Inductive Reasoning Tests

Inductive reasoning tests are designed to examine your inductive thinking skills.

  • What are Inductive Reasoning Tests?

    Inductive reasoning tests are a form of psychometric assessment often used in the recruitment process for a number of roles, often alongside other reasoning tests like verbal and numerical reasoning.

    Sometimes known as abstract or diagrammatic reasoning, inductive reasoning tests are used to assess your ability to make logical decisions based on unfamiliar information, by spotting patterns in a sequence of images.

    This form of non-verbal reasoning is an important skill for high-level positions and is often found in the recruitment process for technical roles like engineering and IT.

  • How Do Inductive Reasoning Tests Differ from Deductive Reasoning Tests?

    Inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning are two different skills, and the tests that are used to assess your ability in each are also different.

    Inductive reasoning assesses your ability to use specific information to form a generalised conclusion. This form of logic takes into account all available information to draw a conclusion that fits. Inductive reasoning assessments usually take the form of a series of images that follow a sequential pattern, and you will need to find a missing image.

    Deductive reasoning, on the other hand, is the skill of being able to take general information and working through it to find a specific conclusion. These assessments usually take the form of a series of statements, with a conclusion. You need to decide if the conclusion follows.

  • What Types of Questions Can I Expect on an Inductive Reasoning Test?

    On an inductive reasoning test, you are likely to find a series of questions relating to a sequence of images, with multiple choice answers.

    The images will all be linked by a particular pattern, and this is the set of rules that you will need to quickly find and apply to choose the missing image among the possible answers.

    The pattern might involve repetition, rotation, reflection or translation as well as replacement. In some cases, the pattern could be formed from more than one of the above, making it a little more complicated.

  • What are Inductive Reasoning Tests Used For?

    As with other psychometric assessments used in recruitment, the inductive reasoning test is used to identify candidates who have the right skills and competencies for the role.

    It is simple to administer and allows for fast and accurate testing that is not biased and effective in identifying those who are suitable to take further in the process; allowing for a quick and easy way to reduce a candidate pool.

    Inductive reasoning tests, in particular, are used to assess candidates on their ability to work with unfamiliar information, problem solve, and reach logical conclusions under pressure. They also assess a candidate's ability to work methodically to find an answer, which is why these assessments are often found in the recruitment process for more technical roles.

  • How are Inductive Reasoning Tests Formatted?

    Inductive reasoning tests come in several different formats, depending on the publisher and the role applied for.

    The most common type of question will be in the form of a matrix , a 3x3 or 4x4 square containing a number of images that are all linked with a specific pattern.

    Other inductive reasoning tests might use a horizontal row of images instead. In a similar way to the matrix, the images will be linked by a specific pattern, and you will need to find the missing image in the sequence or the image that continues the pattern.

    In some cases, you might be presented with a matrix or a horizontal row of images where instead of finding the one that is missing, you need to identify the image that is the odd one out.

    More rarely, the images might be in an A/B Set where each set has a different pattern, but of the same type - such as a shape that represents a number, for example.

    It is usually the case that each sequence of images will have multiple choice answers for you to select.

  • Top Tips to Prepare and Pass Your Inductive Reasoning Test

    1. Practice

    One of the easiest ways to prepare yourself for any assessment is to practice, and the unfamiliar nature of the inductive reasoning test is one reason that candidates find it challenging.

    If you know the publisher of the test you will be taking, find practice assessments designed for that publisher - otherwise, find general inductive reasoning practice tests to practice.

    Practice will help you feel more comfortable with the type of questions being asked and allow you to develop your pattern identifying skills.

    2. Exam Conditions

    If you can, make sure that every practice test you take is under exam conditions. Set a timer so you get used to working under pressure, make sure that you are somewhere that you won't be disturbed, and turn off notifications.

    It is normal for nerves to happen when you are in a test, but the more used to it you are, the more confident you will feel.

    3. Take Your Time

    You are likely to feel under pressure in a timed test, and this might make you rush through the questions. If you can, work out how long you will have for each question and make full use of that time to answer (if you need to) - so that you can avoid making any mistakes.

    4. Get Used to Spotting Patterns

    Our everyday lives are governed by patterns and sequences, and you can 'tune in' your inductive reasoning skills by spotting them around you.

    A great way to practice spotting patterns is to complete puzzles, especially 'spot the difference'.

  • Inductive Reasoning Practice Questions

    Q1) Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?

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    Q2) Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?

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    Solutions

    Q1) Answer = A

    Rule 1: The shapes alternate from small, medium to large and repeat. Rule 2: The small chevron alternates between being present and absent

    Q2) Answer = E

    Rule 1: The shapes on the flag alternate between circle and square. Rule 2: The flag pole alternates between being present and absent. Rule 3: the shapes on the flag alternate between being shaded and unshaded, that is 2, shaded, 2 unshaded.

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Inductive Reasoning Tests FAQs

Can you get better at inductive reasoning tests?

In a nutshell, yes you can get better at inductive reasoning tests - through practice. Logical thinking doesn't come easy to everyone, but this is a skill that you can improve by taking practice assessments and getting used to spotting patterns quickly.

What jobs use inductive reasoning tests?

While inductive reasoning tests are often part of the pre-employment assessment battery for most industries, there are certain job types or roles where they are more likely to be found. These include:

Engineering

Coding and Programming

Production

Legal

Banking and Financial

You are likely to come across an inductive reasoning test if you are applying for high-level positions like management, and especially in graduate recruitment.

What do inductive reasoning tests measure?

Inductive reasoning tests measure a candidate's ability to make logical decisions under pressure using specific information.

They are a good indicator of a high level of critical reasoning ability too, as well as general cognitive ability.

Why is inductive reasoning important?

Inductive reasoning is an important skill in many roles, and those that are good at logically and methodically working their way through new and unfamiliar information to make a reasoned decision usually perform well in technical, hands-on roles as well as management.