Spatial Reasoning Tests

Spatial reasoning tests are also known as logical or abstract reasoning tests.

  • What are spatial reasoning tests?

    Spatial reasoning tests explore how well someone is able to mentally manipulate 2D and 3D shapes.

    This might involve working with mirror images, rotations, or showcasing a solid understanding of how a shape changes from 2D to 3D (and vice versa). You might also be given limited information and asked to solve shape-based challenges using the information you have as well as your own problem-solving skills.

    Spatial reasoning tests are commonly set as part of the hiring process for finance, architecture, engineering and tech roles — where a solid understanding of shapes and how they're made up can be really crucial for the day-to-day tasks you'd be expected to carry out.

    Spatial reasoning tests can be challenging if you have not encountered them before, so it's vital to practice as many as you can before the one that really counts.

  • What Types of Questions Can I Expect on a Spatial Reasoning Test?

    The most common type of question you're likely to face will involve the transition of shapes from their 2D to 3D form. You're also likely to see questions about reflection and rotation (in both 2D and 3D shapes) as well as transforming nets into shapes.

    When working through these questions, it's important to use the identifying markers on the nets and shapes to help you mentally solve the problems.

    It's also a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of 3D shapes, their properties and how they unfold into a 2D net. This can make a big difference on the day when you need to make quick mental calculations.

    Practicing questions with a mirror can also help you to better understand rotations and reflections.

  • How are Spatial Reasoning Tests Formatted?

    Spatial reasoning tests will vary depending on the provider, but most will present you with a series of different images and ask you to solve a problem by selecting the correct multiple choice answer.

    Every test will be timed, so as well as ensuring accuracy, it's important to work through the test at a quick enough pace so you can complete every question.

    If you're stuck on something, it's worth moving on as there may be questions you find easier further on in the test. If there's time at the end, you can always go back to anything you want to have another go at.

  • Why are Spatial Reasoning Tests Used?

    Spatial reasoning tests help employers to get a better understanding of how comfortable you are mentally manipulating and working with shapes in both their two and three-dimensional forms.

    Spatial reasoning tests are also a good induction of how strong someone's problem solving, logical reasoning and timekeeping skills are, as well as their ability to keep calm under pressure.

    They can really help employers to see whether a candidate is likely to be a quick learner, as well as if they have a solid understanding of 2D and 3D shapes.

    These tests are most commonly set by employers in the finance, tech, architecture and engineering industries, where this type of skillset is really valuable.

  • What Jobs use Spatial Reasoning Tests?

    Jobs in industries such as engineering, architecture, finance and technology use spatial reasoning tests in the hiring process to see which applicant(s) have the necessary spatial awareness skills to progress them to the next stage of the recruitment process.

    It can be especially helpful to use an aptitude test such as this if employers are struggling to choose between candidates who appear similar on paper in terms of educational background and work experience.

  • How To Prepare and Pass Your Spatial Reasoning Test

    1. Practice

    It's the simplest way to get quicker, better and more confident.

    To make your practice sessions as effective as possible, try and work in a quiet, well-lit room that's free from distractions.

    Once you've completed a practice test, go back over your answers and note down anything you got wrong or found hard. These are the areas you need to focus your revision on.

    2. Think outside the box

    To make practicing more fun, try and think of new ways to learn and improve your skills.

    You could get a mirror out to work on reflections or find a computer game that involves mentally manipulating shapes.

    There are lots of ways to learn that don't just involve reading and working through tests.

    3. Use a pen and paper

    Find out if you're allowed to take a pen and paper into your test.

    Being able to jot down notes or draw changes in a shape can really help you to work out the correct answer faster.

    4. Don't panic

    It's easier said than done, but it's important to try not to panic. If feelings of doubt start to creep in, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can do it.

    If you don't know the answer to something or you're struggling with a particular area of the test, it's ok to make an educated guess and move on.

    5. Keep track of time

    It can be easy to lose track of time and spend too long on a question at the expense of questions you may find easier further on in the test.

    To stop this from happening, try to roughly work out how long you can spend on each question and stick to it. If there's time at the end, you can always revisit anything you weren't sure about.

Sample Spatial Reasoning Tests question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

Imagine a ladder leaning against a wall making a 60-degree angle with the ground. If the ladder is flipped to the opposite side of the wall, preserving the angle with the ground, what is the top view of the wall with the two ladder positions?

  • A straight line
  • A single angle
  • Two intersecting lines
  • Two parallel lines

Imagine you have a flat, unfolded box that shows all six sides connected with dotted lines where they would be folded. If you were to assemble the box, which two sides would be opposite each other?

  • The top and bottom sides
  • The left and right sides
  • The front and back sides
  • Adjacent sides

If you rotate a cube 90 degrees on the X-axis, then 90 degrees on the Y-axis, which face of the cube will be on the top?

  • The original front face
  • The original right face
  • The original bottom face
  • The original left face

You are looking at three identical spheres sitting in a straight line. If the middle sphere is removed and the two remaining spheres are brought together, what is the resulting shape?

  • A single larger sphere
  • Two spheres touching at one point
  • An oval shape
  • A cylinder

Consider a pyramid made of a square base and four triangular sides. If this pyramid is cut in half parallel to the base through its center, how many faces does each half have?

  • Four faces
  • Five faces
  • Six faces
  • Three faces

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The solutions at the end of every test are evident and easy to understand.

Samuel used Fintest to help pass his aptitude tests for HSBC.


Spatial Reasoning Tests Tips

Break It Down

When you're faced with a complex spatial reasoning problem, it can help to break the image down into smaller parts. Focus on one section at a time to simplify the overall shape and gradually work toward the solution. Just like a puzzle, solving smaller pieces first can make the bigger picture easier to handle.

Visualize the Possibilities

Improving your ability to visualize can make a significant difference in spatial reasoning tests. Try to picture the objects in your mind as you would see them in the real world. Rotate them, flip them, and move them around mentally. The more vivid your mental imagery, the better you'll become at predicting how shapes transform.

Avoid Rushing

Spatial reasoning tests are as much about accuracy as they are about comprehension. Avoid the temptation to rush through the questions. If you can, take a moment to double-check your work and ensure that you've fully understood the question before selecting an answer. Sometimes a fresh look can reveal something you missed the first time around.

Use the Process of Elimination

When you're stuck, start by ruling out the most obviously incorrect answers. This process of elimination can increase your chances of choosing the right one from the remaining options. It's a strategic approach that can also save you time, which is invaluable during timed tests.

Regular Practice

Practice is key to mastering spatial reasoning tests. With Fintest's suite of practice exams, you'll have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with various types of questions and difficulty levels. Regular practice will help improve your spatial awareness and speed, giving you confidence on test day. Remember, practice doesn't just make perfect—a consistent practice routine makes permanent.

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Spatial Reasoning Tests FAQs

How are spatial reasoning tests scored?

Normally, correct answers will be added up to give you your individual score. This may then be compared to the other people who have taken the test, or what's known as a 'normative group.' (An average group score for this particular test).

Will I take my test online?

This will vary depending on the type of test you're taking, and what the hiring company decides to do. But more often than not you will take this type of test online.

What do Spatial reasoning tests measure?

Spatial reasoning tests measure your spatial awareness, which basically means your understanding of shapes.

Do I need to be good at maths for a Spatial reasoning test?

Being good at maths can help, but the most important thing is a solid understanding of shapes in both their two and three-dimensional forms.

How can I improve my spatial reasoning test?

The simplest way to get better is to practice as many past tests as you can.

Not only does doing this make you quicker and improve your ability to answer questions correctly, it will also build your confidence as you'll know what to expect on the day.

Which employers use spatial reasoning tests?

Employers looking for problem solvers, quick thinkers and those who take the initiative are likely to use spatial reasoning tests as part of their hiring process. In the highly competitive world of finance, this test is used a lot.


What our customers say about our Spatial Reasoning Tests

  • Ireland

    October 11, 2021

    Loved doing it!

    Found it really interesting, these kind of tests have always been something I have found I can do quite well in once I think properly!

  • Netherlands

    July 07, 2022

    Challenging and fun

    I liked that this test was more complicated than other simplistic GIA tests. But perhaps what I don't like, is that this might not be an accurate representation. It could lead to overthinking the GIA test.

  • Kenya

    October 27, 2022

    spatial test

    It was a nice engineering test. The only problem is that the test has been allocated too much time. I suggest the test should take 10 minutes at most so as to encourage the art of speed and accuracy as required in the engineering profession. All in all, I enjoyed the test

  • Uganda

    May 16, 2023

    Such a brain teaser!

    I liked the fact that this test tested my spatial reasoning skills.