Abstract Reasoning Tests

Practice tests, solutions, and tips to help you pass abstract reasoning tests.

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Have you been asked to take an abstract reasoning test and you're not sure what to expect? Need help understanding what exactly abstract reasoning is and how to perform well?

Our practice tests are created by the same psychologists who design tests for the likes of SHL, Kenexa, and Saville Assessment. So our test platform and example questions are a great way to prepare and practise for your upcoming examinations. Read on and soon you'll have a clearer understanding of what abstract reasoning tests are and be confident taking that test.

What is abstract reasoning?

Abstract reasoning tests measure your ability to identify connections among sequences of shapes and patterns. These tests offer insights into your strategic thinking, lateral thinking and fluid intelligence, with the objective of finding the accuracy and speed in which you can identify and interpret the relationship between a collection of shapes and patterns. Abstract reasoning tests are non-verbal tests and so these tests will not require you to analyse verbal or numerical information in the questions and answers.

Abstract reasoning tests are similar to inductive reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning tests. Due to their similarity, we do not have abstract reasoning specific tests, instead the best way to practise this skill is with our bundle pack which will give you access to all tests including inductive, logical and diagrammatic which are the key tests to improve your abstract ability.

The following images explain the format of an example abstract reasoning question:

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How to do abstract reasoning tests

Many careers require a person of high logical ability and lateral intelligence making abstract reasoning tests fairly popular with employers. It's vital that you can develop and demonstrate these skills effectively, so a full understanding of what to expect from the tests and sufficient practice will be invaluable.

These tests will be most often timed and are multiple-choice where you must select the correct answer out of a collection of possible options. You will be given instructions before your test starts so pay close attention to the time allowance and all other key information given to you.

Abstract reasoning questions can be difficult so we will go through a practise question to give you a taste of what to expect.

It’s important to note there are many forms the questions could come in. However, they will always require you to analyse a series of images, identify any patterns and deduce the correct answer, so really focus on developing the skill and being flexible with its application.

What is an example of abstract reasoning?


In this type of question you will have to demonstrate your ability to identify a pattern through a sequence of images and then identify which answer option is the correct shape that could be placed into the missing gap to fulfill the sequence.

(The answer will be written below so don't scroll too far if you want to try to answer it yourself).

abstract reasoning sample question
abstract reasoning sample answer

The correct answer is the image in the second column of the top row.

Now you've seen what a question is like, let's tackle a 15 question test to see how you fare against multiple questions against the clock.

Free Abstract Reasoning Test

This free abstract/logical reasoning test which contains 10 questions and has a time limit of 70 seconds per question. This test is fairly challenging and will be a similar difficulty to those graduate employers use.

Hopefully, that wasn't too difficult for you but don't worry if you struggled as next we'll talk about ways you can improve your skills...

How to improve your abstract reasoning skills 🙌

There are many ways you can improve your abstract reasoning skills, some are more effective than others but we will list the top few methods. The main way to improve is through exposure. Practising as many tests as you can and training your brain in this skill is key to performing well in abstract reasoning tests.

One easy, and cost-effective way is to do lots of puzzles. You could tackle the puzzle section in a daily newspaper or you may even have a puzzle book lying around. Find some online puzzles that you can try and complete. This would be useful as the abstract reasoning test you will have to sit will most likely be conducted online, and so practising on a computer will prepare you better.

Finally, the best method is to practise online abstract reasoning tests. Much like the free example above, we have a vast question bank that will put your lateral thinking skills to the test and help you get exam-ready. Our bundle pack includes all our logical, inductive and diagrammatic tests which are perfect for developing abstract reasoning skills.

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UCAT abstract reasoning test

The UCAT abstract reasoning test is probably the most famous use of abstract reasoning tests. Candidates, particularly medical students, are constantly looking for advice on how to pass this test.

At this moment, we do not have tests that are specifically created for practise for UCAT's abstract reasoning. We are working on developing these tests, so this is something to look out for in the future!

For more information, we have lots of tips and advice on UCAT abstract reasoning

How AssessmentDay can help

As mentioned above, the best way to prepare for your abstract reasoning test with us is to purchase our bundle pack. If you are sitting various tests, such as numerical or verbal, then you will also have access to these with our bundle pack. The bundle pack contains all our test types and with the all-important diagrammatic and inductive tests (two test types that assess the same skills used in abstract reasoning).

Abstract reasoning FAQs

  • Can you fail abstract reasoning?
  • What jobs require good abstract reasoning?

    Abstract reasoning skills will be useful in any job but certain jobs will demand more use of abstract reasoning. Artistic and creative careers will benefit from abstract reasoning skills and you may find yourself being tested on your abstract reasoning skills if applying for jobs in computer programming, project management and other problem solving careers.

  • How hard is abstract reasoning?

    Abstract reasoning tests are created to be tough, aiming to distinguish between candidates and reveal their highest capabilities. These tests often come with strict time limits and questions that quickly get harder.