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# Abstract Reasoning Tests

Abstract reasoning tests show a series of figures arranged in a pattern or sequence and you are required to identify the missing figure or the next in the sequence. Abstract reasoning tests are always multiplechoice and have a strict time limit. Because they don't rely on a knowledge of either English or math they are believed to be the best indicator of general intelligence and your ability to learn new things quickly.

Example Abstract Reasoning Test Questions 1) Which figure completes the series?

## 7) Which figure completes the grid?

The answers to these questions are given at the bottom of the page. Abstract reasoning tests are of particular value when the job involves dealing with abstract ideas or concepts. However, because they also provide the best measure of your general intellectual ability you will usually find some questions of this type whichever particular tests you are given. These tests are used to select candidates for jobs which involve:
A degree of problem solving Dealing with complex data Developing strategies or policies Performing tasks where initiative

is required

Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to understand complex concepts and assimilate new information outside of your previous experience. The questions consist of items which require you to recognize patterns and similarities between shapes and figures. As a measure of reasoning, it is independent of educational and cultural background and can be used to provide an indication of intellectual potential. These types of question are very commonly used in graduate and managerial selection.

There are four sample question papers available to download, each contain 25 questions and has a suggested time limit of 20 minutes. The questions are presented in Letter/A4 format for easy printing and self-marking.

Example Questions

1. Which symbol in the Answer Figure completes the sequence in the Problem Figure ?

## 3. Which of the Answer Figures belongs in neither group?

4. Which of the Answer Figures fits the missing space in the Question Figure?

Answers 1. C - The question figure is rotated clockwise through 90 degrees each time. 2. D & E - Group 1 shapes are all straight lines, group 2 shapes are all curved. 3. A, B & D - Same color shapes are diagonally opposite (Group1) or above/below (Group 2). 4. D - Each row and column contains one line of each type.

These tests are of particular value when the job involves dealing with abstract ideas or concepts as many technical jobs do. However, as they also provide the best measure of your general intellectual ability they are very widely used and you will usually find some questions of this type whichever particular tests you are given.

These tests are particularly valued where the job you are applying for involves:

A high degree of problem solving Dealing with complex data or concepts Developing strategies or policies Performing non-routine tasks where initiative is required

Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to understand complex concepts and assimilate new information beyond previous experience. The questions consist of items which require you to recognize patterns and similarities between shapes and figures. As a measure of reasoning, it is independent of educational and cultural background and can be used to provide an indication of intellectual potential.

## Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

The term diagrammatic reasoning is often used interchangeably with abstract reasoning. Some of the companies who produce psychometric tests refer to abstract reasoning tests as diagrammatic reasoning tests. This is presumably because abstract tests use diagrams or pictures rather than words or numbers. If you are told that you need to sit a diagrammatic reasoning test then it may be just another name for an abstract reasoning test. Or it may not. If you are applying for a job in information technology then you may be faced with questions which test your abstract reasoning ability in a very specific way. These are referred to on this web site as diagrammatic reasoning tests to differentiate them from 'normal' abstract reasoning tests. These diagrammatic reasoning tests measure your ability to infer a set of rules from a flowchart or similar diagram and then to apply those rules to new situation. These questions are often found in tests aimed at selecting information technology specialists who need to work through complex problems in an analytical way. Example Questions 1) The functions 'M' and 'S' transform the input shapes in a certain way. You need to use the diagram to determine what effect each of these functions has. Apply them to the input shape in the question to arrive at the correct output.

Another type of question that appears in these tests measures your ability to follow a set of logical instructions. In the next example, the operators are defined in the first diagram. Each operator acts on the figure that it is attached to. The sequence of operations is from top to bottom. Use this information to answer the questions.

In the street plan above, for example, Shakespeare Road is one-way between Cole Street and Trenchtown Road. This means that if you were driving south on Trenchtown Road you could not turn right into Shakespeare Street.

## 3) Which figure results from the operations shown?

Answers 1. B - Function 'M' inverts color (black > white and white > black). Function 'S' rotates shape anticlockwise through 90 degrees. 2. B - work from top to bottom, making a note of the effect of each operator at each stage. 3. D - Remember some of the operations involve changing the relative position of figures. Remember, you are unlikely to be asked questions if this type unless the job calls for a high level of analytical abstract reasoning skills. These types of question are usually restricted to technical jobs in information technology but may also be used to select for technical jobs in the finance industry. If the employer has made any mention of diagrammatic reasoning then you should ask them to clarify exactly what they mean, and if possible to supply some example questions.