03 min read

An arrangement is the act of putting things in a specific order or a sequence in order to satisfy the given constraints. We come across many examples of arrangement in our day to day lives. For example, even when students give various competitive exams, they need to identify which section should be attempted first and decide on the order in which questions should be answered in that particular section. Hence, arrangement puzzles which appear in the LR section of CAT and other management entrance exams test an individual’s ability to assimilate complex data and filling out the information gaps using the given clues and set of constraints.

Construct of an arrangement puzzle

Each arrangement problem typically begins with a paragraph which describes a particular situation. This introduction will give you a guideline on what you are expected to do with that particular problem. This will be followed by a couple of short statements which will provide the rules or constraints to be applied to the particular situation. These constraints typically give some information about how various dimensions given in the arrangement problem are arranged and interconnected.

There are three types of clues involved in arrangement puzzles. They are

  • Direct clues: In this type of clues, the order which relates two variables will be directly given using
  • Indirect clues: These are clues which can be converted to direct clues using reasoning once all the other direct clues are
  • Scenario clues: Once all the direct and indirect clues are incorporated to the logical framework, the rest of the problem can be simplified to two or three scenarios which on further examination will lead us to the correct The number of scenarios created will be minimal only when all the direct and indirect clues have been identified and incorporated into the logical framework.

Hence, a systematic approach in solving arrangement puzzles will always help in avoiding confusions and minimizing the effort behind solving the problem.

Solution approach for arrangement puzzles

The systematic step by step approach to solving puzzles will involve the following steps.

  • Decide on the logical framework which should be This will be in the form of a diagram which will try and lay down all the dimensions given in the problem in a readable format using various letters, shapes, and symbols to represent different dimensions.
  • Incorporate direct clues and indirect clues into the logical framework necessarily in that
  • The problem is considered to be solved provided all the information about sequencing each dimension and the inter-relationships between various dimensions are identified. If the information gap still persists, then break the remaining problem into possible scenarios. Check each scenario for consistency of data. The scenario which meets all the constraints can be taken as the correct answer.
  • Guard against multiple correct answers especially when you see “Cannot be determined” as one of the answer choices in the questions that follow the When there are multiple correct answers which fit all the constraints given in the question, then typically you will not be able to ascertain the exact nature of the relationships or order of the variables involved. Hence, the answer will typically be “Cannot be determined”.