Abstract Reasoning Tips

Abstract Reasoning Tips

Graduate abstract reasoning test scores provide an indication of learning potential. Abstract reasoning tests indicate an ability to reason logically and to work with new ‘ideas’. In summary, non-verbal reasoning tests assess critical thinking.

Most of these practice test sites also offer their own abstract reasoning test tips and non verbal reasoning tips.

SHL’s abstract reasoning test practice and abstract reasoning test example

Saville Consulting preparation advice for abstract reasoning tests

TalentQ abstract reasoning test practice and TalentQ abstract reasoning test example

Abstract Reasoning Step-by-Step Strategies

Series format non-verbal reasoning tips

In a series abstract reasoning question, you are presented with 4 to 5 boxes in a line. The individual boxes contain a series of ever-evolving figures. For example, there may be one black square and four white circles in the first box. The pattern could be an increase in the number of black figures by one for each step in the series. Thus, the pattern in the second box would be two black figures, three black figures in the third box and so on.

Alternatively, the pattern in the second box could shift such that the colour moves along one place in the series. Thus, the single black square would become a white square and the first white circle would become black.

“Complete the pattern” abstract reasoning practice

Similar to the series abstract reasoning format, instead of having a line of 5 boxes the abstract reasoning format could be more elaborate. This “complete the pattern” type of abstract reasoning test in its simplest format is a 2 by 2, or a 3 by 3, set of boxes in which one of the boxes is empty (except for a large question mark). You need to select which of the five answer options completes the 2 by 2 / 3 by 3 box.

It’s key not to panic. Whilst the question may look more complicated than the series row of boxes, you find the answer in the same way. The pattern will be both horizontal and vertical. This actually makes it easier to spot the similarities across and down the boxes. Once you have spotted the abstract similarities you are very close to knowing how the pattern differs going from one box to the next. Yes, exactly the same as in the simple series form of non-verbal reasoning question.

“Complete the pattern” type of non-verbal reasoning reasoning test can also be displayed in 10+ boxes presented in diamond, star or other matrix-type patterns of triangles typically. One triangle will contain a question mark highlighting this is the missing part of the pattern you need to solve. These again are less complicated than appearances suggest.

Remember with the more complicated “Complete the pattern” type of non-verbal reasoning test that reflection is likely to play a role in many question answers.

Odd One Out format abstract reasoning practice

In an Odd One Out non-verbal reasoning test format, you are presented with five abstract figures and you need to determine which figure (answer options a to e) is the most unlike the other abstract figures.

UKCAT type of abstract reasoning practice

Two blocks of 2 by 3 squares, called Set A and Set B. There are then several questions displaying a single box with the question, To which Set does this figure belong, or is it To Neither Set.

  • Firstly, Aptitude test tips and aptitude test practice.
  • Secondly, Numerical reasoning test practice.
  • Thirdly, Verbal reasoning test practice.
  • And next, Situational judgement test practice.
  • Also then, Passing situational judgment tests.
  • Plus, Situational judgment test tips.
  • And then, Verbal reasoning test practice and Verbal reasoning test tips.
  • Also next, SHL test practice.
  • Plus, Cubiks test practice.
  • And finally, UKCAT test practice.

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