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A sweeping scan of the landscape

My brief introduction
• Eshwar Sundaresan
– B.E (Instrumentation), Bombay University,
– 1 year experience in a RIL power plant
– 6 years experience in Infosys Tech. Ltd.
– Was a Project Manager at the time of quitting
– Have conducted campus interviews in
• MNREC, Allahabad
• Delhi College of Engineering
Enhancing Aptitude 2
What are we going to learn?

• Quantitative Analysis
• Analytical and Logical Reasoning
• Verbal Reasoning
• Psychometrics

The approach is practical and we will practice.

Enhancing Aptitude 3
Some add-ons

• Brief outline of specific papers

– Accenture
– Infosys
– TCS etc.
• What does the recruiter look for?

Enhancing Aptitude 4
A few requests
• Reveal your wisdom wisely
– Answer only when the class is ready
• Switch off your mobiles, laptops, palmtops
• Interrupt me when you are unable to:
– Hear
– Comprehend
• Helping the other person is ensuring his/her
stagnation. Don’t be your friend’s enemy!
• Let’s cover the ground first and explore other
problems/puzzles later
Enhancing Aptitude 5
Here’s an easy one
What is the value of:

√2 + √2 + √2 + √2 + …

Integration of abc…z
These are One Minute Problems
Hint: Appearances are almost always deceptive

Enhancing Aptitude 6
What did we learn?

• That appearances are deceptive

• That approach is everything
• Having an open mind helps

Enhancing Aptitude 7
The science of Aptitude
Some definitions

• An objective test that measures one or more

capabilities that involve spatial reasoning,
manual dexterity, clerical perception, or other
capacities to learn certain behaviors.

Enhancing Aptitude 9
Some Prosaic Definitions

• A test designed to predict a person's ability in a

particular area or line of work
• A test designed to measure a person’s ability to
learn and the likelihood of success in future
school work or in a specific occupation.

Enhancing Aptitude 10
The science of aptitude
• In the words of Sherlock Holmes, the biggest
practitioner of aptitude:
“The trouble is, Watson, that you see, but you do not
– To observe is to see keenly
– Without accurate observation, deductions will
be flawed.
Eg: Watson sends a telegram

Enhancing Aptitude 11
Poignant Quotes
• “What I hear I forget. What I see I
remember. What I do I understand.”
- Confucius

• "To have good aptitude, you need to have

attitude first.”
- Anonymous

Enhancing Aptitude 12
A sample approach
• Collate stated inputs
– Write them down
• Interpret them
– Is there irrelevant data?
• Look for hidden inputs
• Decide on an approach
– The beginning
– The build-up
– The conclusion
• Work it out
• Eliminate the impossible
• Work it out some more
• Voila!
Enhancing Aptitude 13
So Let’s Sherlock it!
Quantitative Analysis
Complete the series

5, 20, 24, 6, 2, 8, ___

Enhancing Aptitude 17
• 1st element = 5
• 2nd element = 20 = 5*4
• 3rd element = 24 = 20+4
• 4th element = 6 = 24/4
• 5th element = 2 = 6-4=2
• 6th element = 8 = 2*4
• Therefore, 7th element = 8+4
• So answer is 12

Enhancing Aptitude 18
Complete the series

8, 7, 11, 12, 14, 17, 17, 22, ___

Enhancing Aptitude 19
• There are two series’.
– Series I: 8, 11, 14, 17, …
– Series II: 7, 12, 17, 22

• Our number belongs to the first series.

• Therefore, the answer is 20

Enhancing Aptitude 20
Find the wrong one

2, 9, 28, 65, 126, 216, 344

Two keys open one door!

Enhancing Aptitude 21
• Approach 1:
– Series is (n cubed +1)
– So the sixth element should be 217!
• Approach 2:
– Series is (n+1)* (another series), which is (1,
3, 7, 13, 21, 31, 43)
– But 7*31 is 217!

Enhancing Aptitude 22
Find the wrong one

835, 734, 642, 751, 853, 981, 532

Enhancing Aptitude 23

• In each number except 751, the difference

between the most significant and least
significant digit is the middle digit!

