Logic is the art of thinking well; the mind, like the body, requires to be trained before it can use its powers in the most advantageous way.
Most students wonder about the existence of DI and LR topics in the CAT. While English and Mathematics make academic sense to them, DILR seems a little out of place. This is exactly the reason why this section holds a lot of importance in your overall CAT score. Since we all study English and Maths in school, our basics are in place or can be brought into place since our aptitude for these subjects is somewhat developed. However, DILR is an entire new ball game. You have to develop this aptitude right from scratch. Some students have a knack for these questions but many others find themselves falling short.
To begin with, let’s look at what topics are covered under the DILR section:
First things first – this section is all about APTITUDE. It is divided into two parts, Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). Here are the list of topics
Before we start looking at an ideal strategy to prepare for this section, please remember that DILR is all about practice, practice and more practice. If you have a year to prepare for the section, then we recommend creating 3 pit-stops of 4 months each in your race towards CAT.
Pit-Stop 1 – Test Drive the car
Since your aptitude for the above-mentioned topics is going to be tested, start with looking at where it stands to begin with. Before you start the mad rush of taking suggestions from people or accumulating notes/reference books, appear for a few mock tests. Plan these tests in the first month of your preparation and analyze your performance in each test carefully.
This analysis will give you a good insight into your level of preparedness for the section. Identify topics that you are good at, topics that need work and the ones that you have no clue about. This becomes your first pit-stop, ground zero. Next, you need to create a study plan that helps you counter your weaknesses and build on your strengths.
Remember, practicing is the key to this section as there are various topics and each of them needs a different approach. Spend the next three months getting comfortable with all the topics. Important to note: No Skipping Topics. Start with the ones that you have no idea about and work upwards from there.
Pit-Stop 2 – Call in the experts, if needed
By the time you hit the second pit-stop, you should be able to solve questions from all topics and would have worked on our weak areas as well. Now is the time to test your progress – time for some mock tests. Focus on attempting the complete paper. Don’t worry about timing yourself yet. Just try and solve as many questions as you can. Take a look at the results and assess if your first four months efforts have borne fruit. If you are feeling confident, then you can continue with the plan and keep practicing and testing yourself.
On the other hand, if you find that the progress is very slow, then you might want to consider joining a coaching institute for CAT. The faculty can help you understand and learn some tricks to handle this section effectively.
In either case, ensure that you use this period of four months to work on all the topics and bring yourself to a place where you are equipped to handle most variants of questions well. Keep testing yourself intermittently to gauge your progress. This is a critical time in your preparation. Use it judiciously. Solve some puzzles when you are relaxing like Sudoku, lateral thinking puzzles and more.
Pit-Stop 3 – Prepare for the Race-Day
In this last leg of the race, you need to stop trying new methods and study plans and stick to what you know best. Solve some previous years’ CAT question papers and increase the number of mocks. Focus on timing yourself – remember CAT is all about speed and accuracy. Analyze your performance in the tests based on these two aspects.
Work on any areas highlighted in these tests to be able to solve the LRDI section successfully. Students who manage to prepare for this section find it to be a better scoring section than QA and VARC. Practice well and develop your aptitude for it.
Most importantly, relax your mind and body. You need to be in your best shape on the day of the exam.
Some tips for the DILR section:
- Don’t get bull-headed while solving questions in this section. If you can’t get your head around a question, move to the next one. Puzzles can lead to time leakage if you don’t keep a watch on the time spent on each question.
- Follow the data given in each question. Don’t ASSUME anything based on your knowledge of the subject in question.
- If you are following the ‘elimination of wrong answers’ method, then ensure that you read all option twice before eliminating them.
By dividing your LRDI preparation into four stages and having a goal at the end of each stage will ensure that you approach the section with focus and clarity. We have refrained from highlighting important sub-topics because CAT is a very unpredictable exam and we believe that all topics/subtopics carry equal importance.
If you are considering enrolling with a coaching institute, then Exam Victor offers Online CAT Coaching with unlimited access to over 500 video lectures covering the entire syllabus, study material that has been made with ExamVictor’s unique NoMug™ approach to help develop concepts from basics, Weekly live sessions with our IIT-IIM faculty and unlimited 24 hour doubt support, among other features.