Logical and Critical Thinking with maths puzzles, brain teasers, riddles

Build logical and critical reasoning skills - through maths puzzles, riddles, brain teasers
Build logical and critical thinking skills – through maths puzzles, brain teasers, riddles

Ever wondered why some people are very natural at solving puzzles while some struggle to understand the underlying problem? And why some people solve them much faster than others do. Does it have anything to do with the logical, critical thinking and reasoning skills one possesses? While it might be tempting to attribute it to the way the human brain functions and creates this capability, psychologists attribute it to the skills we pick up in our early childhood.

Children are naturally good at reasoning. Children begin understanding the logical connection between things they observe, from an early age of 2-3 years. Hence young toddlers learn a lot by observing other family members. By the age of 5-6, children start seeking answers through the process of internalising logic. This can be seen in the questions they ask and quite often parents find it difficult to answer them. By the age of 10-13, they begin to reason many things around and begin to argue with elders. Given the freedom to think and experiment with things around them they start blooming and their reasoning skills develop.

What is logical and critical thinking?

Logical ability helps one to assess a situation with all its possibilities, connect them coherently and come up with a solution. In a lot of situations, it is not just the ability to come up with a solution but the ability to come up with scenarios for a given problem in a given context and assess the pros and cons of each of the paths. It provides a way to learn new things on one’s own.

A study on toddlers revealed that children who were given the freedom to figure out things on their own learnt faster (self-learners) and have a better logical and reasoning ability as compared to children who were taught things in detail.

Self-learners tend to experiment, experience, gather information and make deductions on their own, thus gaining overall knowledge. The speed of self-learners varies and hence those who are slow would require mentors or guides, rather than teachers who solve things for them.

Why is logical thinking important?

Logical and critical thinking is a very essential skill required for problem solving in daily life. Reasoning helps you think rationally and take decisions effectively. Developing logical reasoning in children at an early age helps improve cognitive skills and increase the capability of solving intellectual problems. Memory and logical reasoning go hand-in-hand while solving problems. Logical reasoning helps one to memorise better by boosting the following types of memory:

  • Motor memory: ability to routinely perform tasks repetitively
  • Verbal logic memory: ability to store and retrieve information we hear
  • Visual shape memory: ability to distinguish visual elements
  • Emotional memory: ability to recognize feelings and connect them to related events

There is nothing better than math to teach deductive reasoning. Logic puzzles, math puzzles, brain teasers, riddles and crosswords are not just play. They teach application of reasoning skills to real world problems.

A nudge in the right direction by creating the environment to develop logical reasoning, can greatly benefit children when they grow. As parents, the best thing to do is to give them the freedom to think.

How does RankerEdge’s Chanakya Series help?

RankerEdge’s Chanakya Series, developed by experts in the domain, aims to build these logical, critical thinking and reasoning skills from an early age. At RankerEdge, we believe, these are abilities that can be acquired and built over a period of time with a little help from a mentor. These are also skills that help keep a child in good stead in the long run and prepare them for problem-solving-oriented world.

Get more details on www.rankeredge.com/web/chanakyaseries 

Subscribe to one or more of these levels at: www.rankeredge.com/web/chanakyaregn

To quit or not to quit – the dilemma of a working CAT aspirant

Should I quit my job to prepare for CAT?
Should I quit my job to prepare for CAT?

Should I quit my job to prepare for CAT?

This is a tricky question but the answer, while not a straight forward one, will be different for different people. The first thing to do is to ask yourself ‘why?’. Why do you want to quit your job for writing CAT. The most often quoted answer is ‘I don’t get enough time to prepare due to work pressure’. If you look at this answer a little closely, it translates to something that is close to ‘I find it difficult to manage more than one thing at a time’. The reason you want to do MBA is because you want to acquire skills that help you move into managerial roles in the short term and leadership positions in the longer term. Or you have some higher order reason in mind. Whatever is the reason, these roles / positions inherently come with the challenge of dealing with different people and different issues within a day’s work. The Reading Comprehension section of CAT expects one to process a lot of information simultaneously and bring back from memory while answering the questions.

