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CAT 2013: How to score well in Logical Reasoning?

Logical Reasoning (LR) section of Common Admission Test (CAT) carries 10-11 questions as part of the Verbal Ability section. Your good preparation in the Logical Reasoning can help

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A little logical understanding of the reasoning based questions can dramatically improve your final CAT score and percentile hence opening admission opportunities for you in IIMs and other top B-schools.

Logical Reasoning (LR) section of Common Admission Test (CAT) carries 10-11 questions as part of the Verbal Ability section. Your good preparation in the Logical Reasoning can help boost your percentile as well as ease up pressure on the Verbal part.

A comparatively easy section in CAT, Logical Reasoning requires tricky methods to solve questions. Unfortunately, CAT Aspirants generally don’t pay as much attention to it as they do for other sections like Quant and Verbal.

Once you begin your LR reparation, you need to advance your logical ability in examining the questions of this section.  A little logical understanding of the reasoning based questions can dramatically improve your final CAT score and percentile hence opening admission opportunities for you in IIMs and other top B-schools. 

How do you prepare to score well in this section?

Understand the LR problems – A little logical understanding of the reasoning based questions can dramatically improve your final CAT score and percentile hence opening admission opportunities for you in IIMs and other top B-schools.  The question are generally based on Seating Arrangements, Matching Puzzles, Constraint-based Arrangements, Blood Relations –Family Tree, Syllogism, Proposition based followed by either deductive or inductive argument, Assumptions, Statements, Sets, Binary logic, Venn Diagrams, Clocks and Calendars etc.

The syllabus of Logical Reasoning is much scattered or undefined. This makes it difficult for CAT Aspirants to systematically organise their study pattern. The vocabulary used in logical reasoning questions is also different from those used in Verbal Ability. Therefore, it is imperative that you must have the knowledge of terminologies used in this part. 

You will be required to logically understand the problem & carefully practice it. Once you begin such versatile problem solving methodology, your hunger for more problems will go on increasing and you will enjoy solving them.  The more you practice the better will be your expertise.

Optimum use of Information and Variables – Aspirants, sometimes, in a hurry to solve the question or due to over confidence, miss/skip some information, variable in the LR question and this becomes disastrous as they further proceed towards solving the problem.  It is, therefore, of utmost importance to use all the assumptions, items of given information, and variables used. 

Solve questions with various Level of Difficulty (LOD) – The best method to understand and solve Logical Reasoning questions, is to go for LOD=1 to LOD=3. The problem with LR questions is that they look alike and it is always difficult, since similar language is used, to figure out whether the question is doable or not.  Try to solve as many questions on all difficulty levels, as possible. Never be shy of practice.  Once it is done, you will develop the methodology to know beforehand whether you will be able to solve a particular LR question.

Get hold of repetitive LR questions: If you analyse the past CAT papers, you will find repetitive problems on a number of topics like seating arrangement, sets, statements etc. Once you select such topics and go on working on them, you will get more ideas to focus on question solving methods, and in the process you will also find better strategies with short cuts. You may find that your short-cuts and methods are working for a large number of questions that you didn’t even expect in the early stage of your preparation.

Apply instant logic to new problems – There may be a few unique problems from LR section which you might face for the first time in CAT. Here, you don’t need to get panicky. You must go through it, understand it, and find out what exactly is being asked and what should be the instant methodology to solve the same.  It is quite possible that the similar problem has been put before you in absolutely other manner or it might appear tough but you might have already solved such questions, although a little differently. You should tackle such question with an open mind and logic that you apply in any random situation.

Keep your grip over the Test - In some cases, while solving the LR problems, candidates lose their grip over the test. They begin beating about the bush and waste their time and energy. So, you have to be very careful with respect to the hours you spend on solving LR questions.

It is advised to develop the skills to understand and realise whether it would be worth spending much time to solve a question or leave it. However, if you have a strong feeling that you can solve it, you may proceed judiciously exercising full control over the problem, even if you may need an additional minute or two of your valuable time during mock and actual test.
The best way to be winner in this section is to focus more on logic, more understanding and more practice!

The 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 Section to CAT Aspirants through MBAUniverse.com online coaching classes.

MBAUniverse.com offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation.

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

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