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CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus and Preparation Tips

Logical Reasoning Syllabus for CAT

The Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) section of CAT has undergone a significant change over the last few years. In the past CAT papers, the LRDI section had an equal number of questions from  LR and DI. But in the past few years, logical based DI sets have replaced the calculation intensive DI sets. The calculation intensive DI set was a scoring area for many students,  but now this area too has become LR centric.

This Article is divided into two parts:

Aspirants often wonder about the syllabus of LRDI.  The LRDI section does not have defined problems. What we have in this section is a passage with a set of numerical or logical conditions, followed by four to five questions.  We can rate the questions from easy to very difficult, depending on the ease with which one can arrive at the answers to those questions.  Though it is difficult for us to define the syllabus, based on the trend of last few years, we can categorize the problems. Here are some of the most frequently found LRDI question sets

CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus

Logical Reasoning Type 1 – Fixing the missing numbers:

CAT has replaced the traditional calculation intensive DI sets with sets that have the numbers missing in them. The students are expected to fill in those numbers by carefully studying the logical conditions in the question. Once the numbers have been fixed, the task of calculation is just a final step towards finding the right answer. These kinds of questions have come in the past year CAT papers.

Logical Reasoning Type 2 – Breaking of numbers:

Aspirants might wonder as to what is the difference between ‘fixing the number’ and ‘breaking the numbers’. The difference is that in fixing the numbers, you have to arrive at the figure by logically breaking down the conditions, and by smartly using the already given data.  But in the breaking of numbers, you might have to use the mathematical concepts of number systems to arrive at the right answer. In these cases, you will have to distribute the numbers among different entities based on the conditions given to you.

Logical Reasoning Type 3 –Games and Tournaments:

The Games and Tournaments kind of LRDI sets were quite common in the pen-pencil era of CAT, but have not come in the last few years. The aspirants, however, must become familiar with this category because the techniques learnt here can be put to effective use in other variety of sets as well. The Games and Tournaments kind of sets will develop in the aspirant the stamina to stick to a set for a more extended period.  Bodhee Prep has worked out a solution for the LRDI sets  that have come in past year CAT papers:

CAT Logical Reasoning Questions – FREE Download

Logical Reasoning Type 4 – Maxima Minima set theory / Venn diagram:

The maxima-minima set theory has been one of the favourite areas of CAT LRDI. The level of difficulty of these tests is by far the highest. You have to be very careful in your approach because the chances of going wrong in these kinds of sets are very high. But, these sets are less time consuming than the others.

Logical Reasoning Type 4 – Data arrangements/matrix based  (tabular form):

These are the conventional sort of LR sets, with which we are quite familiar. In fact the matrix based sets are very tempting, and indeed should be the first preference of the student while solving mocks. Every year we have at least one or two sets of this kind, and more often than the students get these questions correct. You must practice a good number of these kinds of sets to get them right on the exam day.

Logical Reasoning Type 5 –Linear Arrangement sets:

Like the conventional matrix based sets, the linear arrangement types of LRDI sets are usually not very difficult. But in past many years in CAT exams, such questions have not appeared. However, aspirants must make themselves familiar with these kinds of sets as they are easy pickings. Here are some high difficulty linear arrangement kind of LR sets:

3 Steps to solve Linear Arrangement Logical Reasoning for CAT Exam

Logical Reasoning Type 6 –Circular Arrangement sets:

The circular arrangement LRDI sets are slightly tricky, and may not be as straightforward as the linear type. Though this variety has not been much seen in the recent CAT papers, the concepts learnt from this kind can be effectively used in other lesser known varieties. Here are some high difficulty circular arrangement kind of LR sets:

Logical Reasoning Type 7 – Sequencing and arrangement:

Sequencing and arrangement kind of LR sets are not difficult but need caution and care while being attempted. The slightest negligence may result in the wrong choice. Such types of sets were seen in good numbers in CAT 2017, and, therefore, should be expected in LRDI section of CAT 18. Here is our solution to some of the sets that came in past year CAT:

How to approach the Logical Reasoning section of CAT:

Since there is no standardized approach, we cannot define a method that applies to all kind of sets. LRDI sets are like puzzles, which can be unique and might need an altogether new approach. However, here are a few things that students must do before they attempt any logical reasoning and data interpretation set:

  1. Scan the entire set including the questions
  2. Identify the number of parameters (variables) (if the variables are too many and too confusing, then you can come to that question later)
  3. If you think that the variables are not many, then devise a structure of the set on paper
  4. Identify the critical data/conditions given and note them down
  5. Fill the direct data from the conditions and/or represent the data pictorially on paper
  6. combine the conditions to interpret the possibility of conclusive information and put the data and info on the structure.
  7. If required revisit the conditions to narrow down possibilities, and again reinterpret and fine tune the structure
  8. In case of insufficient conditions, scan the question to figure out if we can answer some of the questions. There may be some conditions stated in the questions.
  9. Combine these conditions with existing conditions to figure out the answer.

Below is LRDI problem from CAT 2017 where I have applied the above approach

It is crucial for the aspirant to fine tune his question-picking skills.  If one picks the right sets without paying much attention to the difficult ones, then one can reach 99 plus percentile in this section.

What are the right sources to practice logical reasoning questions:

The past year CAT papers are the best resource. No matter how many mocks you have solved, you must become familiar with past year CAT LRDI sets. Apart from the previous CAT LRDI sets, you should try to solve as many past years mocks as possible. This will expose you to a variety of sets and questions.

You can also try Bodhee Prep’s LRDI online course here:
CAT logical reasoning  online course
The course has a good number, and a good variety of LRDI sets offered at a very low price. All the sets have elaborate video solutions.

CAT LRDI Practice

FREE CAT LRDI Practice Sets with Video Solutions

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