Conquering Inductive Reasoning Tests: A Step-by-Step Success Guide

Inductive reasoning tests are a challenging form of psychometric testing. This guide will tell you what to expect & how to succeed.

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What’s In This Guide?

  • 3 useful inductive reasoning test resources to get you started
  • 2 free inductive reasoning practice tests
  • 6 essential tips for inductive reasoning test success
  • Sample questions (with answers)
  • Learn how to manipulate shapes with an excellent inductive reasoning test video

Get Your Inductive Reasoning ‘Survival Kit’

Click here to download our inductive reasoning survival kit (with tips, cheatsheet & practice questions)

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‘What Is an Inductive Reasoning Test?’

A inductive reasoning test is a form of psychometric aptitude testing that is widely used by corporate employers during their recruitment process.

‘What Is Measured by an Inductive Reasoning Test?’

Your ability to identify and interpret patterns. How well can you spot rules/consistencies in sets of objects and verbal data? Can you predict how a sequence of given objects should evolve?

Remember, as with all elements of psychometric testing, an inductive reasoning test also gives employers an insight into your overall intelligence and powers of judgement.

‘Is This the Same Thing as Abtract Reasoning and Diagrammatic Reasoning?’

Inductive reasoning tests, abstract reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning are three areas that overlap.  Assessment companies and test providers call these similar tests by different names. It’s a little confusing but the central areas of assessment remain the same.

‘When Will I Take My Inductive Reasoning Test?’

It varies by employer. Candidates will usually take their inductive reasoning test before an assessment event as a form of pre-interview screening, but it is not uncommon to perform an inductive reasoning test (or a second inductive reasoning test) during an interview or assessment day.


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‘Ok, What Should I Expect During an Inductive Reasoning Test?’

Most inductive reasoning tests will show you a sequence of shapes, words or illustrations and ask you to predict what comes next in the sequence.

‘Can You Show Me Some Sample Questions From an Inductive Reasoning Test?’

Sure, here’s a couple of examples:

inductive-reasoning-test inductive-reasoning-test-practice

Find the answers to these two questions by clicking here.

More Practice Questions

Click here to get hold of practice inductive reasoning tests

6 Expert Tips For Inductive Reasoning Test Success

1) Only Look at One Aspect of a Shape at a Time>

The quickest way to feel overwhelmed in an inductive reasoning test is to look at the pattern holistically. To quickly ‘decode’ the pattern, look only at one element at a time. Orientation, size, location of an inner shape. Remember that these patterns are deliberately written in a complicated style. Small assumptions can catch you out. Study carefully, one element at a time.

2) If You’re Stuck Try Starting at the End of the Pattern

A great way to break down a confusing sequence is to do it in reverse. This will often lead to an ‘eureka’ moment, allowing you to see the pattern in a fresh perspective.

Click here to download a worksheet with practice inductive reasoning questions.

3) Stay Calm

This is easier said than done of course, but nothing will damage your performance more than losing your focus during the test. Inductive reasoning tests are timed and some people find this applies an element of pressure that makes it hard for them to concentrate.

Two articles of ours that will be a big help to you here are:


4) Practice as Much as Possible Before Your Real Test

Conversely, nothing with boost your chances of success more than practising real, timed, inductive reasoning tests. Familiarity with the style of test will not only improve your ability to perform well, but it will also help you relax. (Which, in turn, further enhances your level of performance. It’s a win-win.)

PRO TIP: You can practise inductive reasoning tests used by employers here. (These tests aren’t free, but they are a must for candidates who want to do absolutely everything to guarantee success.)

Buy some inductive reasoning books from Amazon to brush up on your interpretive skills, you can find a good selection to get you started.

Listen to our podcast on assessment day success, you can find it here.

5) Manage Your Time Carefully

Most inductive reasoning tests last for around 40 minutes. As with most assessment activities it’s vital that you manage your time carefully. You should always scan ahead and see how many questions remain in the test, this will help you gauge how much time to allocate.

PRO TIP:  If you hit a road block and are totally stuck on a difficult question don’t waste time trying to figure it out. During the time you spend pondering one very difficult question you could correctly answer several others. Just take a guess and move on.

Inductive Reasoning Cheatsheet

Download a 4-step inductive reasoning cheatsheet by clicking here.

6) Boost Your Spatial Awareness Beforehand!

It’s hard to improve innate/passive skills, but it isn’t impossible. Manipulating shapes mentally is difficult for most people, but if you spend enough time practising you’ll see a stark improvement. This video from GraduateMonkey will show you the kind of shape-movements to expect:

Two Free Inductive Reasoning Practice Tests

A Final Resource: An Excellent Inductive Reasoning Test Resource

This book  by Mike Bryon will get you up to speed.

More Articles of Ours That Will Help You

We’ve written tons of other articles that will help you succeed at your interview or assessment centre:

  • Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier

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