Careers and Employability Service



This is a non-verbal reasoning test similar to those used by many employers when recruiting. It also shows how the answers are worked out. Although this test is fairly typical of the types of test employers use, please remember that it is for practice only. It is not being taken under examination conditions, and therefore although you are given a score, this is to satisfy your curiosity and to give you a target to aim for.

This test will test your non-verbal reasoning as the questions appear in diagrammatic and pictorial form. Such test are also called diagrammatic or abstract reasoning tests.

Non-verbal reasoning involves the ability to understand and analyse visual information and solve problems using visual reasoning. For example: identifying relationships, similarities and differences between shapes and patterns, recognizing visual sequences and relationships between objects, and remembering these. 

It enables students to analyse and solve complex problems without relying upon or being limited by language skills. As these tests don't require reading they can give insight into the abilities of those who have problems with reading and thinking verbally, those who may lack motivation, whose native language isn't English and those with specific learning difficulties.

They involve the ability to reason with novel material, without the need to draw on learned knowledge and measure how easily you may acquire new concepts in subjects such as mathematics, physics, computing, engineering, science, design and technology, architecture and other jobs which involve working with visual information such as air traffic controllers and pilots.

Diagrammatic and spatial reasoning are different but frequently confused.

Diagrammatic reasoning (also called abstract reasoning) tests provide good measures of general intelligence. They involve evaluating processes represented via diagrams, understanding logical rules and process diagrams and identifying causes. Abstract reasoning is used where the ability to cope with complexity and deal with novelty is required rather than relying on previous experience.

Spatial reasoning tests predict the ability to work with complex plans. Spatial reasoning involves mentally rotating two dimensional representations of three dimensional shapes. It is needed in engineering settings, architecture and interior design.

This test has 20 questions and you will have 12 minutes to answer these. At the end of the test (when 12 minutes have elapsed), you will be given a score. You can still continue to answer questions after this point, but your score will not change. If you finish early and want your results, click on "Get Your Score".

The test will start with 2 example questions which will not be marked or timed.

In the first example the top row of four boxes make up a series from left to right. You have to decide which of the 5 boxes underneath, marked A to E, will be the next in the sequence. For example in the first example, the top four boxes have 1, 2 , 3 , and 4 dots respectively. Obviously, the next box in the sequence will have 5 dots, which is box D, so click on button D to answer.

Click on the "First Question" button below to begin. Click on one of the buttons next to the letters A to E to answer. You can change your answer by clicking on another button.You can also go back to the previous question, by clicking on the previous question button.

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B  C  D  E 

Time Left: 




As mentioned before, this test is for practice only, so you should not regard your result as of importance chiefly because the test was not taken under proper test conditions e.g. in a silent room with no disturbances. Your performance can also be distorted if you have a cold, or have not slept well. Also, evidence shows that international students or those from ethnic minorities may be disadvantaged in this type of test, due to language and cultural differences. If your first language is not English, your score is likely to be lower on verbal tests than native English speakers. Mature students may also sometimes be disadvantaged and you should remember that your degree subject may change your performance - for example scientists are likely to do better on mathematical tests and Humanities students on verbal tests. Even your ability to use a mouse may influence your score! Having said all this it is still natural for you to want some feedback on your performance.

  • 16 or above. This is an above average score for graduates.
  • 13 - 15. This is in the average group for graduates.
  • 12 or below. This is below the typical score for graduates, but remember that a number of factors may have distorted your score - see above for some of these factors. You may wish to discuss your results with a careers adviser.


For further example tests and help with tests, see our Aptitude Tests page with tips on how to pass tests. There are now several free practice aptitude tests available on the University of Kent Careers web site. The tests are Numerical Reasoning , Numerical Test 2 slightly harder graphs and tables test, Verbal Reasoning , Verbal (Synonyms) and Letter Sequences (logical thinking)


The answers to this test are not confidential and are as follows (answer numbers refer to the option choice between 1 and 5):



Going up! 
On top
Lift Off! 
Mind the gap 
Colour cycling 
Count everything!
Count the lines 
Rectangle orientation 
Blue squares 
Follow the leader ... 
Black dots 
Square numbers 
Clockwise and anti 
Horizontals and verticals 
V is a red card referee ! 



