CAT 2017- How to prepare for DI & LR: MBA aspirants crack CAT to pursue their dream of acquiring an MBA degree and prevail their career as a successful manager in future. A basic requirement of a good manager is a logical thinking process, which is analysed in the CAT examination. CAT assesses the logical thinking aptitude of the candidates, and the Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) section of the test is closest in resemblance to the kind of problems one might face as a manager. This section tests your decision-making ability and speed using limited input. This special feature by Careers360 brings to you expert and topper inputs on how to prepare for CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) section.
As per the CAT 2017 exam pattern, the DI & LR section will have a time limit of 60 minutes to answer 32 questions. Needless to say, that practice is the key to crack this section. But it is also important to prepare while keeping an eye on the watch. As there is a sectional limit to attempt one section, not focusing on time will only hamper your preparation.
Good scores in this section will impact your overall percentile. Since you have to clear not only the overall but the sectional CAT cutoff as well to get an IIM call, you must not lose the chance by compromising on sectional performance. Jessie Lemos, CAT Topper from MDI Gurgaon says that practice is the key to crack this section. “I just kept practising a wide variety of DI & LR sets so that no kind of question could surprise me in the main exam.” Here we bring to you seven key pointers which will help you gain expertise on how to prepare for DI & LR section of .
How to prepare for CAT DI & LR
Read Business Newspaper and Magazines - Business Newspapers and magazines are the best sources to prepare for DI & LR. As this section deals with business aptitude and interpreting data, business newspapers will help you learn how charts and bar graphs are analysed. Newspapers and magazines also support in sharpening your thinking abilities and reasoning through different case studies and analysis in the form of pictorial and graphical representations. CAT Topper Vinay Pahal, now studying in MDI Gurgaon, explains by saying, “A student needs to read a lot. One may start from any topic but the idea is to read diverse topics. Additionally, newspaper reading helps in the second stage of the process as well.”
Be familiar with Caselets - Be familiar with the topics and types of questions to expect in this section. The questions will be in the form of caselets, where each case will be followed by three to four questions. For DI, the questions will be in the form of line and bar graphs, pie charts etc. The LR questions will be mainly on arrangements, blood relations, family tree, Venn diagrams etc. Initially, to get familiar with the caselets, start with sectional CAT mock tests. The focus should be on making yourself familiar all the types of caselets. CAT Topper Balkesh Narang, shares, “I focused the most on being familiar with versatile forms of data representation like pie chart, bar chart, line graph, piled bar chart, spider chart and complex combinations of these”.
A few topics that you must cover in DI section and that you must prepare are presented below.
Mock Tests - A mock test is a practice exam or a revision test to make student prepare for an upcoming examination. Start with small, easy questions and move towards bigger logical based case-lets. Always analyse your performance after every mock test and review to have a genuine feedback about your performance. An important thing you need to work on is the judicious selection of questions. Utilize mock tests for this purpose in the best possible way.
Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind suggests a trick about utilising mock tests, he says, “Once one writes the mock tests, the issues with individual topics would be thrown-up in the analysis and one can start working on those areas in a systematic manner!”
Utilize Calculator - Students will have access to an on-screen calculator for carrying out basic computations, which is helpful for students who are not too well versed with calculation. In order to be able to utilize the on-screen calculator for DI&LR to the fullest, you must practice before hand.
The DI questions for CAT are known for being calculation intensive. Utilize the on-screen calculator to the fullest in this section. “The introduction of the calculator will definitely help students while performing calculations in Data Interpretation questions,” mentions Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS. Knowing the fast calculation tricks is another strategy for solving the questions accurately without making it much time consuming.
Brainstorming activities - Logical Reasoning is all about understanding the trick hidden in the question. After you are done with your daily preparation, take out time for some brainstorming sessions, like solve crossword puzzles, Sudoku, riddles on blood relations, family tree etc. “I have always been involved in some brainstorming activities like playing chess, minesweeper, Sudoku etc. Apart from these, I did not put any specific efforts to improve this section.” says Balkesh. These activities, in simpler terms, are way to prepare you for LR section of CAT 2017.
A few topics in LR section that has to be covered are represented below,
Books - To prepare for DI & LR section of CAT books are the best source to learn the concepts and enhance your knowledge on a topic.
The books to prepare are,
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma (Tata McGraw-Hill)
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma (Tata McGraw-Hill) is a workbook with practice questions and tips based on previous CAT papers.
How to prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma
Nishit Sinha’s The Pearson Guide to Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (Pearson) covers a wide range of topics explained in an easy-to-understand manner.
The Great Book of Puzzles & Teasers by George J Summers
Practice - The more you practice the questions from DI & LR, better will you perform. Since there is no theoretical aspect in this section, you can only practice to excel the areas. “DI & LR was always my favourite section and I usually started with DI first and then LR. My theory behind this was that doing mental calculations is easier since normally in an exam situation, aspirants have a brain-freeze moment if they go for LR first. LR can sometimes be solved by intuition if the time is less. It is important to keep an eye on the details given in a DI & LR question.,” says Vatsalya Kumar Srivastava, CAT 2016 99.76 percentile and MDI Gurgaon student.
CAT 2017 Exam Pattern - The structure and the exam pattern of CAT 2017 have not undergone any change compared to last year. CAT 2017 will continue to remain a computer based test consisting of three sections, Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). The total number of questions was 100 wherein QA and VRC sections carried 34 questions each, the DI & LR section carried 32 questions.
CAT 2017 will be conducted in a single day window in forenoon and afternoon slots on November 26, 2017. The result of CAT 2017 is expected by the second week of January 2018. The admit card of CAT 2017 is available for download from October 25 which carries information like test schedule and test venue and exam day instructions along with the candidate details. As many as 2,31,607 candidates have applied for the test out of which around 34 per cent are female candidates.
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