Enhancing Aptitude 24
The right number
Replace the letters with numbers and solve the
equation 4(ABCDE) = EDCBA. Options:
(E)None of these

IBM Paper
Enhancing Aptitude 25

• Instead of trial and error, you can use

mathematical logic.
• A & E can only be one of the following
combinations (in any order):
3 and 2, 4 & 6, 1 & 4, 2 & 8, 7 & 8, 9 & 6
• The number, therefore, presents itself and the
answer is (D)

Enhancing Aptitude 26
Arithmetic Progression
Q. In an arithmetic sequence, t (2) = 3.t (3). The sum of n
terms, starting from t (1), is 0. Calculate n.

Enhancing Aptitude 27
• An AP is a, a+d, a+2d, ... (an = a+ (n-1)d)
• Therefore, a + d = 3.(a + 2d) <=> 2a + 5d = 0
• or 2a = -5d
• The sum of the first n terms is:
• (a + a + (n-1)d)*n/2 which is given as zero
• So (2a + (n-1)d)=0
• So, -5d + (n-1)d = 0 and since d is not 0, we
have n = 6.

Enhancing Aptitude 28
A burglar’s numerical
Q. A thief wants to break a safe that has a 5 digit number
as the key. He knows that:
• The 4th digit is 4 greater than second digit,
while 3rd digit is 3 less than 2nd digit.
• The 1st digit is thrice the last digit.
• 3 pairs give a sum of 11
Find the combination and help the thief!

Enhancing Aptitude 29
• Let the digits be D1, D2, D3, D4, D5
• D1 = 3*D5; D3 = D2-3; D4= D2+4
• The hidden clue: All digits are less than 9!
• Conclusions: D1 has to be 3, 6 or 9
• Similarly D5 <=3; D3<=2; D4>=7
• But D5 also has to be <=3.
• So number ranges are:
• D1: 3, 6, 9; D2: 3, 4, 5; D3: 0, 1, 2; D4: 7, 8, 9;
D5: 1, 2, 3

Enhancing Aptitude 30
Solution (continued)
• Out of all combinations of digits that can add up
to 11, the following combinations offer hope:
• D1&D2 = 6&5; D1&D4 = 3&8; D2&D4 = 4&7 or
3&8; D2&D5 = 2&9; D4&D5=8&3 or 9&2
• Eliminate all combinations that don’t work. It
works when D1&D2=6&5, and also when D4 &
D5 = 9&2.
• The solutions in either case is the same.

Enhancing Aptitude 31

Ratio Proportions et al
Work & Time
Q. A can do a work in 80 days. He works at it for 10
days and leaves. B takes over and finishes the work
in 42 days. The two together could finish the work in
how many days?

Enhancing Aptitude 33
• Work done by A in 1 day = (1/80)
• Work done by A in 10 days = (1/8)
• Remaining 7/8 work is done by B in 42 days, so
whole work will be done by B in (42 X 8/7) = 48
• B’s one day work is 1/48
• (A+B)’s one day work is 1/80+ 1/48 = 8/ 240 =
• So both will finish the work = 30 DAYS

Enhancing Aptitude 34
Work & Time
Q. A can complete a work in 8 days, for which B takes
7 days, and C takes 6 days. A works on the first day,
B works on the second day and C on the third day
respectively and repeat the pattern. On which day
will they finish the work?

CTS - 2004

Enhancing Aptitude 35
• Trail and error, slog technique and a little
bit of common sense.
• Eg: x/6+x/6 = 1/3
• x/7 and x/8 might be somewhere close in
value, but lower. So at least 6 days have
to pass.
• So start with the 7th day, if it doesn’t add
up to 1, try the eighth day, which is the
right answer.
Enhancing Aptitude 36
Q. A ship begins on a voyage from a shore.
After it had traveled 180 miles, a plane starts from
the same shore with 10 times the speed of the
ship. Find the distance when they meet from
starting point.

TCS, 2004

Enhancing Aptitude 37
•Distance traveled by plane =
(1/10th the distance traveled by ship + 180
•Total distance Traveled by ship= total distance
traveled by plane= x
•X= 1/10 X +180
•X = 200 miles

Enhancing Aptitude 38
Pipes & Cisterns
Q. Two pipes A and B can fill a tank in 36 min. and 45
min. respectively. A pipe C can empty the tank in 30
min. First A and B are opened, after 7 minutes, C is
opened. In how much time will the tank be
completely filled?

