Puzzle Test

Comparison Type Problems

Competitive exams are time bound. Thus, it is important that you have practised all the type of sums beforehand. But how do you practice reasoning ability? This section does not contain a set pattern or formulas which you can learn. To prepare for this section it is best that you practice different types of sums. Try and solve every sum you can. Don’t depend on the paper pattern of the previous years. Just try and go through as many sums as you can. One of the sections in the reasoning ability that requires a lot of understanding and practice is comparison type problems.

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 Comparison Type Problems                                         

In these types of questions, you are required to arrange or position a person based on his/her rank. You may also be asked to find the position based on the given data in the question. Like where does this person sits, on which floor does he live, etc?

The ranking arrangement is an important topic as far as banking exams are concerned. Every year there are 3-5 questions related to this topic in every banking exam. If you are appearing for exams like SBI PO, IBPS PO, SBI clerk, IBPS clerk, CAT, SSC, and many similar exams than it is important that to understand this topic. You can crack these questions easily by using concepts and some shortcut tricks. This will boost your morale and more importantly will give you time to solve more questions. As time is of utmost criteria, it is important that you learn these tricks well.


And that is why we have decided to give you comprehensive analysis on this topic. We will also provide you with some practice questions. Solving these questions will ensure that you have understood this topic property.

Important Points

1. The position of the person can be from either side in terms of the row as well as rank. It can be from top to bottom or bottom to top, it can from left to right or from right to left.

2. Before solving, try and read the question properly line by line. After that, you can solve from case to case basis.

Types of comparison related problems

Type 1

A total number of people = position of the given people from the different side + number of people that are after or before the same person.

Example: In a row, there are 6 people after X and the position of X from the left side of the given row is 25th. How many total people are there in the row?

Base on the above-mentioned formula,

No. of people = position of X from left-hand side + no. of people after X

=> 25 + 6 = 31

Type 2

Total people = sum of the position of the same person from the right and left side – 1

Example: W is positioned 23rd from right-hand side and 30th from left hand in a row. How many persons are there in the row?

Total person = sum of persons from both side – 1

=> (30 + 23) – 1 = 52

Type 3

If the total number of people are asked and we are given the position of different people from either of the side than it is a case of ‘data inadequate’ or ‘can not be determined’. This is due to the fact that we don’t know whether there is overlapping or not.

Example: X is positioned 12th from the left side of the row and Y is at 22nd from the right side of the row. What is the total number of people in the row?

You cannot solve this type of question, because both the person are given from the same side.

Type 4

When there are three people, two are on the opposite sides of the row and the third one is in the middle of the two-person than the total number of people in the row is calculated as

1. When the position of the third is mentioned with respect to the two people between whom this person is sitting.

2. When the position of the third person is mentioned from any of the sides of the row.

If any of these situations is given then you can determine the total number of the person in the row.

Example: The position of X from the right side is 7th and the position of Y from left-hand side is 12th. Z is sitting just in the middle of X and Y and his position is 10th from the right-hand side. What is a total number of persons in the row? In this question position of Z is 10th from the right and position of X is 7th from the right.

Therefore there is 10 – 7 – 1 = 2 person in between Z and X. As Z is in between X and Y there must also 2 people in between Z and Y. So the position of Z from left side will be 12 + 2 + 1= 15.

So the total number of people in the row will be = sum of people on both sides of Z – 1 => (10 + 15) – 1= 24.

Type 5

When the position of two people from different ends is given and we need to know the total number of people in the row then there are two types of cases –

1. There is no overlapping. Here some of the positions of people from different ends < total no. of people

2.There is overlapping. Here some of the positions of people from different ends > total no. of people.

We will discuss both the cases with the help of examples.

Case 1

The total number of people in the row is 48. X is at 12th position from the left-hand side and Y is at the 22nd position from the right-hand side. How many people are sitting in between X and Y?

Here you can see that some of the people < total number of people. In other words, we can write 12 + 22 < 48.

So, the total people between X and Y will be = Total no. of people – (position of X from left side + position of Y from the right side) = 48 – (12 + 22) = 14

Case 2

There are 48 students in a row. X is positioned at 25th from the left side while Y is positioned at 30th from the right side. What will be a total number of people between X and Y?

Here sum of people from different ends > total no. of people. So total people between X and Y = sum of people from both side – total people – 2 = (30 + 25) – 48 – 2 = 5

Practice Questions

Q. If A is taller than B and C is taller than A, E is taller than F but shorter than B than who is the tallest among all?

1. A                     2. B

3. C                    4. D

Ans: 1) A

Q. There are five boys. A is more fat than B, and C is more fat than A. D is more fat than E, but thinner than B. Who is the fattest in the group?

1. A                    2. B

3. C                   4. Can’t be determined

Ans: 3) C

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I think answer for first should be C(3)

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