How To Solve Puzzles? | Reasoning Ability Study Notes

Puzzles are an important part of Reasoning Section, the one that you cannot escape from. It is the topic that dominates the Reasoning Section of all sorts of banking exams. And many other miscellaneous topics too are being asked in the form of puzzles these days. The number of questions being asked on puzzles ranges from 60 to 65 percent of the total number of questions in the Reasoning Section. So, it is now very obvious that the strategy of ignoring questions based on puzzles, thereby solving other questions won't be working anymore as neglecting questions on puzzles can risk the likelihood of you clearing the sectional cut off or scoring satisfactory marks in the Reasoning Section.

The puzzles are usually based on Seating Arrangement (linear, circular, triangular, rectangular and sometimes hexagonal even), Floors, Tabular form, Blood Relations, etc. They can be asked in 2-4 variables, depending on the difficulty level of every different question. A mix of Seating Arrangement and Blood Relations is also being frequently asked in the examinations.

An important TIP to solve DIFFICULT PUZZLES with 100% accuracy is to make 2-3 possibilities for the same puzzle and keep canceling them out as you proceed. Another important point to bear in mind while doing puzzles is not to ignore the important key points while reading the question. For example, many a time, students happen to ignore "he/she" given in the question itself and keep wondering in the end if what would the gender of a particular character mentioned in the puzzle. So, avoiding such silly mistakes can help you make the grade.

The puzzles that are easy to solve should not consume more than 2-3 minutes, the puzzles of moderate level should be solved within 5 minutes and the difficult puzzles should be finished within 8-10minutes. If the time that you take while solving different puzzles is more than the time affirmed above, then you really need to work on it.

Approach to attempt a puzzle in the examination:

1. Analyse and collect all the direct statements provided in the puzzle.

2. Now point out the negative statements provided in the puzzle.

3. Jot them down on the paper in a simplified form so as you do not have to look at the confusing paragraph over and over again. E.g. if the statement is "P sits 3rd to the right of Q" then you can simply write it as "Q →3R P".

4. If there are different possibilities of the arrangement, draw different arrangements based on them.

5. As you proceed, keep canceling out the possibilities that do not follow or go against the information that is provided in the puzzle.

6. In the end, you will be left with only one possibility that will be following all the positive as well as the negative statements given in the puzzle and that would be the required solution.

Important tips:

  • Always choose the statement to start with wisely. The information that is cent percent correct and to the point should always be considered first to start off the puzzle with.
  • Never choose to assume anything on your own over drawing different possibilities to obtain the solution.
  • If you are not able to use one or the other information at a time, leave it and move forward with other important points. Use that information later, when a statement calls for it. 
  • Concentrate on the words like ‘not’, ‘only’, ‘who’, ‘and’.
  • Also, try not to ignore the gender-defining terms like ‘him’, ‘her’, ‘he, ‘she’, which are very helpful to decode the information.

The only way out to deal with puzzles is continuous practice. The more you practice, the better you get. To let you practice and ace the score in the Reasoning Section of all the Banking Examinations, we provide you with daily quizzes on Adda247 Mobile App and Bankersadda. You are the one who has to choose if to practice hard and bring it off or not. Knowledge is of no value unless you put it in practice. Keep practicing, it will pay big time.

Example Puzzles:

Directions (1-5): Study the following information carefully and answer the questions given below:

Eight members of Adda247 planned to have dinner on their annual ceremony they all sat around a circular table such that some are facing the centre and some of them face outside the centre but not necessarily in the same order. The CEO of Adda247 sits third to the left of the one who is director of Adda247. G sits third to the right of C, who is the HR of Adda247. Only one member among G, A and C faces outside the centre and rest two faces inside. Immediate neighbours of CFO faces opposite direction.  A, faces inside and sits second to the left of the Manager of Adda247. E who is the CEO of the company is not the immediate neighbour of HR and CA of the company.  D sits third to the right of secretory of Adda247. Only one person among the Director, B and the CEO of Adda247 faces the centre and rest faces outside. A is the CA of Adda247. B sits on the immediate left of Manager of the company. M is the CFO of Adda247 and faces outside the centre. N and B faces the same direction. The president of Adda247 sits second to the right of secretory of Adda247. D and N are immediate neighbours. G is the manager of Adda247.

