Directions for SSC & Railway Exams

By : Sachin Awasthi

Updated : Nov 2, 2020, 17:41

Directions is a crucial topic in the Reasoning section in the SSC & Railways exams like SSC CGL, MTS, CHSL, CPO, STENO, SSC JE, RRB NTPC, GROUP D, and more. This topic is relatively easy and requires basic logical and analytical skills from the aspirant’s end.

We’re always giving directions to people in our daily lives. It could be our friends, family, classmates, cab drivers, or fellow strangers on the street. Words like straight, right, left, back, south, north, etc., are ingrained in our subconscious mind.

This sense of direction, along with the awareness of primary directions and cardinal directions is key to solving the problems in this section. Common to all the major competitive examinations, this topic requires the student to answer questions about the precise direction where an object or person is moving.

What is Direction?

The direction is usually a course along which something or someone moves. It is also a relative position of a point with respect to another point. Directions can be relative or absolute.

4 Main Directions: North, East, South, West.

Major Cardinal Directions: North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West.

Important Directions Topics for SSC and Railway Exams



The Right and Left directional movement

The right or left movement is always with respect to the body or object moving in the scenario. 

Sun rays and shadows

  • Facing North at Sunrise or Morning time
  • Facing South at Sunrise or Morning time 
  • Facing South at Sunset or Evening time
  • Facing North at Sunset or Evening time 

The direction where the shadow gets cast depends on the direction and time. 

  • Shadow will be towards his left. 
  • Shadow will be towards his right. 
  • Shadow will be towards his left. 
  • Shadow will be towards his right. 

Directions in Clocks

  • 12 O’clock -    North 
  • 3 O’clock   -    East 
  • 6 O’clock   -    South 
  • 9 O’clock   -    West

Tips and Tricks to Solve Directions Questions

  • If a man is facing east at the time of sunrise, his shadow will be towards the West. 
  • Remember: At the time of Sunset, the shadow of an object is always cast towards the East. 
  • As the rays of the sun are vertically downward at 12 O’clock, no shadow gets cast. 
  • Always remember that the right or left is not with respect to the person who’s solving the questions but the object or person in the given scenario.  
  • Pro Tip: Always make a sketch using the provided data. It’ll be extremely beneficial. You can also use it to double-check your answers. 

Importance of Directions in the Reasoning

  • High-scoring: As the concept is fairly easier, questions on Directions can quickly be solved. As a result, it’s a high scoring topic. 
  • Familiarity: Everyone’s familiar with the concept of Directions as we use them in our daily lives. This familiarity factor makes it easier to solve the questions. 
  • Time-saving: This topic is your safe spot. If you use the tricks mentioned above and go through our list of important questions, you’re likely to answer the questions quickly. It’ll save your time for the tougher sections. 
  • Help with other topics: If you’re able to master the basic concepts of directions, it’ll help you with the questions related to the seating arrangement, which can be tricky otherwise.

Most Recommended Books for Directions

Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning 



B.S Sijwali / Indu Sijwali 

Why Prepare Directions from Gradedup?

Are you looking for a one-stop solution to prepare Directions? Then choose BYJU'S Exam Prep. At BYJU'S Exam Prep, we believe that learning should be fun, not mundane. From our easy to learn videos, quizzes, and online mock test series, we provide our students with detailed solutions and quick hacks. 

We have an expert faculty who curate new questions, based on the latest exam pattern. You can expect Direction Quizzes, notes, syllabus, problems and solutions, previous year papers, and tips and tricks, amongst other things.


Directions is a relatively easy topic to master if your basic concepts are clear. If you’re aware of the basic directions and terminologies and practice daily from the previous year question papers, you’ll be able to solve every problem with ease. The tips and tricks will further help you in solving the problems quickly. Don’t forget to check out the recommended books as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Will Studying the Directions concept help in solving seating arrangement questions?

Answer: Having a thorough knowledge of the concepts of Directions will surely help you in solving the problems on seating arrangement.

  • How many questions can I expect from this topic in the reasoning section? 

Answer: You can get up to 3-4 questions from this topic.

  • How do I prepare for Directions after understanding the basic concepts?

Answer: Always draw a sketch using the information given in the question. Try to practise 4-5 questions daily. 

  • Is a month enough to study Directions while preparing for competitive exams?

Answer: A month would be enough for only the topic- directions, but the entire syllabus of a competitive exam can’t be covered in a month. Please prepare prior.

  •  Which book would be best to study Directions?

Answer: Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by DR. R.S. AGGARWAL is the best book to study Directions problems. 

  • Is Directions an important topic in the Reasoning section? 

Answer: It is an important topic and one that is relatively easier too. On average, three questions can be asked on this topic.

  • How do I practise Reasoning questions? 

Answer: Reasoning questions can be tricky. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the problems before solving them. Read the questions carefully and then solve the problems. You can also make a list of important topics and their formula’s and techniques.

  • What are the important topics in the Reasoning section? 

Answer: Analogy, Series, Syllogism, Seating arrangements, Coding-Decoding, Blood relations, Statements and Conclusions, Directions, Data Sufficiency, Assumptions are important topics in Reasoning amongst others.