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CAT Questions | CAT Reasoning Questions: Complex Arrangements Questions

Importance of Complex arrangements

Importance of Complex arrangements

Arrangement questions are an important part of the Logical Reasoning section in the CAT Exam 2022 curriculum. This is the most common topic that appears in all the examinations like CATXAT, etc. There are different types of linear, circular, and table or matrix-based arrangement problems with complex arrangement problems. And in this article, We will describe the importance of this topic along with some previous year’s questions from the topic.

The benefits of solving the seating arrangement problems in the assessment are that five or six sub-questions are accompanied by one issue of seating arrangement. Therefore, by solving one single question, you can get more marks.

Distribution in competitive exams for arrangements questions:



YearNo of QuestionsGood attemptDifficulty
2019Slot 144Easy
 Slot 244Easy
2018Slot 154Moderate –
 Slot 233Moderate


YearNo of QuestionsGood
202054Easy – Moderate
201963 or 4Moderate –



YearNo of QuestionsGood
201954Moderate –

Methods to Solve Complex Arrangements

There are 2 methods to solve complex data arrangement aptitude questions:

  • Consolidated Table Method: Prepare a table where the first column is to write down which types of properties for the entity, we consider in that particular row are removed and the objects are classified in the second column, and the remaining columns have object-associated properties.
  • Matrix Method: Prepare the first column as object heading and the remaining column headings as the different types of properties. Each matrix row corresponds to one name for an entity. Inboxes other than the first column, ticks, or crosses are positioned depending on whether the object (the entry in the first column) has that type of property or not

Solved Questions for Complex Arrangement

Q1: CAT 2019 (Slot 1)

Amit, Bharati, Cheryl, Deepak, and Eric are five friends sitting in a restaurant. They are wearing caps of five different colours — yellow, blue, green, white, and red. Also, they are eating five different snacks — burgers, sandwiches, ice cream, pastries, and pizza.

Given Data –

• The person wearing a red cap is eating pastries.

• Amit does not eat ice cream, and Cheryl is eating sandwiches.

• Bharati is wearing a yellow cap and Amit wearing a blue cap.

• Eric is eating pizza and is not wearing a green cap.

There are five people in the scenario and each person is associated with two properties, viz. Colour of the caps, and the dish they are eating. Hence the tabulation method is easier to apply.

The arrangement is as shown below:















Ice cream




Q2: CAT 2020 (Slot 3)

Meenakshi and Anupama two best friends wanted to arrange books in their small library. They arranged these books as a pile one over the other. There are 3 computer science books, 3 reasoning books, 2 math books, 2 interview books, and 2 English books. A Computer science book is either at the top or bottom-most level.

Given Data –

Starting from the top a reasoning book is between a math book and computer science book (either of the mentioned Math or Computer Science books may be at the top of a reasoning book), an English book is between a maths book and computer science book. A reasoning book is the third book from the bottom. An interview book is between a math book that is in sixth place from the top and a reasoning book. Another interview book is in between two reasoning books. A computer science book is in between reasoning and English.

There are 3 computer science books, 3 reasoning books, 2 maths books, 2 interview books, and 2 English books. Hence the total number of books is twelve.

The arrangement is as shown below:

Position of the bookCategory of the book
1Computer science
5Computer science
11Computer science

Q3: CAT 2019 (Slot 2)

Eight female members of the family decide to have a family photo and are sitting on a bench to be photographed. 

Given Data –

• Mrs. Divya is to the right of Mrs. Anne

• Akshata is the middle if Myra and Mrs. Banumathi

• Mrs. Veena is standing at one of the ends and is second to the right of Mrs. Divya

• Myra always wants to stand next to her mother Mrs. Anne and is third to the left of Mrs. Sandhya

The arrangement is as shown below:



















Q4: CAT 2020 (Slot 2)

A rock band has five members. Their names are John, Mark, Andrew, Paul, and Simon. The instruments that the band uses are the drums, the flute, the keyboard, the guitar, and the bass. Each member plays only one of the instruments. Each member of the band is from one of South Africa, the USA, Ireland, France, and England, though not necessarily in that order. The hair colors of the members are blonde, green, red, black and yellow, again not necessarily in that order.

Given Data –

• John’s hair is red. He is not from Ireland or France.

• Andrew plays the drums. His hair is not yellow, and he is not from the USA.

• Paul and Simon have yellow and green hair, not necessarily in that order.

• Mark plays the guitar. He is from England.

• Paul and Simon are from France and the USA, not necessarily in that order.

• The Irishman has blonde hair, and the Frenchman has green hair.

• The South African plays the bass and the American plays the keyboards. One of them has yellow hair.



Hair color






















How to prepare for CAT, XAT, GMAT, SNAP, NMAT, and GRE Complex Arrangements

Level 1

While making the solution table, define the object and the properties of the objects. As per your suitability and the number of parameters of the problem statement, decide on a solving process. When resolving, always fill in the direct data first. This makes it simpler because, as others are removed, there are fewer forms of property to remember. Read the questions while running a low of time before making the solution table. Many times, even before completing the solution table, such questions can be answered. It will help to minimize the time taken to solve relevant questions on arrangements in CAT by keeping these Tricks & Tips in mind. 

To score well in these questions, it is important to first understand the basics. For this, we recommend using the MBAP CAT E-Book (Concept Theory) study material. If you find difficulty understanding the concepts, use the MBAP Live Lecture Recording (Basic) on Basic Concepts.

To get better clarity on Complex Arrangements, use MBAP CAT E-Book (Practice Questions) and solve all the relevant practice questions. Also, solve the MBAP lecture assignment to complete the basics.

Level 2

Solve different types of arrangement question and get a hang to quickly solve these questions and answer subsequent questions. Questions centered on the combination of arrangements may also include comprehension of other logic defined problems. If you do not prepare this definition extensively, you will be clueless on how to proceed in the exam. Therefore, to build and learn the application of arrangements, you need to practice several questions. It will be way easier for you to attempt the questions by solving previous year papers. They are all readily available if you use MBAP Topic Wise Previous Year CAT Questions.

Level 3

Including all the above levels make sure you go through all the different arrangements questions from the previous years of different exams, since so many questions are based on the concepts that have appeared in previous entrance exams. Spend lots of time per day to practice quantitative aptitude in general and measurement for the entrance test you intend to appear in particular. The more time you spend on the questions, the more familiar they’ll get.

For further advancement on this topic, use MBAP CAT Advance E-Books and solve the MBAP Previous Year CAT paper.

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