Data Interpretation Basics for CAT

data interpretation basics for CAT
How to crack DI in CAT 2017

This blog will help you understand the data interpretation basics for CAT. Follow the tips given below to ace the LRDI section of CAT

The importance of Data Interpretation:

Thanks to today’s technology and the internet, managers of big corporations are bombarded with a huge amount of data which they have to use efficiently to make timely decisions. The Data Interpretation section of CAT tests a candidate’s ability to acquire useful information from tables, charts and graphs and utilize it to solve the problems. The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section of CAT contains 32 questions and is of 1-hour duration.

Download Data Interpretation Questions for CAT PDF 

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Types of DI questions and expected pattern:

Data Interpretation questions generally include the following types:

  1. Caselets – In caselets, the data is given in the form of a long paragraph without any tables. Often some of the information is left for the candidate to interpret. The best way to solve these questions would be to try and prepare a table using the known values and determining the unknown values from the given conditions.

  2. Bar Graphs – Bar graphs are used to compare variables with data provided on bars or lines. They can be represented either in the horizontal form or the vertical form. These are one of the most common types of questions to be expected in the Data Interpretation section.

  3. Pie charts – Pie charts show the information in form of circles with segments. They can be represented in degrees (total of 360) or as a percentage (total of 100%). These are the only two types of pie charts that can be expected. Hence, by practicing these two types one can comfortably score well in this section.

  4. Radar Diagram – Radar diagram is a two dimensional graphical representation of data. It contains multiple axis that are equi angled  with each axis representing a variable. These are not very commonly asked but candidates need to be familiar with this type of questions, just in case they are asked.

Tips for DI preparation:

  1. Solve previous papers: Every exam, including CAT, has two elements – an element of repetition and an element of surprise. Solving previous papers helps you with the first component. Solve as many timed previous papers as you can before the actual exam.

  2. Be prepared: To prepare yourself for the element of surprise, practice from as many CAT-like mocks as possible. Make sure you review the solutions and go through the post mock strength and weakness analysis.

  3. Daily practice: Make sure you solve atleast one DI set every single day. Your accuracy and speed will improve significantly with regular practice.

How to select the question set to attempt:

  1. Mastery – Try to solve the type of questions that you have already solved before on a high priority instead of trying out a new type of question that you have never attempted before.

  2. Pick your questions carefully: Not all the questions in CAT are of the same difficulty level. The paper setters ensure there are atleast 3 sets of easy questions in every CAT. It is a good idea to start with those so as to convert all as many of them as possible with a fresh mind. They help build your confidence early on in the exam.

  3. Tricky questions – A sizable portion of the paper includes questions that seem complicated but are easy to solve. Scout for those. They are the ones that determine the candidates’ percentile.

Things to remember:

    1. Follow the questions carefully:It is important to go through the questions very carefully. Data Interpretation involves lots of data to be used before finalizing the value. So, candidates have to be careful before in understanding the question correctly as well as using the right piece of information to

    2. Pass tough questions: Some questions are included in the paper just to test the candidate’s sense of judgement. Candidates should be able to establish the merits of attempting a question and the risk and rewards associated with it.

    3. Need for approximations: Unless where the question specifically requires the calculation of the exact value, candidates should try to solve the questions by using approximations. That saves a lot of time and prevents the onset of mental fatigue.

    4. Use the process of elimination: In situations where you are unable to decide which option to choose, it is certainly a good idea to remove the obviously wrong ones and then choose the option that seems most likely from the remaining ones.  This significantly increases the probability that you get the answer right.

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