Abstract Reasoning Test & Knowledge Hub: Essential Tips for 2022

Get a copy of our Ultimate Assessment Day & Interview Guide here. It comes with useful tips, insider-secrets and tricks which could help you succeed on your Abstract Reasoning Test.

Abstract reasoning tests are one of the toughest and hardest form of aptitude assessment exams. Do not worry as we are here to guide, teach and provide you expert tips and practice tests.

2 useful starting- point resources

  • Download our recommended abstract practice tests here.
  • Check out our other aptitude guides here.

What is in this guide?

  • 6 essential tips that will help you have a successful abstract reasoning test success.
  • 3 abstract reasoning test resources which you would definitely find useful

What is being measured in an abstract reasoning test?

Abstract reasoning tests measures your abilities and capabilities to find, identify and interpret patterns. It assesses and checks your ability on how easily you could find rules and patterns from sets of objects and verbal data and if you could tell the sequences of patterns.

These types of psychometric testing such as the abstract reasoning test allows employers to get and have an idea of your overall intelligence and judgement.

Is this the same thing as inductive reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning?

There are several areas in psychometric testing that overlap with each other and one of those are abstract reasoning, inductive reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning.

These overlapping tests are often called in different names by test providers and assessment companies and though this could be very confusing, the thrust of the test is the same no matter what the terminology is.

When will I take my abstract reasoning test?

The time as to when you will take your abstract reasoning test solely depends on your prospective employer. Sometimes this could be given before you interview or assessment day and sometimes you could be tested during your interview day itself.

What should I expect during my abstract reasoning test?

In abstract reasoning tests, you will be asked to predict what comes next from a sequence of either shapes, words or even illustrations.

Can you show me some sample questions from an abstract reasoning test?

Of course! Here are some couple of examples:

Abstract Reasoning Example 1

Below is an example of a typical question you will find in an abstract reasoning test.

1) Look at this sequence of shapes and see if you can spot the pattern that’s evolving:

Which of the 4 shapes below would come next in the above sequence?

Abstract Reasoning Test Example 2

2) Let us try again. Here’s the sequence of shapes. Can you spot a pattern?

Which of the 4 shapes below would continue the above pattern?

Abstract reasoning test example answers

How do you think you did? Were you able to spot the patterns?

The correct answer for the first question was the second shape B and for the second question, the correct answer is the first shape A.

The examples provided were easy ones. You will have to be ready for more difficult questions in your real abstract reasoning test.

Choose your practice tests carefully

We recommend that you practice these abstract reasoning practice tests. These tests are supplier specific and they come with easy to understand explanations.

Often, the hardest part of abstract reasoning is figuring and finding out what the variables are in play. The practice tests provide above will help you and clear it out for you.

6 Essential Tips for Abstract Reasoning Test Success

1) Break a complex pattern down & avoid distractors

At a first glance, there are some abstract test patterns that would look difficult and confusing like this:

This could bring your confidence down. However, do not let this weaken your reserve. Remember, these shapes and colors are arranged in sequence and those that look difficult are merely distractors.

This is also true with unusual and strange patterns and shapes like the example above.

Colors are irrelevant and are distractors. The shapes that touch the edges of the box they are in are the determining factors. Set A touches the top and left edges. Set B on the other hand touches the bottom and right edges.

To be able to decode a pattern you will need to compare one element at a time such as size, shade of color, orientation, angle, symmetry, direction of inner and outer shapes, location, etc. You will need to study them carefully. Remember our tip look only at one element at a time.

2) Begin with END in mind

Another way to break down a confusing pattern sequence is to approach it from the end first. What are the consistencies, patterns you could see on the choice shapes?

Often times, this will lead you to the correct answer.

3) Breathe

When answering an abstract reasoning test, you will need to be calm and focused. The test is timed and this could make you feel more pressured which would make it difficult to concentrate.

Here are two articles which could help you calm your nerves:

How to Prepare for an Interview or Assessment Centre: The Ultimate Guide

How to Deal with Nerves & Anxiety at Your Interview or Assessment Centre

4) Practice, Practice, Practice!

Practice is the only thing that could boost your confidence and your chances of success. We highly recommend that you practice like the real and timed abstract reasoning tests. It will help you immensely if you get comfortable and use to the format, structure and nature. It will help you relax on the testing day itself which would help you perform well.

Tip: If you wish to practice abstract reasoning test that is often used by most employers click here and here . These tests are not offered for free but if you really want to get the job, this is a wise investment.

What about free tests? Here are some tests that are available on the web. Take note that overall they tend to be low quality and out of date.

5) Manage your time with care

This type of test is timed and it usually last for around 40 minutes only. Thus, it is important for you to be able to manage your time carefully. Scan and check how many questions are there and try to allocate time for each question.

Tip: if you are stuck on a difficult question, go to the next. Do not waste time.

6) Boost your spatial awareness

We understand that it is difficult to passive skills but we also think it is possible. It could be difficult for many to manipulate shape mentally. However, if you spend time practicing, you would definitely improve. The video below is from GraduateMonkey. This will show you typical shape manipulations which usually happen in abstract reasoning tests.

Another tip we could give you is try to do some logic puzzles which you will be able to find in most newspapers or you could buy a book from newsagents.

Download our 4-step abstract reasoning cheatsheet

Book Recommendation:

Check and try Psychometric tests for Dummies

Recommended practice tests

We highly recommend JTP abstract reasoning practice tests as they are supplier-specific tests. They come with clear and easy to understand explanations. As we have mentioned earlier, abstract reasoning is difficult as you will need to learn how to figure out the rules and find the elements that are in play. These tests will help you learn to adapt and answer abstract reasoning tests.

Some questions for you:

  • Will you be taking a numerical reasoning test or verbal reasoning test? If yes, we suggest that you check out our aptitude tests section.
  • You could find practice tests and get free advice on other types of reasoning tests like numerical, logical, verbal, abstract, inductive, Watson- Glaser, spatial, diagrammatic, mechanical comprehension and UKCAT
  • Are you worried about your assessment day or performing a presentation or preparing for an interview or group/in-tray exercise?
  • Would you like to get some guidance on how to deal with nerves and anxiety at your interview?
  • Check our tools and resources page.