The CAT Logical Reasoning section is meant to assess a candidate’s ability to think out-of-the-box when presented with problems that are different from the norm and requires special skills. The questions test the sharpness of a candidate, the ability to interpret the problem correctly, even though they might defy common sense and working their way to arrive at the right answer.
1. Pay attention to patterns
A major part of Logical Reasoning requires you to identify the patterns in the given problem which will lead you to the answer. Understanding the various kinds of patterns that may come is the first trick to solve LR questions. Consider the following questions:
a. Find the missing alphabets in the following series,
ACE, FHJ, ____, PRT
Clearly the pattern is that one alphabet is skipped between the given alphabets, so the letters in the blank will be KMO.
b. Marathon is to race as hibernation is to
The pattern in the above sentence is that marathon is a long type of race, similarly hibernation is a long period of sleep.
Training your mind to identify such patterns is the most crucial aspect of solving LR questions.
2. Develop your own methods of cracking LR
Each individual must develop his own way to crack LR questions. The starting point is obviously to simplify the given data and make sense of it. This involves the process of asking yourself what is the requirement of the question, what is the pattern, what data is given, which method you should be applying and so on. Sometimes, you may get confused about the information given in the question, not all of which might be useful. In such cases, it is better if you put that information in a tabular form or graphical form or use Venn diagrams, pie charts, whatever helps you to decode the data meaningfully.
3. Use Time judiciously
Time is huge factor in an entrance exam, and LR questions can be time consuming, for the simple reason that they don’t have a set formula and you need to possess the skill to attempt them. Therefore, you should manage your time. To do this, begin with answering the questions you feel are easy and familiar rather than waste time on the ones which are complex. Time permitting, you can always come back to the slightly complex questions later. The idea is not to attempt all the questions for the sake of it, but to maximise the score from this section.
4. Identify trigger words
In most LR questions, there will be words which change or modify or lead the meaning of the given question. For instance, words such as ‘all’, ‘some’, ‘none’, ‘other than’, ‘only’, ‘unless’,’ ‘if and only if’ play an important role in identifying what’s to be done with the question. Any mis-interpretation of the question due to these words will lead you the incorrect answer.
5. Train your mind
The last trick to attempt LR questions is train your mind and develop logical skills. Since this section requires a different approach, candidates must train and sharpen their minds by regularly solving puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku etc and solving enough questions from various types of LR questions such as Cause and Effect, inequality, blood relations, numbers arrangement and son on.
Ultimately, LR depends on how well you are able to reason out the given information and justify the conclusion.
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