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Organise data, improve score

Take practice tests to crack data and reasoning sections

education Updated: Sep 17, 2014 11:38 IST
HT Education Correspondent

The change in pattern of common aptitude test (CAT) will mean that the number of questions of DI (data interpretation) and LR (logical reasoning) would go up. They are also likely to be a shade easier than the earlier lot. So it becomes imperative that the strategy to handle these “grouped” questions is very clearly drawn out, else you can get stumped by the pressure of time. There are three critical things that you should do in data interpretation.

The first is a conscious speeding up of your calculations. If you look at the past five years of CAT, one had time at one’s disposal. That is not likely to be the case this year. So make sure that you have had sufficient practice of the sets of DI with intense calculations. A thorough analysis of questions and intelligent guesswork are keys to improve your scores in these type of questions. Just as in the case of quant, the key to increasing attempts in DI is by using smart approaches — estimating the answers and not necessarily working out the exact answer.

The second is getting sufficient exposure to a variety of LR/DI sets. The logical reasoning type DI questions can be very tricky. The ability to organise data depends on creating enough templates in your mind for managing the information. There are various types of LR questions. Some of them are assignment type questions, arrangement type questions and mathematical reasoning type of questions.

The third type of questions is the DS (data sufficiency) type of questions. DS is likely to make a comeback this year. It is likely that you would find three to five DS questions this year. So conceptually if your quant skills are good, you would find that there can be high accuracy in the DS questions. To crack the DS questions, it is important not to solve the questions. You need to solve only when you realise that the number of “solutions” or “cases” are “limited”. There could be a catch in the solutions that makes it an imperative that you solve them. Otherwise DS questions are not to be solved but to be analysed only for the “sufficiency” of the information.

Compiled by HT Education and Career Launcher