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Seating Arrangement

Seating Arrangement Questions are one of the most important sets in the reasoning section of any Competitive Exams. These questions are based on a set of information containing certain set of conditions which gives hidden information followed by set of questions (generally 6-8 Questions) Either 1 or 2 sets are asked of this type. Candidate is required to decode the information and arrange the objects either in a Table, Chart, and Diagram in the form of a Row, Square, Circle or any such shape which the question may ask for. Information available in the questions are distorted and hidden in nature and tests candidates’ ability to analyze information and solve the same by help of pictorial figures/ diagrams.

Important Concepts

 

Rows- These can be single row or parallel rows facing each other
 

Note: Never distribute the rows into number of objects; Always start placing the objects first into a straight row and then distribute the same.

 


 

 

Circle- These can be in the manner of people facing centre or facing outside
 

 

Note: Distribute the circle evenly into number of objects/ persons; always start from the point highlighted in the diagram below. As your left or right direction is similar to the directions for the person sitting in the circle.
 

 

Square
 


 

Note: Please be careful with sides of a square and corner of square.

Types of Questions
  • Single Dimension: These are relatively straight forward questions which are generally asked at Clerk Level examinations. In these type of questions you are required to arrange people with certain characteristics in some kind of symmetry. The characteristics defining these objects are generally uni-dimensional.
  • Multi Dimension: This type of questions are relatively complex in nature and are often seen in Probationary Officer examinations. These questions carry multiple dimension of a same object which needs to be solved. Like for the same person, information related to his name, sex, city, professions, marriage etc needs to be solved in a particular question.

 

 

Remember: There is a possibility that complete set of information is not available and diagram might not complete with respect to entire set of information, but it will always have sufficient information to answer the set of questions.

 

Hints for Solving Problems
  • Seating arrangement problems are solved by using diagrams. Candidate’s cam prepare a diagram by using the information/ statements given in the question. Keep adding to the diagram till all the information has been used up provided in the question. In case particular information cannot be used into the diagram; then the candidate can underline the same or make a note of it somewhere and use that information later when the problem calls for it.
  • Most of the objects discussed in the questions are in alphabetical order; candidates are advised to use the initials of the same. For example; Abhay can be named as “A”; or Basant can be named as “B” and so on.
  • Be careful with certain terms like “not”, “does not”, “Only”, “Together”, Pairing of husband and wife and related terms,  “gender defining terms like “him”, “his”, “her”, “he”, “she” etc. These are critical in preparing the diagram and generally get overlooked while preparing the diagram.
  • Never assume anything in the questions.
  • At times a critical information is provided at the end of question. If initial few statements are not giving any clue then candidate can consider reading the question from the end.
  • Always be careful to choose the correct starting point for attempting the question. Sometimes, it may be easier to place a particular person first to solve the question, usually person is mentioned the maximum no. of times in the question.

Understanding Some Specific Statements

 

1. A is between B and C – There are 2 possibilities of the same i.e.,
 

 
 

2. A is 2nd to the left of B; A is 3rd to the left of B; A is 4th to the left of B; - This can be solved for different directions in similar manner.

 

 
 

3. A is not between B and C – i.e. means a can be in any of the positions except between B and C. But please remember that even B and C’s positions are not defined.
 

 
 

4. A is next to B – This can be true for any of the direction
 

 
 

5. A is not a neighbour of B – i.e. A is not sitting on either side of B
 

 
 

6. A, who is sitting to the left of B – Here the reference is with respect to A and A is towards the left of B.
 

 
 

7. B is sitting to the left of A who is sitting to the left of C – Here the reference point is A and A is sitting to the left of C and B is towards the left of A.
 

 
 

8. A & B are sitting adjacent to each other.
 

 

9. Always remember if the there is a mix of people facing centre or outside – then candidate should be very careful with respect to the directions. As seen above the directions are different in both the cases.

 

10. Six friends sitting in a circle are making 60 degrees angle with each other. i.e. all are sitting equidistant.
 

 

Few examples have been discussed of different types for students to understand the overall pattern of questions and methods to solve the same.

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