What are inductive reasoning tests?

Inductive reasoning tests are a type of cognitive psychometric test. While there are different types of inductive reasoning tests, for recruitment purposes there are some which are more commonly employed than others. The most common inductive reasoning tests show you a series of squares with various shapes and symbols inside them. The squares are in a sequence going from left to right. You need to determine what the patterns are, and then choose the square which comes next in the sequence. There will normally be at least three different patterns happening at the same time, so finding the right answer option is quite hard. It’s a multiple-choice test with either 4 or 5 answer options.

Are inductive reasoning tests called something else?

Inductive reasoning tests are also commonly referred to as diagrammatic reasoning tests, logical reasoning tests, abstract reasoning tests and visual reasoning tests.

What is an example of a typical inductive reasoning test?

Below is an example of a series that you might find.

You need to pick which comes next in the sequence – you have 4 options in this case. The way you should approach these questions is to go through what we like to call the elimination method. The elimination method is to basically remove one answer option at a time until you have one left, which therefore must be the correct answer if you have correctly discounted the others.

It’s also wise to lock your eye on to one object at a time and figure its pattern out. To that end, let’s start with the black dots. The pattern for those is that they are moving around the three points of the triangle in an anticlockwise direction. They are moving one place each at a time. In the next step, therefore, the dots must be in the top and left corners of the triangle. Using the elimination method, you can therefore eliminate option b).

Next, let’s look at the grey triangle. It looks like it stays in the same position, albeit in the 4th square it’s obscured by a black triangle. That unfortunately doesn’t help eliminate any answer options.

Finally, there are three black triangles; a group of two and a single one. The two black segments each rotate clockwise by one position (60°) each step, while the single black segment rotates anticlockwise by 60° each step. If you follow that pattern through, it’s clear that the correct answer, therefore, must be a). Don’t be confused by only seeing two black triangles in this option – it’s because two of the triangles are in the same position, so they obscure one another. This is a common trick employed by the test providers, so watch out for that one.

Where can I find practice inductive reasoning tests?

You’ve come to right place. First, you can take a free inductive reasoning test right now here. Practice makes perfect as they say, and you can get great practice with a GradTests subscription. We have 6 full length inductive reasoning tests with 150 questions. All the questions come with fully worked solutions explaining the answer. You can upgrade here right now.

What are the best tricks and tips for inductive reasoning tests?

You can download a free pdf which takes you through all our top tips and tricks for conquering inductive reasoning tests. You can also find some great tips here too.

What’s the single best tip you have for inductive reasoning test success?

One particularly good tip is to focus on ascertaining the pattern of one object at a time, and use the elimination method to narrow down the answer options. You’ll see in the example above, we hone in on one object at a time, ascertaining its pattern, and then eliminating any answer options that don’t fit. In the above example, that allowed us to eliminate one option fairly easily. Generally you should proceed like this. It’s also important to remember which answers you’ve already eliminated. It’s sometimes the case that by the time you get to figuring out the final object’s pattern, a minute has gone by and you can’t recall which answers you’ve already rejected. It’s best therefore to simply hold your fingers on the screen of the options that you have discounted, or simply jot them down on some paper. If you do choose to jot them down on paper, make sure it’s very fast, otherwise you’ll lose time.

How are inductive reasoning tests scored?

Inductive reasoning tests generally are in the form of a multiple-choice test with 4 or 5 answer options. Only one answer is correct and you receive one mark for guessing this correctly. Generally you are not penalised for incorrect answers – i.e. there is no ‘negative marking’. Your test strategy should therefore always include guessing where you don’t know the answer.

Normally, your test answers are only submitted once you finish the test. This means that you can return to prior questions and change your answer before you finally complete the test. When you skip on from a question, you should still select an answer, even if it’s only a guess. This is because you might not have time to come back to it later. Once you have submitted your test, normally you will not be shown your results. Only the company that asked you to sit the test will receive access to your answers and score.

What do inductive reasoning tests measure?

Inductive reasoning tests measure your raw ability to recognise abstract patterns and relationships using logic. It’s for this reason they are often referred to as logical reasoning tests.

How can GradTests help me prepare for inductive reasoning tests?

At GradTests we have a bank of 150 questions spread over 6 full length inductive reasoning tests. With our simulated test environment, you will be exposed to the time pressure that you will face on test day. Getting used to working under the clock is incredibly important to train your brain to work efficiently. Time management, and knowing when to move on from a question you’re struggling on, is critical for success.

All our inductive reasoning questions come with fully worked solutions and explanations to those solutions. This is essential for your learning – if you get an answer wrong, it’s important to understand why exactly, so that you can learn and improve your score. You can take the tests as many times as you like and access them 24/7. Our product is very affordable and represents a small investment for you in securing the job of your dreams.

With our analytics, you’ll be able to benchmark yourself against the 100 000s of other scores of our users to have taken the same test. This will help you identify where exactly your weaknesses are and help you to understand how much preparation you should be doing. You can also track your own performance over time to measure your progress.

Does practicing inductive reasoning tests improve your score?

Yes it absolutely does! Once you start practicing the tests you will come to understand the structure of the tests, you’ll get accustomed to working under time pressure and you’ll figure out all the most common tricks and traps that the providers lay for you. You’ll also feel a lot more relaxed and confident because you know what you expect when sitting the test – there is no more fear of the unknown.