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If mastered well, the Data Interpretation can be the most scoring section in a management entrance exam like CAT, XAT, NMATMAT etc. To help you understand, let us break the terminology

Data Interpretation

 Data is a piece of information or collection of facts, figures and statistics. Interpretation is a way to explain the meaning of something. Thus Data Interpretation is the means to ‘explain’, ‘understand’, ’comprehend’ and ’infer’ using a given set of facts, figures or statistics.

Usually in a competitive exam, the DI section consists of a dataset in the form of a graph or table with a set of questions. These questions are mostly inferential in nature. Let us take you through the popular types of datasets that you could be asked in this section and 4As to solve them effectively.

Tables: Table is set of data that is displayed systematically in rows and columns. They are the most common and direct means to represent data. Expect minimum 1-2 questions based on a table.




Height (cms)

Weight (kgs)





















Bar Graph: Bar graph is a diagrammatical representation of numerical values using rectangular bars of equal width. There will be X and Y axis which will show data for one or more categories. Also you can identify data with the help of colors and patterns. The diagrams could be either stacked or normal bars. The values can be understood using the length of the bars. You will definitely get a question for this type of chart.

Bar Graphs Data interpretation

Line Graphs: A graph/chart which shows a series of data points connected through a line. It is quite easy to draw inferences in this type of chart. The upward and downward trend of the line chart helps you understand the increase and decrease of values.

Line Graph Data Interpretation

Pie Charts: A graph in which data is shown using sectors of a circle which depicts proportion or percentage. There is definitely one or two questions based on pie chart. They could either be easy and direct or complicated in nature.

Pie Chart Data Interpretation

Scatter Diagram: Scatter diagram or scatter graph is a graph that depicts correlation between two variables. You may or may not get questions based on this chart. These are usually complicated in nature at times.

Scatter Chart DI

Combination Graphs: A graph that depicts data using both bar and line charts.

Data Interpret

Caselet: Caselet is a piece of information given in a paragraph form. Based on the information given you should be able to tabulate a table or graph.

There are 3 males (A,B,D) and 1 female (C) in a family. C is 40 years old and the ratio of the ages of A:B:C:D is 8:9:10:7. The weight (in kgs) of each member is numerically double the age.

Remember these 4As when you attempt any DI questions:

Chart DI

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