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7/7/2014 Prepare for CAT/GMAT/GRE | Debate and Puzzle a Day | Inspirational Articles | Original Papers of CAT: Cracking the

the DI (Data Interpretation) Part


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WEDNESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2012
Cracking the DI (Data Interpretation) Part of Competitive Exams - The
Fallacy, How to Prepare and Tips & Tricks
Imagine that you have applied for a competitive exam (like CAT, GMAT, GRE, SNAP, etc.) and you are solving the
Data Interpretation (DI) part of the paper. Assume that the below data is what you have in hand of a startup
company named ABC:
Year Sales (Rs. In Lacs)
2008 11
2009 17
2010 26
2011 47
2012 89
The question being asked is "In which year did the company see the highest percentage growth in sales as
compared to the previous year?" How will you start? Think before you read the post below.
The cartoon above shows that most of the time we chew the data. By chewing we mean - "most of you would
have LITERALLY calculated the percentage growth year-on-year and the year which shows the highest
percentage growth over the previous year is the answer". This is what you would've done (approximate values):

Interpreting the Data or Chewing the Data
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Cracking the DI (Data
Interpretation) Part of
Competitive Exams -
The Fallacy, How to
Prepare and Tips &
Tricks
Imagine that you have applied for a
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GRE, SNAP, etc.) and you are
solving the Data Interpretation (DI)
par...
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7/7/2014 Prepare for CAT/GMAT/GRE | Debate and Puzzle a Day | Inspirational Articles | Original Papers of CAT: Cracking the DI (Data Interpretation) Part
http://weblog.catapp.in/2012/10/cracking-di-data-interpretation-part-of.html 2/4
Year Sales (Rs. In Lacs) Incremental Sales % Growth over
Previous Year
2008 11 -- --
2009 17 6 6/11 = 54%
2010 26 9 9/17 = 53%
2011 47 21 21/26 = 81%
2012 89 42 42/47 = 89%
And hence the answer is 2012.
A) This is the first fallacy in Data Interpretation.
Data Interpretation - The word itself conveys everything. You're supposed to "interpret" the data and not "blindly
chew" it. The data given in the question was easy and hence you could do it quickly. Imagine if the data had been:
Year Sales (Rs. In Lacs)
2008 11.325
2009 17.875
2010 26.437
2011 47.896
2012 89.776
Would you still calculate the difference between sales (incremental sale) and hence calculate the percentage
growth?
Tips & Tricks
YOU SHOULD NOT. Because the paper setter wants you to "interpret" the data and hence you're supposed to
calculate it quickly. Here's how you should do it rapidly:
Write all the fractions and see which is the largest (you're not required to calculate it ACCURATELY to 2-3 decimal
digits) . The fractions are - 17/11, 26/17, 47/26 and 89/47 and the output is:
Fractions in %
17/11 = 154%
26/17 = 153%
47/26 = 181%
89/47 = 189%
Let us note two things here:
1. Although it's not necessary to find percentages at all, it is only done to show that whether you compare a
year's sale to its previous year directly or whether you find the incremental sale and then do this
comparison, the result is SAME.
2. The percentages are EXACTLY greater than 100% than all the corresponding percentages because 100% =
1, which is Previous year/Previous year.
How to Prepare for DI:
This trick will save time and help you get answers without much calculations.
B) Second fallacy in Data Interpretation
When working with fractions, we have the tendency to find the values of the fractions, when what essentially we're
supposed to do is "compare the fractions".
Tips & Tricks:
Data Interpretation is not about calculating the exact values (this is only required when the options are very close).
It's about "approximating".
Let us say you're given the fractions: 5/11, 9/13, 5/9 and 7/11 and are asked to find which is the largest of all.
There is no need to calculate all the fractions. To find the largest fraction you should know in which fraction is the
denominator the least multiple of the numerator. Here are two ways to do it:
1st Way:
1. Take 5/11 and 9/13.
2. Cross multiply the terms.
3. So we have: 5*13 and 9*11 i.e. 65 and 99.
4. 99 is greater i.e. 9/13 > 5/11
5. Now we do for 9/13 and 5/9: 9*9 and 5*13 i.e. 81 and 65.
6. 81 is greater i.e. 9/13 > 5/9.
7. Now compare 9/13 and 7/11: 9*11 and 13*7 i.e. 99 and 91.
8. So 99 is greater i.e. 9/13 > 7/11.
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9. Hence 9/13 is the largest of all.
2nd Way:
1. Invert the fractions: 11/5, 13/9, 9/5, 11/7
2. Now 11/5 > 2 and 9/5 is very close to 2.
3. 13/9 = 1.4 and 11/7 = 1.5
4. Hence 13/9 is the fraction where the denominator is the smallest multiple of the numerator.
5. Hence 9/13 is the largest of all.
How to Prepare for DI:
This trick will not only help in DI but also in Quantitative Ability in competitive exams.
C) Third fallacy in Data Interpretation
Data Interpretation is ONLY about calculation. This is false. It's also about logic and reasoning. Here's an example:

The total sales are Rs 542 crores and total quantity is 4.231 lakh tonnes. Question is: Which country has paid the
highest average price?
A normal person would do the following (let us say for Russia):
1. Find 35% of 542 crores.
2. Find 18% of 4.231 lakh tonnes
3. Find the ratio of (1) and (2) calculated above.
And hence the same is repeated for all 4 countries.
Tips & Tricks:
Let us say you want to compare Brazil and Russia. You would do:
(20% of 542) / (25% of 4.231) and (35% of 542) / (18% of 4.231)
We can see that 542 and 4.231 are common terms in all the ratios. We can just get rid of them. Thank god, wow
we're left with:
Brazil 20/25 < 1
Russia 35/18 > 1
India 40/42 < 1
China 5/15 < 1
Hence the answer is Russia.
How to Prepare for DI:
This trick will help you do only what is required in the sum and help you improve your logic.
These are just a few tricks and tips that can help you improve your Data Interpretation scores in competitive
exams like CAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.
Competitive exams require you to be not only theoretically profound but also logically sound."
7/7/2014 Prepare for CAT/GMAT/GRE | Debate and Puzzle a Day | Inspirational Articles | Original Papers of CAT: Cracking the DI (Data Interpretation) Part
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Ashish Chowdhary via Google+ 1 year ago - Shared publicly
Crack it...
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MOULA SAHEB MOHAMMED 10 months ago - Shared publicly
just skip that first to save time later u can do if time being........
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Ashish Chowdhary 1 year ago
We use Google...
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DEBBIE 1 year ago
TOOOOOO GOOD...it was great to read this article...superb for fundamentals...which go a long way
nancy john 1 year ago
GRE Data Interpretation is very important for this exam so be attention about it.
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