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can easily be related to real world tasks and jobs, as many jobs require some degree of skill with words and numbers. Abstract reasoning tests on the other hand, seem to consist of questions which have little or no application in the real world. Yet these types of question appear in most graduate and management aptitude tests. Why is this? Abstract reasoning tests date back to the research done by the psychologist Charles Spearman in the 1920¶s. Spearman used a statistical technique called factor analysis to examine relationships between people¶s scores on different tests or sub-tests of intelligence. He concluded that people who do well on some intelligence tests also do well on others (e.g. vocabulary, mathematics, spatial abilities). Conversely, if people do poorly on an intelligence test, they also tended to do poorly on other intellectual tests. This led him to believe that there are one or more factors that are common to all intellectual tasks. As a result of this research Spearman developed a two-factor theory of intelligence.
As the diagram shows, Spearman said that intelligence is mainly made up of µg¶, with bright people having a lot, and dull people having less. People may also vary according to their specific abilities, µs¶, i.e. one person might be better at maths, while another would be very good verbally. However, Spearman placed much more importance on µg¶ and believed that the most important information about someone¶s intellectual ability is an estimate or measurement of µg¶. Even though Spearman¶s research was done many years ago, his theory of µg¶ is still widely accepted by psychologists and a great deal of research has supported it. Spearman defined µg¶ as: ³the innate ability to perceive relationships and educe co-relationships´ If we replace the word µeduce¶ with µwork out¶ then you can see why abstract reasoning questions are seen to be a good measure of general intelligence, as they test your ability to
Example Questions 1. Which symbol in the Answer Figure completes the sequence in the Problem Figure ? 2. Which of the Answer Figures fits the missing space in the Question Figure? . Which of the Answer Figures belongs in neither group? 4. Which of the Answer Figures belongs in neither group? 3.perceive relationships and then to work out any co-relationships without you requiring any knowledge of language or mathematics.
as they also provide the best measure of your general intellectual ability they are very widely used and you will usually find some questions of this type whichever particular tests you are given.Each row and column contains one line of each type. 4. 2. C . aptitude tests and personality questionnaires. 3. Aptitude Tests .Answers 1. As a measure of reasoning. B & D . A.Group 1 shapes are all straight lines. The questions consist of items which require you to recognize patterns and similarities between shapes and figures.Same color shapes are diagonally opposite (Group1) or above/below (Group 2). it is independent of educational and cultural background and can be used to provide an indication of intellectual potential. group 2 shapes are all curved. There are two main types of psychometric tests used by employers as part of their selection processes.The question figure is rotated clockwise through 90 degrees each time. D & E . These tests are of particular value when the job involves dealing with abstract ideas or concepts as many technical jobs do. D . However. These tests are particularly valued where the job you are applying for involves: y y y y A high degree of problem solving Dealing with complex data or concepts Developing strategies or policies Performing non-routine tasks where initiative is required Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to understand complex concepts and assimilate new information beyond previous experience.
There are at least 5000 aptitude tests which employers can use in the selection process and new tests are continually being developed and added to the already huge number of tests available. However. number sequences and simple mathematics. Data Checking Tests . You should make your own decision about which types of . or abstract reasoning. Abstract Reasoning Tests . The companies that sell aptitude tests need to differentiate their own test from those of their competitors and this has produced a bewildering range of test names and acronyms.Aptitude tests measure abilities such as verbal.Measure how quickly and accurately errors can be detected in data and are used to select candidates for clerical and data input jobs.These questions not usually found in general aptitude tests unless the job specifically requires good spatial skills. They are always presented in a multiple-choice format and the questions have definite right and wrong answers. Numeric Ability Tests . The test may include basic arithmetic. The test may include questions on spelling and word meanings as well as those that require you to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions. These questions appear in most general aptitude tests. Spatial Ability Tests .These questions appear in most job selection tests because employers usually want to know how well you can communicate.These questions appear in most general aptitude tests because employers usually want some indication of your ability to use numbers even if this is not a major part of the job. all of the tests you are likely to come across when applying for a job can be classified into six types: Verbal Ability Tests .These questions are used to select for a wide range of jobs including the military and emergency services. technical and engineering occupations. In management level tests you will often be presented with charts and graphs that need to be interpreted. Mechanical Reasoning Tests . The questions take the form of a series of diagrams. These tests measure your ability to mentally manipulate shapes. You can significantly improve your scores in aptitude tests by practicing the types of question that you will face. as well as many craft. numerical. They are strictly-timed and to be successful you need to work through them as quickly and accurately as possible.This is believed to be the best indicator of fluid intelligence and your ability to learn new things quickly.
