Reasoning question – X metre race & who finishes where!

QNR 1. Six students participated in a 400- metre race.

  • Ram finished after Amar and after 2 other students.
  • Amar finished after Sameer.
  • Firoz finished before Sameer.
  • Vinod finished before Hari.

Who came fifth?

1. Ram

2. Amar

3. Firoz

4. Vinod

Ans:- For the above question at this moment it does not matter whether is a 400 metre or 100- metre race; we’ll however show you a different aspect to this when it comes to preparing for quantitative section of various competition examinations šŸ™‚ .

Coming back to the question we can prepare a simple line diagram of who have finished and relatively in what order; Ā Ram finished after Amar and after 2 other students- the first statement deduces that Ram came fourthĀ & Amar and 2 other studentsĀ are the first 3 finishers.


*Amar’s position is just relative; he is one of the first 3 (not third necessarily).

We have gone through just the first statement but you can very well tell that we can rule out 1. Ram and 2. Amar from the options :-). We will show you in most of the questions how well the rule of R.O.P (Rejecting Out Options) can be applied to solve them faster -if you have not have used this methodology earlier,Ā I would suggest you start pracitising in almost all the questions. *Remember even if you don’t know the exact answer aftering ruling out 2 options out of 4; you have increased the probability of answering the question correctly from 25% to 50% (assuming the option set has 4 values)!

Let us check the next two statements- “Amar finished after Sameer” –> this tells us Amar definitely was not FIRST. If Sameer is first then Amar can be second; if Sameer is 2nd Amar is third. Doesn’t help much to answer the question (who came fifth?) – we just get the idea that Sameer is one of the 3 top finishers along with Amar.

Third statement conveys us that Firoz finished first and Sameer 2nd and the line diagram becomes:


Now, if you are decided to read on the next statement you are not quite learning the R.O.P rule šŸ™‚ ; why do I say that? If we know Firoz cameĀ FIRST, we should reject out the 3rd option and mark 4th option as the correct answer:-).

Nevertheless, let us finish the line diagram in case there were more questions attached to this- who finishedĀ third or last? Vinod finished before Hari shows that Vinod was not last; and we know Vinod and Hari accomodate the last two positions:


If you look at the solution provided by most of the websites or published books you won’t possibly be learning the “art of attempting questions” in competitive examinations. That’s why we answer them in a prose way to help students take most out of from the existing database of PSA questions and apply logically thought process to understand examiner’s point of view. We’ll bring in more such knowledge nuggets in our upcoming posts, so stay tuned here!

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