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How to Solve Reasoning Questions

A crucial component of competitive exams is the Reasoning Ability section. Students appearing for these exams must be aware of different types of reasoning questions and also develop the ability to solve them. In certain exams basic reasoning is asked. Such questions are based on coding-decoding, relations, series, directions and logical Venn diagrams. In certain other exams, somewhat difficult reasoning questions are asked. In CAT, XAT, and other management entrance exams, a student has to analyse a large amount of data (ten statements or more) and arrange the given facts in order to solve 3-5 questions.


The questions can be broadly classified in the following heads:


1. Analytical Reasoning: A number of clues are given on which a student has to answer a number of questions. A table must be made of all the clues and then all the questions can be answered.


2. Logical Reasoning: In this kind of reasoning, either a large table is given or else some clues in the form of a riddle are given. The student has to figure out the elements of the riddle and arrive at the answers.

3. Mathematical Reasoning: This involves finding out numbers, for example, finding the number of digits when another number is raised to a large power, finding out how many triangles can exist of a particular perimeter, and so on.


4. Games: This is a new type of question which is gaining currency in CAT. A table is given about a game and the student has to figure out either the odds or the matches played/lost. In recent years questions on games has seen an increasing trend. These kinds of questions tend to be difficult and the student has to process a lot of data.


5. Puzzles: This is a typically long question. A number of conditions are given that provide limitations to the answers. Sometimes there may be just one question to be answered, which makes it time consuming. These questions certainly cannot be done in one minute. Practice a lot of puzzles from books and the Internet so that you can get practice in these.


6. Miscellaneous Reasoning: This is a combination of data and reasoning, but the questions cannot be solved by conventional methods of data interpretation. The charts given must be interpreted using some logic.


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