How to work out the answers

1) 5 black, 4 red, 3 black, 2 red, 1 black: A is the answer

2) 1 black at bottom, 2 black top, 3 black bottom, 4 black top, 5 black at bottom: E is the answer

3) blue square, 
blue square + red circle underneath, 
blue square + red circle + green triangle on top, 
blue square + red circle + green triangle + black circle underneath, 
blue square + red circle + green triangle + black circle + red square on top: C is the answer

4) Each time one dot is removed so the last box should show one dot. This must be answer D as it is the only box with a dot in the same location (South) as in the previous box.

5) E & W openings in the square, plus one object at N & S
N & S openings, plus 2 objects at N & S
E & W openings, plus one object at N & S
N & S openings, plus 2 objects at N & S
E & W openings, plus one object at N & S: D is the answer

6) In each consecutive box one rectangle changes colour. A new colour introduced in a previous box will colour both rectangles in the next box.
Red Red
Red Blue
Blue Blue
Blue Green
Green Green: B is the answer

7) 8 green dots, 4 red, 4 blue, 4 black
6 green dots, 3 red, 3 blue, 3 black
4 green dots, 2 red, 2 blue, 2 black
2 green dots, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 black
0 green dots, 0 red, 0 blue, 0 black: B is the answer

8) Each box contains 8 straight lines and a circle
Only answer C contains 8 straight lines and a circle

9) The innermost two rectangles are vertical, then horizontal, then vertical again then horizontal, 
So in the answer they must both be vertical therefore E is the answer

10) One blue square, then two blue squares, then three, then four so there must be five blue squares in the answer which is E

11) Each box increments by one blue segment (one eight of the square). So there are 4 segments in box four (half the square is filled). 
So there must be 5 blue segments (5/8th of the square) in the answer which leaves us with A or D.
But the diagonal edge of the first segment is also rotating clockwise by 90% each time, so it should be aligned NW in the answer. therefore the answer is D

12) Items are introduced in this order: black square, black dot, red dot, blue square, green dot. New items are always introduced into the top right corner, therefore B is the answer.

13) The first box has 7 straight lines, the second 11, the third 15, the fourth 19 and so the fifth box will have 23 lines, so the answer is C

14) The first box has one black dot, the second 2, the third 3, the fourth 4 and so the fifth box will have five black dots, so the answer is A

15) The first box has two lines, the second 3, the third 4, the fourth 5 and so the fifth box will have six lines, so the answer is C.

16) The first square has 25 black squares, the second has 16, the third 9, the fourth 4 and so the 5th will have one square (reducing sequence of the square numbers 25, 16, 9, 4, 1). Also squares are removed from the right and from the bottom, so the final square will be in the top left corner, thus the answer is D.

17) The red triangle rotates anticlockwise by one segment each box. the blue triangle rotates by one segment clockwise each box, so the answer is E.

18) The first box has 5 short lines and no long lines, the second box: 4 short & 1 long, the third box: 3 short & 2 long, the fourth box 2 short and 3 long. So each time there is one more long line and one less short line, so in the fifth box there will be 1 short and 4 long lines: the answer is A

19) The black line rotates by 45 degrees clockwise each time. The thick red line rotates 45 degrees anticlockwise each time, so the answer is B.

20) The hardest question! Each time a shape is removed and replaced by a different shape. The shape to be removed is always directly below the V shape (it points towards the next shape to be removed). So the next shape to be removed would be the green circle, so the answer is D.



Meade's Maxim: Always remember that you are absolutely unique,

.... just like everyone else.


Careers and Employability Service - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 04/04/2018