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Logical reasoning@ LR for CAT 2013: How to crack 'Seating Ar

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Seating arrangement questions are one of the most consistent parts of Logical Reasoning section in Common Admission Test (CAT).

Though the questions of seating arrangement look complex in first read, an organized way of approaching these questions will make it much simpler to solve than other questions. Also, with multiple ways of approaching the question, you can easily cross-check the accuracy factor by a quick revisit of the question. 

How to solve?
Questions in Logical Reasoning based on Seating Arrangement sets should be solved by preparing a sketch in mind or preferably, on the paper so that you are able to answer more than one questions comfortably.

There may be multiple conditions and it is expected from the aspirant to logically understand the same. The only way is however, is to practice more and gradually you will develop required skill sets and logical short cuts to solve these problems. Initially, while going to solve such questions, you should go by the following steps:

1. Do not jump to the answer options unless and until you have carefully read the problem and have understood it.
2. The problem has to be solved on the basis of given information and not on the assumptions. Therefore, do not assume any formation which is not available in the problems. Only the given facts should be used.
3. Words like “all” “some”, “none”, “other than”, “only” or “unless” etc. have to be given due care and special attention, since questions will be based on such information.


Let us have example problems and try to solve it -

Example problems 1 & 2 – Read the information given below and answer the questions based on the small paragraph

Problem-1 (with a multiple questions)

One of the renowned NGOs in India has taken on the challenge to save tigers in the country and has invited five film personalities to pose for photographs with the specially designed shirts and placards to convey the message. However, Shahrukh doesn’t want to stand next to Salman as they have some problems between them. Vidya and Vivek wish to pose standing close to each other as there is more understanding between them. Bobby has some issues with vivek as he misbehaved with him in a party and both are at logger heads. Vivek always loves to stand at the extreme right and would seldom compromise the position. Nevertheless, the problem was resolved somehow and it became a great message for the world in the best manner.

Question 1: If Shahrukh is standing to the extreme left, who is standing in the middle?
(a) Vivek
(b) Salman
(c) Vidya
(d) Bobby

Question 2: If Shahrukh stands to the extreme left, who stands fourth from left?
(a) Vidya
(b) Salman
(c) Vivek
(d) Bobby

Question 3: If Vidya gets a conflict with Vivek and doesn’t want to stand next to him and Vivek is ready to give-up his claim on extreme right position while Sharukh wants to stand second from right, who will stand on extreme right position.
(a) Vidya
(b) Salman
(c) Bobby
(d) Unable to decide


Left-to right

1. Shahrukh 2.Bobby   3.Salman   4. Vidya 5.Vivek, Therefore -  
Answer 1: B

If Shahrukh is standing at the extreme left, this arrangement will be fine satisfying all the personalities. It is, therefore Salman who is in the middle.

Answer 2: A
Once you have understood the arrangement, you can solve all the questions.  Looking at the arrangement the fourth position from left will be occupied by Vidya.

Answer 3: C
Going by the question and changed situation following arrangement may be made -
Left to right –
1.Vidya 2.Salman 3.Vivek 4.Shahrukh 5.Bobby


Author of this article Mr. S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability and LR Section to CAT Aspirants through online coaching classes. 

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