Abstract reasoning tests (also known as inductive reasoning and/or diagrammatic reasoning tests) are used to assess a candidate's general intellect and ability to work out new concepts and abstract ideas, rather than testing their prior knowledge. Abstract reasoning questions require candidates to recognize patterns and similarities between shapes and figures. This type of test is useful to employers because the ability to answer abstract reasoning questions is independent of educational experience and cultural background, and can be used to provide an objective indication of intellectual potential.
These tests are most useful to employers when the job being applied for, involves dealing with abstract ideas or concepts that you cannot prepare for, as many technical jobs do. As you would expect, these tests are most often used when the job you are applying for involves: a high degree of problem solving; dealing with complex data or concepts; developing new strategies or policies, and/or; performing non-routine tasks where initiative is required.
However, abstract reasoning questions may be used by any employer as an assessment for any position, as they are seen to be a good measure of general intelligence, and test your ability to perceive relationships and work out any co-relationships, without any prior knowledge of language or mathematics.
- For further information on "abstract reasoning" tests and questions, see the wiki page on diagrammatic reasoning, which includes practice questions and explanations.