Similar to MBT, 2003 problem

Enhancing Aptitude 39
• A & B can fill (1/36)th and (1/45)th of the tank in
1 min respectively.
• Both fill 1/20th together in 1 min.
• After 7 min, (13/20)th of the tank is still unfilled.
• With all three pipes in operation, the net inflow
per minute = (1/20)-(1/30)=(1/60).
• To fill (13/20)th of the tank will take 39 min.
• Total time taken is 46 min.

Enhancing Aptitude 40
Boats and Streams
Q. A boat travels 20 kms upstream in 6 hrs and 18 kms
downstream in 4 hrs. Find the speed of the boat in
still water and the speed of the water current?

Satyam, Mar 2004

Enhancing Aptitude 41
• When u is the speed of a boat in still water, and
v, the speed of the stream, then:
– Speed downstream is (u+v)
– Speed upstream is (u-v)
• If speed of an object downstream is ‘a’ and the
speed upstream is ‘b’, then:
– Speed in still water = 0.5*(a+b)
– Rate of the stream = 0.5*(a-b)
• So answer is (47/12) and (7/12) km/hr

Enhancing Aptitude 42
Rower and Stream
Q. A man can row 40 km upstream and 55 km
downstream in 13 hours. Also, he can row 30 km
upstream and 44 km downstream in 10 hours. Find
the speed of the man in still water and the speed of
the current.

Enhancing Aptitude 43
• Let the speed upstream and downstream be x
and y km/hr respectively.
• So using time = (distance/speed),
– (40/x) + (55/y) = 13 &
– (30/x) + (44/y) = 10
• Tip here: Let (1/x)=A and (1/y)=B
• Solving, x=5 and y=11
• Rate in still water = 8
• Rate of current = 3
Enhancing Aptitude 44
Q. 3 glasses containing mixture of water and alcohol in
ratio 2:3 , 3:4 , 5:9. When all 3 are mixed what is the
new ratio??

Mindtree, Sep 2003

Enhancing Aptitude 45
• Answer is 5/8
• For 16 parts of alcohol, the mixture has 10
parts of water.

Did you try adding the factors themselves??

Enhancing Aptitude 46
The formula involving the “rate of alligation” is
applicable when two ingredients are mixed. It says:

(Q of cheaper)/(Q of dearer) = [(C.P of dearer)

– (Mean price)]/ [(mean price) – (C.P of

Enhancing Aptitude 47
Q. How many kgs of rice costing Rs. 8 per kg must be
mixed to 36 kg of rice costing Rs. 5.40 per kg so
that a 20% gain may be obtained by selling the
mixture at Rs. 7.20 per kg?

Enhancing Aptitude 48

• With a 20% gain having a selling price is Rs.

• So cost price of 1 kg of mixture is Rs. 6.
• If ‘x’ be the quantity of the dearer rice, by rule of
• 36/x = 2/0.6
• x= 10.8 kgs

Enhancing Aptitude 49
Miscellaneous examples
Time difference
Q. A plane moves from 9degN 40degE to 9degN
40degW. If the plane starts at 10 am and takes 8
hours to reach the destination, find the local
arrival time.

Enhancing Aptitude 51
• There are 360 longitudes, covering 24 hours of
the planetary time.
• Per longitude, the time difference is 4 min.
• 80 deg (40E to 40 W) is 320 minutes
• Since person is traveling west, he gains time
• So local time on departure is 4:40 am
• Arrival time is: 12:40 pm

Enhancing Aptitude 52
Q. A cow is tied to one corner of a square plot of side
12m by a rope 7m long. Find the area it can graze.

Enhancing Aptitude 53

• Area under the cow’s reach is the quarter-

circle of radius 7
• ((22/7)*7*7)/4 = 38.5

Enhancing Aptitude 54

• Home assignment
– This segment has been sacrificed due to its
simplicity, and lack of time.

Enhancing Aptitude 55


Books have been written on it!

Enhancing Aptitude 56
Venn Diagram
Q. Out of 76 people, 53 read the Hindu, 46 read the
Times, while 39 read the Deccan. 15 read all three.
If 22 read the Hindu and Deccan and 23 read the
Deccan and the Times, then what is the number of
people who read both the Times and the Hindu?