Multi tasking as a skill

There are two different people – those that process different things simultaneously in the mind and act on one thing at a time very effectively. These are people who can multi task. Then there are those that process only one thing in the mind and act on that one thing, at a time very efficiently. These are people who are at their best when they take up tasks sequentially. By itself, doing one thing at a time is not a bad thing. It has its own advantages, like focus and better quality. But the pulls and pressures of a leader are multi-fold and essentially require one to process and act on multiple things parallelly. Often, in your work places too, you find someone who can do this very adeptly and you are in awe of such people. Many believe that this is a skill that they don’t possess. But like any other skill, this too can be acquired with practice and diligence.

Avoid anything that you can live without

Just make a note of all the activities that you do in a day, whether in office or at home and identify those that you can avoid, at least in the short term. Some tips would be:

  • Make a note of some important formulae / notes on a piece of paper, or on your mobile and try to go through them whenever you find time in the office, even if it is for 5 to 10 min.
  • See whether you can cut down on the time you spend on going out for lunch or tea.
  • Constantly ask whether you are spending your time at your workplace efficiently. Squeeze in whatever little time you can to accommodate checking on the notes you carry with you.
  • Find out from your mother as to how she is able to juggle with so many tasks in a day. She may not be able to explain time management and efficiencies a’ la Frederick Taylor, but prod her a little and you are bound to be surprised.

Without which not !!

If the reason to quit a job to write CAT, is not the paucity of time arising out of work pressures, it may be due to other reasons that are dependent on a few things like the stage of your career, the stage of your preparation etc.

If you are at a stage in your career where quitting your job has consequences for the family’s financial resources, you might want to think twice before quitting. But if you have financial support otherwise, either from your parents or your spouse, and have no other burdens and responsibilities, you might consider quitting to take up your preparation with full vigour.

But the most important driving force comes from answering the question – ‘how badly do I want to pursue MBA?’. If the answer is ‘sine qua non’, you will do everything in your power to realise your dream. If you are telling yourself, even remotely, that you can grow in your career and live without doing MBA, you will eventually quit your preparation and continue with your job. A very important ingredient to keeping yourself on course, is to enjoy the process, of solving problems, of reading different genres of english language, solving math puzzles and building logical ability etc. If you are not enjoying this process, it is better to quit preparation. Because, there must be something else that interests you and you should search for that.

Sometimes, just talking to someone – a friend or a mentor or someone who has gone through the process helps. You can reach out to our experts, who have gone through this and done this before at RankerEdge, just by writing a note to info@rankeredge.com.

Build logical ability with Chanakya Series

Build logical ability with Chanakya Series
Chanakya Series with Math Puzzles, Brain Teasers to build logical, critical thinking and reasoning ability

RankerEdge has launched a unique, one of its kind program, Chanakya Series, that helps build logical ability and critical thinking from an early age. The series, divided into 5 levels, starts with level 1 for children in the age group of 10 to 13 and ends at level 5 for professionals preparing for interviews.

Problem solving as a tool for decision making

Problem solving, an important aspect of everyday life as well as professional life, helps in effective decision making. And it is this attribute that is tested the most in all competitive exams and interviews today. Through a problem of verbal reasoning, critical reasoning, data sufficiency, syllogism, puzzle etc., the important aspect being tested is one’s ability to think clearly when faced with a problem, analyse and come up with options for solving the problem.

The Chanakya series aims to build precisely this ability – problem solving based on critical and logical thinking, through puzzles, riddles, problems in critical reasoning and logical aptitude. We at RankerEdge, believe that like any other skill, logical ability and critical thinking can be acquired with practice. The problems are presented to you in a graded manner through various levels that help you acquire and build these skills, one step at a time.

Who is this program aimed at?

While the series is not aimed at any one particular exam, going through each level and solving the problems provides one a very strong foundation that helps in approaching such problems with a clear and trained mind. One can begin at any level based on one’s skill level and requirement and progress to higher levels gradually. Level 1 and Level 2 are aimed at children for developing an aptitude for reasoning ability through maths puzzles and riddles. At the highest level, Level 5 provides practice with puzzles for interviews and problems that help in algorithmic thinking. The certification for each level is independent of previous levels.

