What are Abstract Reasoning Tests?
It’s those test questions based upon geometric shapes and interpreting the patterns in these figures which are called abstract reasoning tests. Test takers are asked to identify the pattern in a series of these shapes. Such abstract reasoning tests usually comprise of shapes, such as squares, triangles and squares. The pattern can be how the shapes change through, for example, their shading, rotation or reflection.
Such abstract reasoning tests usually comprise of shapes, such as squares, triangles and squares. The pattern can be how the shapes change through, for example, their shading, rotation or reflection.
YouTube Abstract Reasoning Tips
Graduate Monkey’s Abstract Reasoning Test 2
Exam Success’s Abstract Reasoning Test
AssessmentCentreHQ’s Abstract Reasoning Test
Abstract Reasoning Strategies
A sequential approach is key in each of these to establish:
- Firstly, which features are changing
- Then to eliminate answer options
Here are the most commonly changing features of any figure shown in the abstract reasoning test question:
Size of abstract shape
Key to passing an abstract reasoning test is often the size of the shapes in the question. Although if size is one of the patterns you need to find, this will still not reveal the complete answer to you. You will need to look further than the biggest and the smallest shapes to find each of the patterns that make-up the abstract reasoning answer.
Size could be one of the easiest patterns to find first. This will then allow you to eliminate those answer options that do not meet this first pattern.
Sides of abstract shape
It’s important when answering an abstract reasoning test to count the number of sides in the key figures you’ve identified in the question.
Symmetry of abstract shape
When taking an abstract reasoning test, you must consider the lines of symmetry of the key figures you’ve identified in the question.
Number of abstract shapes
Key to passing an abstract reasoning test is to count the number of shapes and figures in the question. This is often part of the solution. so if you believe that number is important then narrow down the solution further by “removing” the number pattern from the question and seeing what other patterns then reveal themselves.
Arrows pointing at particular abstract shapes
It’s important when answering an abstract reasoning test to look out for arrows, the direction in which these are pointing and which figures the arrows tend to point towards.
Shading of particular shapes
When taking an abstract reasoning test, colour or more particularly shading are often a determinant in the solution. Colour is one of the easiest and quickest patterns to find.
You will easily notice that there are black and white coloured shapes. Checkered and grey coloured shapes are also quite common. Does any pattern immediately stand out? Remember that this pattern can easily be combined with the other feature changes listed on the is page. For example, is there one black circle and one white square. Then, in a series abstract reasoning question, does the colour swop so there is one white circle and one black square. Similarly if two of an abstract reasoning question’s changing patterns are colour and position, does the black shape move around the figure (in a series type of abstract reasoning question format).
Order / Sequence of shapes
Part of the key to passing an abstract reasoning test is to review the order and sequence in which particular figures appear.
Rotation of abstract figures
When taking an abstract reasoning test, you need to consider whether one of the trends is based on the rotation of certain figures. Such a pattern can be more difficult to find if it is a circle being rotated, or an equilateral triangle being rotated 120 or 240-degrees. In these cases the figure will look the same after the rotation has been performed. However you will “see” the rotation in the other figures which have also been subjected to the same “rotation pattern”.
Reflection of abstract figures
Part of the key to passing an abstract reasoning test is to consider whether there has been any reflection of the contents of a figure into an adjoining figure. This can be difficult to spot. The best way to “see it” if you suspect this is part of the solution, is to split a pattern in half and to see if each half represents a reflected half.
Overlap of abstract figures
It’s important when answering an abstract reasoning test to look at areas of overlap between key shapes. The answer to the repeating pattern could be found only in the overlap area or areas.
Employers and Abstract Reasoning Tests
Effective abstract reasoning skills are also one of the selection criteria for certain postgraduate degree courses in which it is essential to think “outside the box” at times. For example, medicine’s UKCAT abstract reasoning test. Here, the UKCAT’s abstract reasoning tests allow medical university admissions officers to assess the creative thinking skills of a large number of applicants in a standardised way.
Using Abstract Reasoning Tests Appropriately
Abstract Reasoning Tests may appear to have little relevance to the workplace. In fact, abstract reasoning test results give a useful insight into one’s logical reasoning and ability to assimilate new ideas. This is an important ability in an ever-changing workplace where new projects require a constant updating of skills and training in new approaches. Identifying the pattern in an abstract reasoning question is similar to how new thinking must fit around what one already knows. This flexibility of thinking is needed when adapting to new situations and tasks at work.
With graduate numbers rising, multinational organisations are conducting international recruitment campaigns that aim to attract the best graduates from each country. Having little verbal content means abstract reasoning tests can easily be offered in different languages.