Understanding Coding-decoding

The prelims exam of NIACL Assistant is little more than a month away. This is the time when you should make your basics strong and do ample practice to have a complete command on a given topic. Let’s have a look at the questions related to coding-decoding which are pretty simple to answer if you get to know the logic behind them. Since these questions’ reasoning is simple in nature, these should be attempted first. If you practice enough to solve these question in less time, these questions can get you maximum marks in minimum time.

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A couple of questions which were asked last year are below:

  • In a certain code, KINETIC is written as TICDKIN. How is MACHINE written in that code?
    • A. ENIGMAC
    • B. INEGMAC
    • C. INEGCAM
    • D. ENIGCAM
    • E. INEGMCA
  • In a certain code, RELATED is written as EFUBKDQ. How is RETAINS written in that code?
    • A. SDQBTOJ
    • B. JOTBQDS
    • C. JOTBSDQ
    • D. TOJBSDQ
    • E. TOFFISDQ

Explanation of the first question

If you see the first question, KINETIC can be broken into three parts: KIN + E + TIC. The first 3 characters go and sit at the end in the same order when coded so KINETIC becomes TICDKIN. When the same logic is applied to MACHINE, the coded word should be ****MAC. This leaves us with the first two options. On further observation, the last 3 characters of the original word go and sit as the first 3 characters in the same order when coded making KINETIC as TICDKIN. Applying the same logic with MACHINE, we can see only the second option as the answer.

Explanation of the second question

Coming to the second question, RELATED can be broken into three parts as well: REL + A+ TED. The first character goes to the end and gets converted to the character prior to it as per the order of the English alphabet. So ‘R’ goes and sits at the end as ‘Q’ when coded. In a similar fashion, ‘E’ and ‘L’ go and sit as ‘D’ and ‘K’ when coded. Having understood this logic, RETAINS becomes ****SDQ and after having a glance at the options we are left with the last 3 options.

Coming to the coding of RELATED, we can observe that the 4th character gets replaced by its successive character but retains its place. Since the option E doesn’t have B at 4th place, we are now left with only 2 option: C & D. The difference between C & D is that of the first 3 characters. So for the last 3 characters, it’s the same logic as the first 3 characters but the difference is instead of getting converted to the character prior to it, it gets converted to the successive character. So TED becomes EFU. Therefore RETAINS will become TOJ**** and therefore option D is the correct one.

While the explanations are indeed lengthy, they are there for your easy understanding. With enough practice, you should be able to solve these questions in your mind.

Some tips to master coding-decoding

Positions of letters in the English alphabet:

A=> 1, B=> 2, and so on.

If you remember the word EJOTY, it becomes easy to locate the position of letters. See below:

Position of

  • E: 5
  • J: 10
  • O: 15
  • T: 20
  • Y: 25

You should also memorize the reverse position of alphabets. VQLGB comes handy here.

Position of

  • V: 5
  • Q: 10
  • L: 15
  • G: 20
  • B: 25

If you’ve memorized the opposite of each letter, it would be great.

A <> Z

B <> Y

C <> X

and so on…

Current Trend and what to expect?

The questions asked in NIACL Assistant Prelims 2017 were too simple. Being thorough with the above concepts would definitely help you in sailing past this section with high accuracy in minimal time. However, being prepared with some new kinds of questions will anyway help you in an unpredictable scenario. Below is an example:

 

Directions: Answer the following questions based on the information given below

The alphabets are coded using numbers and special symbols. Answer the following questions based on the coding. Also, consider the conditions mentioned below. One or more conditions may apply.

Alphabet U N L F B Q H I X V O P Z
Code 4 1 8 @ 3 # ^ 7 6 $ 9 2 5

Conditions:

(i)              If both the first and the last letters are consonants, both the letters are to be coded for the first letter.

(ii)             If the first letter is a vowel and the last letter is consonant, both the letters are to be coded as ‘!’.

(iii)            If the first letter is consonant and the last letter is a vowel, the codes of both the letters are to be interchanged.

(iv)            If both the first and the last letters are vowels, both the letters are to be coded for the last letter.

Question 1: UBHXV

  1.     !3^6!
  2.     43^6$
  3.     $3^6$
  4.     43^64
  5.     $3^64

Answer: a

Solution:

As, the first letter is a vowel and the last letter is consonant, both the letters are to be coded as ‘!’.

Hence, option a.

Question 2: NHIBO

  1.     !^73!
  2.     9^739
  3.     1^731
  4.     1^739
  5.     9^731

Answer: e

Solution:

As, the first letter is consonant, and the last letter is a vowel, the codes of both the letters are to be interchanged.

Hence, option e.

Question 3: IHVZO

  1.     7^$59
  2.     9^$57
  3.     7^$57
  4.     9^$59
  5.     None of the above

Answer: d

Solution:

As, the first and the last letters are vowels, both the letters are to be coded for the last letter.

Hence, option d.

Question 4: NHXPL

  1.     8^621
  2.     8^628
  3.     1^621
  4.     1^628
  5.     !^62!

Answer: c

Solution:

As, both the first and the last letters are consonants, both the letters are to be coded for the first letter.

Hence, option c.

Question 5: QBFXZ

  1.     #3@65
  2.     #3@6#
  3.     53@6#
  4.     53@65
  5.     None of the above

Answer: b

Solution:

As, both the first and the last letters are consonants, both the letters are to be coded for the first letter.

Hence, option b.

 

Having practiced different types of questions will definitely help you in the exam. Mock tests are one source to find and practice different types of questions. We wish you all the best for your exam!

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