# Things you need to know to make the best in the Data Interpretation section of CAT

The Data Interpretation (DI) segment of the CAT examinations has its focus firmly on calculations. As a CAT examinee, you will need to negotiate your way through the paper collecting and interpreting data from a mix of graphs, tables and charts. To score high in this segment of CAT you must know what to expect and have a plan in place.

## Practicing Data Interpretation is important

DI is not a regular subject that can be mastered instantly. Therefore, get as much practice as you can! Improving your ability to calculate with speed and accuracy is vital. You can achieve this by memorising multiplication tables, picking up advanced methods of approximation or learning Vedic mathematics. What’s essential is developing the ability to make speedy mental calculations.

Reading articles with pie charts and graphs in business newspapers and interpreting the data given here helps! Solving a variety of graphs and charts as well as previous year’s CAT papers will help you polish up your skills here.

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## Having a Strategy always Helps

Adopt a straight-forward strategy for dealing with Data Interpretation, while remaining flexible in your approach. It’s best not to jump into solving the sets immediately. Instead, experts advise you to calmly devote the initial time to carefully going through all the sets before finalising on the ones you want to solve. Base your decision on identifying which set is more structured or can be placed in a structured format more comfortably, they state.

## Careful Set Selection is Vital

Picking the set you want to work on needs to be done with care. The trick lies in spotting the main pieces of data that you need to work on a set.  As per CAT experts, a general rule that applies here is that, if a set has more data—the question that follows it should be easier. It’s good to research more on why this rule works.

Given that in DI students do not require to solve every question in a set, a good strategy would be to identify the easier questions and attempt them in different sets across the paper. For this, it is necessary that you practice scanning previous years DI papers and develop the ability to differentiate between easy and difficult questions in them.

Use Focus and Persistence to Succeed

After making your decision, focus your time and attention on that specific set. And even if you find that the set you selected has its own fair share of challenges, do not leave it and move on to another set. That will only result in wastage of time. Instead persist and solve the set successfully.

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