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Figural Reasoning Tests: Sample Questions and Answers

Figural reasoning tests, also known as abstract reasoning tests, are one of the most popular pre-hire assessments. This is because they constitute a substantial part of intelligence tests. A Figural reasoning test measures your ability or aptitude to reason logically.

Generally, figural reasoning tests measure non-verbal abilities. You must, through logical and abstract reasoning, extract rules, analogies and structures which you subsequently use to find a correct answer among a set of possible options.

Figural/abstract reasoning tests are almost always a part of any job assessment or intelligence testing setup. You can use this test as part of an IQ test training to make sure you are maximally prepared.

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.

Figural Reasoning Question Types

There are three types of questions within the Figural Reasoning category:

1. Figural Classification

These questions measure the ability to identify the “odd one out” in a group of five images. A child will have to identify which of the five images does not belong in the group by recognizing a common theme or pattern present throughout the images.

2. Figural Analogy

These questions assess the ability to understand relationships between figures. The objective is to identify which figure in a group of 5 is most similar to the original figure presented in the question. While Figural Classification assesses the ability to identify differences, Figural Analogy assesses the ability to identify similarities.

3. Figural Series

Figural Series questions assess the ability to predict the next step in a progression of shapes. The question will consist of few consecutive shapes, ordered according to a certain pattern or theme, and the test taker will have to predict what the next shape in the sequence will be.

Figural Reasoning Tests: Sample Questions and Answers

The following question is a Figural Analogy test item from the Figural Reasoning section:
1. Figural Classification Sample Tests

2. Figural Analogy Sample Tests

3. Figural Series Sample Tests

Tips to Solving Abstract Reasoning Tests

Abstract reasoning ability is closely correlated with general intelligence. However, familiarity with the types of questions you are likely to encounter and some strategies for solving the questions will certainly help you perform at your best. 

Sometimes there are clues in the answers. Look for any patterns or themes in the possible answers; that might help you spot what is important within the question. For example, if you have a sequence of shapes and all of the answers are squares or triangles, you know that the next shape in the sequence must be either a square or a triangle and that can help you work out why.

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