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CAT Prep: Decode clues to solve Ranking Questions in Logical Reasoning

mbauniverse.com | 18, July 2013 0235 IST

Logical Reasoning module carries one or more than one question based on the concept of Ranking. Forming a structure in accordance to the question is very important to solving ranking questions.

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Place the clues and necessary information in a table. This will help you to avoid referring to the text information again and again in ranking related questions of LR.

CAT aspirants, when they begin their preparation journey to get into one of the desired B-schools have one thing in common on their mind that they are aspiring for the best available opportunity based on their expected performance and percentile.

But, how do they arrive at their choice of selection? If an aspirant is offered admission by all the IIMs – he or she usually has a clear vision where to go. This selection is based on the Ranking which in turn depends on various factors like – past performance, faculty, departments, campus, academic and industrial exposure etc. In a nutshell, Ranking might relate to object/objects, person, institutions etc. based on their stature, performance, size, distance, height, weight and so on. Placing any object according to certain norms of ranking will measure the same in either descending or ascending order.

In the Logical Reasoning module you may find one or more than one question based on the concept of Ranking. It is very important for an aspirant to understand the strategy and required skill to solve such Logical Reasoning Problems.

Step-wise strategy to solve ranking questions

1.    Analyse the information given in the question after attentive reading

2.    Find out the various clues in the information, form a table

3.    Form a structure in accordance to the question which requires creation of Rankings

4.    Place the clues and necessary information in table. This will help you to avoid referring to the text information again and again apart from the fact that you will be able to answer number of questions based on the gathered information.

5.    The clues which may not so direct may be understood and should be placed where your table needs the same. Visualize the movement of the question.

6.    Whatever information you have not been able to decode, may be left blank in the prepared table till you are able to insert it.

Now you have got plenty of information.  You may proceed to answer any question based on the information

Example: CAT Question (2007)

Question is followed by two statements, A and B.  Answer the question using the following instructions –

Mark (a) if the question can be answered by using statement A alone but not by using statement B alone

Mark(b) if the question can be answered by using statement B alone but not by using statement A alone.

Mark(c) if the question can be answered by using either of the statements alone.

Mark(d) if the question can be answered by using both the statements together but not by either of the statements alone

Mark(e) if the question cannot be answered on the basis of the two statements.

Q.1-In a particular school, sixty students were athletes. Ten among them were also among the top academic performers.  How many top academic performers were in the school?

A.    Sixty percent of the top academic performers were not athletes

B.    All the top academic performers were not necessarily athletes.

1.(a)   2.(b)   3.(c)   4.(d)   5.(e)

Q.2 – Five students Atul, Bala, Chetan, Dev and Ernesto were the only ones who participated in a quiz contest.  They were ranked based on their scores in the contest. Dev got a higher rank as compared Ernesto, while Bala got a higher rank as compared to Chetan.  Chetan’s rank was lower than the medium.  Who among the five got the highest rank?

A.    Atul was the last rank holder.

B.    Bala was not among the top two rank holders.

Approach to answer –

1.    (a) should be the right answer. As per Statement A- 60 percent of top academic performers were not athletes; but 40 percent were athletes.  Ten among the athletes were also top academic performers, hence it can now be resolved that number of top academic performers can be found as athletes plus non – athletes, so A is sufficient to answer the question.   Now let us analyse the statement B.- All the top academic performers were not necessarily athletes, well –we need more information in this regard which is not available in the statement B.  Therefore, option (a) is the right answer.

2.    (d) is the right answer. Try to form a table on the basis of Statement A– Atul was the last rank holder meaning the following –


Dev (higher rank than Ernesto) 
Ernesto (Lower rank than Dev)
Bala (higher than Chetan but below median so 4th or 5th) Hence can’t be placed here
Chetan Below Bala
Atul  Last rank holder   BUT how possible-

The possibilities, however, bring B and D, hence as per our approach we find that answer can not be formed based on statement A only.

Now analyse the statement B – According to this statement nothing substantial is divulged to us. Many combinations could come up with the placement of first rank. It could be either Atul or Dev.  We are required to use both the statements and if we use statement B along with A, we arrive at the right possibility of Dev being the topper conforming to the given information.

Author of this article Mr S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability and LR Section to CAT Aspirants through MBAUniverse.com online coaching classes.  Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:

http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

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