How to Prepare DILR for CAT

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Do you dream of scoring a 99%ile in DILR? If the best is what you aspire, let not anything come in your path.

DILR is one of the most crucial parts of CAT where an aspirant’s performance could directly boost one’s score. 

You’ll surely be excited to know that DILR is more fun than a challenge. Yes, you heard it right. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning will no longer be a hurdle for you if you plan accordingly. 

This road-map ahead will clear all your doubts and make your dreams of IIM come to reality.

Strategic planning puts you in a position where you can turn the DILR section into an opportunity and strengthen your CAT SCORE.

The purpose:

It’s time to begin the process of learning new things, acquiring new skills, strengthening your understanding of the topics you know already, and working on your weakness. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning aims at testing the following abilities/skills in a candidate:

  • A candidate’s decision-making abilities;
  • Their ability to identify data insufficiency;
  • The ability to derive a conclusion from the provided data;
  • Their understanding of correlation, causation, and coincidence:
  • Their ability to apply the learned concepts:
  • Their proficiency in calculations:
  • A candidate’s ability to identify the correct technique they need to put to use for a particular question;
  • Their reasoning ability;
  • A candidate’s ability to identify the correct information while maintaining the required pace.

Understanding the pattern and types of questions:

Before you embark on the journey of your preparation, know what to expect in the exam. 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section Highlights

Total Number of Questions24
Number of Data Interpretation Questions12
Number of Logical Reasoning Questions12
Total Marks72
Allotted Time40 minutes
Difficulty Level of QuestionsModerate to Difficult
Types of QuestionsMCQs- 18, Non-MCQs- 6
Marking Scheme+3 for every correct answer 
-1 for every wrong answer
No negative marking for non-MCQs
Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning
BasicsTournaments & Visualization
PI ChartsGrids & Tables
Word ProblemsPuzzles
TablesSequences & Selection 
DI Advanced ProblemsLR Advanced Problems

CAT 2021 Important Topics

Data InterpretationLogical Reasoning
Graphs, Bar Diagrams: Data Analysis, Comparison of various groups, years, and classes.Puzzles: Puzzles on letters, words, arrangements, seating
Tables and Pie charts: Determining the data of missing periods, interpreting the missing linksSyllogisms, Logical Deduction: Statements and Arguments
Graphs, Charts: Data Analysis and finding conclusions, future projectionsVenn Diagrams, Binary Logic: Set theory, network diagrams

Books for DILR:

Here’s a list of important books that you should go through before you write CAT.

Important Books 
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for by Arun Sharma
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal 

Preparation Tips for Logical Reasoning:

1. Detailed Logical Reasoning syllabus for 2021:

  • Assumption
  • Binary logic
  • Blood Relations
  • Calendars
  • Clocks
  • Conclusion
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Cubes
  • Direction sense and Decision Making
  • Graphs
  • Input-Output
  • Linear and matrix arrangement
  • Logical Reasoning based on Rankings
  • Logical Sequence
  • Premise
  • Puzzles
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Rows
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Series
  • Set Theory, Venn Diagrams, Network Diagrams
  • Syllogism
  • Team Formation

2. It is important to understand that nailing the logical reasoning section requires you to have the right mindset. Critical thinking and analysis make it easier for you to solve puzzles and other logical questions.

3. Apart from practicing the questions from the previous years, one must solve brain teasers and SuDoKus in one’s free time. 

4. Once you are at that stage of the preparation wherein you can identify the type of questions, you must initiate the process of allotting 8-10 minutes for each set. Time management plays a significant role in determining your success.

5. As you progress your preparation, it is only natural to develop a fondness for a certain type of question. However, you must never let that come in your way of attempting as many sets as possible.

6. Convert the given information into charts, diagrams, or tables, whenever necessary for better visual appeal. Visualization can be a true savior!

7. Don’t let the complexity of the language overwhelm you. Sometimes, the question is framed in a way that leaves you all baffled. But, if you pay attention, think clearly, and remain composed, you will realize that the problem is not as difficult as it seems.

8. Use the elimination technique wherever possible to save time. The question could be long and may contain unnecessary information.

Preparation tips for Data Interpretation:

1. Strengthening your understanding of certain things will cover many topics. For instance, ratios and fractions are used in pie charts, bar charts, caselets, line charts, etc. 

2. Make your own tables wherever necessary. The comparison of the values in the tabular form can help you save a lot of time.

3. Use a calculator whenever required. However, you must learn multiplication tables up to 25 to make your life easier and solve questions as swiftly as possible.

4. They say there are no shortcuts to success but, there are shortcuts that can turn certain DI questions into a cakewalk. Learn those and master the art of identifying the correct shortcut required for a particular question.

5. Time does not believe in waiting for you to give the right answer, especially when you are a CAT aspirant. From the second month of your preparation, start challenging yourself to attempt the questions in a fixed time frame.

6. You don’t always need all the information provided in the question. After enough practice, a quick skim through the question paper will help you eliminate the unnecessary information right in the beginning.

Exam day tips for DILR:

1. Instead of starting the paper right away, spend the first couple of minutes analyzing the difficulty levels of all the questions.

2. The exam day is not the right occasion to test your expertise in mental calculations. So, use the on-screen calculator to save time.

3. Some questions will in fact be more difficult than others, and might even take more time than you initially intended to give it. One must have a thorough understanding of how to choose a question as selecting the right question is a battle half won. Learn to pick your battles because the CAT is all about striking a balance between speed and accuracy.

4. Considering the negative marking, imprint the word ‘accuracy’ in your mind and give your best to it.

5. Set a particular time limit for every type of question and don’t exceed the allotted time to maintain the required pace.

6. Start with the easier questions to gain the confidence you need while attempting one of the most important exams of your academic journey. 

Becoming an expert in solving Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning questions might seem too onerous. However, with an effective strategy and consistent efforts in the right direction, it will turn into one of your strengths before the exam. And once you achieve that, success will find your address sooner than you expect.

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.