Enhancing Aptitude 57
HD) +(TDH+TH+HD+TD) = 76
• Simplify:
T+H+D-2TDH-TH-TD-HD = 76
• Only TH is unknown
• Answer is 17

Enhancing Aptitude 58
Important Formulae
• AP: an = a + (n-1)d; sn = (n/2)[first + nth term]
• Gain % = Gain*100/Cost Price
• v = s/t
• Boats and streams => 0.5 *(a+b) etc.
• Alligation: Qc/Qd = ((CPd – CPm)/(CPm-CPc)
• Simple Interest: P*N*R/100
• Compound Interest: P((1+R/100)n)
• Area of a triangle: 0.5*b*h and (s*(s-a)(s-b)(s-
c))0.5 where s= 0.5(a+b+c)

Enhancing Aptitude 59
Logical and Analytical
The striking clock
Q. A clock showing 6 o'clock takes 30 secs to strike
6 times. How long will it take to strike 12 at

Let’s start simple!

Enhancing Aptitude 61

• The first strike happens on the stroke of six. The

rest of the five strikes happen in 30 seconds.
• Time taken per strike is 6 seconds.
• Similarly, for midnight, time taken is 66 seconds,
for the eleven strikes that follow the stroke of

Enhancing Aptitude 62
The expanding railroad
Q. Every station in a railroad can issue a ticket to
every other station. After adding new stations,
the railroad had to issue 46 more tickets than
before. Calculate the number of stations added
and the number of stations to begin with.

Enhancing Aptitude 63
• Let ‘N’ be initial # of stations, and let ‘x’ stations
be added.
• Each station issues N-1 tickets initially and there
are N stations.
• N(N-1) = t (say)
• (N+x)(N+x-1) = t +46
• Solves to x(x+2N-1) = 46
• Only two possibilities:
– X=1 and N = 23
– X=2 and N= 11
• If question mentions plural, then x=2
Enhancing Aptitude 64
The Hockey Tournament
Q. The Angoras, the Bobcats and the Cougars are
hockey teams. In three games played, all teams
play each other.
– The final scores of the games consisted of
numbers 1 to 6
– The difference between the Angoras’ higher score
and the Bobcats’ higher score was one more than
the difference between the Bobcats’ lower score
and the Cougars’ lower score.
– The highest total of a team’s two scores was
achieved by the team that lost the greatest
number of games.
Produce the scorecard for all the games.

Enhancing Aptitude 65
• Team scoring the highest goals did not score 6 in any match. They
did not score 5 and 4 either.
• The team that scored 6 would have scored at least 1 in the other
match. The lowest possible total for that team is, hence, 7.
• So the total of the team losing both games has to be 8, one more.
• This is possible only in one manner: 5 & 3.
• So one match has the scoreline 6-5.
• By corollary, another match must have the scoreline 4-3 and the
third, 2-1.
• So Team 1 scores 6 &1
• Team 2 scores 5 & 3
• Team 3 scores 4 & 2
• Team 1 vs Team 2 will have the scoreline 6-5
• Team 2 vs Team 3 will have the scoreline 3-4
• Team 1 vs Team 3 will have the scoreline 1-2

Enhancing Aptitude 66
Solution (continued)
• What remains is mapping the scores to the proper
• We also know that:
• | Angoras (Higher) – Bobcats (Higher) | = 1+ |
Bobcats(Lower)-Cougar(Lower) |
• The largest difference from the scoreline (considering
highest scores) is 2 and the lowest is 1.
• So:
– Team 1 is Angoras
– Team 3 is Bobcats &
– Team 2 is Cougars, the top-scorers and losers!

Enhancing Aptitude 67
Misplaced label
Q. Three boxes have 2 balls each. One box has 2
white balls, the second has 2 blue balls and third
has 1 white ball and 1 blue ball. The labels,
indicating the contents of the boxes, are misplaced
in all 3 boxes. Pick one ball from any one box and
label the boxes correctly.

Enhancing Aptitude 68

• Pick a ball from the box labeled W&B

• If the ball retrieved is White, then the box
contains 2 White balls.
• For the other two labels also to be wrong, the
box labeled B&B has to contain one White and
one Blue ball. And the box labeled W&W has to
contain 2 Blue balls.

Enhancing Aptitude 69
Sand clocks
Q. Given that an egg takes 15 minutes to boil,
accomplish the task using a 7-minute sand-clock
and a 11-minute sand-clock.

