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With the new format of CAT-2015, data interpretation and logical reasoning have been rearranged into separate sections. Let’s focus on the Data Interpretation part of the section, which shall carry 16 questions in the exam. “Data Interpretation” section bears the closest resemblance to the kind of problems that one faces as a manager in an organization. Therefore this section tests the analytical skills of the test takers. This is a scoring section and consists of various forms of data tables (line graph, table, bar graph) and charts, and tests on how to glean desirable information. Information compiled onto graphs and charts present different perspectives and scenarios to a manager, who can then assess as regards the best for him in relation with the others in the present business situation. Preparation for this section requires loads of practice of diverse data formats. The ability to score well in this section grows with time. You need a specific strategy to attain excellence in the section.

Apply these tips to practice your Data Interpretation Section and you’ll be on your way to ace it in CAT:

• Scan the Question: Most of the Data Interpretation blocks are presented in such a way that they happen to baffle the tests takers, but they might not be very difficult to solve. Therefore you need to scan the question and see what the questions require. It is also important to identify the data that will be required to solve the questions. There will be some easy blocks and some difficult blocks. Therefore you will need to scan properly and identify the blocks that you will attempt and those that need be regarded.

• Hone your Calculation Skills: The sections consist of questions which are calculation intensive, i.e, requiring one to calculate percentage change over years or similar type of questions. These calculations will eat up your time and this will create pressure on you. Therefore you will need to play smart and estimate the values. The presence of on screen calculator will be a benefit for you in this section.

• Get familiar with all types of DI questions:  There are different type of questions that can occur in Data Interpretation section. The questions can occur in form of bar charts, pie charts, tables, graphs, etc. or a combination of any of these types. So attempt a good number of several types of Data Interpretation questions. Also try reading business newspapers, which have articles that are data intensive.

• Practice, practice, practice: Developing skills to analyze data requires time, which comes only through practice. Try solving at least one DI block everyday and then analyze it in depth.

So Scale the graph and raise your bar!

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