Score Better on Abstract Reasoning Tests

Abstract reasoning refers to an individual’s ability to identify and interpret relationships between shapes, patterns, and series.

It also has a significant effect on a person’s ability to brainstorm and come up with original and innovative solutions. It is a key component of fluid intelligence. It’s also why abstract reasoning questions are part of every aptitude test.

Abstract reasoning includes functions such as:

  • Lateral and flexible thinking
  • Logical reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning.

Simply put, abstract reasoning refers to the ability to understand intangible, non-physical concepts and possibilities.

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

Abstract Thinking vs. Imagination

Abstract thinking and imagination may seem like the same thing. It’s easy to mistake one for the other, but those who have a complete understanding of cognitive processes know the subtle differences.

The main difference between abstract thinking and imagination is that imagination is a concept of the former. Imagination is part of many concepts that depend on abstract thinking.

In simple words, abstract thinking is a category, while imagination is a sub-category. Other abstract thinking concepts include:

  • Humor
  • Friendship
  • Jealousy
  • Freedom
  • Love 
  • Growth
  • Wisdom
  • Hope
  • Happiness
  • Success

The Importance of Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning allows us to cover many work requirements. The modern workplace expects team members to be capable of thinking on their feet and responding to new information rapidly. Abstract reasoning is especially important for roles that work with dynamic and unpredictable variables.

Remember that a key ability derived from abstract reasoning is the ability to come up with creative solutions. 

You can think of it this way:

Logical reasoning deals with decision-making based on available information. Much like a computer or artificial intelligence, the results of such as decision depend highly on previous input or experience.

Abstract reasoning allows people to account for variables that have not materialized. Moreover, this cognitive process allows them to work with limited information and to fill in the informational gaps.

The information-gathering process takes time. Not all situations grant the luxury of time. Abstract reasoning allows team members to perceive problems from different angles and to account for unseen variables.

This cognitive ability, coupled with logical reasoning, makes for a very potent and reliable team member. 

Tips for Answering Abstract Reasoning Questions

Abstract reasoning tests are a staple of pre-employment and aptitude tests. They use non-verbal questions to gauge an examinee’s ability to figure out the correct order of a series and to identify anomalies therein.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your abstract reasoning and score high in assessments, try these few tips.

Familiarize Yourself with Question Types

Abstract reasoning questions are non-verbal and are, therefore, more difficult to learn. Unlike verbal and numerical questions, they tend to seem random and formless. The best way to solve abstract reasoning questions is to understand the thinking process involved.

Inventory – where you take account of all the factors and items in a series.

Pattern Detection – where you try to identify the patterns in a problem.

Elimination – where you choose the anomaly from the patterns.

Understanding the process will allow you to determine which steps need more work. Reasoning tests can be tricky because of their randomness. But, the more you practice the analytical process, the better your brain becomes at it. 

Make sure to take the time to follow patterns. The majority of reasoning test questions use similar patterns. The quicker you identify them, the sooner you’ll answer the questions.

Take Practice Tests

The internet includes a good number of practice reasoning tests you can use to train your brain. There are paid and free tests that can help you handle the questions of any abstract reasoning test better. Simply take the time to answer them, and analyze your answers after.

Play Some Games

Games are a fun way to improve your analytical skills. They make for great tests because they are engaging and fun. Puzzles and video games make for good examples because they often require players to solve problems without giving them information.

Video games, in particular, tend to follow a certain pattern. Once you’ve mastered how certain games work, you’ll learn to look for patterns and cues in them. Many puzzles and video games are free. This makes a fun and entertaining way to practice for an abstract reasoning test.

Talk To Someone with Good Abstract Reasoning Skills

If you want to learn how to answer an abstract reasoning test, consider asking for tips from people gifted in abstract reasoning. They can give you unique tips and insights into their mental processes.

In Summary

Abstract reasoning is an important skill for success in many careers. It’s why it’s a staple of any aptitude test. The best way to prepare for abstract reasoning tests is to practice. There are many free tests you can take in preparation for a real test. 

Understanding the cognitive process and introducing a structured approach are some of the most effective ways to improve your abstract reasoning. Your brain is a powerful tool that only gets better with use. Keep using it, and keep challenging it. Don’t stop learning.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

Consider These Fun Questions About Spring

Spring is a season in the Earth’s yearly cycle after Winter and before Summer. It is the time life and…

November 30, 2022

Fun Spouse Game Questions For Couples

Answering spouse game questions together can be fun. It’ll help begin conversations and further explore preferences, history, and interests. The…

November 30, 2022

Best Snap Game Questions to Play on Snapchat

Are you out to get a fun way to connect with your friends on Snapchat? Look no further than snap…

November 30, 2022

How to Prepare for Short Response Questions in Tests

When it comes to acing tests, there are a few things that will help you more than anything else. Good…

November 30, 2022

Top 20 Reflective Questions for Students

As students, we are constantly learning new things. Every day, we are presented with further information and ideas we need…

November 30, 2022

Random History Questions For History Games

A great icebreaker game is playing trivia even though you don’t know the answer. It is always fun to guess…

November 30, 2022