The following are the various topics under Analytical Reasoning
(A) LINEAR SEQUENCING : Certain entities are arranged in a row as per the instructions/conditions given in the
question. The statements/conditions provide information about the position of these entities, with respect to other
entities or with respect to positions in the row. Proper care should be taken when interpreting the details mentioned in
(B) SEATING ARRANGEMENT: Questions of this type, describe people seated around a table (which could be of any
regular shape – circular, rectangular, square, hexagonal, etc) or in a row or in rows and columns. If the persons are
seated in a row, the problem reduces to one on linear sequencing, but if they are seated around a table, the shape of the
table, the number of people on each side of the table (in the case of a rectangular or hexagonal table) or around a
circular table, and other details should be considered.
(C) DISTRIBUTION/DOUBLE LINE-UP: In such problems, various elements under certain groups are matched and they
form certain combinations with the elements in the other groups. Sometimes, a grid is formed and with the help of ‘’
and ‘’ in various rows and columns, the combinations between the elements can be formed. In solving such
questions, the student is better off drawing a table where groups are written in columns. The table should then be filled
up using the information provided and the required analysis should be done.
(D) SELECTIONS: In these type of problems, a certain number of people (or things) have to be selected out of a group,
conforming to the conditions mentioned. Many a time, these conditions consist of connectives. For example, in a
condition like “If A is selected, then B is not selected”, you have to consider the implications and verify the choices.
The correct answer choice should not violate any of the given conditions.
(E) ORDERING & SEQUENCING: In these types of problems, some people or things are compared with each other in
terms of a measurable parameter (like height, weight, age, speed, marks, etc,). Also, in certain questions, some people
or things are arranged in a particular sequence.
(F) ROUTES & NETWORKS: Usually in such problems, certain places are connected with each other with the help of oneway
or two-way roads. When solving these kinds of problems, the student should draw a diagram of the network.
While tracing routes, the focus should be on the direction of the incoming & the outgoing arrow marks.
(G) BINARY LOGIC: Such types of questions are gaining popularity in various MBA entrance
exams and also in Campus Recruitment aptitude tests. In these types of questions, we may encounter some people (say
three), each belonging to a different race/type/tribe/variety, namely (i) Truth-tellers, (ii) Liars, and (iii) Alternators.
Truth tellers are those who always tell the truth, liars always speak lies and the alternators alternate between the truth and lies, in any order. Some questions may consist of people belonging to the same race. For example, each of the three persons is an alternator. While tackling problems which consist of a person belonging to a different type out of the three types, you should look for two contradicting statements and then assume one of them to be true and continue making the arrangement.
Alternately, one person can be assumed to be the truth-teller and an arrangement should be made by verifying the
status of each statement. If the arrangement gives rise to a contradiction or is in disagreement with the instructions, it will mean that our initial assumption regarding the truth-teller is wrong. Hence, we will then assume the second person to be the truth-teller, and so on.
(H) CUBES: There are various categories of questions which are asked based on cubes : (i) when the number of cuts made
to the cube is given and the maximum number of identical pieces is to be found; (ii) when the number of identical
pieces is given and the least number of cuts required to produce them is to be found; (iii) coloring a cube with three
colors – either each pair of opposite faces is colored the same or each pair of adjacent faces is colored the same; (iv)
throwing one die or two dice and questions based on identifying various faces as per the given diagrams (mostly three
diagrams showing three different positions); (v) placing two dice one above the other or side by side. Questions on
these are asked in various entrance exams.
(I) VENN DIAGRAMS: This is one of the most popular topics and questions pertain to two sets, three sets or four sets.
Most of the questions that have been asked in the CAT consist of three sets. Certain details must be taken care of when
answering these questions. For example, if there are three sets A, B and C, then the number of elements belonging to
ONLY the sets A & B will not include the number of elements belonging to set C, whereas the number of elements
belonging to sets A & B (observe that the word “only” is not mentioned), will also include those in set C.
(J) DIRECTIONS: These types of questions pertain to the four primary directions (North, South, East, West). These
questions give the details of a person’s tour. It is recommended that a diagram be drawn and the Pythagorean theorem
be used to calculate the distances, mostly between the starting point and the terminating point.
(K) BLOOD RELATIONS: This is a question type, in which the questions are based on family tree. This question type is a fairly
regular feature on most MBA entrance exams (other than CAT) and Campus Recruitment tests. It is has also been given in
CAT once in a way. The questions are generally related to the following five generations (i) Grandparents, (ii) Parents, (iii)
Siblings, (iv) Children; and (v) Grand children. The student must draw a diagram of the family tree, representing the persons
in the question, generation-wise, so as to get clarity and answer all the questions with regard to the relationships between
(L) CALENDERS: There are two types of questions which are covered under this topic – (i) when a date and the weekday on
which it falls is given and the student is required to find the weekday on which another date (as asked in the question)
falls. (ii) when there is only a date given and a question is asked about which day of the week it falls on.
(M) QUANT-BASED REASONING: Reasoning questions in CAT often consist of some numbers or numerals, where basic
concepts of Reasoning are used to arrange the data. In such questions, the student, apart from employing analytical
skills, has to demonstrate basic quantitative aptitude.