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How to pass Abstract Reasoning tests

Learn how to pass abstract reasoning tests with this comprehensive 120 page manual which is suitable for UKCAT candidates and any one who is required to take any form of Abstract Reasoning test.
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ABSTRACT REASONING TESTS – How to pass them including sample test questions and answers

Abstract Reasoning tests are being used more and more in roles that require an ability to make quick decisions in pressurised situations, such as roles within the medical profession.

What is Abstract Reasoning?

Abstract reasoning requires an ability to identify patterns amongst different abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material is often present. The presence of irrelevant or distracting material or information can sometimes lead to incorrect conclusions. Abstract reasoning tests therefore measure a candidate’s ability to change track, critically evaluate and generate hypotheses and to query judgements as they progress through the test.

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How Long are the Tests?

The time that you will be provided to sit the abstract reasoning test will very much depend on the role you are applying for. However, to give you an idea, the tests that form part of the UK clinical aptitude test last for a maximum of 14 minutes, during which time the candidate has to answer 55 questions. The tests are designed so that it is very difficult to complete them. Whilst the assessor or test centre are looking for you to complete as many test questions as possible, they are also looking for you to get the questions you have answered, correct.

Therefore, during your preparation you must concentrate on speed as well as accuracy.

In the following video Richard McMunn explains how this guide will help you pass any Abstract Reasoning test:

What do the Questions Look Like?

Again, the type of question you will be required to tackle during the abstract reasoning test will depend on the role you are applying for. However, in order to help you prepare I will provide you with a number of sample questions and explanations which will help give you a better understanding of what you are going to be presented with during the actual test.

Sample question type 1 – determining which figure comes next in a sequence based on the options available.

In the following sample question you have to decide which figure comes next in the sequence.

With this type of question you should be looking for things such as:

  • Issues around size and shape of objects.
  • Number of objects.
  • Sides of objects.
  • Shading and colour.
  • Symmetry.
  • Number of angles.
  • Position and direction etc.

Whilst it may appear that you have to look for lots of variations when tackling this type of test you will find that the more you practice the faster you will become at finding the solution.

Q. Which figure comes next in the sequence?

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Answer: D As the sequence progresses the number of dots alternates in opposite section of the rectangle. For example, the top of the first rectangle has 4 black dots and the bottom of the second rectangle has 2 black dots. The top of the third rectangle has 4 black dots and the bottom of the fourth has 2 black dots and so on. Conversely, the number of black dots in the bottom of the first rectangle has 5 black dots and the top of the second rectangle has 3 black dots and so on. Therefore, the correct answer is D.

So, when responding to this question during abstract reasoning tests we can see that it is the ‘number of objects’ presented which was the main factor that we needed to observe and assess. Let’s now take a look at another sample question based on your requirement to determine which figures comes next in the sequence based on the options available.

Sample question type 2

Q. Determine whether the test shapes belong to Set A, Set B or Neither.

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In this question we are looking for links between the sets and the test shapes.

Test shape 1 does not belong to neither sets as it contains a chequered square and a white circle. You will notice that neither Set A nor Set B contain both a chequered square and a white circle. In order for test shape 1 to belong to Set A the white circle would have to change to different shape, such as a black circle. In order for test shape 1 to belong to Set B, the chequered square and white square would both have to be replaced by different shapes, such as an arrow or white triangle.

Test shape 2 contains a chequered square which is indication that the shape may belong to Set A. Upon further investigation the other symbols in the box you can see that it does not contain a white circle, something which is prominent in every square of Set B. Therefore, test shape two does in fact belong to Set A. Test shape three has white circle and no chequered square. Therefore, the correct answer is that test shape three belongs to Set B.

Tips for passing spatial reasoning tests

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So, when responding to this type of question we can see that it was the ‘issues around size and shape of objects’, ‘number of objects’ and ‘shading and colour’ that we needed to observe and assess in order to reach our answers.

If you are serious about gaining the highest scores possible in your abstract reasoning assessment then you need to be fully prepared. Our comprehensive testing book will provide you with 120 pages of sample tests, explanations to the answers and hints and tips that will help you to succeed.

main product features

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  • Key Preparation Advice – tips on how to prepare for the tests effectively
  • Learn how to tackle the test questions - become fully prepared and confident
  • Assessment Criteria – How you will be assessed
  • UKAT – A great companion for UKAT preparation
  • Over 120 pages of essential preparation advice and resources
  • Full of Content - 4 testing sections, each with 20 sample test questions and answers

ABSTRACT REASONING TEST QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS MANUAL

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Learn how to pass abstract reasoning tests with our professional guide that contains lots of sample questions and answers…

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