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How to pass Inductive Reasoning Tests

Our Inductive Reasoning Tests Workbook contains 100s of practice test questions, detailed test advice and help, and testing tips.

How to pass Inductive Reasoning Tests


Inductive Reasoning Tests are used by many employers to measure a candidate’s problem- solving ability. They are also known as Abstract Reasoning, or Diagrammatic Tests. These tests will examine your ability to find solutions to unfamiliar problems, in a short time frame. In order to pass an Inductive Reasoning Test, you must be able to think both analytically and conceptually. These tests often go hand in hand with other recruitment tests, such as Verbal and Non-Verbal. Therefore, prior to sitting the examination, it is important that you are as prepared as possible. In this guide, we will provide you with helpful tips, sample questions and key information on how you can better your chances of success.


Inductive reasoning tests take the form of a series of diagram related questions. Your job is to identify what is happening in the diagrams, to determine the pattern of the sequence.

induct-image-1 induct-image-2 induct-image-3

Typically, in an Inductive Reasoning test you will need to choose between 4-6 possible answers. The answers will all look very similar; and therefore you will need a keen eye to spot the right details. There is often a strict time limit for these tests and therefore, many candidates find it difficult to complete the test within the given timeframe. Generally speaking, employers are not looking for you to complete the test. Whilst the number of questions completed will obviously affect your result, they are more interested in the accuracy of your answers. Try to work as efficiently as possible, but never sacrifice quality for quantity.

Types of Questions

The types of questions that you will face in an Inductive Reasoning Test, will vary depending on the role for which you are applying. While most of the questions will be fairly similar, they will aim to test particular aspects that are related to the job. Inductive Reasoning is often used as an early screening process during job application, in order to help employers narrow down wide selection fields. Questions will include:

  • Rotations
  • Reflections
  • Alternations
  • Translations
  • Replacements
  • 3D Shapes.

Below, we have included a variety of sample questions from each of these topics, which you might expect to see in an Inductive Reasoning Exam. We hope you find them useful.

Example Questions

1. Which answer figure can be used to fill the gap in the sequence?

Rule 1 = The sequence adds one diamond each time.

The diamond is added from the top left and then continues to be added in a clockwise manner. For these types of questions, you need to pay particular attention to numbers. The sequence follows the pattern of adding the same shape as the sequence progresses. In other questions, you may need to add or subtract certain numbers of shapes in order for the sequence to make sense.

2. Which answer figure can be used to complete the sequence?

Rule 1 = the cross moves one place clockwise.

Rule 2 = the grey dot moves one place clockwise.

Rule 3 = you will also notice that the sequence alternates in colour. The large shapes change from black to white, and the cross changes from white to black. The dot remains the same colour. For these types of questions, you need to understand what direction the sequence has been rotated. Not all the shapes will be rotated in the same direction, so pay attention to what is happening.

3. Which answer figure can be used to fill the gap in the sequence?

Rule 1 = Box 1 and 3 are reflections of one another.

Rule 2 = Box 2 and 4 will be reflections of one another.

For these types of questions, you need to pay attention to what is being reflected.

The reflection might sometimes occur in every other box, or every third box, rather than consecutively. Therefore it is important to look closely at everything that is going on and identify the pattern and similarities of each figure.

4. Which figure is the odd one out?

Rule 1 = each figure must contain a square.

Figure E is the odd one out because all of the other figures contain a square, whereas Figure E contains an ‘L’ shape, and a Pentagon. For questions like these, you need to pay careful attention to what is changing. You need to distinguish what figure is the ‘odd one out’ by determining the differences. This could be based on reflections, rotations, alternations etc.

5. Which cube can be made from the cube net?

For these types of questions, you need to make sure that you fold along the creases of the cube net, so that the shapes remain on the outside of the cube. If you struggle with these types of questions and find it difficult to imagine what the cube would look like, why don’t you make a cube using a piece of paper? Make a cube net, draw on the shapes, and see what it looks like!

6. Which of the Answer Figures fits in with the Question Figures?

Rule 1 = the shape must contain one or more lines of symmetry.

For these types of questions, you need to pay attention to the Question

Figures. What do they show? How are they similar? How can you use these shapes to identify which of the Answer Figures fits in with the pattern?

Keep in mind that anything can be going on in these types of questions: rotations, lines of symmetry, numbers, angles, reflections, shapes, sizing etc.

Pay attention to everything and consider the following question carefully: What makes the Question Figures similar and what Answer Figure fits in with the same pattern?

Tips for passing Inductive Reasoning Tests

  • Stay focused, and don’t get distracted by irrelevant information. Questions will often require you to identify shapes in regards to how they can be linked. There will be several ‘false’ links planted, to try and trip you up. Make sure there is a clear link between each figure, before selecting your answer. Be strategic, and take into account size, colours, numbers, sides, positioning, shading, symmetry, angles and direction.
  • Do not spend too much time on one particular question. You may find some questions easier than others. You may struggle at a certain ‘type’ of question and so it is important not to ponder about questions you are unsure of. Move on and then come back to those questions at the end. Do your best to visualise the answers, and if it helps, draw them out as you go along. Highlighters and marker pens will help you to count shapes or work out numbers and angles.
  • Accuracy is key. You need to remain as accurate as possible to ensure successful marks. That’s why it is important to fully comprehend the questions and understand what is being asked. Most people find it difficult to finish all the questions. Do not be put off by the thought of not completing the whole test. These tests are designed to make it h ard for candidates to finish.
  • Within the ‘complete the sequence’ questions, you can always work backwards, in order to make sure you have the correct answer. By working backwards, you will have to do the opposite of what is being asked, but this is sometimes a useful tip if you are struggling with the conventional methods.
  • Practice is key. If you struggle with visualising shapes and objects, you may struggle with these tests. This is why we have provided you with plenty of sample questions for you to work through. The more you practice these tests, the more likely you are to feel comfortable and confident with the questions. Remember, practice makes perfect!
  • If you are unsure about the answers, make sure you use our detailed answers and explanations to understand how to get to the correct answer. Remember, knowing where you went wrong is just as important as getting the questions correct. You need to understand how the answer can be reached. Try practising the question again after reading through the answers and explanations to ensure you know where you went wrong.

Our Guide

Here at How2Become, we have created a fantastic guide that supplies you with all of the information you will need to pass your Inductive Reasoning Test. As mentioned, the best way to pass these tests is through constant practice. Our guide contains hundreds of different sample questions, which will allow you to do so.

This includes:

  • A breakdown of Inductive Reasoning, what it is used for and how employers judge the results.
  • Detailed examples of each question type, along with hundreds more sample questions.
  • Varying arrays of difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert, to ensure you are tested to your max potential, and are prepared for anything you might experience during the real exam.

How2become.com is the UK’s leading careers information website. We go to extraordinary lengths to find the right information for our products. On occasion, we even put a member of our team through the selection process, so that we can find out exactly the test involves, and how to pass!

BONUS – 30-DAYS FREE INDUCTIVE REASONING ONLINE TESTING SUITE ACCESS. As an additional bonus, you will receive 30-days FREE ACCESS to our professional online testing suite which will equip you with sample tests that will help you prepare fully for all inductive reasoning tests. After your 30 days free trial ends the service is automatically charged at a mere £4.95 plus vat per month with no minimum term. You can cancel at any time. See our terms and conditions for more details.

How to pass Inductive Reasoning Tests



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How to pass Inductive Reasoning Tests

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