Q1. Who among the following is the director of Adda247?
(a) A
(b) D
(c) N
(d) M
(e) None of these

Q2. How many persons among them faces outside the centre?
(a) Two
(b) Four
(c) Three
(d) Five
(e) Six

Q3. Who among the following sits second to the right of the director of Adda247?
(a) N
(b) The CFO of Adda247
(c) C
(d) The CEO of Adda247
(e) The CA of Adda247

Q4. Who among the following sits opposite to the President of Adda247?
(a) M
(b) G
(c) E
(d) A
(e) None of these

Q5. Four of the following five are related to each other then find the one that does not belong to that group?
(a) C and The CFO of Adda247
(b) HR of Adda247 and D
(c) The director and the President of Adda247
(d) The CA and The Secretary of Adda247
(e) None of these

S1. Ans.(b)
S2. Ans.(b)
S3. Ans.(e)
S4. Ans.(c)
S5. Ans.(d)

Directions (6-10): Study the following information carefully and answer the questions given below:

Twelve People A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and L living in a building which have nine floors in it. The ground floor is numbered as one and the top floor number as nine. Not more than 2 people live in a floor. There are five females out of twelve people and rest are man. They all like different subjects such as Economics, English, Hindi, Math not more than three people like the same subject, each subject is like by at least one female person.
The female who like English lives on sixth number floor with J. The male person who like economics lives three floors below the one who like math. There are two empty odd floors. Either the top floor or the bottom most floor is empty. A who likes English lives seven floor above to the K, who is a female and likes the math. E lives six floor above to L who is a female and likes economics. E does not live on floor number eight. L lives alone. G share the floor with person who likes Hindi. Only one man and women who live alone on their floors live between the floors on which two people live. The two man who like English, live on the same floor. Two females do not share the same floor. H lives just below the floor on which J lives who likes Hindi. G likes math. The one who like Hindi three floor below to the empty floor. C is a female who likes economics and share her floor with I, who like math. F a male person, live immediate above the empty floor and like the Hindi.

Q6. Who amongst the following lives on floor number five?
(a) B                     
(b) D                       
(c) C
(d) H                   
(e) G

Q7. find out Correct combination of subject-gender-floor for G in the following given options?
(a) Math-female-4       
(b) Hindi- Female-4                 
(c) Math-Male-4
(d) cannot be determined                 
(e) None of these

Q8. Who lives immediately above the empty floor?
(a) K                     
(b) B                   
(c) D
(d) I     
(e) both (a) and (d)

Q9. Who amongst the following lives immediately below the floor on which D lives? 
(a) H                             
(b) C       
(c) F
(d) L
(e) Can’t be determined

Q10. Who among the following lives on the topmost floor?
(a) A
(b) B
(c) D
(d) I
(e) F

S6. Ans.(d)
S7. Ans.(c)
S8. Ans.(e)
S9. Ans.(e)
S10. Ans.(a)

Direction (11-15): Study the following information carefully and answer the given questions.

Twelve persons A, B, C, D, E, F, P, Q, R, S, T and U are sitting in two rows. P, Q, R, S, T, U, are sitting in row-1 facing towards north direction and A, B, C, D, E, F are sitting in row-2 facing towards south direction. All the persons are sitting in such a way that the person of row-1 are facing the person of row-2. Also, each of them like different movies viz. Gladiator, Jumanji, Crash, Friday, Edmond, Limitless, Braveheart, Blood Diamond, Mafioso, Snatch, Revolt, Dhoom.
D neither like Gladiator nor Limitless as his favorite movie.  The one who like Friday sit on the extreme end of the row and faces E. There are three persons between P and the one who like Braveheart. The immediate neighbour of who likes Jumanji faces the person who likes Edmond. E likes neither Jumanji nor Edmond. The person who like Mafioso is second left of one who likes Jumanji. Two persons sit between the person who like Friday and the one who likes Jumanji. The one who faces T sit immediate right of the person who faces the one who likes Jumanji. T is not an immediate neighbour of Q. A, sits second to the left of the person who likes Crash. There is only one person sit between E and A. There is two persons sits between the one who likes Crash and the one who likes Snatch. P is immediate neighbour of T and he likes the Mafioso movie. C who likes Blood Diamond sits immediate right of the person who faces T who does not like Limitless. The person who likes the Revolt sits second left of the person who likes Edmond. Only two persons sit in between T and S and in between B and F. B is not near to C. U and Q are immediate neighbour each other.

Q11. Who among the following like ‘Dhoom’ as his favourite movie?
(a) D
(b) C
(c) R
(d) P
(e) U

Q12. Who sits third to the right of U?
(a) The one who likes Braveheart.
(b) T
(c) P
(d) S
(e) R

Q13. Who among the following faces the one who likes Snatch?
(a) U
(b) V
(c) The one who likes Braveheart
(d) T
(e) The one who likes Jumanji

Q14. Four of the following are alike in a certain way so form a group then which of the following does not belong to that group?
(a) The one who like Crash
(b) C
(c) The one who like Revolt
(d) P
(e) R

Q15. Who among the following faces the one who sits second to the left of Q?
(a) D
(b) F
(c) B
(d) A
(e) E

S11. Ans.(a)
S12. Ans.(e)
S13. Ans.(c)
S14. Ans.(a)
S15. Ans.(b)