Test Series and Tutoring options

RankerEdge’s expert tutors can also offer guidance at various stages of the learning process through online tutoring. One can choose to take the test series only and go through the tests or choose to take both test series as well as online tutoring.

Get more details on www.rankeredge.com/web/chanakyaseries 

Subscribe to one or more of these levels at: www.rankeredge.com/web/chanakyaregn

Role of Online Tutoring vis a vis Online Classes

Online Tutoring for K12 and Competitive Exams
Online Tutoring for K12 and Competitive Exams

Learning is undergoing a paradigm shift. While schools are trying to adapt to the new virtual environments, parents are looking for newer ways to engage their children productively and helping them adjust to these new learning methods. Online Learning Management environments, online tutoring platforms, online content platforms all help achieve these goals.


While a few schools have adapted well to the changing needs, many are trying to replicate in-class processes virtually, not completely assessing whether these old methods will work in the new environment. For example, a physical classroom is simply replaced with a virtual meeting room. Students who are generally shy of asking a question in a classroom are lost even more in a virtual class. 

The curricula and evaluation methods are also not being changed to suit the new environment. Instead of using an integrated LMS that has online classes, online assessments and assignments, teachers are sharing the worksheets and assignments through email, WhatsApp or Google drive. Children are then being asked to upload completed assignments. These disparate tools create much confusion and lead to inefficient learning in the long term.


Students do not get as much attention from the teacher as in a physical classroom, unless they are vocal with their problems. Some children struggle to keep up with the virtual lessons, while some others find it a problem to stay focussed while an online class is happening.

Supplementary Learning Methods

This is where online tutoring will play the role of a supplementary learning method in the form of one-on-one or one-to-many (often a much smaller group compared to what a school’s online class has) classes. Students get much better attention and teachers also feel a lot lesser pressure catering to a much reduced audience. Parents are turning to online tutoring platforms to help the children navigate the new learning process and keep them engaged and motivated. 

Firstly, the student is learning in the safe environs of a home without having to travel to a tuition class. Students can get access to best tutors without having to worry about the geographical location. This will help parents find the best possible tutors suited for their budget.

A tutor can create a customized study plan for each student and monitor. This will bring in some structure to the learning process. This means that each student can complete the coursework at his / her own pace. 

With one-on-one learning, the language barriers are also broken. Students who are not well-versed with the language medium of the school (especially children of immigrants) might find it tough to follow certain subjects. Online tutoring helps students connect with a tutor who can help them bridge this gap. 

Parents can monitor the progress in tutoring sessions and get instant feedback about the student’s performance.

Online tools like a comprehensive LMS complement schools’ effort to move  classes online. An integrated methodology that delivers classes, resources like worksheets and content(videos, images, text etc), assessments and feedback, all online provides a structure and can help smoothen the process greatly.

Online learning has transformed the way knowledge is imparted and learning takes place. And online tutoring provides supplementary help to students to bridge their skills gap in a cost-effective way.

Important Changes in SNAP 2019 exam

Congratulations to all those who attempted SNAP 2019 and Good luck to those preparing for SNAP 2020 ! Let us take a look at the important changes made in SNAP in 2019.

Lesser number of questions and sections

The total number of questions is reduced to 110 from the earlier 130. The total time is 120 minutes. Total Marks are 150. Interestingly, there are only three sections to contend with, for the test takers. The general awareness section has been removed. The three sections are:

  • General English
  • Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency 
  • Analytical & Logical Reasoning. 

This means that students are no longer required to prepare current affairs and general knowledge. They can focus on the core three sections with lesser questions.

Special Questions

Special questions are non-MCQ questions whose answer needs to be typed using a virtual keyboard. There are 5 special questions of 2 marks each in QA, DI & DS section only. There are no negative marks for these questions.

Number of questions and marking scheme

The following are the details of the section-wise marking scheme. There are no sectional cut-offs.

Section# of MCQs# of non-MCQsMarks per questionNegative MarksTotal Marks
General English3401.50.37551
QA, DI & DS3551 for MCQ and 2 for non-MCQ0.25 for MCQ45
A-L Reasoning3601.50.37554

Knowing the above changes in the exam, it is better to change strategy a bit. We will discuss more on this in the next blog.

