In IBPS PO exam Data Interpretation plays a vital role in terms of weightage and complexity level. Therefore to clear IBPS PO one must master the skills of solving Data Interpretation questions with speed and accuracy. This article is focused on providing you with the detailed strategy to follow to score well in exam.

The first and foremost step is to know the basics of Data Interpretation. In Data Interpretation questions, some factual data is presented in form of charts and tables (way of representations will cover in detail ahead). The candidates are required to go through that and solve questions based on the data given. This exercise is to check your analytical skills that how good you are in deriving important results and decisions making from ordinary to complex data given to you. And this is quite obvious if you are planning to make your career in banking you must be good driving conclusions from customer or market data to provide your bank with timely solutions.

Now next step is to know the types of Data Interpretation you may face in exam. The types of DI are on the basis of way of representing the data. The types of DI are:-

- Tabular Presentation
- Line Chart
- Bar Chart
- Pie Chart
- Mixed DI
- Paragraph
- Probability
- Data Sufficiency

These are the ways of representing the data. The questions following these data are based on arithmetic topics. It means to perform well in DI one must master these arithmetic topics:-

- Percentage
- Ratio
- Average
- Profit and Loss / Income and Expenditure
- Simple Interest / Compound Interest

The candidates are advised to go through these topics in depth and practice questions as many as one can. The quality of questions do matter with quantity, therefore one should try to practice questions of various types instead of limiting to traditional types only. These types can be found easily from the banking IBPS PO exam held in past one to two years.

Now the next important thing is the calculation speed. One has to be quick in calculations to save the time so that maximum attempts can be done. The candidates are advised to go through following key points for better concept building of above listed topics:-

**Addition: – **In solving DI questions in exam, we are required to find the sum of large numbers for calculating average and other questions related to sum of certain parameters. In exam the candidate must follow the following way of addition in order to save precious time:-

- g. Find average of 5623 + 3256 + 6325 +7854 + 1239

Step 1:- Find the sum of numbers at thousands place 5000 + 3000 + 6000 + 7000 + 1000

= 1000 (5 + 3 + 6 + 7 +1) = 22000

Step 2:- Find the sum of numbers at hundreds place 600 + 200 + 300 + 800 + 200

= 100 (6 + 2 + 3 + 8 + 2) = 2100

Step 3:- Now add the last two digits of numbers (You must be capable of adding two digits without pen and paper)

= 23 + 56 + 25 + 54 + 39 = 197

Step 4:- Now add all results of step 1 to 3

22000 + 2100 + 197 = 24297

Step 5:- For average divide results of step 1 to 3 by 5 and add the results

22000/5 + 2100/50 + 197/5

Keep in mind one thing that instead of finding the exact result, it’s better to look at the options and find the closest match.

**Multiplication**: – The multiplications can be done using percentage rule. This method will save time, for example if we are required to solve 450 * 56 , look at this multiplication in terms of percentage:-

= (56 % of 450) * 100

= (50 % of 450 + 6 * 1 % of 450) * 100

= (225 + 27) * 100

= 25200

In this way using percentage we can easily find the multiplications quickly and accurately.

**Ratio analysis using percentage**: – The next important mathematical tool used in questions is ratio analysis. For instance production of a company has increased from 4506 to 6520 and we are required to find the percentage increase. In such questions this tool is very helpful:-

= Write productions in ratio = Current / Previous

= 6250 / 4506

Now we will find the numerator in terms of percentages of denominator

100 % of 4506 = 4506

50 % 4506 = 2253

10 % 4506 = 450.6

1 % 4506 = 45.06

Using above percentages 6250 = 4506 (100%) + 1802.4 (4*10%) – 45.06 (1 % )

The approximate percentage is 139 %, it means there is an approx. 39 % (139 % – 100 %) increase in production from previous year.

**Mixtures and Alligations: – **It is a modified form of finding the weighted average. If two ingredients are mixed in a ratio and the cost price of the unit quantity of the mixture, called the Mean Price is given then:-

Quantity of Cheaper/ Quantity of Dearer = CP of Dearer – Mean Price / Mean Price – CP of Cheaper

This rule can also be used in SI and CI questions where some amount of money is invested in various portfolios offering different rates of returns. For example one scheme is giving return of 20% and other 10%. In order to earn 15% how much to invest in first scheme out of a sum of 5000.

The ratio is 5: 5 = 1: 1

Total 2 units = 5000

One unit = 2500

**Unitary Method**: – This method is very helpful in Pie Chart and Tabular data forms. The data given in Pie chart is converted in units. For example the people went for a football match from various countries and of various age groups are represented in the form of pie chart:-

Total number of people = 4500

Suppose we are required to find the ratio of number of people below 30 years age from USA and Japan?

First of all we will convert 100 % in units such as:-

100 units = 4500

1 unit = 45

Number of people from USA = 40 units * 45

Number of people below 30 years from USA = 15 % 40 * 45

Similarly number of people below 30 years from Japan is: – 15 % 30 * 45

Ratio = 15 % 40 * 45 / 15 % 30 *45 = 4/3

If in tabular form the ratio of two parameters given e.g. Male: Female = 7: 3, literate: Illiterate = 7: 8

And total number of students given is 500

And we are required to find number of literate girls

7 + 3 = 10 units = 500, one unit = 50

Number of girls = 3 * 50 = 150

Number of literate girls = 150 * 8/15 = 80

**Visualization: – **If the question is to compare data of two series in bar graph, line chart where the difference between various values is large and options are not close enough. In such questions by merely visualizing the data one can answer question quickly.

In DI questions most of the time you will be able to find the correct answer by approx. calculations. Therefore it’s advised to minimize the calculation time using approx. results.

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