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How to solve Reasoning Puzzles Quickly

Published on Thursday, October 30, 2014
Puzzles are a curious thing; they solve so easily when solving them at home and almost always let us down in exams. Why? Have you asked yourself?

Why at home we can solve hundreds of questions without mistake and in exam we can’t even make A or B sit in the correct order to actually get an answer!

Sometimes you might have encountered a situation where having solved a puzzle
, when clicking on options, you find that after 2-3 questions (where you were able to find your ‘correct’ option), in the 4/5th questions your answer according to your arrangement is not their in the options at all!

Has anyone of you encountered such a frustrating situation? I know I have, and many of friends have too.

It all happens because of tension. At home we don’t take tension = puzzles get solved correctly. In exam we take a lot of tension = puzzles get more puzzled!

So let us try not to take tension and learn how to solve puzzles in an easy manner.

1. Know your enemy – or in this case, the common puzzle structure.

    Seating arrangements with Banks/Colour/Fruit/Language/State/car models etc. likes and dislikes and options.

Or, Days and subjects with the similar likes and dislikes thing. Or, maybe months/floors/single row/double row etc. with multiple likes/dislikes options.

The more complicated the better for them and worse for us!

2. Every battle has a plan – so should you!

      I look at puzzles as a personal battle with the Gods of Luck, and I used to always lose – until the day I planned my puzzle solving quest.

Yes, dear readers, plan. How? Well, then read on …

3. Read once, start drawing

A table or a circle or a row or multiple rows…whatever as per the given question. 

Do no waste time reading the whole puzzle! In the two lines, you get to know if it’s a seating arrangement in circle/square/row/multiple rows etc., immediately draw the required figure.

4. Keep reading and arranging – 

Once you have the basic structure of arrangement, then keep reading and after every line, arrange the information given in that sentence.

Go one sentence at one time. Arrange the information given in one sentence and only then move on the next one.

5. Use tables

To solve puzzles of days/subjects/floors/persons where there is no seating order.

This is a great way to solve puzzles – and you’ll see that your questions will start looking easy once you have all the information nicely arranged in a tabulated manner.

6. Indirect clues 

After arranging as per the direct information available in question, you’ll see that some are left un-arranged.

These will require your logical reasoning abilities to be able to solve these indirect relations.

Everyone can do it. You can do it. But the difference between a successful candidate and the unsuccessful one is – presence of mind/clarity of thinking/ and keeping calm and composed.

That said, here is one practice question to help you kick start your battle against the puzzles!


Four people were being interviewed for the same job, on the same day but in different rooms(R1, R2, R3 and R4), at different time and by different interviewers.(First sentence – what do you do? Make a table!)

Determine which candidate was interviewed by whom, at which time and in which room.(What can be arranged first in the table? What can logically be the first coloumn? – Room numbers, because other information cannot be logically arranged!)

(i) Teena’s appointment was just after Mr. Sharma’s, which was just after that of the person in room R2.
(ii) Mr. Narurkar’s appointment was atleast two hours later than Bimal’s.
(iii) Mr. Joshi’s appointment was just after the person who had an interview in room R4, who had an appointment just after Chirag.
(iv) Three of the four people were: (1)Deepak, (2) the one with interview in room R1, and (3) the one who was interviewed at 1 p.m.(this is a crazy one!)
(v) Interview times were – 11 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.(This could be a row heading.)
(vi) Sharma, Narurkar, Joshi and Zaidi were interviewers and Teena, Bimal, Chirag and Deepak were the interviewees.

Q1. Sharma’s appointment is with
(a) Teena
(b) Bimal
(c) Chirag
(d) Deepak

Q2. Deepak’s appointment was in room
(a) R1
(d) R4

Q3. Mr. Zaidi interviewed
(a) Deepak
(b) Teena
(c) Bimal
(d) Chirag

Q4. Who interviewed at 2 p.m.?
(a) Mr. Joshi
(b) Mr. Zaidi
(c) Mr. Narurkar
(d) Mr. Sharma

Q5. Which candidate was interviewed last?
(a) Deepak
(b) Teena
(c) Bimal
(d) Chirag

The option in italics is the correct answer. How many did you get right?! And a sample table of the solution:


11 a.m.
12 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.

That’s all for today friends!
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ramandeep singh

Ramandeep Singh, your guide to banking and insurance exams. With 14 years of experience and 5000+ selections, Ramandeep understands the path to success, having transitioned himself from Dena Bank and SBI. He's passionate about helping you achieve your banking and insurance dreams.

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