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How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

Sukriti Vajpayee
Sukriti VajpayeeUpdated On: November 24, 2021 10:30 am IST | CAT

The DI and LR preparation techniques for CAT 2021 are provided in this article. Candidates targetting CAT 2021 will also find the detailed analysis of the DI and LR section of the Common Admission Test (CAT).

DI &LR Preparation for CAT

The Common Admission Test, or CAT as it is commonly known, is undoubtedly at the topmost position among all the competitive management entrance exams in India. The CAT exam is taken by students whose aim is to pursue a course in management by getting into a good business school. Every year, more than two lakh students appear for the CAT exam, aspiring to bag a seat in one of the top management colleges of India. Through CAT, students can enrol in various management programmes like MBA (Master in Business Administration), Executive MBA (P.G.P.Ex, E.M.B.A. etc.), PGDM. (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) etc., that are offered at some of the top MBA colleges of the country. All the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), in which the majority of MBA aspirants seek admission, consider CAT for conducting admissions.

CAT exam is divided into three sections namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability. As every section covers a different type of questions, a different strategy is required to attempt all sections. This article will provide you with various tips and tricks that will help you in preparing for the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section of CAT 2021. DI and LR constitute a major part of CAT and this is the section in which maximum students have trouble.

CAT 2021 Components: DI and LR Weightage

The Exam Pattern of CAT 2021 will be the same as it has been the previous years. CAT 2021 comprises three sections:

  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI and LR)

The section of DI and LR is said to be the trickiest of all sections. Special techniques are required during the preparation of DI and LR in order to get maximum accuracy and understanding. The details of DI and LR in CAT are given in the table below.




Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Total Questions

24 (Divided into 5 sets)

Total DI Questions

10 - 14

Total LR Questions

14 - 10

Total Marks

72 Marks

Time Allotted for Section

40 minutes (Reduced from 60 minutes)

Total MCQs

18 - 20

Total Non-MCQs

6 - 4

Questions without negative marking

6 - 4 (MCQs)

Marking Scheme

+3 for each correct answer, -1 for every wrong answer

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI and LR) Syllabus 2021

The syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT 2021 is given below. All the questions that will be asked in the DI and LR section of CAT 2021 will be from these topics only. Therefore, candidates should have a thorough understanding of the syllabus of CAT in order to solve the questions and perform well in this section.

Part 1- Data Interpretation Syllabus for CAT 2021

  • Data Charts
  • Data Tables
  • Bar diagrams and Charts including Stacked, Simple, Composite Bar Charts
  • Caselet Based Data
  • Pie charts
  • Data analysis and Data comparison among others
  • Graphs – Line X-Y Graphs

Part 2- Logical Reasoning Syllabus for CAT 2021

  • Calendars
  • Clocks
  • Binary logic
  • Blood Relations (Family Tree)
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Logical Sequence
  • Premise
  • Assumption
  • Conclusion
  • Team Formation
  • Linear and matrix arrangement
  • Input-Output
  • Direction sense and Decision Making
  • Syllogism
  • Series
  • Cubes
  • Puzzles
  • Rows
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Set Theory, Venn Diagrams, Network Diagrams
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning based on Rankings

Also Read: CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Pattern in CAT 2021

The types of questions asked in the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section of CAT 2021 are explained here. Knowing how many questions are asked from each topic and their type will help students in streamlining their preparation accordingly. They will get an idea of how to prepare for the questions and the importance of each subject. Consult the table given below to understand the types of questions asked in the DI and LR section of CAT.

DI & LR for CAT 2020

In CAT 2020, there were a total of 5 sets in the DILR section. Two sets had 6 questions each while 3 had 4 questions each, taking the total to 24 questions in the section. Out of these, 2 can be DI and 3 can be LR or vice versa.

Data Interpretation (DI) for CAT 2019


Types of Questions

Number of Questions

Problem Set 1- Tables and Charts

Comparison of Data of various ages, years etc.


Problem Set 2- Bar Diagram, Graph

Comparison of various years, groups, classes, etc., Data Analysis


Problem Set 3- Pie Chart, Tables

Decoding and finding the data of a missing period, interpreting the missing links, taking clues


Problem Set 4- Charts, Graphs

Analysing data and coming to a conclusion, also making future projections


Total Questions

12 MCQs (Multiple Choice Type Questions), 4 Non-MCQs

16 Questions

Logical Reasoning (LR) for CAT 2019


Type of Questions

Number of Questions

Problem Set 1- Rankings/ Arrangements/ Team Formation

Ranks, seating arrangement, types of team formation. Lots of conditions will be placed to create confusion.


