Logical Reasoning Analysis and Tips

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Author: Ben Hopgood
Updated: September 30, 2020

This guide has been created to help you better understand Logical Reasoning tests. Use this analysis to gather how logical questions work as well as our best logical reasoning advice.

What is logical reasoning?

Logical reasoning tests are designed to measure your powers of logical reasoning and problem solving ability. You will be tested on whether you are able to analyse the visual graphics / graphs being displayed and to logically deduce the correct answer based on the answer options. One example may be to 'complete the picture' and you must determine which missing piece fits into the deficit.

You will be tested on whether you are able to analyse the visual graphics / graphs being displayed and to logically deduce the correct answer based on the answer options.

By far the most common form of verbal reasoning test is one with a given passage of text, and you are asked to verify the validity of questions or statements about said passage. Questions regarding the passage of text reflect our ability to comprehension the logical contingents of language.

For example, there is a difference between: A. the fox has appeared in the street, and B. it appeared that the fox was in the street. In example A, the language means that the fox is in the street. It is demonstrable and true by definition as it is intrinsic in the language. In example B, the fox could have been in the street by the logic of the language. It is not demonstrable that it was there. This crucial difference, one where it is a demonstrable truth, by definition, and one where it could have been, likely perhaps but not a truth, is important to remember. It is reasoning skills such as this that is the entire exercise of the verbal reasoning test.

For a clearer understanding of logical reasoning tests, visit our logical reasoning page where we have a two part logical reasoning video tutorial.

Analysis of a logical reasoning question

Let's go through a logical reasoning question so you can understand the processes involved in tackling such a question.

We are given 9 boxes, each containing an abstract visual. They are ordered in rows and columns and make patterns of variations that we can induce. One box, in this case the one in the top right, is unknown. Once we have established a pattern, we an find the answer which will be one of the 12 answer options given.

logical reasoning practice question

We can first notice that each visual seems to have two components. The arrows, with their various directions and placements, and the cross of squares in the middle, of which one is shaded. Let's start with the cross of squares in the top left box. The noticeable feature of these squares is that one is shaded - in this case, the bottom square. The box below has the same square shaded, and the box below that has its top square shaded. The top middle box - top square shaded, middle box - right square shaded, and bottom middle box - left square shaded. While there may be no immediately obvious pattern with the boxes themselves, upon closer inspection, we can see that the arrows are mirroring the placement of the shaded squares with their direction. In other words, which direction the arrow points is where the shaded square will be in that box.

However, there's another element we need to consider here. The arrows are moving between the corners of each box. If we look from the top left box downwards, we can see that the arrow moves from: top left, top right to bottom right. In other words, moving clockwise every box going down. If we look from the bottom left box rightwards, we can see that the arrow moves from: bottom right, top right to top left - moving anti-clockwise every box going right. These patterns should now allow us to discover our answer.

Going from left to right, or bottom to top, our arrow should be plaed in the bottom right corner. Given that the direction of the arrows and shaded squares appear to not have a pattern, all we need from them is that they are both going in the same direction. Now let's look at our answer options.

logical reasoning highlighted answer example

We can see only 4 boxes have the arrow in the bottom right corner, and only one of them adheres to same direction pattern - the box highlighted with a blue border.

Logical reasoning tips and advice

We firstly recommend you do watch our logical reasoning tutorial, mentioned above, if you haven't already as this will help you understand the question types. But for now, let's move onto the tips.

Familiarity is key

Logical reasoning tests can look very complex at first glance. There's a series of odd looking shapes that are in unfamiliar sequences and you're expected to understand what comes next within several seconds - it's not easy! Becoming familiar with understanding patterns of symbols and shapes will result in less time wasted trying to understand what's going on. This will give you a competitive advantage over those candidates that are not utilising practice tests.

Have a system

It's important to enter a question with a game-plan which you can initiate immediately. Try not to tackle the all the different symbols and shapes as a collective but seperate them into individual symbols. Notice how certain shapes are changing through the sequence and build up the missing sequence from individual component parts.

Your system should also take into account time. Work out how much time you are allowed per question and practise completing questions within those time constraints.

Don't spend your first moments looking at the answers

It's common to look at the answer options after your first look at the question but this can be wasteful. Your time is precious in a test and initial looks at the answer options will not help you to understand the sequence and could distract you. Focus on the question and the sequence then once you have a general idea of what the missing image could be, you could check the answer options to eliminate some of the options.

Practice thinking logically

The more able you are to think logically the easier you will find these test types. As well as practice tests you can try other brain teasers like suduko, crosswords, and those types of challenges which will train your brain to be more familiar with the required skills.

Practice makes perfect

Practising these tests will help you refine your system and make you confident answering these questions. You will be able to understand any potential weaknesses you have and allow you to work on them.

Now it's time to practise

We have taken a look at a logical reasoning question, and analysed the way that the logical reasoning logic works. Now let's put into practice by taking our free logical reasoing test, designed to emulate the real thing.

Free Practice Logical Reasoning Test

This free logical reasoning test has 15 questions and will take a maximum of 18 minutes to complete.

Further practice logical reasoning tests

Clearly, taking a single test isn't going to make great strides in growing your logical r easoning ability. Therefore, further practice is necessary. If you want further practice, follow the button below and check out our logical reasoning pack containing 15 tests.

Logical Reasoning Practice Pack

More resources

Read our other articles for more advice