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NMAT question paper | Topic : Input and Output Tracing


The Sequential output tracing or Input Output reasoning questions are like a machine converting the given input into the required output following a particular pattern. The input output topic holds huge weightage in time-based exams like NMAT previous year papers have 5-8 Questions, while IIFT previous year papers have 1-3 Questions. Input-output questions are time consuming yet scoring as one set of input and output may contain four questions. 

Questions from Previous Papers on input and output tracing

NMAT exam questions:

Q1. A computer program converts an input series into an output series in four steps as shown below. Using the same logic, answer the question that follows.    [NMAT 2020]

Step 1AntelopeAntDollopCatapultFrogElves
Step 2DollopAntAntelopeElvesFrogCatapult
Step 3CatapultFrogElvesAntelopeAntDollop
Step 4FrogElvesDollopCatapultAntelopeAnt

Q2. If the input series is 10, apple, 14, mangoes, 17, oranges, what is the final output at Step IV? 

A) 10, mangoes, 17, apple, 14, oranges 
B) 10, 14, 17, mangoes, apples, oranges 
C) 17, mangoes, 14, apples, 10, oranges 
D) mangoes, 14, apples, 10, oranges, 17 
E) oranges, 17, mangoes, 14, apples, 10

Answer: C

Q3. If the Step III output was 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, then what was Step 1? 

A) 110, 100, 90, 80, 70, 60 
B) 100, 80, 90, 60, 70, 110 
C) 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 110 
D) 90, 100, 110, 60, 70, 80 
E) 80, 70, 90, 110, 100, 60

Answer: C

Q4. If the output at Step II is 26, 34, 76, 89, 23, 12, then what is the final output? 

A) 89, 76, 34, 23, 12, 26 
B) 23, 89, 26, 12, 76, 34 
C) 34, 76, 12, 26, 89, 23 
D) 12, 23, 26, 34, 76, 89 
E) 89, 76, 34, 26, 23, 12

Answer: C

Q5. If an input element, 45, occupies the 3rd position in the series at Step III, then what was its position in Step 1? 

A) 2nd 
B) 3rd 
C) 4th 
D) 5th 
E) 6th

Answer: C

IIFT exam questions:

Direction: Answer the questions based on the information provided.              [IIFT 2020]

A word arrangement, when rearranged by given input follows a particular rule/logic in each step. Following is an example of input and rearrangement. Study that rule/logic and apply it to the given problem.

INPUT one cannot but feel sorry for him

Steps /Results:

(I) but cannot one sorry feel him for 

(II) cannot but feel sorry one for him

(III) but cannot sorry feel him for one 

(IV) sorry cannot but him feel one for 

Q6. If Step VI reads, ‘the best way of promoting our nation’, what will be the arrangement of the input? 

A) best the nation way of our promoting 

B) our promoting the best nation way of 

C) promoting best nation of the our way 

D) of our best the way nation promoting

Answer: C

Q7. If Step V reads, ‘weeks of tepid slothful and weak performance’, what would step VI read? 

A) performance weeks and tepid of weak slothful 

B) of weeks slothful tepid performance weak and 

C) of tepid slothful performance weak and weeks 

D) performance and tepid weeks of weak slothful 

Answer: B

[IIFT 2020]

Based on the information, answer the following questions. Nautanki, a famous playgroup from Eastern India is playing different shows every hour starting from 10 am with a two-hour lunch break from 1 pm to 3 pm after which the show resumes at 3 pm. Entry tickets for different shows are coded with 7 words each day. The same words are rearranged for different shows following a definite rule. For example Show 1: Banana is the favorite fruit of Bina 

Show 2: the is of favorite Bina fruit Banana Show 

3: of is fruit favorite Banana Bina the 

And so on till the last show at 9 pm.

