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How to ace the DILR section in CAT exam: Key topics and proven strategies


With around 2 lakh aspirants appearing each year, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive exams in India. It is a gateway for getting into the highly sought after and prestigious Indian Institutes of Management across the country. CAT scores also factor into securing admission to top-tier private management institutes.
To gain an edge over other aspirants, it is necessary to focus on the important topics for each CAT exam section, and prepare in a structured manner.A concentrated focus not only provides direction, but ensures consistent progress, and helps you manage your time effectively.
While a planned study approach provides a solid basis, focussing on important topics ensures that your efforts are directed towards the most scoring and important areas, as you move to the revision stage of CAT exam preparation.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is one of the three sections of the Common Admission Test (CAT), along with Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
List of important topics
DILR sections includes a multitude of topics ranging from seat-arrangements to blood relation, and quantitative reasoning to binary logic and data analysis. Here is a list of topics which are repeated every year with multiple questions in every question set:

  • Blood Relations
  • Puzzles
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Graphs Related
  • Seating Arrangement, and Data Arrangement
  • Tables and Caselets

As per the CAT 2023 examination pattern, candidates will be required to attempt 24 questions in this section. This section also has a time limit of 40 minutes for completion.
Important strategies to perform well in DILR section
Apart from knowing the important topics, optimal performance in the exam is crucial to score well in this section. Here are a few strategies you can bank on.

  • Time management: During this part of the test, making effective use of your time is essential. You can do well on the test if you can manage your time well and provide accurate answers to the relevant questions.
  • Selecting questions: It’s critical to be able to decide which sets to take on and which to ignore. Choosing the appropriate sets can have a big impact on your score because the exam has three different difficulty levels for the sets: easy, moderate, and difficult.
  • Finding a balance between accuracy and speed: This section requires accurate and timely responses. To improve your speed and overall performance, gradually address your weaknesses while utilising your strengths.
  • Making an assessment: As you move through the DILR training for the CAT, keep track of your progress. After completing every practise test or mock exam, identify your strengths and areas for improvement. It should be possible for you to ascertain how to succeed in this section by carefully examining your performance as well as the papers from the previous year. Make the most of your advantages and plan your approach to DILR for CAT in a methodical manner.
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