Seating Arrangement: Concepts and Tricks

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Introduction:
The questions on seating arrangement are regular feature of almost every competitive examination. In these questions, you have to arrange a group of persons fulfilling certain conditions. This is also written as sitting arrangement or sitting arrangement reasoning at some places. Here we can classify these problems into 4 types:
1. Linear Arrangement: Here the arrangement of the persons is linear i.e. you have to arrange them in a line. Here generally a single row of arrangement is formed.
2. Double row arrangement: In these questions, there will be two groups of persons. You have to arrange one group in one row and the other group in other row. The persons in these rows normally face each other.
3. Circular arrangement: In the circular seating arrangement questions, you have to arrange the persons around a circular table etc. fulfilling certain conditions.
4. Rectangular arrangement: These arrangements are almost similar to the circular arrangements; the only difference is that the persons are sitting around a rectangular table.
Seating arrangement tricks to solve the problems:
Questions on seating arrangement are generally asked in blocks of 4 – 5 questions. You are given some information and then there will 4 -5 questions based on the information. These questions have two types of information:
1. Direct information: This is the information which is clearly mentioned in the statement of the question. This is the information which you will use when you start solving the questions.
2. Indirect information: After filling the direct information you will look for the connection between different parts of the information. These connections form the indirect information.
While arranging the persons, the direction to which the persons are facing is very important.
Let us take the case of linear arrangements. Here if it is stated that there are five persons sitting facing North then the arrangement will be like
On the other hand if these persons are sitting facing South then the arrangement will be like
Similarly if the arrangement is a double row arrangement, then one group of people will be facing north and the second will face south and the directions will be taken as similar to the above figures.
In case of circular arrangements questions, or rectangular arrangement, the persons may be facing the centre of the circle or they may be looking away from the center. If they are looking towards the centre, then the right hand side will be in the anticlockwise direction and left hand side will be in the clockwise direction as shown below:
If the persons are looking away from the centre then the right hand side will be in the clockwise direction and left hand side will be in the anti clockwise direction as shown below:
The same concept of directions follows if the persons are sitting around a rectangular table.
Next, while solving the questions related to linear arrangements or double row arrangements, the information regarding the position of the persons is very important. If it is written that A is sitting next to B, then it means that A and B are sitting together. B may be to the right or left of A. Further if it is given that B is sitting to the right/left of A, then it does not mean that B is sitting immediate right/left of A. There may be some other persons sitting between A and B. If B is sitting immediate right/left of A then it will be mentioned in the statement of the question.
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