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Series - Techniques that could make things Easier

Published on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Hello and Good Morning!

Friends today we are talking up – Series – problem area for many. Let us see what we can do about it.

Solving series questions in Reasoning or in Quantitative Aptitude is all about ‘identifying the pattern’.

I talked to a couple of people,
who are pros in solving series sums – told me one thing – three things actually:
  1. It’s all about identifying the pattern,
  2. With a lot of practice you become adept/ expert at identifying the patterns,
  3. You might do 100 series sums and yet in the exam you might find a new series!
And the one thing everyone of ‘em have stressed upon is – practice… a lot of sums.

Practising as many as say 100 sums will train your mind to the various different types of possibilities/combinations that can be used to create a series.

So when in exam you are given a particular series, your mind will automatically draw from the 100 series experience and give you tips as to what and all combinations you could try to solve your question.

Hence, when it comes to series – nothing beats hardwork!

However, I do have some tips to help you kick start with the ‘identifying – the – pattern’ job!

Number Series:

What to identify?
  1. Order of the series – increasing or decreasing?

  2. Is the difference between the numbers less? – If yes, then it probably deals with additions and subtraction; i.e., numbers are added or subtracted to get the figures in the series.

    3, 8, 13, 18, 23 …. ( an addition series)
    500, 463, 427, 392, 358 … ( a subtraction series, with the value being subtracted decreasing with every number – you got it?)

  3. Is the difference between the numbers more? – If yes, then it probably has multiplication of numbers or division of numbers to get the figures in the series.

    4, 16, 64, 256, 1024 … (multiplication … with 4 of the number)

    2880, 720, 180, 45, 11.25, 2.8125 … (division with 4 … look at the differences they are larger than addition/subtraction differences)

  4. And, if the difference is huge – then you should check for squares and cubes!

    5, 40, 135, 320, 625, 1080 … (here the difference is not equal, it is increasing with every subsequent number – cubes of numbers 1-6 are multiplied with 5;  1x1x1x5 = 5, 2x2x2x5 = 40, 3x3x3x5=135 and so on!)

  5. Solve at last 3-4 figures and their differences in the series to correctly identify the pattern.

  6. Sometimes, if nothing works, try looking at the answer options and try to figure out the number!

  7. Sometimes, you may have mixed patterns involving additions/subtractions, multiplication/division, and squares/cubes – such cases where you hit the logic in under 60 seconds – great! If not do not waste a lot of time on it!

Alphabet Series: 

What to identify?
  1. Alphabets moving forward or backward,

  2. Alphabets arranged as per their corresponding number [A=1, B=2, C=3… and so on…]
  3. Remember A=1, M=13, Z=26 – when going forward ( A to Z),
    A=26, M=14, Z=1 – when going backwards ( Z to A).

  4. Also remember the opposites of the alphabets in this form

    A  -  Z
    B  -  Y
    C  -  X
    D  -  W
    E  -  V
    F  -  U
    G  -  T
    H  -  S
    I  -  R
    J  -  Q
    K  -  P
    L  -  O
    M  -  N

    You could make mnemonics or simply jot it down hardly takes 10 seconds!

Solving series sums requires patience and a mind working to look at various different possibilities.

I am telling once more – I could give you 10-20 practice sums – and that would probably do nothing much to help you in your exam.

What will help – is YOU practicing. Only then will the cogs in your brain start turning – and once its gained the momentum you cant stop it even if you wanted!

It is high time we stayed average and on the other side of the results – time to make ourselves better and get to the better side!

Let us go back to the drawing boards and chalk out a newer and better plan – New Year is a month away and what better way to start it!

SBI Associates are almost done and IBPS Clerical is almost upon us – let us handle these two to the best of our abilities.

But when the next year comes and it brings with it the new set of banking exams – starting with the SBI PO of 2015 (hopefully they’ll announce a larger recruitment!) – you should go in confident with the knowledge of every bit of everything that you are supposed to know!

Slacking off on practice is harmful not to your competitor – but to you and yourself! So stop cheating yourself! Those who are good at series, are so because of practice and nothing else.

Pick up the series question on a Sunday – do 50 and then see the rest of the 50 will be cake walk!

Like Swami Vivekanand said, “Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached.”
With that, here’s wishing you a good day – keep the feedbacks coming!
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ramandeep singh

Ramandeep Singh is a seasoned educator and banking exam expert at BankExamsToday. With a passion for simplifying complex concepts, he has been instrumental in helping numerous aspirants achieve their banking career goals. His expertise and dedication make him a trusted guide in the journey to banking success.

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