Be your own LRDI Ninja!
Updated: May 19, 2020
Hey guys! I hope you have figured out your CAT matrix through our LIGO approach.
If you have no clue what that meant, please read the Step 1 to CAT preparation here!
Read about the VARC section here.
Moving on to the next chapter of our journey - L.R.D.I.!
Do make sure you read till the end, because the golden rule to your LRDI score is enumerated after establishing initial understanding :)
LRDI excellence only has only two steps:
i) Pick the right sets
ii) Solve them in 60 minutes
Again, this trend can be observed around LRDI:
If you solve 4 out of the 8 sets correctly, that takes you to the 99th percentile! In the LRDI section, the percentile jump for every correct question solved is unbelievable. Solving two sets (8 questions) is around the 85th percentile but add in an extra question and you shoot up to the 90th percentile.
Set selection can make or break your LRDI score. What matters is understanding what kind of questions you’re good at and which ones you usually struggle with.
LRDI is famously said to be the hardest section in the CAT but even this section has a pattern to it, in terms of the questions asked.
Some common types are circular seating arrangements, tabular data formation through missing information and constraints, tournament wins-loses, and set theory.
Couple of things I have observed in my prep, and they may not always hold true, but:
1. Don't judge questions by their weird diagrams! There will almost always be one DI question with a scary looking graph that you have never seen before and it will almost always be an easy one to actually solve, if you figure out the logic. The time spent will be on deciphering the graph but the four questions that follow will be very easy, once that is done.
Examples - Spider graph (CAT 2019 Slot 2), Product Popularity-Market Potential (CAT 2018 Slot 2)
2. I have observed that the sets with the least amount of information stated in the question require the most amount of time and effort. So, small, simple, cute-looking sets may be deceptive and long data loaded sets might actually be easier.
3. Sets with the most amount of “indirect data” given (The ones in the forms of constraints and not direct ‘plug and play’) require you to build up a mental map, since the actual information cannot be directly used.
It will help if you write down the constraint number (as it appears in the question) on your rough sheet to make sure you don’t miss it. Most times, when I got stuck while solving a set, it was because I had forgotten all about an essential condition in the question, which held the key to all my answers.
Example of indirect data – The one who lives in the purple house does not wear a green shirt.
4. It is not important to solve all 4 questions under a set. Give your inner Shifu a pair of Fastracks and learn to move on! If a set has 2 questions from the original data set and the other 2 give you additional information or changes the basic premise of the set, it is almost as though you are starting afresh.
Do not hesitate to proceed to the next set in case the additional information/conditions are too much to process.
The reverse is also true, an “untouchably hard” set may have a question so simple, it hardly takes you a minute to nail it.
5. If there seem to be more than one possibility while you start solving a set, solve the set under both possibilities.
For example, Seven friends sit in a straight line and P and T are in the corners.
Possibility 1 - P x x x x x T
Possibility 2 - T x x x x x P
It may seem counter-intuitive to solve it simultaneously since it may take double the time, but I have seen that after a couple of conditions, you can eliminate one possibility and be sure of your arrangement. Sometimes, as you go on, one possibility may split into two and you are suddenly dealing with 4 different simulations.
Even then, solving them simultaneously would be my recommendation and eliminating the impossible ones (Based on future conditions) will help.
It will take a lot of time initially but with a clear head, some practice and neat rough-work, it will soon become relatively effortless.
6. Expect the unexpected! Ever thought you’ll need to make a venn diagram with 5 sets? Me neither! Practice helps you learn simpler ways to solve wacky questions like these with ease. A couple YouTube channels have been linked below.
To decide what kind of sets are your strength requires constant practice and analysis of the questions you have solved. When you are starting out, even if you have gotten the set entirely right, I would recommend looking at the most efficient approach followed in your practice guide/YouTube explanation of the set solved. This is to optimize your thought process and make it second nature when you see sets following a similar pattern.
Finally, I will come to the golden rule of actually attempting a mock test in LRDI:
You need to go through all 8 sets before starting one.
This might seem like a waste of absolutely precious 5-6 minutes (It takes even longer when you are starting out), and especially when the clock is ticking, it would feel so pointless. I know. But trust me, the second I started doing this, my LRDI sectional score shot up drastically.
Read all 8 sets and bucket them into ABC:
A are the ones you will do immediately.
B you will try if A gets done, and
C you will pack up in a suitcase and never look at! (Less dramatically, maybe you should solve it after the mock sectional is over though! :P)
I know if you see a category A set as the first question, you will be tempted to jump right in. Don’t. Hold your horses, read the 8 sets and then solve!
This is super important because you have no idea which sets you should be doing just by reading one. You may realise you started with the hardest set in the paper!
Or sometimes you may think of a set as too difficult but after looking at the others, you may feel as though that set may be your best shot after all.
Structure your approach and repeat it until you have run out of quality sets to solve. And always remember to time your attempts because it will start to boil down to how many sets you can do correctly and not whether you can do them correctly.
Check out the other sections here: