Sequential Output Tracing (Input Output)

 

The sequential output tracing questions or Input Output reasoning questions or Machine Input Output problems are like a machine converting the given input into the required output following a particular pattern. The input can be in the form of numbers, alphabets, alphanumeric, etc. The machine may run for any number of steps, say 4, 5, 6, etc. (given in question). For every next step, the output in the previous step becomes the input, and so on. But the pattern remains the same which we need to observe and answer the given questions accordingly. Such questions check the reasoning ability of candidates.

Importance

If you are preparing for exams like NMAT, IIFT, etc., be ready to face 1-3 questions on this particular topic in the reasoning section. As these are time-based exams, input-output questions are meant to indulge students and let them waste their time. But at the same time, these can be scoring as well because one set of input-output may contain four questions. If you crack the logic, you will be able to answer all four questions correctly. So read the question carefully and if you cannot understand the logic within 45 seconds to 1 minute, then skip it to attempt at the last, if the time permits. If no negative marking is there like in NMAT, mark any option, and then you can change it at the end of the exam.

Refer to the below table for more information.

IIFT
Input Output
YearNo. of
Questions
Good
Attempt
Difficulty
201922Moderate
201822Moderate
201743Difficult

 

List of Concepts

There is no specific concept for this 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 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.
 

Details on This Page

Questions from Previous Papers

NMAT

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.

Input

Ant

Antelope

Catapult

Dollop

Elves

Frog

Step 1

Antelope

Ant

Dollop

Catapult

Frog

Elves

Step 2

Dollop

Ant

Antelope

Elves

Frog

Catapult

Step 3

Catapult

Frog

Elves

Antelope

Ant

Dollop

Step 4

Frog

Elves

Dollop

Catapult

Antelope

Ant

Q. 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
 
Q. 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
 
Q. 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
 
Q. 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
 

IIFT

Direction: Answer the questions based on the information provided.

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 

 

Q. 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

 

Q. 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

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

 

Q. 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

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 

Passcodes:

    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. 

 

Q. 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

 

Q. 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

 

Q. 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

 

Q. 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: B

 

How to deal with the topic preparation

Level 1

  • There is no particular method to solve these questions. The practice is the only way to make sure that the approach is correct
  • 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.

Level 2

  • Make sure that now you are practicing these 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

Level 3

  • Now you are ready to shift from mocks to the actual exam papers. Practice all the questions that came in the last 3-5 years
  • 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
 

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