Abstract reasoning tests, also known as figural reasoning tests, are one of the most popular pre-hire assessments. This is because they constitute a substantial part of intelligence tests.

What Is an Abstract or Figural Reasoning Test?

Abstract/figural reasoning tests require the ability to draw assumptions and conclusions based on information supplied in the form of symbols or matrices. On these tests, you are asked to identify a missing item or diagram that completes a certain pattern of logic.

Simply put, an abstract/figural reasoning test is used to assess one’s ability to understand and analyze visual information through pattern recognition, as well as one's ability to generate hypotheses, change tracks, and critically evaluate. By utilizing shapes and images to depict specific logic patterns and/or processes, these tests are able to measure general intelligence, abstract thinking skills, and how well you can problem solve.

In addition, these tests do not contain numbers or words. Rather, the questions are based on patterns of provided shapes.

Another reason why abstract/figural reasoning tests are so common is because these tests aim to minimize cultural and educational dependencies in order to provide an objective indication of intellectual potential.

Who Uses Abstract/Figural Reasoning Tests?

Although abstract/figural reasoning tests are administered in several different formats and are comprised of various question types, the purpose of each abstract/figural reasoning test is the same—for candidates to demonstrate their skills at solving and predicting the missing parts of various patterns and problems.

These are some of the major abstract/figural reasoning assessment companies and publishers:

CEB-SHL Kenexa Pearson
Saville Revelian  

Abstract Reasoning Sample Questions

As there are various types of abstract reasoning questions, JobTestPrep has provided examples of some of the most common ones you will face.

Next in Series Sample Question

The correct answer is: 

Answer Explanation: In this question, you can look at each frame as being composed of four little squares, each containing one black rectangle and one white rectangle. In each step, two black rectangles switch places with two white rectangles. In the first step, the black rectangles in the two bottom squares switch places with the white rectangles. In the second step, the black rectangles in the two left squares switch places with the white rectangles. This progression continues in a clockwise direction. Thus, in the fourth step, the two black rectangles in the right squares switch places with the two white rectangles.

Odd One Out Sample Question

The correct answer is: 

Answer Explanation: The pattern in this sequence is that the entire circle rotates 90 degrees clockwise with each step. This means that the diagonal line and the small circle across from it both move simultaneously so as to remain directly across from each other.

Set A/B Sample Question

The correct answer is Set A.

Answer Explanation:

Set A: The number of black triangles inside the circle is equal to the number of black triangles outside of it.

Set B: The number of black triangles inside the circle equals half the number of black triangles outside the circle.

The test shape contains two black triangles inside the circle as well as two black triangles outside of it. Thus, the test shape belongs to Set A.

Why Should You Prepare for Abstract/Figural Reasoning Tests?

Abstract and figural reasoning tests are popularly called IQ tests, leading to a common misconception that it is impossible to prepare for these tests. However, research has proven that with practice, your score can improve. A high score will, in turn, increase your chances of doing well in the pre-hiring process.

By understanding the principles behind a question, you will be able to answer more accurately and efficiently. Additionally, through practice, you will be able to quickly answer questions, which is important as these tests are typically timed. 

Practicing helps to increase your confidence and skill level in answering the questions, in addition to reducing overall test anxiety.

Prepare for Abstract and Figural Reasoning Tests

JobTestPrep's Abstract/Figural Reasoning PrepPack™ contains many sample abstract and inductive reasoning tests with hundreds of questions and explanations. It features all types of abstract reasoning tests, including both logical and inductive reasoning.

The practice tests in our PrepPack™ can be completed in either timed or step-by-step mode, in which each question comes with a detailed explanation. This method allows you to learn as you practice for the test. Start preparing today and ensure your success. 

What's Included

  • 150 abstract/figural reasoning practice questions
  • Study guide
  • Detailed explanations for every question
  • Score reports 
  • Secured payment
  • Exclusive to JobTestPrep
  • Immediate access online, practice 24/7 
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