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What Is a Logical Reasoning Test?

10 Sep 2020

What Is a Logical Reasoning Test?

Logical reasoning tests are assessments applied by companies to determine a candidate’s ability to recognize patterns, solve problems, and interpret situations. The purpose of this exam is to estimate the general cognitive ability of the person, that way it is possible to judge if they are fit for a certain position or not.

The exams can be abstract when displaying a series of images as a sequence and asking the applicant to choose the next image, or they can be argumentative, presenting a statement and asking which argument would most weaken the point made in the statement.

These tests are normally a requirement to apply for an available position related to accountancy, investment banks or consulting firms but may be found in other fields as well. They are used to eliminate the unfit candidates and the ones who pass, still go through other formal proceedings.

Types of Logical Reasoning Tests

As mentioned above, critical reasoning tests may vary a lot depending on the position’s requirements, while still analyzing the same key skills and general competence. The two main types of logical reasoning tests are the Diagrammatic Logical Reasoning test and the Verbal Logical Reasoning test.

Diagrammatic Logical Reasoning

This type of test normally consists of a group of images or symbols, and the candidate is required to select which image or symbol will fit in the sequence. They can be referred to as abstract reasoning tests since it does not include words, it only depends on the ability that a person has to figure out a pattern.

Diagrammatic tests are used by employers because they are able to assess the applicant’s logic without relying completely on their educational background or lexical ability.

Verbal Logical Reasoning

In this type of test, the applicant will be asked to read a paragraph and understand the argument made. Usually, the text will contain a statement and the applicant will be asked to select which counterargument can be used to weaken the logic in the statement, however, it is also common to ask which argument strengths the statement, what is the main point presented and what would be a parallel logic.

The intention of this type of exam is to judge one’s ability to manipulate an argument and think critically about a statement, passing this exam shows that the person is able to evaluate complex situations.

How to Prepare for a Logical Reasoning Test

Since both types of tests are very different, the preparation is also distinct. However, according to SHL (the company that designs most aptitude tests), the common method that works for both of them is practice.

The goal is to take mock exams until they seem familiar, not only because this will improve the candidate’s performance directly, but it will also decrease the anxiety and worry that may arise from taking such important exams.

Beyond that, the specific preparations for the diagrammatic test are to read the explanations for the right answers if the pattern isn’t clear by itself. It is necessary to study similar shapes, unfolded shapes, rotated images, mirrored images, and sequencing.

As for the verbal test, adopting a reading habit can be a very useful method as this will help your mind get used to absorbing the most important information out of a complex text. This will buy the applicant a lot of time when taking a logical reasoning test with a time limit.

Logical Reasoning Test Tips

  • Focus on one aspect at a time — When facing a sequence of images, the amount of information they provide can be overwhelming. The most efficient way to analyze this is to concentrate on one feature at a time and compare all of the images using this one feature as an example, this can be the shape, the size, or number.
  • Look for clues in the answers — If the sequence is still unclear, studying the answer can be very helpful. Many images are going to be discarded immediately, which leaves you with less options to consider and will increase the chance of marking the correct one if you take a guess.
  • Don’t make assumptions — One of the easiest mistakes to make when taking a verbal reasoning test is trying to factor in your own arguments and life experiences into the question. Sometimes the answer is clear, but because you don’t agree with it, you convince yourself to select another one which you agree with more. Only rely on the data provided and have an objective look at the questions.
  • Manage your time — Most of these exams have a 20 minute limit in total, which leaves 1 minute per question. And sometimes reading a complex text can take longer than that, but in that case, it is important to know when to skip a question and move on, in order to have enough time for the easier ones.

Logical Reasoning Test FAQs

What questions can I expect?

You can expect two types of questions from these tests: A sequence of images in which you will be expected to select the missing part of the sequence, or, a text presenting a statement in which you will be expected to select an argument that weakens or strengthens the point made.

The variations of the first type may include mirrored images that you have to identify, unfolded shapes, or images that don’t fit in a series. As for the second, you might have to determine what is the assumption or main point of the text presented.

Where are the logical reasoning tests used?

The reasoning test is widely used by companies to measure the cognitive ability of a candidate before hiring.

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