The most important and first step in Solving an LR problem is to write down all of the information given in a box, table or diagram e.g. if the problem involves seating arrangements at a round table, always draw the table first and then try various permutations and combinations of people seated around it. Once you have drawn the figure for the problem, you are free to think with a clear mind. LR problems usually contain several statements which serve as clues to solving the problem. Thus, the problem should always be attempted in a methodical manner, and solved step-by-step, because trying to look at all the information at once will confuse even the best of us.
CAT Logical Reasoning problems are usually ‘all-or-nothing’ type, in the sense that if you crack the problem you will have answers to all the questions that follow, and if you don’t you will not be able to answer even a single question. This is because if the logic to the problem is known to you, the questions that follow can get solved. Hence, proper selection of problems to solve first is even more crucial here than in DI. Often, students fail to solve a problem after investing 10-15 minutes on it. Since the information they have at the end of that time is not much more than that at the beginning, they cannot answer even a single question in the set and have nothing to show for their effort. Problem-selection is tricky, so if you find that you are unable to solve it after the first 5 minutes, do the smart thing and switch to another set of the section. Although, you should be very wise in your decision of leaving the question as you can always come back later on the question if you have the time but once you switch the section, you can’t come back to it again. Therefore, for each aspirant, to Attempt or not to attempt is the main quest.
Following are 10 Tips to ace Logical Reasoning
1. Invest some seconds over a question and study the question carefully. A brief explanation of why each choice is correct or incorrect should go into your mind. If you can practice this tip in sample reasoning questions, you will do well on the actual assessment.
2. NEVER assume or use any information that the question fails to give you. This is NOT an assessment of how much you know about a subject in general! Consider ONLY the information given in each reading passage when choosing among the alternative responses.
3. Read both the factual passage and the sentence completion instruction carefully. Both must be considered in making your choice.
4. Be sure to read all the response choices carefully before eliminating or choosing one of them.
5. In questions that ask you to select a valid conclusion, always choose the one conclusion that must definitely follow from the information you are given. In questions that ask you to find the invalid alternative, choose the one conclusion that does not definitely follow from the information.
6. Pay special attention to words like "all," "some," or "none" when you read the factual information each question gives you. Other qualifying words such as "other than," "only" or "unless" are important, too. These words can play a critical part in precisely specifying the facts to be used in your reasoning.
7. Pay attention to negative prefixes also, such as non-, un-, or dis-. These can be crucial to specifying the basic facts in the paragraph.
8. You should also be very careful if any response choices that contain the quantifiers "all" or "none". Generally, in both the sample practice questions and in the actual CAT assessment, these words are NOT signs of incorrect response choices. They will appear in both correct and incorrect response choices.
9. Pay close attention to the word "ONLY" and to the phrase "IF AND ONLY IF". Saying "The car lock will open IF AND ONLY IF original keys are used" sets up a highly specific condition that must be met. There is exactly one way to open the car lock - you must use the original keys of the car. By contrast, if the sentence says, "The car lock will open if the original key is used," there may be several ways to open the car lock besides by using the original key.
10. The questions in the assessment will vary in difficulty level, and difficult questions will be mixed in with easier ones throughout the CAT Paper. When you encounter a question that is difficult for you, then you should try to draw diagrams or other schematic notes on your "scratch" paper, which are provided to support and confirm your thought processes. Also, bear in mind that you can stop working on a difficult question temporarily and return to it later but it could be done only if you have not changed the section.
Logical Reasoning: Question patterns
In the Logical Reasoning section, you will be given a paragraph which will contain certain information. It will be followed by two to three questions. The questions generally start with ‘If’, ‘Why’ or ‘Then’. In such cases, more than the information, your own thinking ability has to be used. Some common forms of questions are family tree, letter encoding etc. These questions are a sophisticated version of riddles that you used to solve in your childhood.
Logical Reasoning : Ways to prepare for it
- If you logically prepare for this part of the Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section, scoring good percentile in CAT 2019 will not be that big an issue for you.
- To start with, go to the previous years’ CAT papers and try to understand the logic behind logical reasoning problems.
- Apart from solving previous year question papers, you should also solve as much mock CAT tests as possible.
- You should solve them regularly to get a good grip of it as ample practice should be there.
- At this stage, when there is only few months left for the real CAT Test, you should solve around 10 sets of logical reasoning questions every day.
- One more interesting way to prepare for this section is by regularly solving crossword puzzles, Sudoku, riddles etc. For this, you can pick out the leisure section of the daily newspaper and can also solve case lets from various books and puzzle sites on the internet.
Read More : 5 best ways to improve on Logical Reasoning
Logical Reasoning: While solving the actual questions
- The first step to follow when you see the Logical Reasoning question is that read the question carefully and note down all the information you obtain from the question.
- To have a better understanding, you can draw Venn diagrams on the basis of it or tables or charts, as per your convenience as explained earlier.
- In a single set, the questions are very closely linked. So it is very important for you to read and re-read until you understand what you are required to answer from each questions. If you get the logic behind the set, you will be able to solve it
The LR area is considered tough by most MBA aspirants as it consists of logical puzzles followed by several questions. As per the analysis of previous year questions, we can make it out that this section of CAT exam usually consists of family trees and analogies, which require a good concentration and flow of thoughts, therefore, Logical Reasoning needs maximum practice with increasing logical abilities. Along with your CAT preparation material, try looking for puzzle books or newspaper leisure sections that contain logic puzzles.
Puzzle-solving is a knack, and the more you start enjoying logic puzzles, the better you will get at them. That is why a fun way of preparing for this section of CAT exam is by solving puzzles like Sudoku, Crosswords etc. Solve puzzles from puzzle books easily available in the market, and puzzle sites on the Internet, to improve reasoning skills and speed.