Problem Set 2- Puzzles, Quantitative Reasoning

Based on Geometrical data, Arithmetic, various puzzles on letters, words, seating, arrangements, etc.


Problem Set 3- Logical Deductions/ Syllogisms

Questions based on statements and arguments


Problem Set 4- Binary Logic/ Ven Diagrams

Questions on network diagrams and set theory


Total Questions

12 MCQs (Multiple Choice Type Questions), 4 Non-MCQs

16 Questions

How to Prepare for DI and LR for CAT 2021?

The preparation for Data Interpretation requires a lot of practice. The syllabus of DI is much more defined than the syllabus of the other sections of CAT, hence a different strategy is required for its preparation. CAT Data Interpretation syllabus covers almost all the types of questions of data analysis and data comparison that could be formed on bar diagrams, data tables, graphs, pie charts among other modules for the representation of data. With regular practice and improvement in the skills of Data Comparison and Data Analyst, the DI questions of CAT can be answered easily and in a much shorter time.

Logical Reasoning questions in CAT are generally based on a guide to arrive at good and proper decisions by following a systematic thought process. The LR questions are based on natural human instincts that are designed to lead the candidate and help him/ her arrive at the right answer option by following the prescribed flow chart of Logical Reasoning. The objective is not to only get the correct answers of Logical Reasoning but to get the correct answer in optimum time and with acceptable accuracy. Candidates need to be quick in mathematical calculations while maintaining accuracy in order to perform well in the LR section.

Primarily, all the sets of DI questions can be further classified into the following categories.

1. Calculation Based: These are the sets that have questions that deal with the increase or decrease in percentage or in the nominal increase/ decrease. These questions require good control of the candidate over basic calculation and approximation.

2. Counting Based: These are mostly large data sets in which the candidates are supposed to count the instances which meet the needs of the questions. The questions under these sets require focus and patience so that the test taker can ensure that he/she does not commit a single mistake.

3. Logic-Based: In the CAT exam, sometimes charts are used to give data in ranges or with conditions where it is not possible to find the exact data. In such cases, the candidate is usually asked to find a number that can be arrived at by fulfilling the need to maximize or minimize the number. The candidate needs to use strong logic to deduce an answer to these questions.

4. Structure-Based: These comprise some special sets. They are time-consuming questions and the chances of them being asked in CAT 2021 are less. They include questions like sales-disposal data of a specific product in the market, goals of various teams in a tournament, etc.

To perform well in the DI and LR section of CAT 2021, the candidates need to follow the steps given below.

  • The CAT aspirants have to prepare according to the latest trends on Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning questions that are asked in CAT of previous years.
  • All candidates must prepare from the best books of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning that are recommended by experts.
  • Practising is the key to nailing the section of DI and LR. The candidates need to read and practice various types of DI and LR questions every day.
  • It is imperative for all candidates to enhance their calculation skills. Doing quick mathematics mentally saves a lot of time and helps in all the question of DI and LR.
  • Accuracy is of the utmost importance when doing the DI and LR questions of CAT. Candidates must be careful about their calculations and check that there is no error in their deductions.
  • Getting online study material from some famous coaching institutes of CAT can prove to be helpful too.
  • The candidates who wish to sit for CAT 2021 must take CAT mock tests as frequently as they can and analyse their performance in each exam. Signing up for the test series of any institute or class can be highly beneficial as the candidates will be provided with lots of questions to practise.
  • All candidates must know how to use approximations correctly and when to use them. This helps in saving time on some questions the answers of which can be derived by approximations and not calculations.

With less than six months left for CAT 2021, the preparation of all aspirants must be regular and rigorous. Students who are appearing for CAT 2021 must give at least one hour each day for the practice and preparation of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. They should aim to complete the entire syllabus of DI and LR in the span of one month and then use the remaining time solely for practising mock papers and doing revisions.

Also Read: CAT Preparation Tips for Non-Engineering Students

How to Solve DI LR Questions Of CAT 2021?

It is necessary to find out the right approach to solving DI LR questions of CAT 2021 before starting to answer them. You must keep an eye on the clock available on the right of your screen to know the time left. Besides this, there are some other things that should be considered while answering the DI LR problems.

  • Analyse the type of questions: Besides this, you must first go through the type of question asked in the exam. You should check what is given in the question and what you have to calculate.

  • Try to solve the problem in mind: You should first try to solve the problem in mind without solving in on paper. It will save time. Besides this, it will also help you to build your mental strength.