Infosys Interview and Paper

Enhancing Aptitude 70

• The approach should be:

– 11+4 = 15 & 11-7 = 4
• Start both sand-clocks at the same time.
• When the 7-minute clock runs out, invert it.
• When the 11-minute clock runs out, invert the 7-
minute clock again.
• The egg is done when the clock runs out again.

Enhancing Aptitude 71
Burning rope
Q. Two identical ropes burn in 1 hour each. But the
ropes have uneven thickness throughout its length.
The thinner half of each rope burns much faster
than the thick end of the rope. It is guessed that the
thin half of the rope might take 15 minutes to burn,
but since there is no scale around, this hasn’t been
Using the ropes, measure 45 minutes. You are free
to use just one of them.

Infosys Interview and Paper

Enhancing Aptitude 72
• Burn the first rope at both ends and the
second one at one end simultaneously.
• When the first one burns out, burn the
second one at the unlit end.
• When the second rope is fully burnt, it is
exactly 45 minutes since you began.

So who rushed out to get a scale?

Enhancing Aptitude 73
Q. 9 cards to be arranged in a 3*3 matrix.
Cards are of 4 colours – red, yellow, blue, green.
One red card must be in first or second row. Two
green cards should be in the 3rd column. Yellow
cards must be in 3 corners only.
Two blue cards must be in the 2nd row.
At least one green card should be present in each
Arrange the matrix.


Enhancing Aptitude 74

• At least one corner in the third column will be occupied

by a green card.
• Blue will occupy (2,1) and (2,2) as green will definitely
take (2,3)
• (1,1) and (3,1) will definitely by yellow
• The second row is occupied, so red card has no slot but
• (1,3) will be green since green occupies each row.
• So (3,3) will be yellow.
• So (3,2), again, has to be green.

Enhancing Aptitude 75
Bridging the gap
A. Four people need to cross a bridge. But they have
just one torch light, that throws sufficient light to
safely herd just two people at a time. Out of the
– Person A can cross in 1 min
– Person B can cross in 2 min
– Person C can cross in 5 min
– Person D can cross in 10 min
What is the minimum time in which the four can
cross? If the torch battery lasts just 18 minutes, will
they make it?

Infosys Paper

Enhancing Aptitude 76
It takes 17 minutes for all four to cross.
• Step 1: A & B cross (2 minutes)
• Step 2: A comes back (1 minute)
• Step 3: C & D cross (10 minutes)
• Step 4: B comes back (2 minutes)
• Step 5: A & B cross again (2 minutes)

P.S: Is there a variation to this?

Enhancing Aptitude 77
Pure numericals?

• Some numericals are so logic-driven that

they become problems of logic.

Enhancing Aptitude 78
Best out of waste
Q. In a soap company, a soap is manufactured with 11
parts. In making one soap, 1 part is left behind as
scrap. At the end of the day using 251 such scraps,
how many soaps can be manufactured?


Enhancing Aptitude 79

• 22+2+1 = 25

When Infosys talks of reducing waste, it isn’t kidding!

Enhancing Aptitude 80
Q. Going down an escalator, I find that I take thirty
seconds to reach the bottom when I walk twenty-six
steps. However, if I step down thirty-four steps, I
take eighteen seconds to reach the bottom.
What’s the height of the stairway in steps?

Enhancing Aptitude 81
• Let the escalator by itself take ‘x’ steps/sec.
• In that case,
30x+26 = h & 18x+34 = h
• X=2/3 (speed of the elevator in steps/sec)
• So height of the elevator is 46 steps.

Is it understood that steps cover vertical distance only, never mind

the slope of the elevator?

Enhancing Aptitude 82
Multiple questions
Same situation
Of lineage and marriages
Q. In a certain society, there are two marriage groups,
Red and Brown. No marriage is permitted within a
group. On marriage, males become part of their
wife's group: women remain in their own group.
Children belong to the same group as their parents.
Widowers and divorced males revert to the group of
their birth. Marriage to more than one person at the
same time and marriage to a direct descendant are

Satyam Paper

Enhancing Aptitude 84
Qs – Of lineages and Marriages
Q.1 A Brown female could have had
I. a grandfather born Red
II. a grandmother born Red
III. two grandfathers born Brown
(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) I and II only
(d) II and III only
(e) I,II and III

Q.2 A male born into the Brown group may have

(a) an uncle in either group
(b) a Brown daughter
(c) a Brown son
(d) a son-in-law born into the Red group
(e) a daughter-in-law in the Red group

