Ranking Test

Ranking Tests

Ranking tests, a common component in competitive exams, assess your ability to arrange individuals or objects in a specific order based on given criteria. These tests are designed to evaluate your logical reasoning, observational skills, and problem-solving abilities related to arranging people or items according to height, weight, age, marks, or other attributes.

Key Concepts and Strategies

1. Understanding the Basics of Ranking:

  • Familiarize yourself with the concept of ranking, which involves arranging entities in a particular order based on given conditions.

2. Direction of Arrangement:

  • Pay attention to whether the arrangement is in ascending (from lowest to highest) or descending (from highest to lowest) order.

3. Ranking with Ties:

  • Understand situations where two or more entities might share the same rank due to identical attributes.

4. Relative Positioning:

  • Focus on the relative positions of individuals or objects concerning each other, as this is often a crucial aspect in ranking problems.

5. Handling Exceptions:

  • Be prepared to tackle scenarios where specific individuals or objects don't conform to the regular ranking rules.

Types of Ranking Problems

1. Simple Ranking:

  • Arranging individuals or items based on a single attribute like height, age, or marks.

2. Complex Ranking:

  • Arranging individuals or items based on multiple attributes or conditions, which may involve additional rules and complexities.

3. Circular Arrangement with Ranking:

  • Arranging entities in a circle based on ranking rules, considering clockwise or anticlockwise positions.

Tips for Solving Ranking Problems

  1. Read Instructions Carefully: Pay close attention to the instructions and understand the criteria for ranking.

  2. Create Diagrams: Sketch diagrams or charts to visually represent the given information and aid in understanding the arrangement.

  3. Work Step by Step: Solve the problem systematically, following the given conditions one by one to reach the solution.

  4. Identify Patterns and Rules: Analyze the information to identify patterns or rules that govern the arrangement.

  5. Consider All Scenarios: Account for different possibilities and hypothetical scenarios while solving complex ranking problems.

  6. Practice Regularly: Regular practice with a variety of ranking problems will enhance your speed and accuracy in solving them.

Example Scenario

Suppose you are given a problem where six students - A, B, C, D, E, and F - have secured different marks in an exam. You need to arrange them in descending order of marks.

  • A scored more than B but less than E.
  • C scored less than D and less than F.
  • B scored more than F.


  • Using the given information, you can create a logical arrangement of students based on their marks.
  1. E (Highest marks)
  2. A
  3. B
  4. F
  5. D
  6. C (Lowest marks)

In this type of test, the ranks of a person both from the top and from the bottom are mentioned and the total number of persons is asked.  However, sometimes this question is put in the form of a puzzle of interchanging seats by two persons.


Example:      Ravi is 7 ranks ahead of Sumit in a class of 39. If Sumit’s rank is seventeenth from the last, what is Ravi’s rank from the start?

  1. 14th
  2. 15th
  3. 16th
  4. 17th

Answer:       Sumit is 17th from the last and Ravi is 7 ranks ahead of Sumit.  So, Ravi is 24th from the last.

Number of students ahead of Ravi in rank = (39-24) =15

                   So, Ravi is 16th from the start.

Example:      In a row of boys, Kapil is eighth from the right and Nikunj is twelfth from the left.  When Kapil and Nikunj interchange positions, Nikunj becomes twenty first from the left.  Which of the following will be Kapil’s position from the right?

  1. 8th
  2. 17th
  3. 21st
  4. Cannot be determined
  5. None of these

Answer:       Since Kapil and Nikunj interchange places, so Nikunj’s new position (21st from left) is the same as Kapil’s earlier position (8th from right).

                   So, number of boys in the row = (20+1+7) =28.

                   Now, Kapil’s new position is the same as Nikunj’s earlier position i.e., 12th from left.

\ Kapil’s position from the right = (28-11) =17th.