Friday, August 25th, 2017
A few years ago, CAT exam was divided into two sections – one was Quant and the other one was Verbal. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation were typically given the treatment often reserved for a stepson by House Stark by the CAT exam. Let me add, it wasn’t just the CAT exam but also the CAT preparation coaching institutes and the students. 9 Data Interpretation questions used to be clubbed with 21 questions from Quantitative Aptitude and 9 Logical Reasoning questions were clubbed with Verbal Ability.
But as Jon Snow rose among the ranks to become the Lord Commander and then the King in the North, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation have gone on to become the most important section in the CAT exam without a doubt. This is not based on a feeling or faith but on hard data. Please have a look at the chart given below.
As you can see from the chart above, the LRDI section has clearly been the hardest of the lot at least for the last two years. Although like in case of mutual funds mutual funds – past performance is not an indicator of future returns, it would be safe to assume that Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation would continue to be the differentiator in CAT Exam as well.
This begs the question of what can be or rather should be done to improve in it. I believe our online course for CAT would be super helpful with that. You should also look at these two posts that we put out recently:
However, if you are looking at a book or material to help you with the same, there are more than a few options. From the top of my mind, they are the following:
All of the above are really good resources and if you have already started working with one of those, without a doubt, you should stick to it and try to finish it as soon as possible. But on the other hand if you are contemplating about what to start with – I would suggest that you go with the last option – Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit Sinha. An obvious reason for recommending the same is that Nishit is a friend of mine but there are plenty of more reasons, which are more logical than that.
A very common misconception among CAT aspirants is that you only need to cover and practice the difficult questions. This might be true for the top 2 percentile but it is definitely not true for a majority of CAT aspirants. As a matter of fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. If you go back to the chart that I have shown above, you would realize that you need to do 2 sets (or may be 3 sets) properly to score well in the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section of the CAT 2017 exam. Typically, there are 8 sets in the section. So the main challenge is that you need to spot the easiest two and attempt them. If you keep practicing only hard and difficult questions, it might do more harm than good.
The book gives more than adequate coverage to easy concept building problems. More often than not, they come with decent solutions so that you can fix your mistakes.
This is a huge problem that exists with many of the other books and material that I have pointed out above. Often they have so ridiculous problems that it makes no sense to practice stuff like that. The only thing that they are good for is to scare students into working hard but I don’t think they even achieve that. As a matter of fact, I think they end up scaring students into giving up on the topic entirely. As a strategy, and as a tool, that is good if you want more hits on your website (because it would lead to students sharing and discussing the same) but as a tool to teach – I don’t think it is quite effective. Nishit Sinha’s book has its fair share of these scary problems so I won’t say it is completely devoid of the issue but from what I have seen – it is still the best in this department. Also, most of these problems are towards the end of a chapter or section, so quite a few students don’t even reach that part or ignore it easily. Beyond that, it gives you an adequate number of difficult problems that would help you ace the CAT exam.
To be honest, I do not think pricing should be an issue when you are comparing study material. At the end of the day, it is the quality that matters a lot more than the price. But then, as a wise woman said it on the tele 30 years ago – ‘Jab wahi safedi, wahi jhaag kam daamon mein mile; to koi ye kyun le – wo naa le’
Rough translation: If you are getting the same whiteness and same lather, why would you buy this and not that
Trust me – a lot is lost in the translation above.
Coming back to the point of the price, it is going to be a lot cheaper than any study material from any coaching institute and slightly cheaper than the other books on the market.
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With this, I would like to end this review and I hope you would be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to buying a book for the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section of the CAT exam. I would like to repeat that if you already have a book/study material from a reputed CAT coaching institute – please stick to it. There is no point in changing horses midstream. If you liked this book review, I would request you to share it on WhatsApp / Facebook.
@Nishit – If you ever end up reading this, our office address is on the website and we are expecting a cartoon of beer (and some cake) to magically appear on the door some day soon.
Founder and Mentor,
Handa Ka Funda
PS: Please give our new android app a spin. It looks ugly but it has a lot of content that will help you with CAT preparation. You can download it from here – CAT MBA Exam Preparation App by Handa Ka Funda
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