Enhancing Aptitude 85
Qs – Of lineages and Marriages
Q.3 Which of the following is not permitted under the rules stated?
(a) A Brown male marrying his father's sister
(b) A Red female marrying her mother's brother
(c) A man born Red, who is now a widower, marrying his brother's widow
(d) A widower marrying his wife's sister
(e) A widow marrying her divorced daughter's ex-husband

Q. 4 If widowers and divorced males retained the group they had upon
marrying, which of the following would have been permissible? (Assume no
previous marriages occurred)
(a) A woman marrying her dead sister's husband
(b) A woman marrying her divorced daughter's ex-husband.
(c) A widower marrying his brother's daughter
(d) A woman marrying her mother's brother, who is a widower
(e) A divorced male marrying his ex-wife's divorced sister

Enhancing Aptitude 86
• 1–c
• 2–a
• 3–b
• 4–d

Enhancing Aptitude 87
Q. Ashland is north of East Liverpool and west of
Coshocton. Bowling Green is north of Ashland and
west of Fredericktown. Dover is south and east of
Ashland. East Liverpool is north of Fredricktown and
east of Dover. Fredricktown is north of Dover and west
of Ashland. Coshocton is south of Fredricktown and
west of Dover.

Satyam Paper

Enhancing Aptitude 88
Questions - Geography
Q. 1 Which of the towns mentioned is furthest to the northwest ?
(a) Ashland
(b) Bowling Green
(c) Coshocton
(d) East Liverpool
(e) Fredericktown

Q. 2 Which of the following must be both north and east of

(I) Ashland
(II) Coshocton
(III) East Liverpool
(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) III only
(d) I and II
(e) I and III

Enhancing Aptitude 89
Questions - Geography
Q. 3 Which of the following towns must be situated both south and west
of at least one other town?
(a) Ashland only
(b) Ashland and Fredricktown
(c) Dover and Fredricktown
(d) Dover, Coshocton and Fredricktown
(e) Dover, Coshocton and East Liverpool

Q. 4 Which of the following statements, if true, would make the

information in the numbered statements more specific?
(a) Coshocton is north of Dover
(b) East Liverpool is north of Dover
(c) Ashland is east of Bowling Green
(d) Coshocton is east of Fredericktown
(e) Bowling Green is north of Fredericktown

Enhancing Aptitude 90
• Answers:
– 1–b
– 2–e
– 3–d
– 4–a
• Approach:
• Draw a N-S scale and a E-W scale.
• N-S scale looks like this:
– BG, A, EL, F, (C), D
• E-W scale looks like this:
– EL, D, C, A, F, BG
• Jot down the certainties as they keep piling up. In a line below each
scale, jot down the partial certainties. In the above list, (C) is the
• In Q4, the uncertainly that remains is the answer.

Enhancing Aptitude 91
Verbal Reasoning
What is it?
• The ability to make quantitative, qualitative
and logical sense of a string of words.
– Remember: Words are also symbolic
numbers; they add up!
– Verbal reasoning is important because
• We use language for communicating any idea
• People communicate in cryptic, varied and
subjective terms
• Communication, not space, is the final frontier

Enhancing Aptitude 93
Critical Reasoning
• Segment tests ability to evaluate the
structure and details of text and to select
the correct answers.
– Comprehension passages
• Topics may be sports, movies, culture, professional
life, statistical studies, literature etc.
– A few companies may also have deductive

Enhancing Aptitude 94
Complex relations in the
Struggle for Existence
Nearly all our orchidaceous plants absolutely require the visits of insects to remove their
pollen masses and thus fertilise them. I find from experience that humble-bees are almost
indispensable to the fertilisation of the heartsease (Viola tricolour), for other bees do not
visit this flower. I have also found that the visits of bees are necessary for the fertilisation of
some kinds of clover; for instance, 20 heads of Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) yielded
2290 seeds, but 20 other heads protected from bees produced not one. Again, 100 heads
of red clover (T. pratense) produced 2700 seeds, but the same number of protected heads
produced not a single seed. Humble-bees alone visit red clover, as other bees cannot
reach the nectar. It has been suggested that moths may fertilise the clovers; but I doubt
whether they can do so in the case of the red clover, from their weight not being sufficient
to depress the wing petals. Hence we may infer as highly probable that, if the whole genus
of humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England, the heartsease and red clover
would become very rare, or wholly disappear.
The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great measure on the number of
field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Col. Newman, who has long attended
to the habits of humble-bees, believes that “more than two-thirds of them are thus
destroyed all over England.” Now the number of mice is largely dependent, as every one
knows, on the number of cats; and Col. Newman says, “Near villages and small towns, I
have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to
the number of cats that destroy the mice.” Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a
feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of
mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district!

