Basic Concepts of Classification
- To ‘classify’ means to assign some particular characteristic to the various member/part of a group and identify them on the basis of those particular characteristics only.
- Classification questions aim to test the skills of a candidate in determining the features of various things and the candidate has to answer which one is odd-one from the group of 4 options. The odd-one option shouldn’t possess the skill which must be common among the other four options.
- Such questions are really scoring as they require minimum calculations (if verbal). So, let’s understand how to solve various types of ‘Classification’ questions.
- All we have to do is identify the common feature in the 3 option. There can be various types of patterns that can be found in Classification questions. Some of those patterns :
This common feature must be unique, ascertainable, non-imaginary and must not be present in the odd-one option. While solving these questions, one should have basic awareness about general knowledge including Science, Geography, History, Mathematics etc.
Different Types of Questions asked in Competition Exams
1. Finding the Odd-Word: In such questions, four ‘meaningful’ words are given. These words can be found in the dictionary. Apart from that, these have a similar feature, based on that we’re supposed to find the odd-word. For example:
1. a) Treachery
Answer: Here, we can see that all except Morbid are synonymous to each other as they all mean ‘falsehood’ while ‘morbid’ means ‘diseased’. So, here we should have a good vocabulary to solve such questions.
2. a) Feeling
Answer: Here, Joy, Anxiety and Anger are all the type of Feeling. And, Feeling is a generic(or general) term. To solve this, we need a good knowledge of adjectives.
3. a) Skull
Answer: Here, All except Appendix are bones. While Appendix is an organ made of muscle. To solve this, we need a basic knowledge of science.
2. Finding the odd-pair of words: In such questions, four options are given. Each option has a pair of words (that can be found in the dictionary & hence meaningful). Each three pair depicts a relationship among each other and this relationship is common in all the four pairs but can’t be found in 4th odd-one pair. We’re supposed to find that odd-pair which doesn’t possess that common relationship. For example,
1. a) Lion: Roar
b) Snake: Hiss
c) Frog: Bleat
d) Bees: hum
Answer: In all the pairs, the second word is the sound made by the animal which is also the first word. But in the pair of frog: bleat, bleat is the sound made by sheep not frogs.
2. a) Protein: Marasmus
b) Sodium: rickets
c) Iodine: Goitre
d) Iron: Anemia
Answer: In all the pairs, the second word describes the diseases, caused by the deficiency of element which is the first word. But in the pair of Sodium: Rickets, Rickets is being caused by the deficiency of Vitamin D, not Sodium.
3. a) Valley: Depth
b) Good: bad
c) High: Low
d) Black: white
Answer: Here, all the pairs contain the words which are antonym i.e. they mean the opposite of each other. But, Valley & Depth are synonyms to each other.
3. Finding the odd number: In such questions, four numbers are given. Each of the 3 numbers have common features like they are prime numbers or odd numbers or all divisible by ‘7’ while the 4th number isn’t so we have to identify that odd-number which doesn’t have the feature the other four numbers have. For example:
1. a) 145
Answer: Here, all the numbers except 399 are of the form (Square + 1) like 257 ⇒ 162 + 1 But 399 ⇒ 398 + 1 ⇒ 398 isn’t the square of any number.
2. a) 3759
Answer: Here, in all the options the pattern depicted is like this: Like in 3759 ⇒ (7+9) = 2×(3+5) ⇒ 16 = 2 × 8 But 2936 isn’t following this pattern: (2+6) ≠ 2×(2+3)
3. a) 5698
Answer: Here, ‘4232’ is the only number where digits have been repeated while all other options have three different unique digits.
4. Finding the odd-pair of numbers: In such questions, four options are given. Each option has a pair of numbers. Each four pair depicts a relationship among each other and this relationship is common in all the three pairs but can’t be found in 4th odd-one pair. We’re supposed to find that odd-pair which doesn’t possess that common relationship. For example
1. a) 140 - 45
b) 110 – 35
c) 100 – 30
d) 80 – 25
Answer: The pattern seen here is (first number – 5) ÷3= Second number. like 140 – 45 ⇒ (140 – 5) ÷ 3 = 45 But 100 – 30 ⇒ (100 – 5) ÷ 3 ≠ 30
2. a) 7: 26
b) 8: 30
c) 10: 35
d) 13: 44
Answer: Here, the pattern is: 2nd number = (1st number × 3) + 5 Like in 7: 26 ⇒ 26 = 7 × 3 + 5 = 26 but in case 8: 30 ⇒ 30 ≠ 8×3 + 5
3. a) 21-49
Answer: 21 & 49 have 7 as common factor, 24 & 64 have 8 as common factor. 81 & 36 have 9 as a common factor while 25 & 54 have no common factor.
5. Finding the odd letters: In such types of questions, four options contain a random group of letters. These random groups of letters have common pattern and this pattern is common in all the three options but can’t be found in 4th odd-one. We’re supposed to find that odd-one which doesn’t possess that common pattern. For example,
1. a) DECB
Answer: All except JFHG contain consecutive alphabets in random order.
2. a) ACZX
Answer: In all the groups except CEUS, 1st and 3rd letters occupy the same position from the beginning & end of alphabetical series respectively.
This method might look a bit time-consuming. You might think “It’s better to solve those puzzles then going through such lengthy 4-5 questions”. But wait, we can make these questions solving easy too:
Step I: Gather all the questions you can on the topic of Classification. Go through the questions given in the BYJU'S Exam Prep app. Just gather all the questions from all the credible sources. Mind it, credible, because many sites/books give the wrong answer to these questions and that can hamper your logical thinking.
Step II: After having selected bulk of questions, start practising the questions. Read the options, try answering without timing yourself. Check the answer, understand the logic. Start gradually and continue the practice.
Step III: After solving 50-100 questions, you’ll start getting comfortable with the types of question patterns. It will take you less time to decipher the pattern.
Step IV: After practising hundreds of questions with the techniques described above, you’ll be able to attempt one classification question in hardly a minute, that too flawlessly. This is the mastery stage where you can solve any difficulty of statement-assumption, and classification becomes a scoring section for you.