Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning and abstract reasoning tests require practice, so start some example questions now to see how they work.

Inductive reasoning tests in job selection

Have you been invited to take an inductive reasoning test for your job interview? Inductive reasoning tests are similar to diagrammatic or abstract reasoning tests. Our practice tests have been written specifically to prepare candidates and let them know what to expect in their real inductive reasoning tests. You should try a test now.

Here are screenshots of our inductive reasoning tests:

  • inductive reasoning screenshot 1
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Practise to improve your inductive reasoning test performance

Inductive reasoning, logical reasoning, and abstract reasoning are often used interchangeably. Whilst they are in fact slightly different tests, the concept behind both inductive reasoning and abstract reasoning is to test the candidate's logical problem solving ability. Inductive reasoning tests are a common form of aptitude assessment, perhaps the next most common after numerical and verbal reasoning. These tests are typically used to test candidates for engineering and technical jobs.

Inductive reasoning tests are one type of psychometric test frequently used in selecting applicants for job roles such as engineering and IT. You have to think logically and methodically against the clock to spot patterns in the sequence of graphics. Usually the best way to approach inductive reasoning tests is to spot a pattern in the first two or three figures and quickly test out your theory by checking if this fits with the next figures. Practice will help.

As with all aptitude tests, try to work both quickly and accurately. If you are unsure of an answer, you should leave it and come back to it at the end if you have time. Before you sit down for your real inductive reasoning test, try a free sample test below.

Free example inductive reasoning tests

Click the link above to begin the test, or alternatively, download the questions and solutions as a PDF below.

Click the link above to begin the test, or alternatively, download the questions and solutions as a PDF below.

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Full access to our complete set of inductive reasoning tests and PDF downloads with solutions.

Try a practice inductive reasoning test

With each of the free inductive reasoning tests above, there is a set of five graphics which follow a pattern. The objective is to determine which of the possible four options would logically follow in the sequence. Only one of the given options is correct.

Try to find out from the company who will be conducting your aptitude tests if they will include an inductive reasoning test. In the majority of cases they do not; it is only numerical and verbal reasoning which are commonplace, yet abstract aptitude tests are becoming more common as competition for the top jobs increases.

Try to work both quickly and accurately during your test. Most tests don't employ negative marking but some new tests are starting to, so ask the test administrator about this before you start. If they duck the question assume negative marking is not used.

Inductive reasoning tests are commonly used in engineering and software developer roles.

It is difficult to train for inductive reasoning tests, but as with all tests, practice and familiarisation will help a lot. In fact, one of the reasons psychologists use inductive reasoning questions is because they do not presuppose any verbal or numerical ability; ideally they are a fair test of the reasoning capacity of all candidates. The best way to prepare for inductive reasoning tests is to sit a practice test yourself.

Inductive reasoning FAQs

inductive or deductive

Inductive or deductive reasoning?

Inductive logic is different from deductive logic. With deductive reasoning, possible outcomes are explored and discounted in order to arrive at the only possible outcome without contradicting the given premises. Sudoku puzzles are a classic test of deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is open and explorative. It examines the applicant's ability to reach general conclusions based on perceived patterns observed in specific events. Real-life arguments are often inductive; which is why employers want to know how good you are at inductive reasoning.

measuring inductive reasoning

What will your inductive reasoning test measure?

Inductive reasoning tests measure logic skills which are useful for solving problems. They require you to think broadly and in your head test out different possibilities. The skills required to do well in an inductive reasoning test are applicable to most jobs but particularly applicable to engineering, science and IT. It has been said that females are better at two dimensional problems while males are better at 3D problems. Most inductive reasoning tests involve thinking about transformations in 2D but there are also sometimes 3D problems such as choosing which net correctly forms a given cube.

patterns

Shape formations and patterns

The most common form of inductive reasoning test involves spotting what patterns exist in a series of graphics. The patters are usually one of, or a combination of, the following: rotation; alternation, translation, reflection and replacement. If you practice you will learn to look for these transformations. If you think you have come up with the pattern, check it applies to every item in the sequence and you've found it. One of the reasons these tests are popular is they are entirely international; no language barrier exists as it is purely symbolic.

