Input Output questions are the most scoring questions that are asked in SBI-PO, IBPS-PO or Clerk examination. Such questions seemingly look difficult and often take a lot of time to solve if one is unaware of the tricks to solve them.

In this article we will discuss two Input-Output Questions on two parameters:

  • Various patterns spotted in Input–Output questions
  • Different Shortcuts/Tricks to solve Input–Output Questions

Input–Output can be solved by spotting the following patterns:

  1. Arrangement of numbers in descending order at each step.
  2. Arrangement of words in alphabetical order, i.e., from A to Z, at each step.
  3. When both alphabets and numbers are given in a series, in one step number is arranged in descending order and in the other step word is arranged in alphabetical order (from A-Z). These are also called Single Shifting Arrangements.
  4. In Double Shifting arrangements, words and numbers are arranged simultaneously, either to the left or right side in each of the steps.
  5. Words and Numbers are arranged as per number of consonants or vowels in each word.
  6. Arrangement is done as per the words beginning with consonants or vowels.
  7. Arrangement is done as per even or odd numbers.

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Now, let us start with the most basic example:

Input:     56      67      80       37      14      90

How many steps will the series take to solve the problem in ascending order?

Solution:

1st Step: 14     56      67      80        37       90

2nd Step: 14    37      56      67        80       90

Total steps taken are: 2

Your books will solve the question in the above mentioned manner. It seems simple but when the question is lengthy, it is quite time consuming. In this article you will find certain shortcut methods to solve these type of questions.

 

Example of Single Shifting Arrangement:

When both numbers and alphabets are given in a series, and only the alphabets or the numbers are rearranged on each step, it is called single shifting arrangement.

Input: 24 custom 57 not 87 sell 15 landmark house 43

Step I: custom 24 57 not 87 sell 15 landmark house 43

Step II: custom 15 24 57 not 87 sell landmark house 43

Step III: custom 15 house 24 57 not 87 sell landmark 43

Step IV: custom 15 house 24 landmark 57 not 87 sell 43

Step V: custom 15 house 24 landmark 43 57 not 87 sell

Step VI: custom 15 house 24 landmark 43 not 57 87 sell

Step VII : custom 15 house 24 landmark 43 not 57 sell 87

Output/Answer: Step VII is the last step of the given input.

 

Explanation: word is taken and arranged from A-Z and then in second step the numbers are arranged in increasing order. The same pattern follows until all numbers are arranged in increasing order and all words are arranged alphabetically.

Note to avoid confusion: After arranging ‘house’ in step III, the next step will be to arrange 24. But it has already come in its place without arranging, and that’s why we will not count 24 in the next step and move to word ‘landmark’ which will now be arranged in step IV.

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Example of Double Shifting Arrangement:

Here both words and numbers are arranged either on a right or left side in each of the steps. The procedure continues till the last step.

Input: monkey 44 goat and 60 72 willing

Step I: 72 monkey 44 goat 60 willing and

Step II: 72 60 monkey 44 willing and goat

Step III: 72 60 44 willing and goat monkey

Step IV: 72 60 44 and goat monkey willing

Step IV/Output: is the last step of the arrangement of the above input as the intended rearrangement is attained.

 

Example of Even Odd number arrangements:

Input: 15 28 27 39 12 6

Step I: 6 15 28 27 39 12

Step II: 6  12 15 28 27 39

Step III: 6 12 28 15 27 39

Step IV: 6 12 28 39 15 27

Step V/Output: 6 12 28 39 27 15

Explanation: In the above solution to the example, first the even numbers are arranged in increasing order whereas odd numbers are arranged in decreasing order only after the even numbers are arranged.

 

Shortcuts Method to solve Input–Output Questions

Now that we know how Input-Output questions are solved, we need to start thinking of ways to save time while solving these questions.

1. Cancel out the numbers already arranged

Where only numbers are given

Solve the question as per increasing order:

Output:   14      37      56     67     80      90

 

Solve the following question as per decreasing order:

The solution is:

Output/ Step 3: 90     87     20     14      12     2

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2. Compare consecutive alphabets

Arrangement of words in ascending order (A – Z)

Arrangement of words in descending order (Z –A)

Let us solve an example relating to words in a short cut way

Consider the first letters of the words to rearrange in ascending order

Input:

 

Output: All Alone Chandigarh I Previous Visited Year

Note: Here both the words ‘all’ and ‘alone’ start with ‘a’. So how do we put them in ascending order? When the first alphabets are same, compare the 2nd alphabets and so on. Hence ‘all’ comes before ‘alone’ in the arrangement.

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Some of the unsolved Questions are as following:

Now that you have seen how we solved all types of Input-Output questions, now its your turn to try some. Go ahead and start solving. Share your answers in the comments section below.

The below mentioned question is from IBPS PO 2013’s paper:

Question 1: A word and number arrangement machine when given an input line of words and numbers rearranges them following a particular rule in each step. The following is an illustration of input and various steps of rearrangement. (All the numbers are two-digit numbers.)

Input: 11 day 34 night 93 pace 27 easy 44 joy

Step I: 93 11 day 34 night pace 27 easy 44 joy

Step II: 93 11 34 night pace 27 easy 44 joy day

Step III: 93 44 11 34 night pace 27 easy joy day

Step IV: 93 44 11 34 night pace 27 joy day easy

Step V: 93 44 34 11 night pace 27 joy day easy

Step VI: 93 44 34 11 night pace 27 day easy joy

Step VII: 93 44 34 27 11 night pace day easy joy

Step VIII: 93 44 34 27 11 pace day easy joy night

Step IX: 93 44 34 27 11 day easy joy night pace

And Step IX is the last step of the rearrangement as the desired arrangement is obtained. As per rules followed in the above steps, find out in each of the questions the appropriate step for the given Input.

Input : class 25 war 15 race 73 heap 58 just 88 take 38

What is the position of ‘war’ in Step VII?

1) Seventh from the left end

2) Eighth from the right end

3) Fifth from the left end

4) Fifth from the right end

5) Sixth from the left end

 

Which of the following is ninth from the right in Step VI?

1) race

2) 25

 3) war

4) 58 

5) 15

 

What is the position of ‘15' in Step IX?

1) Seventh from the left end

2) Eighth from the left end

3) Fifth from the right end

4) Seventh from the right end

5) Eighth from the right end

 

How many steps are required to complete this arrangement?

1) Eleven

2) Twelve

3) Ten

4) Nine

5) None of these

 

Question 2 : Input :new 59 personnel 68 28 teacher 10 price grievance 32

How many steps would be needed to complete the arrangement?

a) V 

b) VI

c) VIII

d) VII

e) Cannot be Determined

 

Which of the following would be the final arrangement?

a) grievance 10 new 28 personnel 32 price 59 68 teacher

b) grievance new personnel price teacher 10 28 32 59 68 

c) grievance 10 new 28 personnel 32 price 59 teacher 68  

d) grievance 68 new 59 price 32 personnel 28 new 10

e) None of these

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