Loading....
Coupon Accepted Successfully!

 

Skill-Set Required

We have understood and observed uptill now that the LR questions test the following:

  • Command of the details given.
  • Formal deductive abilities.
  • Understanding of how rules limit and order behavior, and
  • Ability to cope up with many pieces of data simultaneously to solve the problems.

In my experience of dealing with a good number of students, most of them already have these skills, the problem lies with the fact that they probably have not acquired the know-how to apply these skills to their best advantage in the rarified atmosphere of a standardized time-bound skills-based test.


While discussing the various skills required, we will assume that a student has no prior background of solving these kinds of questions and owing to this; he/she is almost at a very basic level.

Skill 1—Understanding the Information

This simply means that, “Are you able to decipher the different kinds of statements given?”


Let us have a look at these statements:

  1. Game B must be played on the day following the day on which game F is played.
  2. Game D must be staged on Sunday and is not to be immediately preceded by game B.
  3. The population of Maharashtra is followed by the population of Bihar whereas population of Orissa is preceded by the population of Bihar.

Which of the following options is least likely to be wrong?

Obviously, the above written statements are just a part of any particular LR set, but play an important role in making a sequence of events. Besides, there can be a few questions, which by virtue of juggling with the words, can become difficult to comprehend within that time-bound test ambience. This can best be understood by looking at a few examples with their proper explanations.


Sometimes just for the sake of making a statement difficult to understand, the test makers start playing with the words, as seen in the following example:


Statement (i) – There are three cottages in a row and three friends A, B and C are living in these cottages, one person in each cottage. The cottage of A is in between the cottages of B and C.


Statement (ii) – There are three cottages in a row facing south and three friends A, B and C are living in these cottages one person in each cottage. When A, B and C are standing in front of their houses facing north, A makes a statement that cottage of one of B and C is on his right and another cottage is on his left.


Statement (iii) – There are three cottages in a row numbered 1 through 3 and three friends A, B and C are living in these cottages, one person in each cottage. A finds that his cottage number is less than the cottage number of one of his friends.


We do understand that the interpretation of all the three statements is the same, i.e., the order of their cottages being—BAC or CAB.


At the same time, we should understand some of the basic statements pertaining to the questions. To answer these questions, we should focus on the nature of the right and wrong answer choices:

 

Question reads as …

Its meaning …

Which one of the following statements could be true?

A statement that could be true. The remaining wrong choices will be statements that cannot be definitely true. (i.e., statements that must be false)

Which one of the following statements cannot be true?

A statement that cannot be true (must be false). The remaining wrong choices will be the statements that can either be definitely true or at least could be true.

Which one of the following statements must be true?

A statement that must be true. The remaining wrong choices will be statements that either cannot be true or only could be true.

All of the following statements could be true EXCEPT …

A statement that cannot be true. The remaining wrong choices will be statements that either could be true or are definitely true.

All of the following statements must be true EXCEPT …

A statement that either cannot be true or merely could be true. The
remaining wrong choices will be statements that must be true.

Which one of the following statements could be false?

A statement that cannot be true or could be true or false. The remaining wrong choices will be the statements that must be true.

Which one of the following statements must be false?

A statement that cannot be true. The remaining wrong choices will be the statements that are either definitely true or only could be true.

Which of the following statements is least likely to be wrong?

A statement that is true. The remaining options will be false.


Skill 2—Diagramming the Information

This is the most important stage of solving any LR set. This particular skill in itself requires the students to be aware of various factors related to the scenario and the rules, such as:

  • What kind of diagram viz., table or line diagram, etc. is the most best suitable for the given set.
  • How many variables are there in the set and out of the given variables, which of the variables are most helpful in making the diagram and representing the rules and the scenario.

Ideally in case of two variables, the work done in creating the setup and making inferences will be sufficient to answer the question. But the problem starts surfacing when the number of variables increases to three or more. We will discuss more about the variables and the way to use them to our benefit later in this chapter.


Besides the given data in the LR set, sometimes the questions which supply a new piece of information specific to that question alone, also tend to help us in achieving a complete diagram. And this is the reason why students should do this diagramming work next to the question itself, if enough space is available. This provides you several benefits:

  • By doing the work next to the problem, you increase the visual connection between your diagram and the LR set.
  • If you need to come back to a question, when you return you will be able to clearly see the work done up to that point.

There are two approaches that are widely propagated and used to form a diagram. Let us look at the pros and cons related to the approaches:


Approach 1

Do the work for each question on the main diagram

This approach suggests that the work for each question should be done on the main diagram itself. In order to utilize this method, you must erase your previous work before beginning each question. However erasing your work has a number of negative effects too: you could accidentally erase important information that applies to all the questions and more importantly, every time you erase your work you lose some of the knowledge that you created about the game.


Rather what I would suggest as a thumb rule: do not erase any work that you have done unless you have made a mistake.


Approach 2

Create a “grid” and do the work for each question in the rows within the grid

This approach requires you to create a grid near the main setup. The work for each question is then done within the rows of the grid, as follows:
 

Questions/Scenario or conditions

1

2

3

4

5

Q 1

A

B

C

 

 

Q 2

B

A

 

 

C

Q 3

 

D

E

A

D


After going through the above discussion, we can conclude that:

  • Drawing the grid along with the main setup requires a large amount of space, which might not be always available in the test paper. In contrast, doing the work next to the question is space-efficient.
  • In case of LR sets with less than four variables, working next to the question is always efficient, as it allows you to draw the most appropriate diagram for the given scenario.

Lastly, since the LR sets asked in the CAT are too dynamic in nature, the proper use of scratch work is an important pre-requisite.

Skill 3—Sequencing the Information to get the Answer

Uptill now we have understood how the given variables can be arranged in a proper structure. Before moving on to the actual problem solving of two or more variables, we have now reached a stage (theoretically) where the given information is to be used to solve the LR set. The idea is to focus on what the question requires of you, before starting the solving process.


Remember some of the very basic rules:

  • Always pay special attention to the sequencing aspect in every set. Many questions are answered just by thinking, “What things are left? Where can (or must) they be placed and at which position?”
  • Many a times it will happen that we do not fully grasp a LR situation. In such cases keep asking yourself questions and go through a couple of “what ifs?” to keep the LR set going. Whenever you are in a fix, ask yourself, “What if it goes here? What does that mean for the other things?” Even if you do not get any help from this, but it is still time worth spent because it helps you to understand the LR set better.
  • The best way to deal with any LR set is to build it directly into a diagram from the given information. Sometimes, the students are expected to fill some of the unoccupied places on their own by assuming something. Then it becomes essential to segregate the given information in the LR set with your assumed information. You can do it by encircling the data assumed by you.
  • While assuming some information on your own, always keep an eye on the options provided along with the question. Sometimes you might get a lot of help from the options as well. 
  • Remember that the test-maker has scattered the easy, the moderate and the difficult questions across the entire paper in no proper order. So, solve the question which you find the easiest first, and not the one which is Q 1.




Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name