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Profit and Loss

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Maths for CLAT

Profit and Loss is an important topic in the Quantitative Aptitude section of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). This topic assesses your ability to understand the financial aspects of buying and selling goods, calculating profits and losses and evaluating cost price and selling price relationships. In this article, we will explore the core concepts of Profit and Loss, provide illustrative examples and offer strategies to effectively solve problems related to this topic.

Understanding Profit and Loss Fundamentals

Before we delve into solving Profit and Loss problems, let’s establish some fundamental concepts:

1. Cost Price (CP): The amount at which an item is purchased is known as the cost price.

2. Selling Price (SP): The amount at which an item is sold is known as the selling price.

3. Profit: When the selling price is higher than the cost price, the difference is called profit.

4. Loss: When the selling price is lower than the cost price, the difference is called a loss.

5. Profit Percentage: The profit, expressed as a percentage of the cost price, is the profit percentage.

6. Loss Percentage: The loss, expressed as a percentage of the cost price, is the loss percentage.

Solving Profit and Loss Problems: Concepts and Examples

Example 1: Calculating Profit Percentage

Question: If an item is bought for Rs 500 and sold for Rs 600, find the profit percentage.


1. Profit = Selling Price – Cost Price = Rs 600 – Rs 500 = Rs 100.

2. Profit percentage = (Profit / Cost Price) * 100 = (Rs 100 / Rs 500) * 100 = 20%.

Example 2: Determining Selling Price

Question: If a watch is bought for Rs 80 and the desired profit percentage is 25%, what should be the selling price?


1. Desired profit = (Profit Percentage / 100) * Cost Price = (25 / 100) * Rs 80 = Rs 20.

2. Selling Price = Cost Price + Desired Profit = Rs 80 + Rs 20 = Rs 100.

Example 3: Loss and Loss Percentage

Question: A shirt is sold for Rs 45, incurring a loss of 10%. Find the cost price of the shirt.


1. Loss = (Loss Percentage / 100) * Cost Price = (10 / 100) * Cost Price.

2. Given that Selling Price = Cost Price – Loss, we have Rs 45 = Cost Price – 0.1 * Cost Price.

3. Solving for Cost Price, we get Cost Price = Rs 45 / 0.9 = Rs 50.

Strategies for Tackling Profit and Loss Problems

Solving Profit and Loss problems involves practical thinking and accurate calculations. Here are some strategies to help you approach these problems effectively:

1. Understand the Basics: Ensure a clear understanding of terms like cost price, selling price, profit and loss.

2. Use Formulas: Familiarise yourself with the formulas for calculating profit, loss, profit percentage and loss percentage.

3. Practice Percentage Calculations: Strengthen your percentage calculation skills as they are integral to solving these problems.

4. Read the Question Carefully: Understand what is given and what is required in the problem before attempting calculations.

5. Break Down Complex Problems: Divide complex problems into smaller steps, making it easier to manage calculations.


Profit and Loss problems might initially appear daunting, but with a solid grasp of the fundamental concepts and consistent practice, you can conquer them with confidence. Understand cost price, selling price, profit and loss, practice percentage calculations and approach each problem step by step. As a student preparing for the CLAT, mastering Profit and Loss problems not only enhances your quantitative aptitude but also boosts your problem-solving skills for competitive exams. So, put on your mathematical thinking cap and delve into Profit and Loss problems with determination and precision!

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