Logical reasoning tests are one of the most commonly used psychometric tests, since they are effective at assessing problem-solving skills. Logical reasoning tests present you with abstract problems and require you to analyse, interpret, and apply logic to reach a conclusion.

Logical reasoning tests is an umbrella term and covers several types of test including deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning and abstract reasoning.

Although no prior knowledge is required for logical reasoning tests, you can increase your chances of performing well on the test, and thus advancing to the next stage of the recruitment process, by taking the time to prepare effectively.

Here are our top ten tips to prepare for a logical reasoning test:

Step 1: Know what you're taking

As logical reasoning tests can come in many different forms and can vary in structure and format depending on the test publisher, it is essential that you find out what test you are taking prior to practicing.

If these details are not available, get in contact with the recruiter or hiring manager to find out more information on the test you will be taking.

It is important to find out key details about the test such as if it is negatively marked or not, the time limit, the question style, and the number of questions. By knowing this, you will be able to effectively prepare to give yourself the best chance of success.

Step 2: Practice realistic sample tests

It should come as no surprise that the most important tip to prepare for your logical reasoning test is to practice sample questions.

Practicing will help familiarise yourself with the format and style of questions in the test, helping to sharpen your skills, build your confidence and calm your nerves beforehand.

Logical reasoning questions can be presented in many different ways, so practicing as many tests as possible will ensure you are ready for any question that gets thrown at you.

Step 3: Check your answers

It is not simply the act of practicing sample tests that helps improve your score, but also learning from mistakes.

Make sure you review your answers with the solutions and explanations after you have completed a test, as this will help you identify where you made a mistake and which question types you are weakest on.

You can then prioritise these weaker areas when preparing, ensuring you are strong across the board when it comes to the real test.

Step 4: Think laterally

Practicing for the test does not need to be limited to answering sample questions. You can keep your preparation interesting by completing puzzles like sudoku or crosswords.

This will help hone your logical thinking and problem-solving skills, which will improve your ability to tackle questions on the logical reasoning test.

Step 5: Create a strategy to tackle the questions

As you practice, you will likely discover your most effective methods. For example, you may have a certain means to identify relationships, or you may begin a question by analysing how the forms change in the sequence, and then predict what the next form will look like before looking at the answers.

Once you have discovered what works best for you, you will be able to work through the questions more efficiently.

Step 6: Get used to timed conditions

Most logical reasoning tests are taken under timed conditions. As such, it’s essential that you take as many practice tests as possible under similar timed conditions to the real assessment. This will help you become more comfortable with working under time pressure and prepare you for the pace at which you will need to work.

If possible, find out how long the test you will be taking is and how many questions are on it. You can then find a sample test with a similar time allocation, or if not, time yourself while answering practice questions.

Step 7: Practice like it's the real test

When you are practicing, it can be easy to not take it too seriously, but you will not get the most out of your preparation this way. When taking a practice test, try to mimic the conditions during the actual test. This means:

  • Finding a quiet area to take the test, away from distractions
  • Completing the exams in one sitting under timed conditions
  • Answering the questions without any external help like a family member or friend

This will help build your confidence for when you take the real thing, and will also help you remain focused when preparing.

Step 8: Create a study plan

Just like you may have done during formal education, create a study plan to help you stay organised with your preparation. By working out how much time you have until you take the test, you can divide up your time to ensure you cover all areas.

A good way is to allocate a fixed time of your day for preparing, since this helps to ensure you stay on top of your studying, and gives you the best chance of success. Creating a study plan and staying organised can also help reduce stress when preparing.

Step 9: Be well rested

This can often be something that is overlooked when preparing for an aptitude test, but to maintain the consistent level of attention and focus that is required when taking a logical reasoning test, you must be rested.

We recommend that you have at least seven hours of sleep, to ensure that you are operating at peak performance. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine the night before, as this could affect your quality of sleep.

Step 10: Use past test experiences or feedback in your preparation

If you have taken logical reasoning tests before, be sure to use this experience in your preparation. Perhaps you found a certain type of logical reasoning question particularly difficult in the past, or maybe you struggled to maintain the pace required to finish a test within the time limit.

You should aim to address these weaknesses directly in your preparation. For example, focus on practicing that certain type of question, or time yourself to improve your pace. Prioritising the areas you are weakest on will make the biggest difference to your overall score.

Also, don’t forget to think about the things that went well during the test, and ensure you have the knowledge and skills to replicate that again.