How to Ace Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency in SBI PO and IBPS PO 2017

Hello and welcome to exampunditThe more close SBI PO is coming the more everyone is shifting their gears to prepare harder and give the best. A lot of people have asked ep to provide an article on How to Ace Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency for the upcoming SBI PO as well as the IBPS PO Exam. That’s why today we will be discussing on the easy ways to improve your approach.


We will try to cover as much as possible.

Firstly, let us see what type of DIs we get in SBI & IBPS PO or any other Bank PO Examinations.

Followings are the types of Data Interpretations you get in SBI PO and IBPS PO Exams:
  • Table
  • Pie Charts
  • Bar Graphs
  • Line Graphs
  • Caselets

Most of the Data Interpretations contains two or more type of data. For example, there can be a set of Data Interpretation Questions based on:
1 – Table & Pie Chart
2 – Table & Bar Graphs
3 – Table & Line Graphs
4 – Line Graphs and Bar Charts

And the combinations continues.

Even the hard DIs have formats like “Table + Pie + Bar” or “Pie + Pie + Line”.

Now, what are the important things you MUST DO to Ace Data Interpretation?

1. – Practice a lot of Quantitative Aptitude:

In order to gain your speed, your ability to solve the questions you must learn the basics and advanced level of Quantitative Aptitude.

To solve DI better and faster, you need to focus on:

  • Percentage - Important
  • Average - Important
  • Approximations - Important
  • Ratios & Proportions
  • Simplifications
  • Profit & Loss
  • Calculations – complex ones

2. – Improve Calculation & Approximation:

Data Interpretation is all about interpretation of the Data and then calculating the asked figure.(So obvious right?)

So one must practice a lot of Calculations in order to improve the speed. This will help you in both Data Interpretation and Quantitative Aptitude portion.

Now, as we mentioned in Point 1. that you need to learn & practice approximation because this will help you to solve the questions faster. Every time you don’t need to fetch the exact data. Approximation really helps you to solve the questions faster.

3. – Observation:

Observe the questions before you jolt down any data. Don’t waste your time by interpreting unnecessary data.

First just view the question(s) and then approach the questions from Easy to hardest (according to you).

The questions you on which you need to spend more time or simply very hard for you, just skip them.

Always remember, 1 minute is far more important than 1 marks.
Another important aspect is that you need to be aware of the options given.
In certain questions, the exact to the point answer is not necessary.

The options are spaced in such a manner that approximations can be done. Thus looking at the options before answering the questions saves plenty of your time.

Important things to remember for DI:
  • Never panic seeing a lot of Data
  • Practice, Practice and Practice a lot
  • Be familiar with all the types (you will only need practice)
  • Approach strategically
  • Always read the Questions carefully and solve accordingly
  • Practice Table (at least up to 20) , Squares, cubes, Square roots, percentage to fraction conversion & vice versa

For missing Data DI, always and always find the missing data in the beginning, then it is same as the normal DI.

“ROAD” to Succeed in DI
R – Read the data carefully.
O – Observe the type of the questions, what is asked, options.
A – Approximate whenever you can.
D – Determine which one you will approach first.

Important points to solve Caselets DIs faster:
  • It helps if you convert a caselet into table or any other pictorial form.
  • Keep jotting down the important points in a caselet while reading it for the first time.
  • Use notations to represent names of things, places, people, etc.
  • Be careful of the data given and make sure you are careful of the units as well.
  • As mentioned, make sure you cover arithmetic related topics (interest, percentage, ratio & proportion) as questions in caselets are often based on concepts from this area.

Data sufficiency:

In order to solve Data Sufficiency, you actually do not need any kind of special tricks or magical powers. All you need is knowledge in few important chapters of Quantitative Aptitude and ability to determine what to do and how to do.

Firstly, the following chapters are very important for the Data Sufficiency in SBI PO & IBPS PO exam:
  1. Mensuration
  2. Percentage
  3. Profit and Loss
  4. Time, Speed & distance
  5. Permutation and Combination – For SBI PO
  6. Probability – For SBI PO
  7. Ratio and Mixtures
  8. Age Based Problems
  9. Time, Work and Wages

1. – Choose wisely:

Always approach the type of the problems which you are comfortable with. If you are comfortable with Interest or Age problems, always approach them first.

Never waste your time thinking why that type did not come or why this is confusing. There is no time to complain in the examination hall.

2. – Understand the question:

Always allot yourself a time to read the questions before you solve them. While you read them, do not think about anything else except the problem.

Make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking. Then consider what information would be needed to answer the question.

Carefully read the directions given for marking an answer in Data Sufficiency questions. They(IBPS) can change the order in directions at any given time.

3. – Statements – Consider them individually then combine

Always read ONE statement at a time. First see if the statement contains crucial information.
Usually 1st or 2nd (in case there are 3 statements) statement carries the important data.

For eg, if you see the question is “What is the Age of X?” and the first statements states “Difference between X and Y age is 6”. This clearly indicates this statement is necessary along with another one. So, all you need to do now is find the second statement which fulfills the question’s need.

While you put statements into the picture you can always eliminate the options which are not useful anymore.
The most important thing is PRACTICE. It does not matter how are you approaching unless you practice real hard. You need to speed up, be confident and stay calm.

The detailed study plan for SBI PO Prelims 2017 is coming in few days! Stay tuned!

Do comment if you find it helpful.

All the best.

May the force be with you.



Team ExamPundit