Logical Reasoning Basics – How to solve coin picking / matchstick related problems?

March 29th, 2018 by

In this post, we will learn how to solve Logical Reasoning Problems based on coins and matchsticks picking puzzles. To understand how exactly these kinds of puzzles look like, let’s start the post with a very simple example. The method to solve the example will give better insight so as to how to approach these puzzles. Two smart players A and B are playing a coin game in which they can pick up 1, 2, 3 or 4 coins. They have 78 coins and the player who picks the last coin will lose the game. A and B play alternately and A plays the first move. How many coins should A pick at first so h

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Words with Similar Meanings and Subtle Differences

March 28th, 2018 by

In the series on confusing words (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) we looked at words that sound similar or look similar but mean different things. There is another class of words you should be careful about - these are words that are often used interchangeably (and wrongly at that, I must add). This generally leads to bad writing than bad comprehension when used. You do not need to look far away for instances of not knowing the difference between these similar sounding words. Just ask any MBA aspirant whether have any preferences for specialization and a lot of them say ‘Marketing’. Just fol

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How to correctly use the punctuation marks in English

March 22nd, 2018 by

Questions based on Punctuation marks have been asked in competitive exams frequently. These concepts are really important if you are looking at some of the banking exams or exams like SNAP. It is a good way to check a person's 'Verbal Ability'. With the help of my friend Sanket, I have a compiled a set of some examples followed by some previous year questions that can help you understand the concept better. The Purpose of Punctuation: Punctuation is used to disambiguate a sentence by using spacing, conventional signs, and certain typographical devices Punctuation introduces appropriate paus

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Critical Reasoning Tips – Strengthening and Weakening Arguments

March 21st, 2018 by

Critical thinking holds a significant place in verbal ability section of CAT. Around 3-5 questions are based on the critical reasoning in CAT. Critical thinking involves the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. Critical thinking is not hard thinking nor it is directed at solving problems. Critical thinking is inward-directed with the intent of maximizing the rationality of the thinker. Questions based on critical reasoning are the paragraph format followed with the series of questi

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Understanding Confusing Words – Part 3

March 20th, 2018 by

This is the last post in the series on confusing words. If you haven't read them already, check out Understanding Confusing Words – Part 1 and Understanding Confusing Words – Part 2. where we have discussed a list of important words that you should know if you want to save some time in the verbal section of CAT, IIFT, XAT or any other MBA entrance exam. In this post, we will first look at a few more words and then we will talk about how to use of the words you have learnt through these posts. Why is this important? Because skimming through blog posts will not help much. When you’re re

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Understanding Confusing Words – Part 2

March 19th, 2018 by

In the Understanding Confusing Words – Part 1, we discussed confusing words. As discussed Learning New Words – Why, How and Strategies, these words are not directly related to CAT prep for the vocab section or for any MBA exam (so don't expect direct questions based on these words) but knowing the right words and the correct usage will make your job much easier while attempting questions. Let us extend the list with a few more words. Prescribe vs. Proscribe - These similar sounding words have very different meanings. Prescribe is the more common word, and it's often used at the docto

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Understanding Confusing Words – Part 1

March 16th, 2018 by

In the last post we looked at some ways to learn new words - reading with context, flashcards, word group lists and studying by comparing words. We had discussed about identifying words that are confused easily. In this post we will look at some examples involving these confusing words. Now, will a misunderstanding cost you marks in the exam? Not necessarily so, because like we discussed last time, no questions simply ask for meanings of words. However, when you’re reading a block of text and reach this word where you are not quite sure of the meaning, that is enough to cause a problem.

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Percentage concepts, questions and shortcut tricks for the CAT exam

March 15th, 2018 by

Understanding Percentage The word “Percent” can be understood as “per 100” or “out of 100”. Percentage in itself is a dimensionless number used to tell how many parts per hundred are being considered. It is often denoted using the percent sign, "%". The reference point for calculating percentage is taken as 100. If in a class of 100 students, 90 students passed in a subject then the percentage of students who passed in the exam is 90%. Had the total number of students been 200, the percentage would have reduced to 45%. This is because 45 students out of every 100 students pas

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How to Find Number of Trailing Zeros in a Factorial or Product

March 14th, 2018 by

In this Number of trailing Zeros blog post, I would like to cover these two ideas: Number of trailing zeroes in a Product or Expression Number of trailing zeroes in a factorial (n!) But before I begin, let us first try to understand what exactly are ‘trailing zeroes’. It is nothing else but the number of zeroes at the end. I do not want to sound pedantic but on many occasions when you see a question which asks about, “What is the number of zeroes in ___” it is incorrect, because it should actually say – “What is the number of trailing zeroes?” or “What is the n

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Learning New Words – Why, How and Strategies

March 12th, 2018 by

Take the previous papers of any MBA entrance exam and look for questions that ask for the meaning of a particular word. The chances are pretty low that you will find a multiple choice question of the format - “The meaning of X is:” followed by four options. Doing the same thing for antonyms or idioms will probably not give you a lot of questions either. So no exam is going to ask you for word meanings. If so, then why learn new words, antonyms or idioms if they are not asked as direct questions in the exams? It starts with having a large list of words at your disposal so that

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