Last Updated on October 9, 2013 by MBAUniverse.com News Desk

# CAT 2013: How to excel in Data Interpretation by IIM L Alum & Pearson Author

This article from Data Interpretation expert Mr. Nishit Sinha gives you a brief introduction to How to excel in Data Interpretation. MBAUniverse.com has already published a series of How-to articles and live questions on DI.

Data Interpretation (DI) section has always tested the mettle of CAT aspirants. DI tests how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it. With nearly 10 questions coming from this second half of Quant section, DI cannot be ignored.

MBAUniverse.com has published a series of How-to articles and live questions from Mr. Nishit Sinha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus, and author of various CAT preparation books by Pearson.

A brief introduction to How to excel in Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha follows:

Lets start by revising the different topics and type of questions covered in Data Interpretation section.

DI questions in CAT consist of interpretation and analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), venn diagram, etc.

Data is given in form of tables, charts or graphs. In this section, it is tested that how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it. The questions in Data Interpretation are of following types:

1. Tables

2. Column Graphs

3. Bar Graphs

4. Line Charts

5. Pie Chart

6. Venn Diagrams

A combination of two or more types of above questions linked to each other can also be asked in CAT 2013.

Tips to excel in Data Interpretation questions of CAT 2013

To Excel in Data Interpretation, a student is required to have the following four skills:

1. Develop familiarity with the types of data set

You should have a thorough understanding of the different data sets and related calculations. In the next article in this series, I would present a data set, questionsrelated and how to approach those questions.

2. Develop sound fundamentals of Percentage and Ratio

Addition is most important. After that, Percentage and Ratio are the two chapters that will have a lions share in the calculations while solving any DI set.

3. Calculation techniques pertaining to the data set

We will discuss this very important topic under two headings:

a. Approximation

b. Specific calculation techniques

a. Approximation is the art of doing mistake smartly. In other words, when somebody expects to approximate the value, it means we need to find out an answer without doing the actual calculation which is close to the actual value.

Thumb rules for approximation:

I. Look at the options 1st Before you start calculating the final answer, look at the options. They should not be too close as in that case approximation might lead us to choose the wrong option as the answer. A minimum gap of at least 5% is desirable among options.

II. An approximation is good if it is in the range of 2%.

III. At the end of approximation, one should know the direction of approximation. It means that one should know that approximated value is more than or less than the actual value.

How do we approximate in the calculation:

Let we divide approximately equal to = 0.1667

It is so easy because of denominator is very- very close to the multiple of Numerator. In reverse case, if numerator is very- very close to the multiple of denominator, then is approximately equal to = 6, but if we consider 79 instead of 78, then we have the approximated value = 6.07 = 6.1.

4.How to know which question to quit out of a set of questions

To know this, let us understand how questions are created:

For every DI set, there is a central idea that question creator has in his/her mind. Ideally, in a set of 4-5 questions, 1-2 questions will be based upon central idea, and those questions will be of a slightly higher level of difficulty than the other questions. Although this may not be always true, but provides us the following thumb rules of solving Data Interpretation.

Thumb Rule 1 - Out of a set of 4-5 questions, 1-2 questions will be slightly difficult. While attempting the set, 1st one should attempt the easy questions, and then only proceed for those central idea questions.

Thumb Rule 2 - Before attempting the questions, read all the questions and try to identify which question is most difficult, and which question is easiest and should be attempted 1st.

Thumb Rule 3 Dont get impressed with the data. Stay away from the technicalities. Keep focused that for solving a particular question, what data may be required. We call this Reverse Contemplating of the solution.

For more details on How-To article and solve Live Data Interpretation question, click on this link, http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/data_interpretation.php

MBAUniverse.com will continue to update the Live questions in the above link to help you practice various types of DI questions for CAT 2013.

The author of this article is Mr. Nishit Sinha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus and author of various CAT preparation books namely, Pearson guide to QA DI for the CAT, Pearson Complete Guide to the CAT, Pearson Guide to LR DI for CAT and other MBA exams. He is also the founder director of dueNorth Academics, Test prep Company based out at Dehradun.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news and update on CAT 2013 exam.

MBAUniverse.com has published a series of How-to articles and live questions from Mr. Nishit Sinha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus, and author of various CAT preparation books by Pearson.

A brief introduction to How to excel in Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha follows:

Lets start by revising the different topics and type of questions covered in Data Interpretation section.

DI questions in CAT consist of interpretation and analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), venn diagram, etc.

Data is given in form of tables, charts or graphs. In this section, it is tested that how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it. The questions in Data Interpretation are of following types:

1. Tables

2. Column Graphs

3. Bar Graphs

4. Line Charts

5. Pie Chart

6. Venn Diagrams

A combination of two or more types of above questions linked to each other can also be asked in CAT 2013.

Tips to excel in Data Interpretation questions of CAT 2013

To Excel in Data Interpretation, a student is required to have the following four skills:

1. Develop familiarity with the types of data set

You should have a thorough understanding of the different data sets and related calculations. In the next article in this series, I would present a data set, questionsrelated and how to approach those questions.

2. Develop sound fundamentals of Percentage and Ratio

Addition is most important. After that, Percentage and Ratio are the two chapters that will have a lions share in the calculations while solving any DI set.

3. Calculation techniques pertaining to the data set

We will discuss this very important topic under two headings:

a. Approximation

b. Specific calculation techniques

a. Approximation is the art of doing mistake smartly. In other words, when somebody expects to approximate the value, it means we need to find out an answer without doing the actual calculation which is close to the actual value.

Thumb rules for approximation:

I. Look at the options 1st Before you start calculating the final answer, look at the options. They should not be too close as in that case approximation might lead us to choose the wrong option as the answer. A minimum gap of at least 5% is desirable among options.

II. An approximation is good if it is in the range of 2%.

III. At the end of approximation, one should know the direction of approximation. It means that one should know that approximated value is more than or less than the actual value.

How do we approximate in the calculation:

Let we divide approximately equal to = 0.1667

It is so easy because of denominator is very- very close to the multiple of Numerator. In reverse case, if numerator is very- very close to the multiple of denominator, then is approximately equal to = 6, but if we consider 79 instead of 78, then we have the approximated value = 6.07 = 6.1.

4.How to know which question to quit out of a set of questions

To know this, let us understand how questions are created:

For every DI set, there is a central idea that question creator has in his/her mind. Ideally, in a set of 4-5 questions, 1-2 questions will be based upon central idea, and those questions will be of a slightly higher level of difficulty than the other questions. Although this may not be always true, but provides us the following thumb rules of solving Data Interpretation.

Thumb Rule 1 - Out of a set of 4-5 questions, 1-2 questions will be slightly difficult. While attempting the set, 1st one should attempt the easy questions, and then only proceed for those central idea questions.

Thumb Rule 2 - Before attempting the questions, read all the questions and try to identify which question is most difficult, and which question is easiest and should be attempted 1st.

Thumb Rule 3 Dont get impressed with the data. Stay away from the technicalities. Keep focused that for solving a particular question, what data may be required. We call this Reverse Contemplating of the solution.

For more details on How-To article and solve Live Data Interpretation question, click on this link, http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/data_interpretation.php

MBAUniverse.com will continue to update the Live questions in the above link to help you practice various types of DI questions for CAT 2013.

The author of this article is Mr. Nishit Sinha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus and author of various CAT preparation books namely, Pearson guide to QA DI for the CAT, Pearson Complete Guide to the CAT, Pearson Guide to LR DI for CAT and other MBA exams. He is also the founder director of dueNorth Academics, Test prep Company based out at Dehradun.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news and update on CAT 2013 exam.