Enhancing Aptitude 95
Select the correct answer from a), b), c) or d) for each of the questions below.
1) From the narrative, it can be concluded that:
a) Moths are lighter in weight than humble-bees
b) Humble-bees are lighter in weight than moths
c) The red clover’s nectar is not palatable to any insect other than the humble-bee
d) Moths keep away from the aggressive humble-bees
2) The nature of relationship between the humble-bee and the red clover is:
a) Symbiotic – both gain from the interaction
b) Parasitic – the bumble-bee never gets nectar from the red clover
c) Similar to that between predator and prey
d) None of the above
3) In the example given by the author, which organic being reigns on top of the food-chain?
a) The Red Clover
b) The Bumble-bee
c) The Mouse
d) The Cat
4) The message the author is trying to get across in the narrative is that:
i) Flowers cannot spread their pollen without insects
ii) All flowers are dependent upon cats for survival
iii) Organic beings are bound together by complex dependencies
iv) The population and survival of each species is controlled by natural checks
a) All of the above
b) i and iv
c) iii and iv
d) i, ii and iii
5) A comparison between the Dutch clover and the red clover shows that:
a) A red clover produces far more seeds than Dutch clover
b) A Dutch clover produces far more seeds than red clover
c) Only the humble-bee can visit both the Dutch clover and the red clover
d) Both the Dutch clover and the red clover need protection from the humble-bee

Enhancing Aptitude 96

Q. No Correct option(s)
1 a
2 a
3 d
4 c
5 b

Enhancing Aptitude 97
i) Some cats are dogs
ii) No dog is lion
Possible conclusions:
1) some dogs are lion
2) some dogs are cats

a) Only 1) follows
b) Only 2) follows
c) None follows

Accenture paper.

Enhancing Aptitude 98
• Segment designed to test the:
– range of vocabulary
– understanding of relationships between words
– Examples:
• Synonyms
– alienate (choices: fictional, foreigner, estrange, banish)
– momentary (choices: fleeting, sapient, transient, huge)
• Antonyms
– fortunate (choices: beggar, miser, luckless, loser)
– spirited (unenthusiastic, limited, bubbly, waning)
• Pair selection
– Cats: Dogs (Choose the relationship from below with the
strongest similarity)
» Crocodiles: Dolphins; goldfishes: lizards; zebras: tigers

Enhancing Aptitude 99
Sentence completion
• Segment tests the student's ability to choose the omitted words that
best fit and form a complete, meaningful sentence.
• Omitted word might be:
– A preposition (on, in, at, until etc.)
– Articles (a, the, an)
– A verb/noun that requires correct usage of tense
• Rare tests might have identification of idioms, Indianisms etc.
• Examples:
– The cat jumped _____ the chair and walked out.
– The team and the coach _____ with the public mandate. (to agree)
– It’s time to hit _____ road.

You may also be asked to identify grammatical errors in whole


Enhancing Aptitude 100

What is it?
• Used to profile your personality
– By employers to see how well you fit
– Can be used by individuals to make career choices
• The good news – there are no wrong answers!!!
• A paper might have various segments and question
– Segment types
• Select your reaction to a situation
• Select the statement you most identify with
– Question types
• Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree types
• In Yes/No questions, a third option “Don’t know/Can’t say” might be
• Tests designed to spot fibbers

Enhancing Aptitude 102

Sample questions
1. 'I have always been a quick thinker.'
2. 'I like to take risks.'
3. 'I am not a very determined person.'
4. 'My friends say I'm a good listener.’
5. 'I find it easy to trust most of my workmates.'
6. Do you like things:
A. Settled and decided?
B. Unsettled and undecided?

Questions 1-5 have options: A - Strongly Agree; B – Agree; C – Neither;

D – Disagree; E - Strongly Disagree

Enhancing Aptitude 103

The sceptics
• Arguments against psychometric tests
– Psychological rubbish
– Responses depend upon your mood on the
given day

But the bottomline – 87% of Western employers

use them, says a study.

