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Cracking Maharashtra CET 2011: Visual Reasoning

Tackling Maharashtra CET 2011
Of the few topics unique to CET, Visual Reasoning accounts for 15% of the total marks in the paper. Perceived as difficult and the difference between getting admitted to a Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) and a Sydenham Institute of Management Studies and Research and Entrepreneurship Education) , this section has endless possibilities and no amount of practice can guarantee that one will score 25+ in this part of the paper.


The thing to notice in these types of questions are the changes in the elements. An element is a smaller part of the entire figure in question. The elements can change in various ways - some of the common questions are listed below: only found questions in CET use are:

1. Addition of an element or addition to an existing element: Here, either, a new element is added to the existing set of elements or an element in the original figure is modified by addition of a part (addition of a line, increasing the number of sides, increase in the angle between two lines by a certain margin, etc.)

2. Deletion of an element or deleting a part of an existing element: Here, it"s the exact opposite of addition. An entire element is removed from the figure or a part is reduced/removed.

3. Change of an element: In this, the entire element is replaced by a completely new element. The new element added might not have a logical relationship with the one it replaces.

4. Movement: The movement of the element can be either in the clock-wise or the anti-clockwise direction. The movement can be through a certain angle (commonly 45 or 90 degrees).

5. Image: The new element can be an image of the original element. The images can be of two types. Water image is one wherein, the image is a reflection of the image in water i.e. with respect to a horizontal axis. Mirror image is one, where, the reflection is around a vertical axis as it would be seen in a mirror.

The questions come in the following forms:


This is one of the easier sub-types of questions commonly seen in the test. It is similar to the verbal analogy questions. The instructions are clear cut and one has to find a relationship between the two question figures and look for similar transitions in the answer figures.

The questions here can range from simple changes in one figure (increase/decrease in number of sides, change in direction of a single element, etc.) to complex questions wherein, there are multiple elements and each element undergoes a change. In case you have multiple elements to deal with, you can assign numbers to the individual elements and then see if there is some change in the positions of the numbers. Tracking one element at a time is easier to do than keeping in mind the changes occurring to many elements. The process takes time and that"s why Visual Reasoning questions are not exactly popular amongst the candidates.

Missing image and series:

Here, there can be two types of questions. Either, the end figure might be missing or one of the middle figures might be replaced with a question mark. The basics remain the same. Spot the connection, apply it to the previous/proceeding figures and then do a bit of reverse engineering. The thing to do here to make matters easy would be to compare a small set of three consecutive 'right" figures and then see the logical connections.

Odd man out:

In these type of questions, a series of images is given out of which, one particular figure is not consistent with the others. Again the questions might be devoid of any complexity and consist of one or two elements at max or they can be complex with many elements. Again, the things to do remain the same as that in the missing image questions. Taking three figures at a time can help getting the logical connection and if some element is not following any of the above mentioned patterns, then that should be your answer option.

Interchanging two images in a given series:

There have also been questions seen wherein, when two of the figures are interchanged, they form a complete series. In this type of questions, one has to spot the two visuals and mark the option which corresponds to either the first or the second visual as instructed in the question. This is one of the difficult ones in the paper as one has to get a pattern, find two elements which do not allow the pattern to complete and then see if interchanging them indeed completes the pattern or not. Here, instead of taking three figures at a time, one has to go for two figures at a time and so, again the time taken is more compared to the other types.


On an average, attempting questions from this area takes longer than while attempting the other question types. So, if one is not able to crack the logic of the question within the first 15-20 seconds, it is better to leave the question for later. The good thing is, if one invests sufficient time in solving the question, one will definitely get a mark for his efforts which is not necessarily the case with the question-types I have covered earlier. If someone is uncomfortable solving it at the start, one can always keep it for the end. This is one topic where one can get better with practice. One has to have a method to tackle such questions. Once one has a solid strategy and attempts all the questions in a similar manner, s/he will find it easy to tackle the questions quickly and with a good amount of accuracy.

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