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You will come across coding-decoding questions in the reasoning sections of several competitive exams. This makes it imperative for you to know how to answer these questions at any point of your career. And for that, you need to be aware of certain rules and tricks.
If you don’t know how to solve these problems, we are here to help. Learn everything about coding and decoding in this blog! Read on!
What is coding and decoding?
Coding refers to a method where a number or a word is encrypted in a particular code based on some rules. Decoding, on the other hand, is a method you use to decrypt those codes and convert them to get the original data.
Since this involves understanding and using the encryption method, coding-decoding questions help test the problem-solving and reasoning abilities of a test-taker.
Now, there are certain points that you need to be sure of while solving the questions related to coding and decoding, such as-
- Observe the alphabets or the numbers given in the code.
- Try to find the sequence that it follows, whether it’s ascending or descending.
- Find out the rule in which the numbers and alphabets follow.
- Fill the right letter or the number in the blanks given.
Some of the basics that you need to keep in mind are-
- Understand the letter position (A=1, B=2, C-3, D=4…… Y=25, Z=26).
- Invert the position of the letters (A=26, B-25 …… Z=1).
- The first letter should be opposite the last, and so on. (A is opposite to Z, B is opposite to Y, and C is opposite to X).
Types of coding-decoding methods
A code is a system of signals that transmits a message between the sender and the receiver. It is created in such a way that a third party cannot understand it, in case they read the signal.
To difficult to understand? Think about WhatsApp. The message you send to your friend or your business partner cannot be sent as it is. In case someone, like a hacker, sees it, they can use the information to their advantage. This is why your message gets encrypted as soon as you hit ‘send.’
There are various ways to encrypt this message. We have stated 5 of them below-
- Letter coding
- Number coding
- Substitution coding
- Deciphering coding
- Symbol coding
Let’s explore their question types one and understand their methods one by one.
1. Letter coding
In this section, we’ll look at the types of problems in which a word’s letter is replaced by other letters following some pattern/rule. All this leads to generating a code.
You must decrypt the coding pattern to substitute the provided word for the alternative. Look at the below example to understand how to solve letter coding questions.
Example: In a certain code and decode language, ‘BOXER’ is typed as ‘AQWGQ’. What is the code of ‘VISIT’ going to be in that language?
2. Number coding
In number coding questions, the numerical code values are allocated to words or alphabets in a specified manner. You must identify the numerical pattern of the code to translate the given word into the same pattern.
Example: If ‘ACNE’ is coded in a way that is 3 7 29 11, then what is going to be the code for ‘BOIL’ in that code language?
(A) 5 29 19 27
(B) 5 31 19 25
(C) 5 29 19 25
(D) 5 31 21 25
3. Substitution coding
Now let’s address the coding-decoding pattern in which codes are assigned using the replacement approach. Here, an artificial alternative is assigned to a given word, and you need to decrypt the coding pattern in order to get the other words.
Example: What color is blood if yellow is called blue, blue is called red, red is called pink, pink is called black, and black is called orange?
4. Deciphering coding
In these types of questions, we deal with a message containing a common code for a specified word/numeral. All you have to do is decrypt the given codes using the best options and identify the code using the common attribute of word/numeral.
Example: In a certain code language,
‘more money in market’ is written as ‘zo li aa to’,
‘share in market profit’ is written as ‘vo to je li’,
‘making more profit now’ is written as ‘su je zo ka.’ And
‘now the market gains’ is written as’ do li yo su.’
Which of the following does ‘vo’ stand for?
5. Symbol coding
In these types of coding-decoding reasoning questions, the examiner allocates a group of letters to a set of symbols. You must determine the relationship between the letter and the symbol, decipher the coding pattern, and select the best option.
Example: In a certain code, ‘TRAIN’ is written as ’39*7%’ and ‘MEAL’ is written as ‘4$*@’. How is ‘ITEM’ written in that code?
Coding-decoding tricks: The Alphabet & EJOTY concepts
The is one of the popular and most-used coding-decoding tricks. So, let’s learn how to use it to solve the questions-
There are 26 letters in English.
A-Z (1 to 26).
We should learn how to number each letter. So, study the following words that will assist you in remembering the counting of letters-
A-1, B-2, C-3, and so on.
When you start counting alphabets from Z to A, we call it the reverse EJOTY method. Refer to the example below to understand this concept.
Example: If the code for AYNA is ‘ZBMZ,’ find the code for NUTS. According to the series of alphabets, the position of A-1, Y-25, N-14, A-1 In reverse EJOTY, Z-1, B-25, M-14, Z-1
Alternatively, we may say-
The sum of every letter & its corresponding coded letter is 27. Therefore, the code for NUTS is ‘MFGH.’
You can easily solve the coding-decoding reasoning questions if you know the types of questions and have a few tricks up your sleeve. So, practice these questions and be all ready to crack this section!
If you need any help with acing your competitive exams for studying abroad, reach out to us! Or drop a comment below! We’d be happy to help.
All the best!
Q1. What is the difference between coding and decoding in verbal reasoning?
Answer- The term ‘coding’ refers to the process of hiding the meaning of a communication, whereas ‘decoding’ refers to the process of understanding the true meaning of the message.
Q2. What reason is the coding and decoding test designed for?
Answer- The coding and decoding test assesses a candidate’s ability to decipher the rule that codes a specific word/message and decode the message. This measure’s their analytical and problem-solving ability.