Data Interpretation is one of the most important sections of management entrance examinations like CAT, XAT, MAT, etc. As an MBA aspirant, the candidates are expected to possess problem-solving skills and data interpretation properly. While it is one of the most scoring sections, one needs to be able to interpret all the information given in the caselets.
Though CAT-DI questions are considered to be less challenging than the other two sections, some of the questions might seem relatively straightforward and might force the candidates to make a mistake.
The entire section of Data Interpretation comprises of topics like percentages, profit and loss, averages etc.; all comprising of topics which the candidates have covered at high school levels. The Data Interpretation of CAT is said to be challenging because the answer to these questions demands the calculation efficiency and speed from the candidates.
The DI & LR section of the paper constitutes of 32 questions allotted duration of 60 minutes of the total duration. Looking at the time per question ratio makes the demand of calculation speed very clear. Hence, pick up as many shortcut techniques and strategies for DI to be able to manage time properly. Following are some data interpretation tricks which might help to approach the CAT-DI section much more efficiently.
CAT Data Interpretation Tips
The more you practice, the better you get with DI in CAT exam. Practice CAT Data Interpretation Questions as much as you can and solve as many question papers as you can. Practice will make you faster and make you confident by familiarising with the related questions. Also, practice several CAT Mock tests and Previous Year Papers to get acquainted with the DI questions.
- Use your time wisely:
While practicing questions, assess which problem requires more time by clocking yourself. It helps to devise a suitable plan for attempting different types of problems and manage time well.
- Plan the time allotted per data set:
Since CAT is a time bound exam, planning the amount of time invested into each question is extremely necessary. Ideally, time allocation per question should be in direct proportion to the marks allotted. For example, if a DI question set consists of 5 questions and 10 marks in total, you should ideally spend only 10 minutes to solve it.
Spend the first 2 minutes to understand the data set. After which the further approach must be clear. If the approach isn’t clear in the first who minutes, skip the question and attempt the next one.
- Concentrate on interpretations and not just calculations:
Interpretation is what is mainly tested in the data interpretation section of CAT. A single misinterpretation from the hidden texts might result in negative marks. Look out for words like maximum/minimum, must be, can be, possible, etc. in the question. These are the words which will ensure your correct interpretation of the questions posed.
- Organize the data:
The Data Interpretation section of CAT is mainly meant to check your data analysis skills. Hence, to make it more challenging, the data provided to you might not be in an orderly fashion. Make it a point to ensure that the data given is structured in an order of your preference before you proceed for further calculations.
- Don’t assume any information:
Consider the problem statement for that particular passage/question and take down the given facts without conjecture of any secondary shades of the facts. It is suggested to stick to that information and avoid assumptions.
- Pay attention to words:
Words like “all,” “some,” “none,” “other than,” “only” or “unless” play a significant role in determining the facts for the particular passage. Pay attention to negative prefixes as well as “non-,” “un-,” or “dis-.” These can be crucial in specifying the basic facts of the paragraph.
- Beware of sitter questions:
Sitter questions in the CAT exam are the questions which cannot be solved using the given data or would cost you a huge amount of time to solve them. Attempting these questions will not only make you lose out on time but also disrupt your entire flow of the exam. Scan these questions and leave them unattended or to attempt later.
- Approximate wherever possible:
This is a rather valuable tip because it can save significant minutes which you may otherwise spend on calculating specific values. If only relative values are asked, don’t calculate the exact ones and approximate them.
- Maintain patience and persistence:
Maintain patience when you are attempting a particular question. When looking at a question, it should be given undivided attention for an accurate answer. A little distraction could result in a huge loss in terms of negative marks.
With these data interpretation tricks, the CAT candidates can easily clear the Data Interpretation section and improve their CAT score. It is suggested to properly get acquainted with the CAT syllabus to strategize a proper preparation plan and study accordingly.
With numerous candidates taking the exam every year, it is suggested to start preparing early to be able to practice more. Stay tuned with BYJU’s, to get various CAT video lectures and study materials along with all the relevant CAT notifications to prepare effectively for the exam.