How to Increase Speed in Reasoning?


Reasoning is one of the most common subjects in banking and other government exams. The test is taken to test your judgment skills, the sharpness of mind and logical capacity.  Now, all that is the philosophy of the examiner. But the question, we are all asking here is how to increase speed in reasoning. A lot of questions often find themselves wasting a lot of time when they are attempting questions. Here we are going to look at the things that you need to increase your speed when you are solving Reasoning Questions.

 While preparing for any banking examinations, you need to strike a balance between speed and accuracy. Attempting maximum questions shouldn’t be your priority, you need to make sure that whatever you attempt, you get it right.  So, accuracy plays an important role in any exam.

How to Increase Speed in Reasoning: Knowing the Topics

The first thing that you need to do is knowing the topics that might come in reasoning. Most government exams don’t explicitly tell you which topics are going to come in the exam. However, based on previous year questions, we can outline a syllabus. You can check the IBPS PO Syllabus, SBI PO Syllabus, IBPS Clerk Syllabus and the syllabi of other banking exams on Topprnotes.

Now, once you have had a good look at the syllabus, the next thing that you need to is to divide the questions into two categories: Easy and Scoring Questions and the Time-Consuming Questions.

  • Easy and Scoring Questions: – These questions are the ones that don’t require much time or effort to solve. The topics included are: – Syllogisms, Blood Relations, Inequalities, Directions, Data Sufficiency Questions of Reasoning, Rows and Verbal Logical Deductions
  • Time-Consuming Questions: – These questions take up a lot of time and effort. Accuracy depends on your level of practice. The topics included are: – Seating Arrangements, Puzzles, and Machine Input/Output.

How to Increase Speed in Reasoning: Starting Your Preparation

So, now we have divided the questions into the easy and scoring and the time-consuming questions. Now, let us see, what you need to do when you start your preparation.

  1. Start with the easy and scoring questions first. These sections usually take less time to master. Once, you have gained confidence move to the time-consuming ones
  2. Always have one ‘main’ exam in mind. For example, you target SBI PO and if you don’t get it you try for IBPS PO. There are minor but significant differences between the questions on the reasoning. So, the preparation would change depending on the main exam that you target.
  3. Have a good practice book with you at all times. Ensure that the book has a lot of questions from your ‘main’ exam and also from other related exams.

How to Increase Speed in Reasoning: The Phases of Preparation

Now, let us take a look at the phases of preparation. We would be focusing on building your speed. However, as we have said before, we would also need to work on our accuracy as well.

Phase I: Getting the Basics Right

The first stage is understanding the questions that you need to prepare for the exam. So, here are the things that you need to do at this stage.

  • Solve at least 50 questions from each topic.
  • Like we said, start with the easy questions and then move on to harder ones.
  • Don’t think about the time. Just make sure that you are understanding the question and try to develop your own method of solving the questions.
  • After you are done. Take up 10 new questions from each section and see how much time you are taking to solve the questions. Also, measure the accuracy.

Phase II: Setting the Target

  • Now, look at the cutoff for SBI and IBPS. This would tell you the minimum marks that you need to score to get selected. Add 10-20 marks to that, and target that score.
  • Try to pick up a set of 30 questions and the time limit of 30 minutes. Keep on practicing till you get there. Try to keep the accuracy at 70%.
  • Once you have reached the level, add 5 more questions to it, keeping the time limit the same, i.e. 30 minutes. Keep the accuracy at 70%
  • Keep on doing that until you solve 50 questions from a topic in 30 minutes.
  • Practice the same questions, twice and thrice. This would seem like nothing but it really goes a long way in helping you maximize your skill.

What to do if your accuracy is not 70%?

Identify the areas where you are not getting the results. Keep time in the weekend, preferably in the morning, for solving that. Practice as many questions as you can. But, don’t let that frustrate or dishearten you. In the rest of the week, keep on doing what you are doing.

Phase III: Getting the Speed

  • By now, you are doing great to get selected!
  • Now, whenever you are solving a question, try to keep a clock near you.
  • Don’t go for individual topics. Instead, solve papers that cover the entire syllabus

How to Increase Speed in Reasoning: Topicwise Tips

Inequality: – In order to solve inequality questions, use ‘King, Soldiers and Citizen’ technique, wherein,

  • Let, King mean “< or >”; Soldier means ” ≥ or ≤ “; Citizen Mean ” = “
  • King is more powerful than soldiers and Soldiers are more powerful than Citizens
  • And when conflict arises between 2 kings or 2 soldiers, No Conclusion is reached
  • Two opposite signs together will lead to a wrong conclusion i.e. when 2 kings or 2 soldiers face each other, leading to the fact that the Conclusion will be wrong.

Distances & Directions: – The questions of this particular topic are less time consuming with high accuracy. Remember the basic directions i.e. NEWS: North, East, West, South and other four directions. Drawing mental diagrams would help a lot, but start with drawing diagrams on rough papers

Puzzles & Seating Arrangement: – This tops the quite confusing and for most candidates, it is the most time-consuming as well. At most 5 – 6 questions come with a single puzzle quiz. These are of various types like: –

  • Circular / Linear / Square Arrangement
  • Floor Based
  •  Scheduling (Days, Months)
  •  Parallel sitting arrangement

Blood Relations: – Drawing a tree diagram will help you better solving the problems of blood relationship. Always remember these basic tips:

  1. Use ‘+’ for male and ‘ – ‘ for female
  2. Mother’s or Father’s Brother – Uncle
  3.  Mother’s or Father’s Sister – Aunt
  4.  Brother’s or Sister’s Son – Nephew
  5. Brother’s or Sister’s Daughter – Niece
  6. Uncle or Aunt’s Son or Daughter – Cousin

How to Approach the Question Paper in the Exam

 1) The most important thing that you need to do is go with a blank mind. Study the question carefully. Keep calm and process all the information, and if required, make diagrams.

2) If you have already tried one way and couldn’t solve a problem, go with a different route. Back calculations and option elimination always help!

5) Attempt the topics you are good at, at the start. Keep the other questions for later.

6) Divide the questions into: short and time-consuming ones.  Go with the short ones first.

Here, short doesn’t mean that the question appears short. A question may be lengthy but the steps required to solve it can be merely 2. Attempt those questions first which takes less steps to solve.

Some More Tips on how to increase speed in reasoning

1) Draw diagrams according to the information given for the direction questions. This speeds up the process tremendously.

2) For seating arrangement and puzzle questions, go with the rule of elimination. That eliminates situations which aren’t possible and you would be left the ones that are possible. It is classic Sherlock Holmes style! Note down all the possible sequences. As you proceed further to the last statement, you will be left with only one sequence (all the other sequences will be eliminated).

3) For blood relation problems, draw a tree diagram, as said before.

4) For MCQs involving big numbers, you don’t have to do exact calculations. This would take up time.  Make approximate calculations so that you can select the right option.

Lastly, the mantra is -Practice, practice, practice. Nothing would serve you better. So, this was the strategy that you should follow to increase your speed for reasoning.

This was the ways how to increase speed in reasoning. Hope you found the article to be useful. For more such articles, keep browsing Topprnotes.