interest and difficulty in this section. It forces you to think. If VARC (verbal ability and reading comprehension) is test of speed and number of attempts, DILR forces you to be calm and composed while selecting the sets to be attempted and focus on accuracy. Five sets (20 questions) with 80% accuracy might fetch you around 95 percentile.”

Read more: How should non-engineers prepare for CAT?