MBA aspirants who are appearing for CMAT and other competitive exams must improve their data interpretation skills. In CMAT, Quant and Data Interpretation section will have 25 questions comprising of 100 marks. Data Interpretation in CMAT and most other competitive exams doesn’t have any proper syllabus but the questions are such that they test the candidate’s speed and capability of making decisions and analysing data. The data could be in any form, diagram, graphs, tubular forms, etc.

Given below are a few useful tips to help you prepare for this important section and have a better hold over it.

Know how to interpret various data formats. Some of the data formats that have appeared in CMAT over the past few years are tables, line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, three dimensional graphs, flow diagrams and cumulative frequency tables. You must possess a very good idea of understanding these data formats in order to analyse them correctly.

Make sure you understand percentages. Learn percentage calculations, comparison of fractions, determining highest and lowest percentages, average annual growth rates, market share, market share increase, and decrease.

Improve your calculation skill. Though the trend has changed from long and lengthy calculations, it won’t be advisable to appear for CMAT without improving your calculations and approximations. It is of the utmost importance to improve your calculation skill. When working on the calculation skill, do not just focus on the speed. Accuracy is equally important. You must work on both to acquire better hold over this section.

You can increase your speed of solving questions in the Data Interpretation section by practising problems on a regular basis. A lot of experts believe that Vedic mathematics is quite useful in improving speed. Mind calculations can also benefit you in increasing your speed. There is however no fixed strategy for improving your speed in calculations. You can adopt the method that works best for you.


Solve numerous types of questions. If you want to enjoy a firm grip over the Data Interpretation section, you must solve different types of questions based on graphs, and case-lets. Do not stick to just one type of problem solving as it can limit your capabilities to solve different questions that may be asked in CMAT question paper.

Practice as much as you can. As told above, Data Interpretation doesn’t have any particular syllabus. You need a lot of practice in order to improve your skills. Practice on a regular basis to improve your speed, as well as accuracy in analysing graphs, and case-lets.

Take up mock tests. Do not ignore them since mock tests would let you know where you stand. They would show you your strengths and weaknesses and would help you improve your CMAT preparations accordingly.

Stay positive, stay inspired, and work hard. You would be able to crack CMAT.