Q. If on some other day, for the fourth show the code is ‘All of Delhi welcome to the show’, then the code for an entry ticket for the first show on that day is:

A) The of all welcome to show Delhi 

B) The of Delhi welcome all show to 

C) The of to welcome all show Delhi 

D) The of show welcome all to Delhi 


Answer: C


Q8. If the entry code for the show at 7 pm is ‘Do things to help others in difficulty’, then the code for an entry ticket for the show at noon of that day was:

A) Do things others help to in difficulty 

B) Do things to help others in difficulty 

C) Do things to help in difficulty others 

D) Do things difficulty help to others in 

Answer: B


[IIFT 2019]

Direction: Read the information provided and answer the questions which follow. Given an input, a coding machine generates passcodes every day as follows

Input: my bag carries no more than ten books 


    Batch I: more my than bag ten carries books no 

    Batch II: bag ten than carries my books more no 

    Batch III: my bag books ten more than no carries 

    Batch IV: ten more books than bag no my carries and so on. 

The first batch timing is 9.30 AM and each batch is of one hour’s duration. There is a rest period of one hour after the work for the fourth batch is over. 


Q9. If the passcode on a particular day for the second batch is ‘if winter comes can spring be far behind’, what will be the passcode for the batch at 2.30 PM on that day? 

  A) if winter behind far comes can spring be 

  B) behind winter if spring comes can far be 

  C) behind winter if spring comes far be can 

  D) if winter behind far spring be can comes 

Answer: D


Q10. On a particular day, Rahul was to begin the work in the batch at I0.30 AM with a passcode ‘I like tea and biscuit but not together’. However, he came late on that day and hence joined the next batch. What was his new passcode? 

A) together but like not biscuit I tea and 

B) together but like I tea and biscuit not 

C) biscuit l but like not tea together and 

D) biscuit I but tea together like and not 

Answer: C


Q11. On a particular day, the passcode for the batch immediately before the rest hour was ‘bah bah black sheep have you any wool’. What was the input for the passcode on that day?

A) any have wool bah sheep you black bah

B) any have wool you bah sheep bah black 

C) any have wool you bah black bah sheep 

D) None of the above 

Answer: B

Q12. On a particular day, the passcode for the second batch was ‘ India’s core strength lies in unity in diversity’. What was the input on that day in the reverse order of its words? 

A) in in India’s lies diversity strength core unity 

B) unity core strength in diversity lies India’s in 

C) in in strength India’s core diversity unity lies 

D) None of the above 

Answer: C

List of Concepts of sequential output tracing

There is no specific concept for input and output questions because it depends on your reasoning and logical skills. But there are different varieties of these questions so try to practice different types each time. Some of the logic that can be helpful are:

• The most important step is to carefully while solving input and output question is to read the question and analyse the steps on which the Output is based on. After thoroughly examining the steps you’ll be able to figure out which pattern is being used to generate the output.

• As input and output questions are time consuming it is advised to use tabular format to decode the pattern and solve the question.

• The output can be derived by simply changing the positions of the elements of the input.

• Arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with a specific digit/ number or among the input elements can lead the output.

• Squaring or cubing of the digits/ numbers in the input should be checked.

• The spaces between the two alphabets can be the logic to be cracked.

• The position of the alphabets like A’s position is 1 and Z’s position is 26 should be remembered.

How to deal with the Input and output topic preparation

Level 1

• There is no input output trick to solve such questions. The practice is the only way to make sure that the approach is correct using MBAP CAT E Book (Concept Theory) study material and MBAP CAT E Book (Practice Questions).

• Start preparing with the questions having only one logic to be cracked like the change in the position of the elements of input, the addition of a number in the input elements, etc. 

• If needed you can use MBAP Live Lecture Recording (Basic) and MBAP lecture Assignment to enhance your practice.

Level 2

• Make sure that now you are practicing input and output questions using a timer because speed is very important in the exams like NMAT and IIFT

• Try to crack the logic in less than 90 seconds

• Attempt different types of questions using MBAP Topic wise Previous Year CAT Question

Level 3

• Now you are ready to shift from mocks to the actual exam papers. Practice all the input and output questions that came in the last 3-5 years using MBAP Previous year CAT paper

• Time yourself. In NMAT, candidates get approximately a minute to answer a question so if you are going to attempt input-output questions; you need to crack the logic in less than a minute

• Keep practicing using MBAP CAT Advance E books.


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