Data interpretation tricks for CAT

Data Interpretation Tricks for CAT
Data Interpretation Tricks for CAT

Data interpretation is one of the most dreaded sections in CAT. The section has become a lot tougher over the past 2 years. In this blog, we try to share some data interpretation tricks for CAT.

Try online preparation for CAT to aid you in your preparation process. Solve previous year papers of CAT to strengthen your basics. Take free CAT mock tests to practice sets that are pegged at the level of difficulty of CAT.

With the introduction of the onscreen calculator, the share of calculation intensive sets has shrunk by a good margin. Hence, data interpretation tricks for CAT like Vedic maths will hardly be of any use. Hence, in this post, let us see how to tackle the section as a whole instead of shortcuts.

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Data interpretation tricks for CAT:

Most people thought CAT 2015 to be an aberration. But, the appearance of similar sets in CAT 2016 hints that this may be the new normal. Therefore, aspirants must be comfortable with tackling tough DI sets.

Set selection:

Usually, each set contains four questions. Hence, the time one has to invest to solve a puzzle is heavy. Also, failing to crack a set after spending much time can put enormous pressure. Hence, set aside some time for set selection.

Skim through all the sets and select the sets you are comfortable with. Avoid rushing through the sets.
Select 4 easy sets and crack them before moving on to other questions. In the past 2 years, scoring 50% marks in this section has put candidates to the north of the 99th percentile. Hence, select the sets to attempt first.

Start with the set you are most comfortable with. Getting a few questions right will give you the much-required impetus. Therefore, do not start the section by attempting a tough set.

Have some order in which you would like to attempt the sets. Know when to skip a set. If you are not getting the catch even after trying twice, it is time to move on.


Don’t prefer LR over DI or the vice versa. The distinction between LR and DI has almost vanished in the exam. Every DI involves a bit of logical reasoning. Also, the LR sets are based on numbers.

Hence, do not have a strong preference for a particular type of question. The question from your favourite topic may be tough. On the other hand, the question from the topic you completely avoided may be easy. Therefore, be open to attempting all sorts of questions.

Choose the questions by their difficulty rather than their type. Download Quantitative Aptitude Questions for CAT PDF.

At the same time, do not avoid practicing conventional sets altogether. Practicing usual sets can help you build the required thought process. Therefore, mix your preparation with both the conventional and unconventional sets.

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This is one of the most useful data interpretation tricks for CAT. After reading the question, have a look at the options. If the options are far apart, you can resort to approximation.

Know the fraction to decimal conversion and the vice versa. This can come in handy during calculations.

While approximating a value, check whether your answer will be less than or greater than the actual value.Doing so will help to ensure that your answer is correct and acts as an additional check.

Question selection within the set:

Most of us are hard-wired to attempt all the questions under a set. However, try to be wise while attempting a set. If a single question involves reconstructing an entire table, feel free to skip it. You can crack another entire set using the same time.

Hence, spare yourself some time trouble by knowing when to skip a question.

Individual questions:

There will be some sets in which one has to answer each question individually. Try to attempt the easier ones among these questions. As the time one invests is considerably low, have a go at such questions. Even if the questions prove to be tough, you can move on without investing much time. Practice questions of all CAT topics daily from Free CAT Online preparation sessions.

Calculation tricks:

Resort to calculation tricks only if you are very comfortable with using the same. If you feel the need to double check your answer, then using a calculation trick turns out to be futile. Moreover, the introduction of the onscreen calculator has reduced the emphasis on calculation speed. Also, the nature of the sets in recent CATs asserts the same.

Hence, deploy calculation tricks only if you are comfortable. If you are unsure of a trick, resort to conventional methods.

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We hope that this blog would have given you some idea about how to tackle the DI section. For more blogs on CAT, try reading 1 month to CAT and how to improve mock CAT scores.



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