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All About Sequential Order of Things

Confused about what is logical reasoning and how to deal with sequential order questions...? Not to worry…this article briefly describes the question types and keys to solving these problems.

What is reasoning, and why is it important..?

A person’s ability to try to find out a solution with a logical perspective is reasoning. It is also known as the science of deduction. Good logical reasoning skills are associated with a person’s thinking process & intellectual building. Thus testing the reasoning skills of a particular student or a candidate applying for a job in any field makes an important part of the selection criterion.

Today almost all competitive exams include several questions which test the reasoning skills of a student. These questions may be verbal or non-verbal type and include diverse fields. These questions are generally easy to do not have any specific formula or method which fits all the questions from this section. One can reach to solution in different ways, completely dealing with the set of information provided in the question.

Hence, these questions aim at testing your data interpretation and conclusion-making skills. Questions could be based on Sequential order of things, distance and direction, clock and calendar, and hypothetical scenarios. 

The sequential order of things

Questions based on the sequential order of things make a major part of the logical reasoning section. As the name suggests, these questions check your ability to analyze and arrange the given set of random information, and you have to make conclusions based on this. The sequence in a sequential order may be a chronological sequence of events or maybe a sequence of a number/letters. Based on this, there could be various types of questions in this section of the sequential order of things.

Types of sequential order based questions

Letter series

In this type, letters or groups of letters are arranged in a specific order. You have to find the next or any middle term. For this, you first have to understand the pattern given in sequence order.

Example1:  Find the next term in- C, EF, IJK,?

Here in this letter series, if you observe, letters are selected in a pattern as;  C is followed by EF. One letter in between (D) is omitted, and the next two letters are selected together instead. Likewise, two letters are skipped after that (GH), and the next three letters are selected together- IJK. 

Thus following this pattern, the next three letters will be skipped (LMN), and QPRS will be the next term.

This is one example of a letter series, but take note that each question will have a different pattern and arrangement that have to be decoded employing our logical thinking at that very instant!

Number series:

Number series questions are much like letter series, where you have to decode the underlying pattern in a given sequential order arrangement. 

Example1: What will be the next term in a series-15, 30, 22, 38?

Looking at the given terms, we can see that the difference between alternative terms increases by 1. Such that the third term is greater by 7 than the first term (15 & 22); the fourth term is greater by 8 than the second term (30 & 38). Likewise, the fifth term should be greater than the third term by 9. Hence the fifth term will be 31.

Information based verbal questions

These questions are important representatives of sequential order questions. These could be the simplest of all the other types for some people, while they could be a headache for others! These are completely based on one’s analytical and logical thinking.  

These questions might be as simple as ordering a set of events in chronological order from given random statements. Some other questions are formed to check your ability to connect given parts of information and accordingly find the missing part of the picture. These questions are generally interesting and diverse. Let’s look at a question from one of the competitive exams.

Example: Five students gave presentations on five different subjects. Presentations were scheduled once per day a week.

  1. Sophia made her presentation on Friday about Ecology
  2. Reena presented a botany topic on the day except for Monday & Friday
  3. Wednesday, Nupur gave a presentation on subjects other than English
  4. Maya presented on Monday
  5. Pragati did not present in English and gave a presentation on Tuesday 
  6. The history presentation was given on Thursday

What day was the English presentation made?

Solution: In such questions, the very first thing to do is read the given information twice and write down the connections. 

  • Friday-Sophia, Ecology
  • Reena- Botany, on the day except for Friday & Monday 
  • Wednesday- Nupur, the topic was not English
  • Tuesday-Pragati, and not about English
  • Thursday-History
  • Maya- English subject

From this information, it is clear that the English presentation was given by Satish. Satish presented on Monday. Hence the English presentation was made on Monday.


As mentioned previously, all the problems based on the sequential order of things are usually unique, and a universal formula or trick cannot be stated. The only trick to solving these types of questions is to keep your thinking and logical senses active! Practicing more and more questions can help you to gain almost expertise in this section, and that will help you in all of the other subjects too!

Here we provide some references where you can access more of such questions!


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