Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning is a part of almost all entrance exams to management education courses (B-schools).One of the toughest entrance exams is CAT and the weightage of this area in the exam is close to one-third. Data Interpretation and logical reasoning section has no fixed syllabus. It tests your speed, decision making capability and interpretation of data. The CAT exam is known for having a medium to tough DILR section.
DI area in this section requires you to scan and analyze the sets given in various forms such as tables, charts and graphs (pie charts, bar graphs etc.), data caselets. As far as logical reasoning is concerned, it appears in the form of paragraphs, which are filled with information. The paragraphs are generally followed by a set of directions followed by questions, which are to be answered on the basis of the information provided. This section requires number crunching and fast calculations, even though the basic calculator is allowed nowadays. Here you will learn how to maximize your score in this section using different ways to deal with different kinds of questions. Firstly let us talk about data interpretation:
Maximization of score in Data Interpretation
Major challenges while tackling CAT DI Questions are illusions, relevance and consistency regarding data. The data sets are designed to confuse and mislead. The challenge to crack these types of questions is to swiftly identify, analyze and interpret the data. If you work on the following points, you would be able to improve your score in the data interpretation questions.
1. Calculation speed and sense of approximation: The Data Interpretation section is calculation-intensive. Sometimes the calculations involved in a question are very tough. It is therefore, important for you to get comfortable with calculations. All the relevant tables, squares and cubes should be on your fingertips. Practice well to enhance your calculation speed and accuracy. Try doing calculations in your mind rather than using pencil/pen. Excess use of calculator would also reduce your attempts as you may be tempted to do all the calculations with the help of calculators only, even when it is not necessary. It is understandable in the beginning, but slowly and gradually you will see a remarkable difference in your speed.
2. Careful reading to avoid language traps: It will be unfair to say that Data Interpretation is ONLY about calculations. It is also about logic and reasoning. Sometimes the questions are framed in such a way that you mark an obvious looking answer – which is often wrong! Therefore it is important to work on your reading and comprehending skills. For this, you can start reading business newspapers which have articles that are data-intensive and have graphs & pie-charts etc.