After having talked about the 7 Rules to Excel in CAT QA section  and  7 Rules to Excel in CAT VARC section in our previous articles, let us get down to discussing similar tips to tackle CAT DILR section.

Again, understanding of a Paper (or a section) along with the understanding of own strengths and weakness are the two essential blocks of deciding the strategy for attempting it. The CAT 2019 paper should simply be seen as three back to back sectional tests and, hence, having a separate approach to tackle each of the three sections is required.

The 2019 CAT DILR section will have 32 questions to be attempted in 60 minutes. The next question that arises is how many questions to attempt for a 99% ile?

For answering this question we need to look at previous years’ raw scores for a 99%ile in DILR section. In 2015, a score of 56 in DILR was required for a 99%ile, in 2016, the level of difficulty rose and thus a drop in the cut-off was seen.

See the table below for previous year cutoffs for DILR:

Year Raw Score for a 99%ile

All in all, in 2016 a raw score of 43 was required for 99%ile, in 2017 the score required was 45 to get in the 99%iler category and in 2018 the raw score required for a 99%ile was 46 marks.

The level of difficulty is expected to stay along the same lines as last year’s.  However, do not panic if the level of difficulty rises in CAT 2019 as, that would mean lesser questions to attempt in more time! Thus, an aspirant need not attempt all questions; rather very smartly pick 16 questions to be attempted with 100% accuracy.

In this post, we will discuss the strategy to successfully tackle the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section. To understand the section, let us look at the question types that are likely to appear in the DILR section for CAT 2019:

  • Logical Reasoning: you can expect 2 sets /8 questions based purely on logical reasoning
  • Data Interpretation: Same as LR, you can expect 2 sets/8 questions based purely on data interpretation.
  • Logical Reasoning + Data Interpretation: The other 4 sets or 16 questions can be expected to be a mix of both LR and DI.

Thus, you need to be able to manage both LR and DI. Remember, you need to attempt 50% of the DILR section that means either you focus on 4 sets or equivalently, 16 questions individually.  And you must target these 4 sets or 16 questions with 100% accuracy if you wish to get a 99% ile in CAT 2019 DILR section.

Now on to my rules for attempting the CAT DILR section:

  1. Identify easy sets. I take 10 minutes to skim through the sets and questions and identify the sets or questions that you can attempt. In these first 10 minutes I attempt to identify:
  • 3 easy sets
  • 3 Medium sets
  • 2 difficult sets
  1. I have always found 2-3 low hanging fruits in this section; these are the questions that can be solved without even attempting to solve the entire set.
  2. In round 1 I attempt the 3 easy sets and in Round 2 I solve the medium sets. However, I may not be able to solve all the 3 medium sets. So the focus is on pocketing those 16  And rest depends on the time left.
  3. I generally leave out questions or sets that need to be solved with multiple cases as they do not fall into easy category for me.
  4. I read the choices along with the question as it helps in elimination of choices. Also, approximation is an important technique that I keep up my sleeve to quickly solve questions.
  5. I always list down all the details given in the dataset on the paper. It’s common for students to forget and ignore the data given in a dataset. Therefore, it is important to not hurry and jot down everything on the paper neatly.
  6. When in doubt I leave the question without marking the answer. I do not spend more than 12-15 minutes on a set. It is better to move on if you can’t solve the set within first 12-15 minutes

While you still have more than 3 months to go for CAT. Try and follow this practice routine:

  • Attempt 1 DILR set daily. See it as a puzzle. That is the best way to look at the DILR section of the recent years in CAT. And it is becoming tough to differentiate between DI and LR sets considering the nature of sets that are coming in recent years.
  • Ensure that you take a sectional mock every week and schedule your mocks every 10 days. Solve DILR sets from previous year papers (2016 onwards)
  • Focus on pocketing those 16 questions right from now.

Work out a similar set of rules for yourself for CAT DILR section and see if you can attempt a Mock CAT using them. In the video analysis of Mock CATs, you would have seen me applying these rules.

All the best


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