26 October, 2016

Reasoning Puzzles (Study Notes)

Today we’ll discuss about Puzzle. This topic is can fetch you marks easily but you need to know the right concepts and types of questions to practice.

In banking exams Puzzle questions can be asked in itself or Data Sufficiency. Usually 10-12 questions can be asked from this topic, thus it can fetch you easy marks with right practice.

Introduction: From practical experience and the general trends, it can be asserted that the question on “puzzle” can be generally classified into the following types of problems:-

1. Simple problems of categorization

2. Arrangement problems

3. Comparison Problems

4. Blood Relations

5. Blood Relations with professions

6. Conditional selection

7. Miscellaneous problems

In the puzzles, you shall be given fast-working and efficient methods for all the types of problems above.

Preliminary steps

1. First of all, take a quick glance at the question. This would need not more than a couple of seconds.

2. After performing this step you would develop a general idea as to what the general theme of the problem is.

3. Next determine the usefulness of each of the information and classify them accordingly into “actual information” or “useful secondary information” or Negative information as the case may be.

This can be one in the following way:

(A) Useful secondary information: Usually the first couple of sentence of the given data are such that they give you some basic information that is essential to give you the general idea of the situation. These can be classified as useful secondary information.

(B) Actual information: Whatever remains after putting aside the useful secondary information can be categorized as actual information. While trying to solve a problem, one should begin with the actual information while the useful secondary information should be borne in mind.

(c) Negative Information: A part of the actual information may consist of negative sentences or negative information. A negative information does not inform us anything exactly but it gives a chance to eliminate a possibility. Sentences like “B is not the mother of A” or “H is not a hill-station” are called negative information.

(1) Simple problems of categorization

The most simple type of problems in this lesson falls under this category where you would be supposed to analyse the given data and simply place different items in different categories according to the given information.

Example (i): There are six cities A, B, C, D, E and F and they belong to atleast one of the types of places i.e. Historical, Industrial and Hill station. B is not an industrial area. C and F belongs to all types of places. E is both industrial and Hill station. A is not a hill station. B and E are not historical places. D is not an industrial city. A and D are not historical cities. A and B are not alike.

Solution:

(Here since A is not a hill station, we put a cross under a column and infront of Hill station Row, this would reduce the number of choices for us. (similarly for all the other options)

Example (ii) Four friends Ankit, Amit, Akash and Ajay went to four different cities Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Nagpur for interview in four different companies TCS, Wipro, IBM and HCL. But not in the same order.

Ankit was not invited by TCS. Amit did not go to Hyderabad and was not invited by IBM and TCS. IBM conducted in Nagpur. Akash went to Mumbai. Ankit did not go to Nagpur and was not invited by HCL.

(2)Arrangement problems: In this type of questions, the problems is essentially of arranging a group of people, objects etc. According to the given specifications. Arrangement problems can be of two types (i) Linear arrangement and (ii) Circular Arrangement.

The questions of this type are also referred to as “Seating Arrangement

Example: Six persons A, B, C, D, E and F are seating in two rows, three in each.

E is not at the end of any row.

D is second to the left of F.

C, the neighbour of E, is sitting diagonally opposite to D.

B is the neighbour of F.

Solutions:

(3) Problem on Comparison: In these questions a comparison of different objects or persons have to be made and conclusions have to be arrived on the basis of comparison.

(i) Comparison of heights

(ii) Comparison of marks

(iii) Comparison of age, etc.

You may use the following symbols for comparison:

Example: Among four friends A, B, C and D. A is taller than, who is shorter than D. D is not the tallest and A is shorter than D.

Solutions: C > D > A > B or  C

D

A

B

(Tallest to shortest, from above to below)

(4) Problems on Blood Relations: Problems of this type involve analysis of certain blood relations and then inferring on the basis of the given information.

Example: All the six members of a family A, B C, D, E and F are travelling together. B is the son of C but C is not the mother of B. A and C are a married couple. E is the brother of C. D is the daughter of A. F is the brother of B.

Solutions:

(5) Problems on Blood Relations with professions: These problems are very much similar to the problems on Blood Relations. Only difference is that in these questions another dimension is added. The professions of various family members are also incorporated into the data to make it complex and confusing.

Example: There is a group of six persons A, B, C, D, E and F in a family. They are psychologist, Manager, Lawyer, Jeweller, Doctor and Engineer.

(i) The doctor is the grandfather of F, who is a psychologist

(ii) The manager, D is married to A.

(iii) C, the Jeweller, is married to the lawyer.

(iv) B is the mother of F and E.

(v) There are two married couples in the family.

Solutions:

(6) Problems on conditional selection: In this type of questions, a group of objects or persons have to be selected from a given longer group, according to some given restrictions.

Example: Five friends P, Q, R, S and T travelled to five different cities of Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad by different modes of transport of Bus, Train, Aeroplane, Car and Boat from Mumbai. But not necessary in the same order.

(a) The person who travelled to Delhi did not travel by Boat.

(b) R went to Bengaluru by car and Q went to Kolkata by Aeroplane

(c) S travelled by Boat whereas T travelled by train.

(d) Mumbai is not connected by Bus to Delhi and Chennai.

(7) Miscellaneous Problems: Till now we have covered different types of puzzles. But in miscellaneous problems all types are covered.

Example: There are five persons P, Q, R, S and T. One is a football, one is a chess player and one is a hockey player. P and S are unmarried ladies and do not participate in any game. None of the ladies plays chess or Football. There is a married couple in which T is the husband. Q is the brother of R and is neither a chess player nor a hockey player.

Solutions:

Here, T and R are married couple. Where, T is husband and R is wife.

Points to Remember

(1) In puzzles, first of all collect all the direct information.

(2) And they should be arranged in tabular format.

(3) After that point out all the negative information and mark it in your table according to given information.

(4) Other facts can be find out from the indirect information.

(5) The most important part is that in some condition there will be more than one possibility.

(6) So, according to possibilities arrange them in the different tables.

(7) Reject all the tables which violates other information in puzzles.

(8) By following this process you can find the correct solutions.

(9) Puzzle are always tricky so, take care of every words and sentence.

(10) By following this approach, you will be able to solve the puzzle with good accuracy and speed.