Abstract Reasoning Tests
Abstract reasoning tests assess your ability to identify the relationships between a series of shapes, patterns or images. The test is a good indicator of strategic thinking, how quickly you pick up new concepts and how well you cope under pressure. As a result, it’s popular with a wide variety of employers.
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Free example abstract reasoning questions
Familiarising yourself with the type of questions you’ll find on the abstract reasoning test is an essential part of the preparation process — it will help you improve your speed, accuracy and confidence.
Below are three sample questions to give you an idea of how abstract reasoning questions work; have a go and see how you get on. Answers with workings are below the questions.
Question 1 Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?
Question 2 Which shape follows in the sequence?
Question 2 Which box follows the sequence?
Question 1: Circle, maintains same position in top right segment for one turn, and then is not present for the following three turns. Triangle, maintains same position in bottom left segment for one turn, and then is not present for the following two turns. So the answer is B).
Question 2: Diagonal line changes direction from top left corner to bottom right corner, then from top right corner to bottom left corner with each turn. Square moves around corner of the frame in an anti-clockwise direction with each turn. Circle appears on diagonal line in every third frame with each turn. So the answer is A).
Question 3: ’U’ shape rotates by 90 degrees with each turn. Circle changes position in the ’U’ shape as it appears in each segment with each turn. Triangle appears in same position within the ‘U’ shape on each alternate turn. So the answer is D).
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How are abstract reasoning tests scored?
Your abstract reasoning test is scored and then compared with a normative group (those who have previously taken the test). This allows employers to rank candidates, set a minimum cut-off point and take the difficulty of the test set into consideration when making their decision.
What skills are needed for abstract reasoning?
Abstract reasoning tests assess a wide range of skills, which is why they are such a useful hiring tool. Your aptitude for logical reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving and time management are all being scrutinised, as is your ability to keep calm under pressure. All of these skills are vital in a number of different industries.
Why are abstract reasoning tests hard?
The test needs to be challenging to help employers differentiate between large numbers of candidates. If it were easy, it wouldn’t indicate which people taking the test had better-than-average skills and abilities.
What do abstract reasoning tests measure?
Abstract reasoning tests measure fluid intelligence, much like an IQ test. As well as this, they showcase your ability to see patterns, think outside the box and solve problems quickly.
Where can I practice abstract reasoning tests?
This website is a good place to start! We have numerous aptitude tests you can practice, including abstract reasoning, as well as lots of additional hints, tips and tricks to help you succeed.
Which employers use abstract reasoning tests?
Research roles, software development, engineering, and various management positions are the types of jobs for which an abstract reasoning test is normally set. This is because these roles tend to require you to think logically, solve problems and pick up new ideas quickly on a day-to-day basis.
Abstract Reasoning Tests Tips
1Do your research
First, check online which test types the company you’re applying for uses, the test publisher and anything else you think might give you the edge.
2Practice like it's the real deal
The value of practice when it comes to aptitude tests can never be underestimated, but it’s even more worthwhile if you practice in exam conditions. Find a quiet room, get everything you need together before you start, and time yourself for the duration of the test.
3Don't forget what you've learnt
Ensure your hard work pays off by taking it with you into the test. Keep a mental list of things you need to run through when you’re answering the questions: the different rules that you might be able to apply, or the strategies that might help you answer a problem quicker.
4Timing is critical
Work out how long, roughly, you have to answer each question. This will help ensure you don’t spend too long on a challenging problem at the expense of answering more questions. Remember that the problems often get harder as the test progresses.
5Vary your practice methods
As well as taking past tests, use puzzle apps and puzzle books to help you improve your abstract reasoning.
6Is the answer in front of you?
You can often find clues in the answers. Look for recurring patterns in the multiple-choice answers. This can help you to gauge what you should be looking out for.
It’s easy to rush into answering the questions, but calmly and carefully reading through what you need to do can ensure you don’t get caught out by any trickier problems.
8Confidence is key
Preparing will help you feel confident on the day and confidence is key when it comes to aptitude tests.
Abstract Reasoning Video Tutorials
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