How to prepare for Data Interpretation in CAT DILR?
When it comes to the CAT examination, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) has become the make or break section in the past few years. Whether it is the difficulty in understanding a given set or answering the follow-up questions, many students find this section perplexing. In this article, let us see some excellent tips on how to prepare for the Data Interpretation part in CAT DILR, in detail.
The DILR section consists of around 32 questions in the CAT (in the 3-hour CAT exam format). Check out the previous year papers of CAT to know about the type of DI questions that appear in this section. Also, taking a Free CAT mock test will help the candidates in gauging their strengths and weaknesses, and can significantly help in understanding how to approach the DI questions. You can also prepare for the same, and take the tests at your convenience by using this highly rated app for CAT preparation.
Also, this video will also help you understand the important tips and tricks needed to ace this section.
How to prepare for the Data Interpretation section in CAT DILR
The demarcation between DI and LR has vanished in recent years
- Questions that can be solved by just using pure calculations have become a thing of the past.
- There has been a sharp reduction in the number of template questions (such as the bar graph, line graph, pie chart etc).
- A bit of logical reasoning is involved in the DI questions as well.
How to prepare for the data interpretation section for CAT DILR considering these changes in mind?
- As mentioned earlier, it has been a while since the plain vanilla DI questions have appeared in the exam.
- Aspirants who have a logical bend of mind have a better chance of scoring well than someone who has solved only the conventional questions. Therefore, aspirants must try to improve their problem-solving ability by practising puzzles and other unconventional problems.
- Acquaint yourself with the basic topics such as Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc), Venn Diagrams, and other types of sets (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc).
- Once the basic concepts are covered, practice a wide variety of sets from the Study room, and take more Sectional tests and Mock tests.
- The emphasis must be on developing the thought process required to solve the questions. (also, having a good calculation speed helps but is not mandatory for scoring well in the section).
- Also, solving puzzles such as Sudokus, Kakuros etc., in your free time helps.
- Acquainting yourself with various types of questions will ensure that you do not get caught off-guard, when you encounter a different question in the actual exam.
Allocate Sufficient Time
- Allocate at least an hour for DILR every day.
- More often than not, aspirants spend a disproportionate amount of time preparing for quants and verbal sections and completely ignore the DILR section.
- DILR section has nearly the same weightage as the other two sections. Even if you are inherently strong in the section, set aside some time every day to prepare.
Checkout: CAT Free Practice Questions and Videos
Learn by practising a variety of sets
- Do not look at the solution until you have tried solving using all your methods.
- Avoid looking at the solution directly if you get a set wrong. Try to find out where you went wrong while solving the set. This habit will help you to know the crucial information that you missed or overlooked while solving the set.
- After solving the set on your own, look at the solution to find out whether the method you adopted is the optimal one to solve the set.
- Maintain a note where you note down the mistakes you often make.
- Revise these notes from time to time and ensure that you reduce the number of such mistakes as you move closer to the exam.
- Also, if you find a set to be novel, note down the set. Go through such sets from time to time to ensure that you develop the ability to solve such questions as well.
Work on the set selection
- Selecting the right sets to answer is extremely crucial in the DILR section.
- A proper set selection can make a huge difference in one’s score in the exam.
- The role of sectional tests and mock tests in improving your question selection skills cannot be stressed enough.
- Dedicate the first 10 minutes of the section to go through all the sets (in the 3-hour CAT exam format). After having a glimpse of all the sets, pick up the sets to answer.
- Also, have a rough idea about the order in which you wish to attempt the sets.
- Start with the easiest set. Avoid starting with a tough / unfamiliar set, because not getting a set right, can lead to more pressure under the time constraint, during the exam. So, ensure that you move from the easiest sets to the tougher ones.
- Also, ensure that you do not select a set just based on the topic it is from. More often than not, question setters use this as bait to lure test takers. A question from a familiar topic need not be easy. Be objective while selecting the sets to answer.
- Do not try to solve a set for an unreasonable amount of time, at any cost. Know when to let go of a set and move on. Have a cut off time for each set. Avoid investing a disproportionate amount of time in solving a set during the exam.
The next step is to practice a lot of questions on Data Interpretation. Taking a lot of Mocks for CAT and Sectional tests will help you to get a hold of the concepts, which you can use to fine-tune your test-taking strategies. Also, with the sharp increase in the level of the sets, usually solving just 4 sets is sufficient to propel your score past the 99th percentile mark. While reviewing the DI questions in a mock, analyse the solution thoroughly. This will help you to refine your approach and thought process. Also, take Free CAT Daily targets, for rigorous practice on a daily basis.
We hope that this article helped you to know the important tips to improve the Data Interpretation part, and how to prepare for data interpretation for CAT DILR. Candidates can also download the CAT DI Questions PDF.