Abstract Reasoning Tests

Abstract reasoning tests can also be referred to as diagrammatic and inductive reasoning tests. You will be expected to identify the relationships between shapes and figures, identify rules and similarities, and quickly apply these to establish the answer.

Abstract Reasoning Tests

What are abstract reasoning tests?

Abstract reasoning tests require you to identify the relationships between shapes and figures, identify rules and similarities, and quickly apply these to establish the answer.

What skills does abstract reasoning test?

Abstract reasoning tests assess how you think and reveal the level of dominance from your two sides of the brain.

To be successful you need to be able to think creatively, and use lateral thinking to solve the questions you are faced with.

The more you practice them, the more likely you will succeed.

Abstract reasoning questions have been designed to be difficult. This is so that employers can differentiate between applicants and identify the potential of an individual.

You will typically have less than a minute to resolve each question and come to a conclusion, which can often cause individuals to make errors. As you progress throughout the test, it is common for the complexity of the questions to increase. Because of this, we recognise that candidates need to be familiar with the format of these exams, and practice in order to be successful in their performance.

What is the abstract reasoning test format?

You will be presented with multiple options, and have to choose which one fits. To do this, you’ll need to view the shapes to find rules which can be applied across the sequence.

As this is the type of activity you’ll rarely come across in day-to-day life, it’s important to practice beforehand to familiarise yourself with the types of questions you’ll face.

Like with other psychometric tests, you’ll typically have about one minute per question.

Prepare yourself for leading employers

Why do employers use abstract reasoning tests?

Employers use these tests to assess your general intellectual potential and ability to evaluate new concepts. They are very similar to IQ tests and rely on your ability to see the underlying logic in a pattern or symbols or shapes. For jobs that are looking for you to demonstrate problem-solving and initiative, you can expect to be faced with an abstract reasoning test.

Abstract reasoning example questions

Q) Identify a quality that the two images have in common. Select which of the suggested answers also possesses the same quality.

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Answer: C The 4 shapes that make up each square image are rotating in a clockwise direction

Q) Identify a quality that the two images have in common. Select which of the suggested answers also possesses the same quality.

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Answer: B There is always an odd number of inner shapes

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Abstract reasoning test tips

1One question = one minute rule

Make sure you understand how many questions you will have to answer and how long you have to complete the test. Usually, abstract reasoning tests consist of 10 to 15 questions and don’t last longer than 15 - 20 minutes.

2Watch your timing

Don’t let one question to stop. Work out roughly how much time you have per question before you start each test. If it feels like going through hell, keep going!

3Practice in exam conditions

When you practice for your assessment, try to do so in the same conditions in which you will be sitting your real abstract reasoning test. Try a quiet surrounding with a minimal distraction at a table. This will not only keep you more focused but also make silence less daunting while sitting your real assessment.

4Remember to research

Try to find out as much as possible about the assessment’s format the employer is going to tests you with. Employers typically provide that information to candidates on their careers websites.

5Answer the question

It might be obvious but the fact that we mention it means it is not. At least not always. Although there is only one correct answer, the questions may try to trick you. Stay calm and focused and be careful with identifying the patterns. Some of them might look suspiciously similar.

6Be competitive

Try to measure your achievements against other users in order to make sure you stand out in a crowd. The average results might help you to pass to next stage, but might not be enough to bag you that job. Practice makes perfect, particularly with abstract reasoning tests which take some getting used to.

Diagrammatic reasoning video tutorials

Unfolded Shapes

1 min

Similar Shapes

1 min

Rotated Views

1 min

Mirror Images

2 mins

Input Type

2 mins

Sequencing

2 mins

Practice abstract reasoning tests

There’s a reason they say practice makes perfect. That phrase holds true when it comes to abstract reasoning tests. In fact, practice is perhaps even more important if you’re pretty new to these tests.

But don’t worry, we have all the tools you need to get started. Begin by trying some abstract reasoning questions, viewing the explanations and seeing your scores improve.

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