# 6 things to watch out for when practising Data Interpretation

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 01, 2017 12:52 hrs

Data Interpretation (DI) contributes more than 40% marks in IBPS PO exams and 100 % in SBI PO exams.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind while practicing DI (The following points could be understood only by the students who have basic knowledge in data interpretation)

1.Understand the diagram:

There are so many students who skip this basic step and try to answer the questions directly. Never do that mistake. You can take 30 seconds to understand the diagram (table, bar chart, pie graph etc.). The numerical values given in diagram could be in percentage, thousands, dollars or kgs. Get the unit right. While viewing the diagram, you should always read the directions or instructions given above the diagram.

2. It is OK to skip a question (even if you know the logic):

Once in a while you might encounter a question with a simple logic but it might take a lot of your precious time (> 2 minutes). Beware of these ‘Time stealer’ questions as it might slow you down quite a bit. These questions are given with a purpose to steal your time. So the best idea is to skip these questions and use that time for other questions.

3. Draw a table if necessary

I don't mean a 'case studies' question where drawing a table is necessary. When a combination graph (table + pie graph, table + bar chart or Pie graph + pie graph etc) is given in percentage units and the real value has to be derived from the percentage, then the best method is to draw a table which has the real values instead of percentage values. This will definitely help in speeding up the calculation.

4. You can approximate:

Sometimes it is necessary to approximate the values to reduce the calculation time. There are so many methods in approximation. But the real question is which factor decides the approximation?

The only factor which decides your approximation are the options given in  the question. For example, you cannot approximate your values for a question which has options like this:
a) 19.4456 b) 19.111    c) 18.978 d) 19.980     e) 20.045

But you can consider approximation when you see options like this.
a)19    b)13.23    c)27.23   d) 41.3234 e) 10.12

5. Practice Data Interpretation ‘online’:

Working out DI questions online has different problems than working out DI in sheet.

Working out Data Interpretation is tougher than working out in coding sheet because we usually spend a lot of our time in searching the data on screen than the actual calculation part.

Anyone who has attended an online data interpretation question might have realized this. This searching time will be very high if you are attending a 'table question.' This is because locating a particular cell in a particular row and in a particular column takes a lot of your time. So, as much as possible, practice it online.

6. How to read a question which spans more than 2 lines?

If a question in DI involves more than 2 sentences, it is unnecessary to read the entire question. Instead, read the first sentence and calculate the data. Then move to next sentence, calculate the next data and so on.

This is just like solving a ‘blood relation’ question in reasoning. In that case it has to be solved from the reverse order. This will definitely help in reducing the time.

We hope the above mentioned tips will be useful.

Bharath Seeman is Director at Rapid Academy of Competitive Examinations (RACE)