How to solve Data Interpretation Questions in Paper-I of UGC NET? Useful Notes

By Ashwani Tyagi|Updated : August 10th, 2021

UGC NET Exam is conducted twice a year by NTA. There are ten units in Paper-1 and each unit has equal weightage in the examination. Most Important Topics in UGC NET Environment, Logical Reasoning, Teaching Aptitude, Research Aptitude, Communication, ICT, Higher Education.   

In this post, we will discuss important tips on how to solve Data Interpretation questions in the Paper-I test of UGC NET exam. 

Let us begin with what does Data Interpretation exactly mean?
Interpretation is the process of making sense of numerical data that has been collected, analysed, and presented. Interpreting data is an important critical thinking skill that helps you comprehend textbooks, graphs and tables

Majority of the questions asked in UGC NET from Data Interpretation Section are based on the following topics of the Arithmetic Section -

  1. Ratios
  2. Averages
  3. Percentages

If the basics of these topics are clear, attempting DI in the exams becomes comparatively easy.

Now, let us go through the types of DI graphs/charts that you may encounter in the exams -

  1. Pie Charts
  2. Line Charts
  3. Bar Graphs
  4. Tabular Charts
  5. Mixed Graphs

We shall now have a look at the types of questions that are asked under these Data Interpretation Graphs -

Consider the following data presented in the bar graph:

Percentage of Students who like different sports in two different years is provided in the following graph. Total number of Students is 1000 for both the years.

Year 2011 and Year 2012

Now the following types of questions may be asked from this data -

1. Sum or Difference based -

These are the most basic questions that may be asked in a DI set. For instance,

What was the sum of the total number of students who like Badminton and Cricket in both the years?

Now for such questions, first find the number of students who like the two sports in the two years -
2011 - Badminton = (12/100) * 1000 = 120
Cricket = (45/100) * 1000 = 450
Total = 570
2012 - Badminton = (20/100) * 1000 = 200
Cricket = (37/100) * 1000 = 370
Total = 570
Sum = 570 + 570 = 1140

2. Averages based Questions -

Average based questions are very commonly asked in the Data Interpretation sets. For instance,

What is the average number of students who like badminton, cricket and football in 2011?

Total students who like badminton, cricket and football in 2011 = (12 + 45 + 22) = 79% of 1000
Required average = 790/3

3. Ratio based question -

Another arithmetic operation based question that may be asked is Ratio based.
Now, these questions may be asked directly or in combination with the above. For instance,

What is the ratio of the students who like football and tennis in 2011 and those who like volleyball and squash in 2012?

Students who like football and tennis in 2011= (22 + 4) = 26% of 1000
Students who like volleyball and squash in 2012 = (10 + 5) = 15% of 1000

Remember for such questions, you do not need to do the entire calculation, because such numbers will eventually cancel out while calculating the ratios.
Required ratio = (26% of 1000) : (15% of 1000) = 26 : 15

4. Percentage based question -

These are yet other arithmetic problems that are usually asked in DI questions.
These problems again may be asked individually or in combination with the sum or difference based problems. For instance,

The students who like badminton and squash in 2011 is what per cent of the students who like football and swimming in 2011?

Students who like badminton and squash in 2011 = (12 + 2) = 14% of 1000
Students who like football and swimming in 2011 = (22+7) = 29% of 1000
Here again, do not calculate the entire value.
Required % = (14% of 1000) / (29% of 1000) * 100 = 1400/29%

Same data may be presented in the form of other graphs as well, however, the approach to attempt the questions would remain same. You may find numbers in place of percentages or vice - versa, so do read the question carefully before proceeding.

Line Graph:

Year 2011 and Year 2012

Tabular Chart -

Pie Chart -

One more variety of question that may be asked in pie charts is the angle based. For instance,

What is the central angle corresponding to football and volleyball together for 2012?
Angle = (20 + 10)% * 360 = (30/100) * 360 = 108


Do's and Don'ts for UGC NET Exam Preparation!

Preparation Tips for upcoming UGC NET EXAM 2021

  • Check the full syllabus and examination pattern of UGC NET EXAM thoroughly
  • Start preparing for the exam with a time schedule
  • Practice with the previous year’s question papers and their solution
  • Keep revision of all topics from the topics on a daily basis
  • Check your progress with mock tests
  • Study carefully and do maintain your health.

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BYJU'S Exam Prep provides you crisp and relevant notes with plenty of questions, mock tests and practical applications based questions. Hence, to score better, start your preparation now and crack UGC NET 2021.

Complete Notes on Teaching Aptitude for UGC NET Exam Paper 1

Thank you,

All the best for your exam,

Team gradeup.


Posted by:

Ashwani TyagiAshwani TyagiMember since Jun 2020
UGC NET Qualified 3 times (history)
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Har Simran Kaur
Thank you so much
Minakshi Mistry
Sirp lease save it  I am feeling drawsi.pleSe save it for tommmors home task.after doing all I will say my doubt.sorry I am putting u in trouble.Namaskar sir .
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Ravita Sahu

Ravita SahuJul 12, 2020

Very helpful notes thanku so much sir ji
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Divya DubeyJul 26, 2020

Thank u sir
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Basu MadarSep 21, 2020

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Sharda ZodApr 23, 2021

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