Top 7 ways to improve your logical reasoning [ for CAT and other exams]
As the new year has dawned, cracking CAT -2018 will be a resolution in the list of many ambitious souls. Now, whether the fire to ace it survives with the due course of time or it gets snuff out, only time will tell. But cracking CAT does not only require a resolute spirit but also a tactical mind that can formulate strategies and quickly adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of this exam. All reputed B schools desire to have students who are bound to be the future managers with excellent decision-making skills and reasoning prowess and thus, CAT is designed in such a manner so as to test these abilities. The most dreaded section of CAT is the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation(LRDI), which in the recent few years has been giving goosebumps to the students with its difficulty and a tinge of novelty. In this article, I have penned down ways on how to improve the logical abilities and reasoning skills for serious aspirants looking forward to bell the CAT.
1. Start solving Puzzles:
Puzzles are designed to check the logical finesse in which one can approach a problem and offer a solution to crack it. Puzzles entail bits of information which need to be logically connected in a coherent manner so as to arrive at its solution. One’s inductive and deductive reasoning skills are put to test while solving a puzzle. With consistent practice by solving diverse puzzles and word problems, one opens up his/her mind and sees things which are hidden inside the problem statement. Solving puzzle books like George Summers, Shakuntala Devi etc where there is a plethora of interesting and mind-boggling questions can help one to sharpen his/her reasoning skills.
2. Solving Sudoku:
Sudoku is a mathematical puzzle where there is a 9x9 grid in which digits from 1 to 9 are to be placed so that each row and each column contains all the nine digits where none of the digits can be repeated in any row or column. Every day newspapers publish a Sudoku for their readers and this can help one to exercise his/her grey matter. Many sets of Logical Reasoning that appear in CAT are based on the similar lines and with practice, one can become a pro in cracking such sets.
3. Solving Rubik’s Cube:
Solving a Rubik’s cube is a fun activity which involves spatial and visual intelligence and surely it improves one’s mental reflexes. People who solve it themselves create their own understanding of the cube and develop a wider perception of the entire process of solving. It also includes analytical abilities which involve recognizing images and other objects in its surroundings. It shall not directly help you in cracking CAT, but, will surely keep your brains active and improve hand-eye coordination. Also, it inculcates the habit of perseverance, patience and more importantly enhances focus.
4. Playing Strategy Games:
Games like chess, minesweeper and even Clash of Clans can help one to build strategy. Games like chess require one to anticipate the next move of the opponent and accordingly shape his/her tactics. Also, one’s skills on optimization of the limited resources are put to test. Playing these games is exciting and in the process hones the decision-making craft of the players.
5. Solving Jigsaw Puzzles and playing Lego:
A jigsaw puzzle entails completing an entire picture from the constituent small oddly shaped pieces with a picture on it by assembling them together using one’s logical reasoning skills. All the fitting pieces must be accurately attached while completing the jigsaw puzzle. Lego is a popular childhood game that involves interlocking plastic bricks that can be assembled and connected to construct vehicles, building and other interesting objects. Although both these are a kid’s game, they can help one to exercise his/her mental faculties thereby improving the logical skills.
6. Solving reasoning based sets from previous papers and mocks:
The most effective approach to improving Logical Reasoning streamlined to CAT is to solve previous years’ papers and mocks. Getting an exposure of such sets that have already appeared in CAT will help one to establish a clear line of thinking and identify the approaches required to solve such questions. A familiarity with such sets will dwindle the chances of being taken aback during the actual exam.
7. Reading/Watching murder mysteries and suspense thrillers:
Identifying the killer, his motive and modus operandi while reading a murder mystery before the killer is actually revealed, involves one to weigh all the possible suspects and eliminate the most obvious ones. It is a fun game that keeps the grey cells working. Similarly watching suspense thrillers and mystery movies famous for their twists and turns keep the adrenaline gushing and at the same time push your brains to keep thinking of all the possible outcomes thereby improving one’s ability to foresee all eventualities.
To sum up, one needs to keep pushing his/her mental boundaries and consistently exercise the power of his/her reasoning to become a top-notch performer in this zone where most of the students fail to score well. The above said ways cannot guarantee you an overnight success but shall gradually help you to unleash the vast cognitive abilities of your untapped minds. So, instead of dreading this section, let’s embrace it and get ourselves prepared to conquer it.