Do you aim to ace the CAT 2018? If you have any such plan then probably you must be thinking of how to prepare yourself for the CAT exam. Roll your eyes on this article which provides the accurate information and tips for preparing the Data Interpretation Section for CAT 2018.


Few essentials of CAT 2018


  • The CAT 2018 exam is going to be held on November 25, 2018.
  • The registration process for the CAT exam 2018 is closed now.
  • The exam will be conducted by IIM Calcutta.
  • The exam will be organised in both the sessions of morning and afternoon.
  • The mode of the exam is online and it will be conducted within a duration of 180 minutes.
  • The medium of the language of the question paper will be in English.
  • The cut off percentile is 60% for this exam.
  • In order to appear the exam, the candidate must have scored 50% in any discipline of Bachelor degree.

CAT syllabus


Over the last two decades, the CAT is testing the level of aptitude in students based on Verbal Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. Several times many of the CAT exams have put 1/3rd weight on Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability whereas it has kept 1/6th to each Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. 

 It is a fact that many candidates who have scored 99 % in CAT are still unable to get a call from the IIM. The reason behind this is that their score in DI is below the cut off mark. To get yourself successful in DI follow the solutions below.


Data Interpretation


CAT 2018 DI section


Total DILR questions 32
Number of DI questions in the CAT paper 4
Type of DI questions for CAT Questions are in sets of 4 based on 4 DI problems


Total questions Based on Data Interpretation problems for CAT


Bifurcation of DI based questions 12 MCQs, 4 Non MCQs
Time given to complete the section 60 minutes
Marks for each correct answer +3
Negative marks for each wrong answer -1
Difficulty level of DI questions Moderate to High
Number of Data Interpretation questions with no negative marking 4 Non-MCQs


Data Interpretation is all about charts and graphs. The corporate world or the business industries analyse their data using these graphs and charts. This shows the reason for the importance of Data Interpretation in business sectors or MBA life. This area of study does not come under the subject of Mathematics as this does have any kind of property, theory, or formula. Knowing about how to interpret data is a skill to be acquired for aiding business companies and other sectors. There are numerous varieties of Data Interpretation which are typical such as Pie Charts, Tables, Bar Charts, Line Charts, Mixed Charts or any other unusual form of representing data. Nowadays, the entrance test papers also include Caselets, another variety of Data Interpretation. Caselets are a set of paragraphs which are filled with numerical data which must be evaluated in a systematic manner to be understood easily.

Here is a simple breakup of DILR questions over the last 3 years

break up of DILR questions

The composition of DILR section in CAT 2018


CAT 2018 will conduct both the papers of Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) into a single unit or section. The composition is:

  • Unit name- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR).
  • Number of questions in this combined unit- 32.
  • Total number of DI problems for CAT – 4.
  • DI questions’ type for CAT- 4 sets of questions based on 4 Data Interpretation problems.
  • Total number of questions based on DI problems for CAT -16.
  • Division of DI questions- 12 MCQs and 4 Non- MCQs.
  • Duration to complete the total unit- 60 minutes.
  • Each correct answer will contain- +3.
  • Each negative mark will deduct -1 mark.
  • Level of DI questions- moderate to high.
  • DI questions with no negative marking- 4 non multiple type questions.


Structure and content of Data Interpretation section in CAT exam


However if you have to appear a separate test for Data Interpretation of CAT exam, then follow the content and structure below. Each problem set has 4 numbers of questions.  

  • The problem Set A will contain Tables and Charts and. The questions will be based on data comparison of various ages and years.
  • The problem Set B consists of Graph and Bar diagram which will lead towards the questions based on data comparison of various years, groups, classes, etc. and data analysis.
  • Pie charts along with Tables will be contained in the problem Set C and the questions will depend on evaluating the data of missing periods, interpreting the missing links, and taking clues.
  • Problem Set of D will contain Graphs and Charts and the questions will be on data analysis, drawing a conclusion and assembling future projections.
  • There will be a total of 16 questions- 4 of non-multiple choice types and 12 of multiple choice type questions.


Preparation of Data Interpretation for CAT


The DI requires specific strategy for preparation unlike other papers. The following are most important tips for preparing DI for CAT.  

  • Keep a track on the present trend of DI questions for CAT.
  • Follow the best book on DI available in the market or online sites.
  • Practice thoroughly the numerous types of DI questions and answers.
  • Revise again and again.
  • Appear mock tests available on the website to be familiar with the exam pattern.
  • The key to success in DI is to go for LOD=1 to LOD=3 as recommended by the experts. The DI questions are all about data analysis and comparison. If you are correct in the making the analysis then the entire slot of questions will be correct and if one question is wrongly answered then the entire set of 4 questions may go wrong.
  • Update yourself with the best coaching institutes providing materials on Data Interpretation of CAT.
  • Follow the previous CAT topper’s strategy regarding Data Interpretation.

Here is an accuracy table for different percentile



Taking mock tests is a great way to ace the Data Interpretation Section. Enrol now for Career Anna’s Online Mock Test series.