Blood Relations - Concepts & Tips: CAT Logical Reasoning

The blood relation topic is an integral part of most of the competitive exams including the CAT exam. The CAT logical reasoning section includes a few questions based on the concept of blood relations every year. These questions test the cognitive skills of the candidates to the extreme.

So, the aspiring MBA candidates need to be well versed with this concept to be able to score more in the logical reasoning for CAT section.

Blood Relations For CAT Logical Reasoning

Blood Relations: Definition and Basic Concepts

The questions related to blood relations involve various family members and their relations. The questions provide some information related to the different members of the family and the candidates are required to identify the relationship between those particular members. The blood relations questions might be of different forms which are explained in detail below.

Blood Relations: Type of Questions

The blood relation questions have several variations to test the understanding and interpretation capabilities of the candidates. The question types are divided into three categories such as:

  • Direct conversation-based questions
  • Puzzle based questions
  • Symbols (or Code) based questions

Though the questions have these aforementioned types, solving the problems and the ultimate aim of the questions always remain unchanged. Whatever the questions are, the candidates are always required to identify the relationship between two particular entities.

The types can further be classified as:

  • Single person blood relation and
  • Mixed blood relation

The single person blood relation involves the relationship between two people only. The questions can be either direct or indirect. In mixed-blood relation, the relation between several members and hierarchy are considered. The different variations of questions are explained below along with an example each.

Direct Conversation Based Questions

In direct conversation-based blood relation questions, a problem statement (in the form of conversation) is given and a particular relation is asked from the conversation. In general, these questions are single person blood relation types i.e. involving the relationship between two persons only. An example will illustrate this better.

Example 1:

Showing a photo of a man, Pinki says,” His mother’s only daughter is my mother”. How is Pinki related to the man in the photo?


Analysing the sentence, it can be deduced that Pinki’s mother is the sister of the man in the photo. So, the man is the Uncle of Pinki or Pinki is the niece of that man.

Puzzle Based Questions

In this type of question, the statements are given in the form of puzzles. The relations are mostly of mixed blood relation type and the candidates are required to decode the entire statement and identify the relationship between the given entities. Here is an illustration to explain this well.

Example 2:

In a family of W, X, Y and Z, W and X are brothers; while Y and Z are sisters. How are X and Y related if W’s son is Z’s brother?


From the statement, a simple diagram can be sketched to analyse the relation between Y and Z.

As the total generations in the question are two, the number of rows in the diagram will also be two. The sign (+) implies male, while (-) implies female.

From the diagram it is clear that Z’s and Y’s father is W. As X is W’s brother, it can be said that X is Y’s uncle.

Symbol Based Questions

Also known as coded blood relation questions, these involve a set of codes and the candidates are required to decode the sentences (or codes) to identify the relation of the given entities. Taking an example,

Example 3:

Consider the following statements and answer the given question.

If L + M => L is the husband of M,

L / M => L is the sister of M and

L + M => L is the son of Y, then

How is W and Z related from the following statement: W * X + Y / Z?


This can be solved by dividing the question and solving it from left to right. Now a simple diagram can be made by mentioning the gender and their relations as given below:

Thus, it is easily seen that W is the nephew of P.

These were the most important types of blood relation questions that are frequently asked in the CAT exam. Solving different variations of the related question is very crucial to be able to increase the confidence, speed and accuracy while solving the actual CAT paper.

Blood Relations For CAT: Tips & Strategies

As the topic is repeated every year in the CAT exam, the candidates are suggested to be thorough with the basics and other related concepts to increase their chances of scoring more in the exam. Here some important tips and strategies are given to help the CAT aspirants ace the blood relation question with ease.

  • Be Thorough with the Blood Relation Chart

It is suggested to get well versed with the blood relation chart to be able to relate and answer the questions easily. Here is a chart that details the entire family relation.

Paternal side

Maternal side

In-laws side

Paternal Grandfather= Father’s Father Maternal Grandfather= Mother’s Father Wife’s grandmother= Grand Mother–in–law
Paternal Grandmother= Father’s mother Maternal grandmother= Mother’s mother Wife’s grandmother= Grand Father–in–law
Uncle= Father’s brother Maternal uncle= Mother’s brother Wife’s brother= Brother–in–law
Aunt= Father’s sister / Uncle’s Wife Aunt= Mother’s sister / Maternal Uncle’s Wife Wife’s sister= Sister–in–law
Cousin= Uncle’s/ Aunt’s children Cousin= Maternal uncle’s/ Aunt’s children Wife’s Mother= Mother–in–law
Wife’s Father= Father–in–law
Son’s Wife= Daughter–in–law
  • Be Confident with the Family Tree

The questions require the candidates to be thorough with the basic relations within a family. In a family tree, the people belonging to the same generation are placed in the same row, while people from different generations are placed in successive rows. The males can be marked as “+” and the females as “-”.

Drawing a proper family tree for every question is extremely crucial as it will help to identify and analyse the statement easily. The family tree is used above for solving the example questions and it can be seen that the problem becomes much simpler after the tree is drawn accurately. However, if the family tree is incorrectly drawn, one might identify a wrong relationship and eventually lose a score.

  • Break the Question Statements

Numerous candidates get confused and fail to analyse the complete question statement at once. This is mainly because the blood relation question statements are sometimes long and confusing. This can be illustrated with the following example:

Example 4:

That girl is Ramu’s sister’s uncle’s wife’s daughter. How is that girl related to Ramu?


This question seems confusing initially; but, breaking the sentence into parts and then analysing the relation can be extremely easy. Now this sentence can be broken as,

Ramu’s sister’s uncle = Ramu’s uncle

Ramu’s uncle’s wife’s son = Ramu’s cousin

Therefore, that girl is the cousin of Ramu.

  • Relate the Problems Personally

The blood relation concepts can be solved quickly and easily if the questions are related personally. So, relate the problems to the self and start analysing the questions strategically. Here is an example to understand the importance of relating the problems to self.

Example 5:

That man is Raju’s sister’s mother’s brother. How is that boy related to Raju?


This question can be either solved with a family tree or by breaking the sentence and relating the relations personally. So, if this question is solved by personal relation, the sentences become easy to analyse.

Assume that you are Raju himself.

Now, your sister’s mother = your mother

Your mother’s brother = your maternal uncle

Therefore, that man is your (Raju’s) maternal uncle.

It should be noted that this approach should only be taken when the question statement is short. For questions with a long sentence, it is suggested to draw the family tree to easily solve the questions.

  • Never Assume Gender

It is always suggested to avoid assuming the gender of a person based on the given name in the question statement. This sometimes leads to losing some crucial marks as the questions are set to test the overall cognitive skills of the candidates. Suppose an example is taken as:

Example 6:

Tina is the sister of Sukhwinder and Sukhwinder is the brother of Roshan. Then how is Roshan related to Tina?


From the above statement, the gender of Roshan is unclear and creates confusion about the same. Some might consider the name Roshan as male while others might consider it as female. So, coming to a conclusion from the given statement is impossible and that the question requires more information.

With these aforementioned tips, solving the blood relation questions for the CAT exam becomes extremely simple and quick. The candidates are suggested to solve as many CAT sample papers as possible to improve the overall accuracy and speed of analysing, comprehending and concluding the related questions. The different variations of questions will also increase the confidence to tackle different types of questions with ease.

To get more such explanations and tips for different CAT exam topics, stay tuned with BYJU’S. Also, get various engaging and interactive video lessons to learn different concepts more easily and prepare for the exam effectively.

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