Diagrammatic reasoning tests are a type of logic test that uses shapes and patterns instead of numbers and words. You may have come across this type of aptitude test before if you’ve ever taken a non-verbal reasoning test at 11+ or 13+, or, they are often referred to as abstract reasoning tests.

This kind of problem solving assesses your inductive reasoning - meaning how well you figure out the rule when presented with examples of the pattern; and your deductive reasoning - meaning how well you provide correct examples when presented with the rules, this is often referred to as ‘top-down logic’.

Why Do Employers Use Them?

Many employers like diagrammatic reasoning tests because they assess your ‘pure’ logical reasoning skills, meaning the results are less dependent on your educational or cultural background. They are a helpful tool in the hiring process because they show employers how well you work with and solve complex, abstract problems, which is a great predictor of how well you’ll perform in real life situations. Although they may not seem directly relevant, for many jobs, such as IT, finance, and managerial, you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and tackle unexpected issues that come your way.

Diagrammatic reasoning tests can also be used at different stages of the hiring process. Either early on, as a screening tool to determine who should be given an interview, or later, when they are more typically given alongside other psychometric tests. At this point, they will be used to make a holistic view of you, rather than be the deciding factor. However, this does not mean you don’t need to do your best!

What To Expect?

Diagrammatic reasoning tests are usually around 20-30 minutes long, and like most aptitude tests, often stick to the ‘one minute to one question’ rule, so being comfortable working under time pressure is one of the most important skills for performing well.

They are presented as multiple choice questions, where you will be shown a pattern or diagram and asked to choose the answer which fits best. If you’ve never taken one, no need to worry, we have plenty of example diagrammatic tests, which you can use to get comfortable with the typical format of the test. You can also have a look at some unique examples, such as the hardest diagrammatic reasoning question vs the easiest - how did you find them?

How To Prepare

Although diagrammatic reasoning tests assess your logical thinking, which can be seen as more innate, rather than taught, you are unlikely to come across much diagrammatic testing in everyday life, so practice is essential. We have 1000s of free practice aptitude tests on our site, including a diagrammatic reasoning test vault, where you can find all the practice tests you’ll need. These include tests with answers and diagrammatic reasoning test PDFs that you can download so you can test yourself offline, minimising distractions.

We also have guides on how to ace diagrammatic reasoning tests, which give you some of our top tips on how to give a stellar performance.

If you need help in specific areas, we also have you covered: