student taking test

How to Pass Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests?

There are not many jobs these days that won’t expect you to complete some form of assessment as part of the application process. The assessments used will often depend on the role for which you are applying and the organisation to which you are making that application.

Some employers will use diagrammatic tests to evaluate your pure reasoning skills. Unlike numerical or verbal tests, these diagrammatic assessments are less dependent upon your cultural or educational background.

They are used in particular by companies recruiting people for roles that require complex, analytical, problem-solving skills; IT, management, consultancy, finance, engineering, and science are among such roles.

Read on to discover what a diagrammatic reasoning test is, what kind of questions it includes, and how to pass.

What are diagrammatic reasoning tests?

diagrammatic reasoning


Diagrammatic assessment tests assess your capacity for reasoning. You will be given images, sequences or data to look at and you will be asked to classify, order or determine links between the images.

However, it is wise to note that the terms diagrammatic reasoning, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, logical and abstract reasoning can often be used interchangeably when referring to diagrammatic testing, with only subtle differences.

This makes it important to check with your employer which type of assessment they use, along with their chosen provider, as this will determine the style of assessment you face.

These tests can seem quite overwhelming initially, but familiarisation and practice can help you overcome this fear and think rationally under test conditions. Diagrammatic reasoning is not a skill that we use commonly in everyday life but it does provide invaluable insight into your ability to solve problems and to think critically. These are skills that are highly valued by prospective employers.

What is the format of a diagrammatic reasoning test?

The format of individual tests may vary from provider to provider but there will be similarities across the tests that apply.

The test will be delivered as a multiple-choice assessment and is likely to consist of around 30 questions. These questions must be answered within a strict time limit; usually only around one minute is given to answer each question. If possible, try to check this in advance so that you are fully aware of the parameters within which you will be working.

The candidate is given sequences of images, shapes or data. The candidate is then expected to identify connections or infer the set of rules that governs the sequence. They then apply this to a new sequence to find the correct answer. It is crucial that these rules are applied in the order in which they were presented.

You will be asked two types of questions:

  • Letter and number diagrams
  • Shape diagrams

For a free example question of each type, head to Job Test Prep. Here you can also sign up for exhaustive preparation packs and full practice tests.

How to prepare for a diagrammatic reasoning test?

Whilst these tests do not require any prior knowledge, preparation is key in order to understand the content and format of the assessments and thus achieve your best score.

In this article, we will explore how you can prepare for the test and the likely format of such a test.

Diagrammatic test materials from Job Test Prep can provide you with an invaluable opportunity to practise and subsequently pass these tests.

The more you practise answering the questions at the correct pace, the better your chances of achieving a high score on the day of your test.

Depending on the test provider, some of the tests will structure the time given, whilst others will allow you to structure your own agenda within the overall time limit of the assessment.

It is usual for test questions to become increasingly difficult as you progress through the test meaning that you will encounter more challenging and complex rules for given problems. There may be multiple logics in one sequence for example.

Unlike other assessments, the diagrammatic reasoning test will not be dependent upon your intended job role. The format of the test will be standard across all industries and content, format, and question types governed only by the test provider themselves.

Common diagrammatic tests used by employers

Some of the most common diagrammatic tests used by employers are:

Some other common reasoning tests that employers use are:

  • Inductive reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning

What is inductive reasoning?

Inductive reasoning uses specific observations to reach broad and general conclusions. In this instance, we are able to reach a general conclusion based on the things we have observed. However, there is still a possibility that our conclusion could be untrue even if all the observations are true.

For example, if all the lambs we have seen are white, we could expect that all lambs are white. However, there is still a possibility that this could be untrue – all of our observations do support our conclusion but it is not guaranteed; in short, there is a small degree of uncertainty.

How do I prepare for an inductive reasoning test?

Practice makes perfect. Making sure you are familiar with the types of questions you will be facing means that you are less likely to falter or underperform in pressurised circumstances. Diagrammatic tests are timed, which means you need to be able to tackle questions quickly, methodically and efficiently.

Different employers will use different tests and there are numerous providers. One of the best ways to prepare is to ask your employer which test provider they use in order to become more familiar with the likely format and content. Try to find out as much information about the type of test you will be taking.

What is deductive reasoning?

Deductive reasoning works in the opposite way to inductive reasoning. Candidates will be required to move from broad generalisations to more specific ones. You will be asked to explore a number of possible outcomes to a problem, rejecting all those that don’t apply before arriving at the one possible answer.

How do I prepare for a deductive reasoning test?

Here are some tips to prepare for the test.

  • To be successful in a deductive reasoning test, you first need to be able to quickly read, digest and understand the given information.
  • Next, you will need to analyse and interpret this information.
  • Finally, you must make a logical deduction.

It is vital that you are able to think logically for this test and it may be that you need some extra help and guidance with this.

You are not required to question the accuracy of the given data, whether it is given in mathematical or written format – the answer is provided within the question – but it will be important to simplify it in order to analyse it.

Breaking the question down into simple and easy steps will make it easier to apply logic and make the correct deduction. It is helpful to keep in mind that the answer is actually given to you – no pre-knowledge is required – it is just a case of you identifying it.

These tests are deliberately tricky in order to make them a comprehensive assessment tool which is why familiarity with the format and preparation are so important.

As for the inductive reasoning tests, different companies will use different test providers and the more you can find out about who they use and the types of tests involved, the better you will be prepared.

In summary

Diagrammatic reasoning tests are a great way for employers to shortlist candidates effectively and quickly, especially if the recruitment pool is large. These tests provide a level playing field on which to assess strengths and weaknesses. They can often be used in the early stages of recruitment as an initial screening tool.

An employee’s ability to think logically and laterally and to apply concepts to situations will stand them in good stead when faced with complex problems or the need to analyse certain situations. Employers trust the results of these tests based on research that has shown a correlation between high job performance and high performance in psychometric testing in general.

As with all forms of assessment and indeed job application, preparation is key. Job Test Prep can provide you with the materials and resources to ensure that you are well prepared and well-practised and not likely to encounter any unpleasant surprises when faced with your assessment test.

Working through sample questions under timed conditions will help you to improve your mental agility and to understand the reasoning needed to pass the assessment and secure your perfect job!