CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus

If you’re like most students preparing for the CAT, you may put off studying for logical reasoning until the last minute—if you study it at all. Why does this happen? We know, based on our secondary education, that mathematics, even data interpretation, and verbal skills can be taught. After all, we’ve most likely had to take classes in these subjects! But where and when do you learn about logical reasoning? How could you even start to make a CAT logical reasoning syllabus?

That’s where we come in! As it’s used on the CAT, Logical Reasoning tests a few skill sets, which you can absolutely learn. Remember, the CAT is a standardized test: the questions that appear in Logical Reasoning change from year to year, but the thinking skills and question types tested don’t. With that in mind, our experts have studied previous years’ CATs to come up with the ultimate CAT Logical Reasoning syllabus.

CAT Logical Reasoning: Conditionals

CAT Logical Reasoning tests conditional statements a lot (for example, “A cannot be next to B, but B must be next to C”). However, you’ll most likely see them in combination with other types of Logical Reasoning questions, such as sequences and ordering problems. You’ll often see conditionals in problems about tournaments, people forming queues (or arriving/departing from events), and scheduling scenarios.

CAT Logical Reasoning: Selections

Choosing menu items, distributing goods, picking stores—these area all good signs that you’ve found a selection problem. In many ways, CAT selection problems relate to probability. By the time test-takers complete Data Interpretation, they may think that they’ve finished working with math until Quant. Not so! You’ll need to use those math skills throughout the exam, particularly once you’ve finished Verbal.

CAT Logical Reasoning: Number Properties

In fact, some CAT Logical Reasoning problems may flat-out ask you to use your math skills. These problems usually show up in the form of number properties, testing what you know about prime and composite numbers, positive and negative numbers, squares and exponents. Make sure that you have your Quant lessons and notes handy as you study for Logical Reasoning—they can help you more than you might think!

CAT Logical Reasoning: Ordering and Sequences

Ordering questions depend heavily on conditional statements, as we saw above. If you encounter a problem asking about seating charts, creating committees, or other types of groups, scheduling appointments, or choosing routes, you’re in an ordering problem! Diagraming is key here, perhaps even more so than it is for other CAT Logical Reasoning problem types.

CAT Logical Reasoning: Visualizations

While you may use visualization skills for the problem types we’ve already looked at, other problems will ask you to focus exclusively on these skills. What do we mean by visualization? It’s often geometric: ways of packing boxes, mapping out the placement of furniture or other items, and other problems using 3-dimensional geometry skills. Again, this is a place where knowing formulas can really come in handy, so keep your Quant notes close at hand!