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How to improve the DILR section of CAT?
May 27 2024

The DILR section of the CAT exam contains 20 questions divided into 4 sets. Solving one set almost always guarantees that the candidate will be able to answer all four questions in that set. The logical reasoning and data interpretation section of the CAT is timed for 40 minutes. Applicants seeking admission to IIM must pass the CAT with at least a 99 percentile and have an excellent DILR score.

Before deciding on the best strategy for improving DILR, the candidate should be familiar with the types of questions and the syllabus. Most CAT 99 percentiles are denied admission to IIMs due to low DILR scores in the main section. Continue reading this section to learn everything there is to know about the DILR preparation plan. This article covers everything you need to know about scoring well and getting into top IIMs.

CAT DILR section Exam Pattern

Section Details
Total number of DILR section 20 Questions
Time allotment for the DILR section 40 minutes
Divisions of Questions in the DILR section 4 sets and 5 questions
Must do Topics
  • Data Interpretation (DI): games and tournaments, caselets.
  • Logical Reasoning (LR): Arrangements and Puzzles
Marking pattern for CAT
  • +3 for each correct answer
  • -1 for each incorrect answer in MCQs
  • No negative marking for TITA


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Strategy to score 99%ile in DILR

Review the last 5 years' CAT papers, whoever the exam setters are DILR is always tough.

Strategies to improve DILR:

  1. Skim data to understand its structure and identify trends.
  2. Identify key variables and units mentioned in the data.
  3. Read questions carefully to know what information is needed.
  4. Break down complex data into smaller parts for easier analysis.
  5. Prioritize solving data-based questions first.
  6. Use approximations for faster calculations.
  7. Look for patterns and trends in the data.
  8. Employ elimination techniques for logical reasoning questions.
  9. Practice with mock tests to improve speed and accuracy.

Remember to manage your time effectively during the exam. Allocate specific time slots for each set of questions and move
on if you find a particular set challenging. Practice regularly to improve your DILR skills and build your confidence. Good luck
with your CAT exam preparation!

Start your preparation today.

Time Management Strategies for CAT DILR:

  1. Understand Weightage: Know the number of DILR questions for effective planning.
  2. Time Allocation: Divide total time by questions to set time limits.
  3. Prioritise: Start with easier questions to maximize your score.
  4. Set Time Limits: Allocate specific time for each question.
  5. Skip Complex Questions: Save time by skipping complex questions initially.
  6. Practice Time Management: Solve DILR sets within time limits during practice.
  7. Use Approximations: Employ estimation techniques for faster calculations.
  8. Review Efficiently: Use the remaining time to review and correct answers.
  9. Time Discipline: Stick to allocated time for each question.
  10. Practice Consistently: Regular practice enhances time management skills.

Remember, effective time management requires practice and experience. Regularly solve DILR questions under timed conditions to improve your speed and decision-making skills. Stay calm and focused during the exam, and trust in your preparation. Good luck with your CAT exam!


Q1. How many questions are there in the DILR section?

Ans. The DILR section typically consists of 20 questions

Q2. What is the marking scheme for DILR?

Ans: Each correct attempt in DILR fetches 3 marks, while there's a penalty of 1 mark for every incorrect attempt

Q3. Is DILR a difficult section?

Ans. DILR is often considered the most challenging section of the CAT exam due to its focus on analytical skills and data analysis.

Q4. How can I improve my DILR score?


  • Focus on accuracy over speed.
  • Practice regularly with past CAT papers and mock exams.

Q5.Should I attempt all the questions in DILR?

Ans. It's better to focus on accuracy and attempt only the questions you're confident about. Guessing can lead to negative markings.

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cat 2024
Anisha Mukhija

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