What really are inductive reasoning tests?

Inductive reasoning is not only an important part of everyday life, but it can be essential in many careers as well. This is why more and more employers are subjecting their candidates to inductive reasoning tests before they're offered a position, and if you could be faced with such a thing it's important that you know what to expect and how to succeed.

Inductive reasoning tests, sometimes also referred to as abstract reasoning tests, are used to test the logical problem solving ability of each candidate. They're a common part of many job application processes (often used in addition to numerical and verbal reasoning tests), and are particularly seen in jobs of a technical or engineering nature.

They're there to test your skills in inductive reasoning - in other words to see whether you think logically and methodically, as tested by your ability to spot patterns in a series of figures. Accuracy and speed are incredibly important in tests of abstract reasoning, and you'll be scored accordingly. Therefore, it's important that you get the chance to practice in advance in order to increase your chances of coming out at the top of the pile.

The most common inductive reasoning tests used by employers

The term inductive reasoning is used only commercially by the test publisher SHL. Other test publishers tend to use other descriptions even though their format may be similar, for example: abstract reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning, or logical reasoning. This can make it quite confusing as a candidate! The best thing to do is contact the employer or company who has invited you to take the test. They are usually very helpful and will likely provide you with at least more infomation on the nature of the test, or sometimes a few example questions.

1. SHL Verify Ability Tests - SHL (part of CEB) are the largest test publisher in the UK. Their inductive reasoning tests vary slightly in length depending on level: typically around 25 minutes. The format will be a series of five symbols which follow a logical pattern. Candidates will have to select from the multiple choice options which symbol comes next in the series, or which symbol is missing from the series. SHL's Verify range of tests have the option of a follow-up test in which the candidate is asked to re-take a shorter version of their first test. This can be used by the assessor to assess consistency and response patterns, and help identify the risk that the original test had not been completed by the candidate in question.

2. Kenexa Ability Tests - Kenexa are part of IBM and are also a large test publisher. Their series of assessments includes what they call a 'logical reasoning' test, but is almost identical in style to what SHL call 'inductive reasoning'. Like the SHL inductive test, this test requires the candidate to select from a multiple choice list a symbol which best fits a pattern of logic. A typical time limit is 20 minutes for 25 questions, but again, this can vary slightly depending on level of the role.

The importance of practice

As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. This is certainly the case when it comes to abstract reasoning tests. Being presented with them for the first time can be a bit of a shock, particularly if you haven't done anything specifically related to inductive reasoning in the past, and that in itself can be enough to affect your score. But, if you get the chance to see inductive reasoning tests first you'll be better prepared come test day, and if you practice your abstract reasoning skills you'll have a much better chance of success.

Practicing your abstract reasoning really can make all the difference. Skills can always be improved if you spend enough time on them, and if you get a better understanding of what's involved in abstract reasoning tests you'll be much more capable of securing that perfect score. If you want to get that job it's essential that you show your skills in inductive reasoning to the best of your ability, so why risk it? Make sure to try plenty of practice tests first and you'll be much more confident.

Inductive reasoning tests from AssessmentDay

Here at AssessmentDay we know how important inductive reasoning skills can be in the job market, and we also know that practice is a vital part of success. That's why we offer practice tests to anyone that's about to be faced with one for real, allowing you to practice your abstract reasoning skills from the comfort of your own home. Once you've seen the format of abstract reasoning tests and have tried a few out you'll be much better prepared and much more able to succeed in the real thing, so don't thwart your chances of success - be prepared by practicing your abstract reasoning skills before you even think about doing it for real, and make sure to come to us for all the inductive reasoning tests you could need.

Your confidence will increase when you practise inductive reasoning tests

Feel free to practice the above inductive reasoning questions, and let us know any comments you may have. Good luck with any aptitude tests and interviews you may have coming up. If you need advice on assessment centres, don't forget to visit our assessment centre page.

Finally, good luck - we're rooting for you!