Published by Swanand R, Law Lead Mentor, IMS

logical reasoning for Law CLAT 2016

Logical reasoning isn’t all that difficult, if you prepare well and put your mind to it!

Reasoning is another section in CLAT that doesn’t require any prior subject knowledge or mugging up formulae. Students from all streams are on the same page with this section. So it gives a scoring opportunity to everyone. To make matters slightly complicated, CLAT Logical Reasoning (LR) section is a mix of Maths and English.

Similar to the GK section, LR requires smart preparation. Identifying high weightage topics and practising them first, followed by the rest, is the key. From CLAT 2013, the LR section changed a little, but in terms of topic wise importance as follows:


Mathematical Reasoning
Family Tree/Relationship – 5
Series completion – 5
Circular/Matrix arrangements – 5-8 (1-2 caselets)
Directions, puzzles etc – 2-3

Verbal Reasoning
Analogies – 5
Statement – Inference –  3-5
Strong-Weak arguments – 3-5
Syllogisms – 5
Parajumbles/Para completion – 3-4

CLAT 2015 was an aberration, where 12-13 questions each were asked on case-based reasoning and coding-arrangement type of questions. Otherwise, English and Maths are equally important.

Lets look at a few Mathematical Reasoning questions and a general approach to solve them.

Matrix Arrangements (CLAT 14 caselet)

Five friends — Satish. Rajesh, Rehman. Rakesh. and Vineet — each presents one paper to their class on Physics, Zoology, Botany, English, or Geology one day a week, Monday through Friday.

(i) Vineet does not present English and does not give his presentation on Tuesday.
(ii) Rajesh makes the Geology presentation, and does not do it on Monday or Friday.
(iii) The Physics presentation is made on Thursday.
(iv) Rehman makes his presentation, which is not on English, on Wednesday.
(v) The Botany presentation is on Friday, and not by Rakesh.
(vi) Satish makes his presentation on Monday.

1. What day is the English presentation made?

(A) Friday
(B) Monday
(C) Tuesday
(D) Wednesday

2. What presentation does Vineet do?

(A) English
(B) Geology
(C) Physics
(D) Botany

3. What day does Rakesh make his presentation on?

(A) Monday
(B) Tuesday
(C) Wednesday
(D) Thursday


The ‘Grid’ Approach –

  1. Identify dimensions (e.g. person name, subject, day).
  2. Assign dimensions to a grid and populate cells with available information.
  3. Try to populate remaining empty cells by method of elimination.
  4. Use question-specific information to eliminate further options

If the available information is properly entered in the grid, the caselet generally solves itself. Based on the information given in the caselet, one can populate grid as follows –

Physics Botany
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Satish X X X X
Geology Rajesh X X X X
Rehman X X X X
Rakesh X X X X
Vineet X X X X

With practice, a typical matrix arrangement should not take more than 5 to 7 minutes to complete. Since average time per questions tends to be higher in LR, dedicate lesser time to GK and partly verbal section.

Family Tree/Relationships (CLAT 2014 question)

Pramod told Vinod, “Yesterday I defeated the only brother of the daughter of my grandmother”. Whom did Promod defeat?

(A) Father
(B) Son
(C) Father-in-law
(D) Cousin


  1. Different relationships within family tree. E.g. Siblings, husband-wife, parent-children should be shown with different signs (e.g. <->, = etc) between boxes.
  2. For any person, mention gender (f) or (m) next to the box, wherever possible. Carefully note marital status of persons and draw a neighbouring box to show spouse entity accordingly.
  3. In case of multiple generations, be careful with relations like grandparents, they can be paternal or maternal.
  4. Attempt standalone (one liner) relationship questions over case based 3-4 questions, since average time to solve them is lesser.


Directions (CLAT 14 question)

Two buses start from the opposite points of a main road 150 km apart. The first bus runs for 25 km and takes a right turn and then runs for 15 km. It then turns left and runs for another 25 km and takes the direction back to reach the main road. In the meantime, due to a minor breakdown, the other bus has run only 35 km along the main road. What would be the distance between the two buses at this point?

(A) 65 km
(B) 75 km
(C) 30 km
(D) 85 km


  1. Note the initial direction that the subject is facing and show this with an arrow head. Follow left/right, clockwise/anti clockwise directions with respect to the arrow head.
  2. Distance travelled during a move is important, since you may end up getting a closed figure like a triangle, trapezium, rectangle after the complete path is over.
  3. Remember that starting point is mostly the reference for final direction and distance.


Series completion (CLAT 14 question)

1. 0, 6, 24, 60, 120, 210, ___?

(A) 290
(B) 240
(C) 336
(D) 504


Each term is a multiple of three consecutive natural numbers

e.g. 0=0*1*2, 6=1*2*3, 24=2*3*4, 60=3*4*5, 120=4*5*6, 210=5*6*7. Hence next term should be 6*7*8=336


2. POQ, SRT, VUW, ___ ?



Pls note the jumbling of consecutive characters in alphabet series


General Guidelines

  1. Practice tables well. Most of the series questions will be connected to tables.
  2. For numeric series, you may have to find ‘difference of difference’ to the second level. Just the first level difference between neighbouring terms may not help.
  3. Alphabet series are generally easier and one needs to practice more to identify patterns.

While these are standard approaches to solving LR questions, you should be prepared to handle surprise elements like calendars and data sufficiency, that were introduced in CLAT 2015. Solving LR caselets in small groups may help in terms of covering more caselets in shorter time. Making teams of 2 each and solving puzzles can help in improving speed.

We shall cover the approach for verbal reasoning in another post. Meanwhile, start thinking LAWgically!


Leave a Comment

© 2014 Law Blog, inc. All rights reserved.