What are some useful tricks to ace the LR-DI section?
The LR-DI section is dreaded by most of the aspirants. Surely practising this section as much as one can is going to help master it, but how do we not let our hopes fall if we can’t see any progress? What are some tried & tested rules to gain confidence in this section?
There is a strategy I learnt from giving AIMCATs one after the other and scoring horribly in DI-LR. Here is the strategy –
Spend 4-5 minutes reading the questions, identify the 4 sets that you know you will solve for sure, arrange them in the order that you will attempt them (Easier to most difficult), and then go for another two sets if time permits. That’s it. This approach brought my percentile from 60 something to 85+, and even 90 once (I will admit that it is easier said than done, but that’s what CAT is all about).
Here are some things you can do to increase your score –
- No Emotional attachment – Taking it upon your ego to solve a question? Bad idea. I used to look at DI sets and just think ” Well this is percentages and profit and loss. I know this! I HAVE to solve this one!”. Well…I spent 20 minutes on that set and managed to get only 2 right. Turns out, it was categorised under the “Very Difficult” section of the mock test (AIMCATers, you know what I mean). Just because you know a concept doesn’t mean it is always doable.The thing about DI-LR is that if you spend 8 minutes productively, you will have answered 4 questions in a jiffy. So essentially, you have taken merely 2 minutes to solve each question of a set. The problem occurs when in 8-10 minutes, you reach nowhere. Not only do you not have the answer to the question, you have wasted 10 minutes over it.
KNOW WHEN TO QUIT. Ideally, spend no more than 5 minutes per question. Be strict about it.
- Find a starting point – When one looks at arrangement questions with just two lines of information, it is supremely frustrating to see that none of the clues leads to someplace conclusive. What do you do? You pick the clue which is the most informative. For instance, if in an arrangement question, you have the statements –
a) A is not towards the end but is adjacent to D.
b) B sits towards the extreme right end and the person adjacent to B is also adjacent to C.
c) F is sitting adjacent to G, who is not at the extreme left end.
Here, ideally, the best clue to me appears to be the clue “b)” since it tells me the exact position of at least one person. A starting point!
- When in doubt, draw a table – Games & Tournaments, Arrangements, Team Selections, and most other types of LR questions will become much easier if you just spend 45 seconds drawing a table. Tables illustrate the information and sometimes even bring out information you may not have noticed immediately.
This is just my strategy which I made after giving 5-6 mocks. You make your own strategy by giving more and more mocks. Since we are now in September, you should really make a solid strategy for all sections to score well.
It will take time, but you will see results.
The trick is in choosing which sets to do first. Divide your time into 30 mins for each section. Browse through all the DI sets in the first 4-5 mins. Target 2 sets you will be comfortable with and hard stop at 30 mins. Do the same with LR. If you have time left, go back to solve more sets.
Tried and Tested by me
Most of us go through similar issues when we solve LR-DI. So for starters, you aren’t alone! My LR-DI section had been very poor (scored 70-80 percentile at times in mock tests) when I began prep but I managed to score 98.43 eventually. Here are the methods I followed:
- Run through the entire paper once at the start: Devote 1-2 minutes to scour the paper at the start and see all the 8 sets of questions. Mark the questions that you know how to solve, even if it is only 2-3. By such questions, I mean those questions that you are confident of solving within 5-10 minutes
- Be prepared to leave a question if not close to a solution in 5-7 minutes: Sometimes we are sure that we know the solution. But we get stuck in the middle due to long calculations or an error. If you realise midway that it is taking more than 7-10 minutes, leave that particular question. Any paper will definitely have some questions that take long and some that do not. The trick lies in finding the shorter ones. Always remember that the goal is not to solve all, but to find the easiest ones and then solve those
- During preparation, attempt as many 1-hour LR-DI tests as you can: I had attempted as many as 15 LR-DI sectional tests during preparation. That really helps you in being able to identify which set of questions you can solve quickly enough
- Become great at the LR-DI type of questions that you are good at: Let us assume that you are good at solving the cube type of questions. It takes 10 minutes to solve all 4 questions in a set. Focus on getting it to 8 minutes. In LR-DI, it is more about getting better at your kind of question than being decently good at all
Hope this helps! And of course, do not lose hope. Percentiles in mock tests really pick up towards the end, as all bases get covered. All the best!
Member, InsideIIM Student Team 4 | PGP - IIM Calcutta, 2019
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