Reading Comprehension in Verbal Ability Section – Ace with confidence

Prepare for Reading Comprehension Section in CAT,GMAT,SAT
Prepare for Reading Comprehension Section in CAT, GMAT, SAT

Reading Comprehension in Verbal Ability section is a common testing area in most of the competitive exams held for entry into government jobs or admission to business schools. It requires you to read a passage, analyse it and answer questions quickly and accurately.

Reading Comprehension is a scoring area since analysing one passage helps in answering multiple questions in one go. But for a lot of people who find it uninteresting to read English content of any type, this could create a mental block. If this is not one of your stronger areas, you better start building on it immediately. But how? The answer isn’t an easy one.

Read varied content

Start reading anything and everything because the passages that you get to read in any of these exams like CAT, GMAT or other competitive exams are varied in nature. You have to develop a love for reading, this will keep you in good stead not just for the exams but in the long run too. The most successful people in any field are most often, voracious readers. Practise reading from various sources like books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, extracts, novels, etc. All the content from these is available online these days. Ensure that you cover various areas such as:

  • Business and economics
  • Science, environment, and technology
  • Art and literary criticism
  • Philosophy, Spirituality and sociology
  • Sports, Politics, World History

This will help you in building a broad base of knowledge areas and when you see a passage from one of these areas in the exam, you will be able to relate to it. 

Reading comprehension strategies

  • Time yourself while reading a passage. Once done, write down a short summary of the main theme (not in the exam but during the course of your preparation) and verify. This will help you check how accurately you processed the information in a short period of time. 
  • Cover various areas and ensure that you are comfortable with any kind of content.
  • Don’t read individual words. Practise reading chunks of words in one go. This will help in covering the passage in a shorter time.
  • Internalise what you are reading in the first pass itself to the extent possible so that you do not need to re-read the passage for every question.
  • Highlight or underline important words or phrases. This will help in answering fact based questions faster without having to spend time in searching.
  • Every passage is not of the same difficulty level. Learn to identify the difficulty level of the passage in the first glance. This will give you an estimate of the time you would probably spend in reading and analysing it. For example, a fact based passage can be read faster as compared to an extract from Sigmund Freud book.
  • If you don’t understand the meaning of a specific word / phrase, don’t get stuck on it. Most often, the context of the sentence will help in understanding the word / phrase.
  • Don’t think that you have to answer all the questions given for a specific passage just because you spent time reading the passage. If you are in serious doubt about the answer choice, skip the question. Most of the exams penalise a wrong answer.

There is no shortcut to answering questions on RC passages. Practise and practise well. If you want to get more insights, you can reach out to our experts at RankerEdge, just by writing a note to info@rankeredge.com.

Preparation – Key to doing well in competitive exams

Preparation tips for doing well in online exams
Preparation tips for doing well in online exams

Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni often stresses the importance of following a process. Whether it is preparing for an event like the World Cup or preparing for a competitive exam, what you do until the event holds the key to what you can achieve on the day of the event. This process of preparation also helps in building confidence in the run-up to the exam. The performance of some students rises a few notches while that of some others drops down from their average, on the d-day. All this has got to do with the confidence they take into the exam hall and much of it has to do with the preparation or what they call net practice. 

If you follow a process and stick to your plan there is a higher chance of overcoming the hurdles and coming out with flying colors. Here are 6 simple things that can help you in your preparation: 

1. Know the exam

You must know the exam inside out. Sections in the exam, syllabus for each section, weightage of topics, marks per question, negative marks if any, any time constraints to complete a section, specific cut-off for each section – knowing all these details will help in your planning. Do your research on the exam, take a practice test and understand the weightage of each topic and the pattern. This will help you immensely. 

2. Create a realistic schedule and stick to it

Prepare a schedule. But more importantly, you should implement your schedule. Your schedule or plan should also be realistic. There is no point in planning a 14-hour schedule and only studying for a couple of hours. 

You need to have both a short term schedule as well as a long term schedule depending on the time to exam. For example, if you have 6 months to prepare, you should plan for the next one month, next 3 months and the next 6 months. 

