The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section, popularly known as DI LR, has often sandbagged the percentiles of many aspirants, especially in the past few years. This section is marked as being the most difficult of the three sections in the CAT examination.
The major reason for this is the unpredictability of this section. Instead of traditional sets that appeared till 2015, the sets have become more and more complex wherein there is no clear distinction between DI and LR.
But, is there a winning strategy?
In this article, Isha Nisar, a student of Incoming batch of IIM Ahmedabad, and a BMS graduate from the NM college, Mumbai has laid out her strategy to ace this section which helped her get a 99.26 percentile in CAT 2019.
You may also like to read Isha's article where she shared her preparation journey and how she made it to IIM Ahmedabad.
After one hour of Verbal Ability, finally, you land in the world of ‘Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning’. It is said, it is the ‘Game Changer’ section. In this section, nobody has any particular advantage, it is all on you — how fast can you read, understand, and make sense of the set. It is very easy for everyone to do those 8 sets without the timer, but the real game is to do that in those 60 minutes.
Here are her top 10 mantras on how to prepare for this section:
- Try and try till you get the sum right, don’t jump on solutions too fast if you aren’t able to solve because that’s how you are training your mind. (Remember in CAT, you can’t jump off to solutions, so train your brain to use itself)
- Flirt and leave the set, don’t be in a serious relationship with any set.
- Don’t take things on your ego. (Something like my DI is strength so I am supposed to solve all DI sets, NEVER!)
- I had set a timer for myself of 4 minutes, that if I am not able to crack the set in that time, I will leave it and come back later. (You can decide your own timing!)
- I learnt about my strengths and weaknesses and worked on turning the latter into the former. Sat with my professors to learn, did 30 sums of each and tried to master it. After the mocks, during the analysis, I would try finding an easy and alternative solution for the set
- I would analyse whether I chose the right sets and in the right order, (again, it differs from person to person), but I just wanted to make sure I was not wasting my time on fruitless sets. Many times the set and order were different, but if I am able to handle off it better, I would be okay with it.
- I used to help my fellow aspirants with DILR, so I had to go to that basic level to improve my logic. (Initially, I used to almost always start with some assumption and still get it right, but now since I had to teach others, I had to get my Logic in place!)
- I discussed the order of sets and attempted questions with fellow aspirants who scored in my range or above, just to ensure my strategy was working well.
- I had never set a target of 3–5 sets for myself. I would ensure a minimum of 6 sets because this section usually covered up for my VA. (One should start with fewer sets and gradually increase their target).
- I used to tell myself: ‘Nothing less than 99%ile is accepted from your performance!’
I had a practice of taking mocks in extreme conditions. I would try to simulate the actual test-taking environment. On D-Day, it helped me immensely. Another important thing is that since this section appears at the last, you should not let the performance of the previous sections affect you. My parting advice would be to not anything get on your ego and move on.
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