when it comes to preparing yourself for a personality test. However. There are currently well over 2. this market should be seen for what it is. Personality Tests Personality tests are used to determine how you are likely to behave under various conditions. ''almost no evidence at all is available beyond assurances that evidence exists. Despite the dubious validity of many of the personality tests used in selection. For some personality tests. the advice is usually limited to µjust be yourself¶.question to practice. There are supposedly no right or wrong answers. Anyone can set up a company to develop and sell personality tests and can make whatever claims they feel like. claiming that this information is ''proprietary". even small improvements to your raw score will have a big influence on your chances of getting the job. and the questionnaires are usually completed without a strict time limit . there is very little real advice about how to approach them.500 personality questionnaires on the market and each year dozens of new companies appear with their own µnew¶ products. secure in the knowledge that they are very unlikely to be challenged. Whilst. many of the well established companies who provide personality tests do operate to the highest ethical and professional standards. Because of the way that aptitude tests are marked. Why? After all. There are literally dozens of books and websites with advice on how to prepare your resume or how to answer µtough¶ interview questions.keep practicing." reported a task force appointed by the American Psychological Association. You could either concentrate on your weakest area or you could try to elevate your score across all areas. One with low barriers to entry and one that is very poorly regulated. Some of the companies that produce personality tests are very secretive about their methodologies and do not make public crucial information about how their tests were developed or how well they work. Many professional psychologists outside of the personality testing industry are extremely critical of the way that personality tests are used in the job selection process. then why not prepare yourself for the personality questionnaire? . Whichever strategy you choose . if you¶re going to spend considerable time and effort preparing your resume and preparing for the interview.
. patterns and trends in organisational data. This is one area where you really do have to make your own decision Abstract reasoning test guide The abstract reasoning test is also called the conceptual reasoning test. but you may need to modify how one personality trait appears in the results of a test. compared to aptitude tests or the tests used in assessment centers. If there are no right and wrong answers. before you make that decision. integrate this information. This is overstating the case to the point of absurdity. The idea that there are no right and wrong answers is patently untrue. and applying it to solve work-related porblems y capable of processing and analysing new work-related data in a logical manner. either you have the µright¶ personality or you get rejected in favor of someone who has. is that if you try to influence the test results then you will have to operate µoutside¶ of your personality type for 40 hours a week. It would be foolish to attempt to fake a 180 degree change in your personality. logical rules and trends in new data. Therefore. how they measure it and how the employer uses this information. is crucial to your capacity to think strategically. This is perfectly reasonable as most of us modify our behavior at work anyway and these tests are attempting to infer behavior from our personality traits.One argument that you may hear. What do employers seek to learn from your abstract reasoning score? The ability to quickly identify relationships. The test publishers and the organizations that use the tests admit as much when they say µpersonality questionnaires help to replace subjective judgments with objective ones¶. Despite all of the platitudes to the contrary. grasp the bigger picture and quickly solve problems. Remember. which are your ability to quickly identify patterns. such as customers¶ purchasing behaviour or market research. very few people would ever consider applying for a job which was totally unsuitable for them. It measures your lateral thinking skills or fluid intelligence. you need to understand what it is that the tests try to measure. and apply it to solve problems. It measures what most people would refer to as µ street smarts¶ and the ability to µthink on your feet¶ . Employers use the result of your abstract reasoning test to learn the extent to which you are: y capable of efficiently learning new skills y capable of thinking strategically about problems and developments within the relevant business field y capable of quickly analysing new information. then what exactly is the test replacing subjective judgments with? You may find it difficult to accept the idea of attempting to influence a personality test. integrating it to the overall scheme of things. employers typically expect you to at least have reasonable abstract reasoning capabilities. there is very little consensus outside of the personality test industry about how accurate some of these tests really are. However.
some more difficult. When taking the abstract test. you should typically expect to be given approximately 25± 30 seconds per question. A level of difficulty is determined based on: 1.What to expect in the abstract test In an abstract reasoning test question. This means that the organisational level and occupation of the job you applied for determines the level of difficulty of the abstract test you will be given. logical rule for each group of shapes and will not have too-tight time constraints. or the next shape in the series). the complexity of the rules 3. and some very difficult. What is a more difficult abstract reasoning test? There are several abstract reasoning tests that are typically used for selecting candidates. Each test has a certain level of difficulty. one shape changes or evolves to the next one). Each group or series is followed by a question. abstract tests that include groups of shapes that are based on two or three rules and allow between 30 and 45 seconds for each question are considered to be of medium level of difficulty. there are three shapes that make a sequential series (i. the missing shape in the series. the time constraints. which typically requires you to find the missing shape or the next shape based on the series¶ rules and patterns. They are likely to give you an abstract reasoning test that matches the level of difficulty required in the role you applied for. the number of logical rules used to define a group of shapes 2. Abstract tests that include groups of shapes that are based on three or more complex rules and allow less than 30 seconds for a question are regarded to be of high level of difficulty. the test is considered to be more difficult. This means that an abstract reasoning test that is of a low level of difficulty will typically have one simple. although different tests may have different time limits. The levels of difficulty of the abstract tests Psychometric testing companies typically use abstract reasoning tests of different difficulty levels and benchmarks. This level of difficulty is similar across all the test questions. you are given a group or a series of shapes that are defined based on one or several logical rules.e. the overall test¶ s level of difficulty will match that of the job you applied for. Each question has between four and five optional answers. For example. Your task is to identify the logical rules and patterns that define the series of shapes and then decide which is the correct answer (i. However. you are likely to find some of the abstract reasoning questions to be simple. a sequential series of shapes in which each shape turns 90 degrees counterclockwise to make up the next shape is typically considered a low level of difficulty. For example: In the above example. The rule in this series is that the black dots move clockwise along the perimeter one place at a time. The abstract reasoning test is designed so only 1% to 5% of test-takers can correctly answer all questions within the time limit. the odd one out. As the number of rules and their complexity increases and the time allowed is shortened.e. with the most difficult questions placed typically at the end of the test. . Typically. The abstract reasoning test is timed and.