  • Shortcuts and Assumptions: Most of the LI DR questions of CAT can be solved by assumptions. You can assume any quantity to the closest multiple of 10 to get solve it quickly.

  • Time Management: Time management is the most crucial factor while attempting LI DR questions of CAT. You should divide your time equally between all questions. You may try to attempt the easier ones first so that you can save some time for hard ones.

How to Deal with the Increasing Difficulty Level of CAT DILR?

As we all know that Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning section of CAT is the most crucial section. Questions in the Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning section of CAT 2021 are more challenging in comparison to the other two sections of the exam. You need to concentrate on each and every point mentioned in the question to answer the problem.

The best way to deal with the increasing difficulty level of DILR is to practise regularly. You should try to solve the maximum number of questions from logical reasoning. You can also refer to the previous years’ question paper of CAT to get an idea about the difficulty level of the section.

How to Get Comfortable with DI LR for CAT exam?

You need to practise a maximum number of questions from the logical reasoning section to get comfortable with the DI LR section. You can refer to shortcuts and Fastrack strategies for solving any LI DR questions of the CAT exam. There are many videos available over the internet which can help you to develop your speed and calculation skills for these kinds of problems. It is recommended that candidates focus on the hardest problems so that they do not find any problem while solving problems of any difficulty level.

Last Minute Preparation Tips for CAT Exam

Provided below are a few of the most important CAT exam links. Candidates can go through them to strengthen their exam preparation.

How to Prepare for CAT VARC

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability

Common Mistakes to Avoid During CAT Preparation

50+ Important Formulas for CAT Preparation

Toppers Tips for CAT 2021

Tips to Solve Para Jumble Questions in CAT

Best Books for DI and LR Preparation for CAT 2021

Some of the best books for CAT 2021 that the aspirants can consult while preparing for the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section are given here. The titles of the books are given along with their authors.

Book Title

Author of the Book

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT

Arun Sharma

Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency

Ananta Ashisha

Trishna's Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations

TIME Publisher

Guide To Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT

Nishit K Sinha

Top Colleges Accepting CAT 2021 Scores

There are many colleges in India apart from the prestigious IIMs which accept CAT 2021 scores. Check the table given below to know the top colleges accepting CAT 2021 scores.

College Name



Indian Institute of Management


INR 20,00,000

Indian Institute of Management


INR 21,00,000

Faculty of Management Studies


INR 21,000

Shailesh J Mehta School of Management


INR 4.56,000

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

New Delhi

INR 3,80,000

GIET University


INR 80,000

Mansarovar Global University


INR 1,00,000

Doon Business School


INR 2,98,000

University of Engineering & Management


INR 90,000

Amity University


INR 5,00,000

With these techniques and all the information provided in this article, candidates aiming to get a good percentile in CAT 2021 will be able to reach their target by performing well in the DI and LR section of the exam.

If you have any queries related to MBA admission, you can call our toll-free helpline number 1800-572-9877 or fill the Common Application Form (CAF). You can also raise your queries on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone.

Meanwhile, you can check some articles related to MBA admission below.

MBA Admissions in West Bengal 2021: Dates, Selection Procedure, Fees & Eligibility

MBA Admissions in Uttar Pradesh 2021: Dates, Selection Procedure, Fees & Eligibility

MBA Admissions in Punjab 2021: Dates, Selection Procedure, Fees & Eligibility

MBA Admissions in Rajasthan 2021: Dates, Selection Procedure, Fees & Eligibility

Stay tuned to CollegeDekho for more information on the CAT exam!


How should I approach the DI & LR questions in the CAT exam?

To solve the DI & LR questions in the CAT exam, an applicant must analyse the type of questions, apply shortcuts & assumptions and solve the problems in mind before solving on the paper. Solving the easier one first will leave a lot of time in the hands which can be utilised to strategise and solve the difficult questions.

Which CAT books are best to prepare for the DI and LR?

The best CAT books to prepare for the DI and LR sections are Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency by Ananta Ashisha, How to Prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma, Guide To Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning For The CAT by Nishit K Sinha.

How many questions are expected to arise from the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section of CAT?

From the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section of CAT, around 32 questions are expected to appear in the exam, out of which 16 are from DI and 16 are from LR.

How much time is allotted to solve the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section in the CAT exam?

Earlier, 60 minutes were allotted to solve the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning problems of the CAT exam. However, due to the changed exam pattern, only 40 minutes are provided to the candidates now.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


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