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How To Answer Abstract Reasoning Questions

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

Also known as conceptual reasoning tests, these measure your ability to think laterally. The better you can identify relationships, patterns and trends, the more successful you’ll be. You’ll be given a series of images that follow a logical sequence or underlying rule and may need to build on that rule, identify a code or find a missing diagram. Here's how to answer abstract reasoning questions.

We're going to start with an easy one and explain how the questions work and the best way for you to work out the answer. Here's a typical question you'll face:

Which of the options below comes next in this sequence? Select one of the options A-E below.

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

You’ll need to identify which option comes next in the sequence. To do this, you should focus on each individual element in turn and track how it moves/changes throughout the five steps. This should reveal a pattern that you can use to work out what step 6 should look like.

how to answer abstract reasoning questions

White right angle: this starts in the bottom right of the square, then moves clockwise around the square, one step at a time. Identifying this pattern means you can anticipate that in step 6, the white right angle should appear in the bottom left of the square.

Black right angle: this starts in the top left and (as with the white right angle) also moves clockwise around the square one step at a time. This would mean that in step 6, it should appear in the top right corner of the square.

Arrow: this points left in step 1, down in step 2, up in step 3, then appears to repeat this 3-stage pattern. On this basis, you would expect the arrow to point upwards in step 6.

On the basis of the above analysis, we would therefore expect to see a white right angle in the bottom left, a black right angle in the top left and an arrow pointing upwards. If you look back at the various options for step 6, you can now confirm that “B” is the correct answer.

how to answer abstract reasoning questions