and you¶ll need to do this in a timely manner. you can learn and practise abstract reasoning test strategies. Upon completing each test. Improve your abstract test score Despite what some may believe. This means that your µgood result¶ is actually a µbad result¶ because it¶s lower than the average result of people who work in a similar role to that you applied for. the principles behind abstract reasoning questions do not change from year to year. This means that even if you correctly answered most of the questions in the abstract reasoning test. you will receive a personalised report with your result. concentration and knowledge of test-taking strategies. This means that it has become possible for quality practice abstract tests to be produced. Most of these tests exist for more than 10 or 20 years. and for high-quality abstract reasoning courses to be available online. In case you feel that you would benefit from a little training or preparation to get the edge you need in the real test. Your abstract test result is calculated relative to that of other people in similar roles. in addition to learning the correct strategies and techniques from the online course. the right preparation can improve your abstract reasoning test result. Like any other test you¶ve taken in your life. but it is something you can quickly develop through a combination of practice. How your abstract test score is interpreted The way in which the abstract test score is interpreted is similar to that of other aptitude tests (verbal and numerical reasoning). plus the list of questions that you correctly answered and the questions you made mistakes in. For example. As in all other aptitude tests. Although you cannot significantly improve your abstract reasoning skills within a very short time. There are different patterns and logical rules that you will be required to apply throughout the abstract reasoning test. It has to do with efficiently learning a large number of typical. your result may still be lower than that of other people in similar roles. if you apply for a role in HR and are given an abstract reasoning test to complete. Read more about how preparation improves psychometric test results. your raw score (or the number of correct responses) is then compared with a large number of scores of people who either work in HR roles or applied for roles in HR. we recommend that you complete the free abstract reasoning test available on this site. and eliminate stress factors to quickly improve your performance. If you regard yourself to be someone who can quickly identify the rules behind how data changes or what the common things across different pieces of data are. However. then we would recommend that you take our practice abstract tests online that suit the organisational level and occupation of the job you applied for. If you should take enough of these tests. You will be able to read the . This enables employers to learn how good your abstract reasoning skills are in comparison to those of others in the area you applied for.The abstract reasoning test is designed so that only a small number of test-takers can correctly answer all questions within the time limit. How is this possible? Let¶s look at the following example: you correctly answered 24 of 30 questions. other people in similar roles to that you applied for have also very strong abstract reasoning skills and on average answer correctly 26 of 30 questions. you can improve your abstract reasoning capabilities in a reasonably short time. Your score is compared to a benchmark (or a norm group) that includes scores of others at an organisational level and in an occupation similar to the one you are applying for. there is no ¶passing¶ score for the abstract reasoning test. This is not something you can learn by only reading a book. You interpret this to be a µgood result¶. get familiar with a large number of logical rules that define series of shapes. In addition. logical rules so that when you are faced with an abstract reasoning test question you will be able to quickly scan your brain to identify the relevant rule/s for this series of shapes. you will be able to prepare for the abstract reasoning test in a quick and effective manner.
then the angle etc. This will offer you not only an indication of what your relevant areas of strength and weakness are. and detailed explanations of the typical. then the position. a step-by-step explanation of how to solve them.correct answer and an answer explanation for each question. but also the real experience of completing abstract reasoning tests online. Hope you get the hang of it! . This hands-on preparation will ensure that you improve your ability to tackle abstract reasoning tests. If you have plenty of time. you can develop your abstract reasoning skills by solving puzzles. Look at all the given info and see if there is anything to do with the shape that is the same. exercise questions. Try thinking SPANSS S for shape P for Position A for angle N for number S for shading S for size. This course also includes sample test questions. The next step is for you to complete the large number of online abstract reasoning tests available on this site that suit the job you applied for. Not sure if a) that makes sense or b) it's any help. and detailed explanations of how to answer them. logical rules used to define series of shapes in the abstract test. The online course includes easy-to-read explanations about the different types of questions appearing in the typical abstract reasoning tests. we recommend that you begin by taking our online abstract test course on how to pass the abstract reasoning test. But if you don¶t have time. and you don¶t feel confident about your abstract reasoning skills.
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