3. Understand your strengths and weaknesses

Know your strong areas and weak areas. Maximise your outcomes in your strong areas with little or no additional effort, simply by ensuring that you are not making any avoidable mistakes. When it comes to your weak areas, see if some of these can be learned quickly without much difficulty or wasting much time. There is no point in spending a lot of time on areas that don’t give any additional benefits. Also understand that one should always play to one’s strengths. 

4. Review and re-plan

No plan is cast in stone. Your plans must be flexible and accommodate for any deviations and contingencies. Also, you should be able to re-plan based on the scores you are achieving in your practice tests. It doesn’t mean you junk the plan every week and start all over again, but you should be able to make minor adjustments that will  

5. Get access to good study resources

Having access to good study material is of paramount importance to succeeding. If you are preparing for an online exam, subscribe to a couple of good online test series. They provide you a simulated experience and help in your online test preparation, though live exam-day experience could be slightly different with more people taking the test simultaneously in the same computer lab. 

6. Get relief from exam-related fear and stress

Get away from your studies every day for some time to relax. Take a stroll, meditate, talk to a friend, talk to yourself, watch some greenery or blue sky, do some breathing exercises – all of these might help alleviate exam-related anxiety. More on this in a separate blog later. 

These are not the only ways to manage your exam preparation effectively. You may devise methods of your own. The idea should be to make a plan, stick to it at least 90% of the time, review and improve.

LIC HFL 2019 Exam

Life Insurance Corporation – Housing Finance Limited (LIC HFL) is one of the leading housing finance companies in India. It has recently advertised 300 vacancies for the positions of Assistant, Associates and Assistant Managers across the country. The eligibility criteria can be viewed at: lichousing.com.

The selection process involves three stages: online exam, interview and medical examination.

Online Exam

The online exam has the following sections:

Section NameNumber of questions and MarksTime Duration
English Language50, 5035 mins
Logical Reasoning50, 5035 mins
Numerical Ability50, 5035 mins
General Awareness50, 5015 mins
TOTAL200, 200120 mins

The sections have to be completed within the time allotted. Every wrong answer has a negative mark of -0.25. 

The exam pattern for all the three posts is the same but the exam will be conducted separately and hence the questions will be different.


Based on the performance in the online exam, candidates will be shortlisted for interview stage. Candidates will need to carry their original documents for verification on the day of their interview. 

The final selection of candidates will be strictly on merit basis. The performance in both the stages will be considered. The offered candidates will have to undergo medical examination for their appointment.

Get an edge and how? – Practice, Practice and more Practice

Practice Online Exams with RankerEdge
Practice Online Exams with RankerEdge

There is no substitute to practice when it comes to acing competitive exams. More the number of models and questions you practise, more is the confidence you will go into an exam and lesser is the surprise factor when you have the question paper in front of you. As most of the exams go online, practice on paper is no longer sufficient.

RankerEdge helps a student in achieving precisely these goals. Practice is not just limited to covering the syllabus. We cover a vast number of models, vast number of questions that you get to practice using an interface that is close to the actual exam interface. Practising and improving with every test you face on RankerEdge, you will improve in forming test taking strategies. This takes you as close to exam-preparedness as possible.

RankerEdge platform is mobile compatible and can be accessed on any internet enabled device from anywhere. So the students can practise whenever they get the time to do so.

Welcome to RankerEdge

RankerEdge - Aptitude Questions, Online Tutoring, Maths Puzzles, Critical Thinking, Online Test Prep
RankerEdge – Aptitude Questions, Online Tutoring, Maths Puzzles, Critical Thinking, Online Test Prep

RankerEdge is going to be a one stop destination in your preparation for all competitive exams. Our endeavour is to provide online test series that simulate the actual exam as closely as possible and let you improve your performance through loads of practice.

Our FREE test series is a generic test series and has questions of average difficulty level. They give you a fair idea of the exams that you will face. We will try to add more questions and change some of the existing questions even in the FREE test series from time to time.

You can try out this free test series and then subscribe to one or more of the test series based on which competitive exam you are targeting. The mantra to success in these exams is practice, learn, improve. And we intend to provide you a platform that helps achieve exactly this.

Welcome to RankerEdge and happy learning !!!