Enhancing Aptitude 104

What does it do?
• Gauges
– Your reasoning abilities
– Your response to different situations
• Leadership skills, crisis management, camaraderie
– Your deep-rooted prejudices and rigidity
• Gender bias, group-ism, world-view
– Mood swings, depression, aloofness
– Introvertedness or extrovertedness

Enhancing Aptitude 105

For the Pragmatists
Paper formats
• Accenture
• Infosys
• MindTree
• Satyam
• Siemens
• Wipro

Enhancing Aptitude 107

• English is given importance.
– Comprehension passages, synonyms,
corrections of grammatical errors and verbal
• In quantitative analysis, ratio and
proportion is given a lot of importance.

Enhancing Aptitude 108

• Simple numericals
• Stress on averages, profit and loss, ratio
and proportion
• There seems to be a separate paper for
Logical Reasoning

Enhancing Aptitude 109

• Quantitative and logical reasoning given
equal importance.
• Technical questions make be asked
towards the end. C programming skills
figure popularly in tests.

Enhancing Aptitude 110

• Aptitude round:
– Part 1 : letter series
– Part 2 : figures (Spatial Reasoning)
– Part 3 : quantities (Algebraic problems)
• Technical round:
– Unix and C, databases, numbering systems
• HR round apparently had a question:
– Why does 2+2 equal 4 and not 5?
– Answer given was: If you assumed it to be five and distributed 4
units of a commodity to others, you’ll have nothing left.
– Remind me of my favorite answer

Enhancing Aptitude 111

• Quantitative has a slant of logical
• Sometimes, there is a preliminary paper
with simple numericals
• Paper is logic-intensive
• Emphasis on quality, so time is not a

Enhancing Aptitude 112

• Two rounds possible
• First round is quantitative analysis, having
very simple questions
• Second round has GD and Logical

Enhancing Aptitude 113

• Periodic usage of a logical situation with
multiple questions
• Some papers have verbal reasoning
• Quantitative is either left out, or has very
little weightage
• General IT awareness questions may be
– Which is Intel’s first microprocessor?
Enhancing Aptitude 114
• Pure technical paper
• Topics can include C/Unix, database, x-
windows, C++/motif, MS-Windows

Remind me to tell you about my campus interview.

Enhancing Aptitude 115

• Verbal section (synonyms, antonyms)
• Quantitative section
• Critical Reasoning section (passages,
some long and some of just 2-3 sentences
that has twists to invoke improper
• Psychometric test
• Alternately, some papers may comprise of
quantitative problems only
Enhancing Aptitude 116
• Verbal reasoning has analogies and
sentence completion.
• Emphasis on quantitative analysis. Both
quantitative and analytical reasoning are
• Reasoning questions have Venn diagram
and data interpretation.

Enhancing Aptitude 117

• Before
– Familiarise yourself with the patterns
• Books, websites
– Practice and polish your technique
– Memorise formulae – a formula is a good tool to have handy
– Avoid alcohol the night before; sleep well without it!!
• During
– Read instructions carefully
– Start with your strength
• Decide beforehand which segment of the paper you will attack first
– Choose battles and questions with care (even more so when negative marking is employed)
– Guess well when the need arises
– Be prepared – rough sheets, pens
– In psychometric tests, be honest
– No negative thoughts
• If paper is tough, remember: it’s all about percentiles, not percentages
– BE COOL!!!!
– Disregard all instructions above that don’t work for you.

Enhancing Aptitude 118

Recommended reading
• Books:
– Brain Teasers By Ravi Nirula
– Puzzles to Puzzle u By Shankuntala Devi:
– Mind Teasers George Summers
– More Puzzles By Shakunthala Devi
– Quantitative Analysis By .R.S Agarwal
• Websites:
– Google out some more
Enhancing Aptitude 119
Interview strategies
• Technical
– Do not commit to a topic unless you know it thoroughly
– Know your final year project topic
– Prepare to stand by your resume
• Personal
– Can you introduce yourself well?
– Be clear about your own vision
• 5-year framework etc.
– Shy away from self-piteous tales
– Visit the company website the day before
– Invest in a pink newsprint
– Back yourself

Enhancing Aptitude 120

Thank You