Seating arrangement questions are the most common problem types in all entrance exams containing the Logical Reasoning section. These concepts involve the arrangement of objects/ people in many possible ways.
The advantages of attempting the seating arrangement questions in the examination are one question of seating arrangement is followed by five to six subquestions.
Hence, fetching more marks by solving one single question.
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Following is the list of entrance exams where candidates can find the seating arrangement topic very often:
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- Introduction and assumptions
- Linear arrangement
- Circular arrangement
- Seating arrangement in a photograph
- Complex arrangement
- Miscellaneous arrangements
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What is Seating Arrangement?
Seating arrangement is the logical arrangement of either objects or people in a logical manner. One has to either perform the arrangement to answer the questions or decode the predefined arrangement by applying the logical analysis.
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In this article, we shall look into a few examples of seating arrangement tricks.
Listed below are the detailed explanation of each topic covered in Seating arrangement questions:
Topic 1: Assumptions
- Unless specified the direction at the top page is always assumed as North.
- The right side of the page is the viewer’s left side and vice versa.
Topic 2: Linear Arrangement
Any logical arrangement of objects or people either horizontally or vertically or diagonally is known as Linear arrangement.
Ex: The row of the travellers in a train, students in a prayer hall, etc.
A schematic representation of linear arrangement
Topic 3: Circular Arrangement
The arrangement of physical quantities in a circular manner is called a Circular arrangement.
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There are two types of circular arrangement:
- Facing the center: In this arrangement, every object or a person in the arrangement will be facing the center of the circle.
Examples of circular seating arrangement questions include Group discussion and playing cards etc.
Schematic representation of type 1 circular seating arrangement
- Facing outwards: In this arrangement, every object or a person in the arrangement will be facing outwards.
A perfect example of circular seating arrangement questions would be playing musical chairs.
Schematic representation of type 2 circular seating arrangement
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Topic 4: Seating arrangement in a photograph
Question 1: How different is the seating arrangement in actual and in the picture?
Five friends Deepthi, Bhagya, Ramya, Sushil, and Akash request Sugjna their friend to take their photograph. Bhagya who is an attention seeker is always in the middle of Ramya and Deepti. There is no one to the left of Akash. Ramya always stands next to Sushil. There is no girl between two boys. Who is at the right extreme end in the photograph?
The seating arrangement in actual would be Deepti- Bhagya-Ramya-Sushil, and Akash. But when the photograph of the above arrangement is taken the right and left references are changed. Since the photograph is held in front of us. The viewer’s right will be the photograph’s left and the photograph’s right would be the viewer’s left. Hence, Deepti will be at the right extreme end in the photograph.
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Topic 5: Complex Arrangement
Complex arrangements are very similar to linear arrangement problems in terms of arrangement and properties. But unlike linear arrangement, where the objects had only one property – their positioning, objects in the complex arrangement have multiple properties.
There are two methods to solve the problem:
- Table Formation: The data is tabulated to match the properties based on the logical conditions provided in the questions.
- Matric Tabulation: The Properties are matched in the form of a matrix with the help of symbols and special characters to solve the questions.
Among both the methods, the number of rows and columns depends on the complexity and the number of properties in the questions.
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Given below is an example of complex seating arrangement:
Question 2: Amit, Bharati, Cheryl, Deepak, and Eric are five friends sitting in a restaurant. They are wearing caps of five different colors — yellow, blue, green, white and red. Also, they are eating five different snacks — burgers, sandwiches, ice cream, pastries, and pizza.
- The person wearing a red cap is eating pastries.
- Amit does not eat ice cream and Cheryl is eating sandwiches.
- Bharati is wearing a yellow cap and Amit wearing a blue cap.
- Eric is eating pizza and is not wearing a green cap.
There are five people in the scenario and each person is associated with two properties, viz. Colour of the caps, and the dish they are eating. Hence the tabulation method is easier to apply.
The properties can be tabulated as shown from the given information.
We know that a person wearing a red cap is eating pastries. There is only one place possible in the table to fit this combination. That will be Deepak.
We also know that Eric is not wearing a green cap. Hence, the one who is wearing a green cap should be Cheryl. Since Amith does not eat Ice Cream, it should be Bharati who is eating it. That leaves us with the fact that Amith should be eating burgers as that’s the only dish left. And hence, Eric should be wearing a white cap.
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Question 3: The king Akbar’s court – Navratnas Nauratan (Sanskrit dvigu Nava-Ratna- or “nine gems”) was a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people in an emperor’s court in Emperor Akbar’s “Darbar” The Mughal ruler Akbar, despite his illiteracy, was a great lover of the artists and intellectuals. His passion for knowledge and interest in learning from great minds attracted him to men of genius to his court, known as the nine courtiers of Emperor Akbar or Navratnas (Nine Jewels):
- Todar Mal
- Man Singh I
- Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
- Fakir Aziao-Din
- Mulla Do-Piyaza
- Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Arrange them in an order of their seating pattern based on the following instructions:
The Nine gems and Akbar always made a circular arrangement when they sat in a court.
- Akbar always sat opposite to his favorite advisor.
- A singer always sat opposite to a poet, there were two poets in his court among them one was a tutor.
- Mulla Do-Piyaza never sat next to Birbal as he was his rival.
- Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana is neither general nor finance minister.
- Maan Singh sat in between a poet and a finance minister.
- Tansen was at third to the right of Birbal
- An adviser was in great jealous of another advisor Birbal hence he made Birbal his rival.
- Faizi is a poet who was third to the left of the finance minister.
- Fakir Aziao-Din a chef minister sat in between a singer and an author Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.
Solved examples: Linear seating arrangement
Question 4: Meenakshi and Anupama two best friends wanted to arrange books in their small library. They arranged these books as a pile one over the other. There are 3 computer science books, 3 reasoning books, 2 math books, 2 interview books, and 2 English books. A Computer science book is either at the top or bottom-most level.
Starting from the top a reasoning book is between a math book and computer science book (either of the mentioned Math or Computer Science books may be at the top of reasoning book), an English book is between a maths book and computer science book. A reasoning book is the third book from the bottom. An interview book is between a math book that is in sixth place from the top and a reasoning book. Another interview book is in between two reasoning books. A computer science book is in between reasoning and English.
Which book is in fourth place from the bottom?
There are 3 computer science books, 3 reasoning books, 2 maths books, 2 interview books, and 2 English books. Hence the total number of books is twelve.
The arrangement of these books as shown below:
|Position of the book||Category of the book|
Hence the fourth book from the bottom will be Interview. Option D is the correct answer.
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Solved example: Seating arrangement in a photograph
Question 5: Eight female members of the family decides to have a family photo and are sitting on a bench to be photographed. Read the following instructions to perform the seating arrangement to answers the questions.
- Mrs. Divya is to the right of Mrs. Anne.
- Akshata is the middle if Myra and Mrs. Banumathi.
- Mrs. Veena is standing at one of the ends and is second to the right of Mrs. Divya.
- Myra always wants to stand next to her mother Mrs. Anne and is third to the left of Mrs. Sandhya.
- Who is standing at the left extreme end in the photograph?
- Mrs. Veena
- Mrs. Usha
- Mrs. Banumathi
2. Who is third from the left in the photograph?
The seating arrangement of the scenario is as shown:
Answer 1: From the seating arrangement, it can be seen that Mrs. Usha is at one of the ends. Hence, the correct answer is option B.
Answer 2: The seating arrangement in the photograph changes its directions of right and left. Since the question is about the seating arrangement in the photograph; third to the left from the photograph will be Akshata.
Hence, the correct answer is option B.