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Inductive Reasoning Test

Updated May 19, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

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Inductive reasoning tests are designed to examine a candidate’s abstract reasoning ability; their ability to see patterns and consistencies in data and to work flexibly with unfamiliar information.

One of the main benefits of inductive reasoning tests is that they are not dependent upon language, which makes them a good tool for assessing international candidates or candidates for whom English is not their first language. Moreover, they are usually very good for predicting problem solving ability, which is imperative in many jobs.

Practice Inductive Reasoning Questions

Inductive reasoning questions typically involve a number of diagrams or pictures. The candidate must identify what the pattern, rule or association is between each item and then use this to select the next item in the sequence or to identify the box missing from the sequence.

While inductive reasoning questions test your ability to think broadly and creatively about a set of data, there are some techniques that you can use to help you. We will explore these in the practice questions that follow below.

The answer in each case is just below the diagram, so don't scroll down too far!

Items That Move Around

There are many variants on this theme. On the most basic level, the elements move around within the box and you need to understand why they are moving in the order they are.

Question 1

Inductive Reasoning Test
Inductive Reasoning Test
Example Question

Which box is next in the sequence?

In many cases there will be multiple items that move around within the box and each will have its own sequence rule. This is shown in the question below.

Question 2

Inductive Reasoning Test
Inductive Reasoning Test
Example Question

Which box is next in the sequence?

Relationships Between Particular Items

There are several ways that elements can have relationships with one another, for example:

  • Where they are in relation to each other
  • Number of sides shapes have in relation to each other
  • Numbers that incrementally increase or decrease

To solve these types of questions you need to identify what the rule that governs the relationship is. Some examples will be explored in the questions below.

Question 3

Inductive Reasoning Test
Inductive Reasoning Test
Example Question

Which box is next in the sequence?

Question 4

Inductive Reasoning Test
Inductive Reasoning Test
Example Question

Which box is next in the sequence?

Be careful when looking at the sizes of shapes, as they can sometimes look distorted by the other shapes around them. In the example above, the circles with shapes inside give the impression of being smaller than they are. Optical illusions like this are sometimes used in inductive reasoning tests, so watch out for them.

Spatial Rotation

Spatial rotation is the ability to mentally imagine an item from another perspective. Within inductive reasoning tests, spatial rotation often involves either imagining what a 3D image looks like from a different perspective, or what shape a flat shape might become when made 3D.

Question 5

Inductive Reasoning Test
Inductive Reasoning Test
Example Question

Which box contains the same shape as the top series?

Tips and Best Techniques for Inductive Reasoning Tests

These four tips are well worth remembering before you take the inductive reasoning test for real:

  • Bring and use a stopwatch
  • Learn the differences between test providers in terms of how they frame questions and how long the test will be
  • Work swiftly but carefully
  • Calculate the maximum amount of time to be allocated to a question and stick to it, using your stopwatch

The tests are timed, and typically there is time pressure. Most online tests are designed to be completed within the time allocated.

Practice Makes Perfect

It can be really helpful to practise some inductive reasoning tests before you have to complete one under test conditions. This is because they are very different from the sorts of problems one tends to encounter in everyday life. Familiarity with the types of questions they include will help ensure that you don’t panic or freeze when you first see them.

Moreover, the more examples you work through, the more sorts of patterns you will encounter and the more of a ‘feel’ you will get for the materials. Make sure that you memorise the patterns discussed above but don’t let them blind you to creative alternative solutions.

Sometimes there may be questions where however much you look at them, you can’t see the pattern. Once you have given the question a good try move on. Don’t waste your time wrestling with one question at the expense of your overall performance.

Even though the terms inductive reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning and abstract reasoning are sometimes used interchangeably by employers when referring to aptitude tests, you need to be clear about which type of questions you can expect. You can then practice the questions to make sure that you are comfortable with each type. This will allow you to spend your time answering the question rather than trying to work out how to answer it.

Inductive Reasoning Practice Test

Try this inductive reasoning test, designed to find your ability to see patterns and consistencies in data, and to work flexibly with unfamiliar information.

Questions 10
Pass Percentage 70%
Time Limit 10 min


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