Diagrammatic reasoning tests, also known as abstract reasoning or non-verbal reasoning tests, are a type of psychometric test that assesses your logical and conceptual thinking skills.

They are structured as multiple choice questions, where you will be presented with a pattern and asked to either identify the rules or continue the sequence. These questions are designed to test your inductive and deductive reasoning skills.

What is inductive reasoning?

Inductive reasoning is your ability to to extrapolate data from a sequence in order to identify the logic, or rules, behind the pattern.

What is deductive reasoning?

Deductive reasoning is your ability to provide examples and follow the logic when the rules are already given to you.

Why are diagrammatic reasoning tests used?

Employers use diagrammatic reasoning tests because they are seen as more objective, since they test your logical reasoning skills in a more innate way, so results are less dependent on your educational or cultural background. This means that it allows the hiring process to be more diverse and single out the best candidates who may not have the traditional CV that used to be used as the measure for success.

There are two major points where diagrammatic reasoning tests are used in the hiring process:

  • Firstly, as an initial screening test. At this time, a lot of emphasis is placed on your test results as they are being used to determine who should be invited to an interview.
  • Secondly, as part of the final decision. If you are given the test later on in the process, for example after the second interview, then they will more likely be used as part of the bigger picture. You will probably be given other psychometric tests at the same time, and the results will not be the deciding factor on whether you’re hired or not. However, a high score will definitely help your chances, particularly depending on the position you are vying for.

How to prepare for diagrammatic reasoning tests?

For diagrammatic reasoning tests, you will be presented with different patterns and sequences, then asked to follow the logic to choose the answer that fits best.

They are similar to many other aptitude tests in the way that they are given. They are often 20-30 minutes long, and follow the ‘one minute to one question’ rule, so you need to get comfortable working under considerable time pressure.

The best way to do well is, of course, practice! Although diagrammatic reasoning tests do not rely on prior knowledge, they are designed to be tricky, so the more examples you can work through and get familiar with, the more comfortable you’ll be in the test. Like any test, feeling confident and calm while taking your test can highly impact on how well you perform, so it’s always best to do as much practice as possible.