IQ Test Labs

Discover your intellectual strengths

touch_app

Cognitive abilities

Tips for solving questions

General information

  • Pattern recognition, sometimes called abstract reasoning, or even inductive reasoning involves finding relationships amongst seemingly unrelated information and identifying rules.

    Example: Which object comes next?

    Pattern recognition question

    The following two rules apply:

    1. Spots alternate with solids.

    2. Line rotates CW as follows: 90°, 180°, 270°, 360°, 90°.

    Pattern recognitionquestion

  • Set limits on timed tests, especially when all questions are awarded points equally. Even if the a-ha moment seems imminent, if the clock is ticking, move on.
  • Pattern recognition questions are unique, with a wide variety of shapes and designs; bottom line they are different to what we are used to. Attempting many question types is essential in order to avoid seeing something completely new for the first time.
  • At the same time avoid trying to create a foolproof system that covers all possible question types; this may hamper the creative process when an awkward question comes up.
  • Usually, as the test progresses, the complexity of the rules will also increase.

Question types

  • Missing square - There is a matrix of squares and one of them is blank; identify the blank square from a list of options.
  • Complete the sequence - Figure out the next image/figure.
  • Odd one out - Out of a matrix of figures you will be asked to decide which is the odd one out.
  • Analogy - Discover the relationships between a set of figures and apply the rule(s) to a different set.

Example of rules

  • Moving items - The items are moving; continuous or cyclical.
  • Spatial orientation - The items may be enclosed or overlapping.
  • Rotation - The items are flipped, rotated or reflected
  • Sides or dimensions - Items/shapes have a different number of sides each; either 2D or 3D.
  • Shape complexity - The amount of lines, curves and shapes an object has contibutes to its complexity.
  • Mathematical operations - Rules based on arithmetical relationships; for example incremental or multiple shapes.

Strategy

  • Identifying patterns can be as simple as spotting differences between consecutive objects/shapes.
  • Practice before the test and form a mental toolbox of possible rules; this will lead to an advantage going into the test.
  • Rules usually govern factors such as size, shape, number, color, angles, and rotation.
  • Set an importance rank for your rules; test rules according to what you believe is most likely to apply to a specific question.
  • After setting an importance rank, start checking one rule at a time; test more items when you are more or less confident that the first ones are correct.
  • Looking at the answer options may help. Two almost identical answer options usually means one of them is correct.
  • If some elements feature predominantly in the answer options, then the correct answer probably contains those same elements. Reliable tests feature only small variations in answers in order to avoid options that are obviously incorrect and therefore easy to dismiss. If, for example the available colors are green, blue and red, and the answer options are predominantly green and blue, stick with the green/blue theme.
  • Pay attention to shape sizes when items are enclosed as sometimes a shape can seem smaller when it contains another shape.