Logical Reasoning Tests Unlocked – Key Tips

Logical Reasoning Tests in brief:

  • The purpose of logical reasoning tests is to assess logical reasoning ability using the information provided in sequences of diagrams containing various shapes
  • Logical reasoning tests require the test taker to identify underlying patterns and trends in sequences of 4 out of 5 images that are presented 
    • The test taker is usually required to identify the missing image from an option of 5 different ones that are provided
  • Logical tests are typically used for roles in IT, Finance, Banking, Consultancy where data analysis and logic is highly used
  • Logical reasoning assessments are typically used by employers in conjunction with a numerical reasoning test; it is unlikely you will receive a logical reasoning test with a verbal reasoning test
  • Logical tests come in several formats: 
    • paper (rare)
    • online
    • game-based (gamified) assessments
  • In order to get good scores in logical reasoning tests you should first understand the underlying patterns followed via practice
  • Practice will reduce your anxieties, help you prepare and give you a better chance to succeed during the assessment

Candidates who do not practise assessments, are more likely to fail in psychometric tests. This study looked at the Times Top 100 employers.

Details in section 3 below.

Have you received an invitation to a logical reasoning test from an employer you applied to? We are here to help you score best in your logical reasoning assessments with top employers.

To aid your logical reasoning preparation, this article provides you with all you need to know about logical reasoning tests: the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ ‘why’ and ‘how’ of logical reasoning tests. They are not as complex as they seem if you get to know basic rules, practice a bit and create your own tactic to beat them. Remember that this one-time effort will pay off with logical assessments for most employers.

ATTENTION: The text below is very comprehensive, packed with knowledge, examples, tips. It is based on years of experience of job applicants, professional test developers and recruiters. You may need to print it out, take notes as you progress through your preparation. We are confident that the application of its content will save you time and lower your anxiety making you more confident in any aptitude test assessments.

Best of luck with your logical reasoning tests practice and assessments! 

Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity” [Seneca]

Now, buckle up and continue reading to learn:

  1. What is a logical reasoning test
  2. Jobs and employers that require passing logical reasoning assessments
  3. Why practice logical reasoning tests
  4. Essential tips how to pass any logical reasoning test
  5. How to practice effectively to pass a logical aptitude test with the highest score
  6. Examples of a logical reasoning tests questions with answers and solutions
  7. What is the pass mark for logical reasoning tests
  8. How to select best logical reasoning practice tests
  9. Most common logical reasoning test publishers
  10. What are different types of logical reasoning tests?

Having established what you can expect to learn from this article, we now explain what a logical reasoning test is.

1. What is a Logical Reasoning Test?

Logical Reasoning Tests (LRT) are one of the most common forms of aptitude tests.

Logical reasoning tests are widely used by employers to sift candidates during the recruitment process and are designed to measure a candidate’s non-verbal skills.

Logical Reasoning Tests assess a person’s logical reasoning ability using the information provided in sequences of diagrams containing various shapes

Typically when solving logical tests, one will be required to:

  • Identify underlying rules and patterns in a sequence of diagrams
    • Sequences vary between images, for example images may contain changing shapes, color patterns, moving objects, disappearing objects, and many more patterns
  • Draw inferences from these changing patterns
  • Understand the relationships between various concepts and patterns
  • Eliminate answer options that do not follow the pattern
  • Select the diagram that fits the pattern

Typically, these logical reasoning objectives will remain regardless of the logical reasoning test publisher, where this be SHL, Cubiks, or Talent Q. 

Scroll down to get hints how to identify patterns, see examples, develop your personal strategy to solve logical tests fast and ace logical reasoning tests. 

But first, here is how a real typical logical reasoning sample question may look. Continue reading for the answer to this question!

Logical Reasoning Question Example

Pic 1. Logical Reasoning Question Example 1

Your job is to find which of the 5 shapes above [A – E] comes next in the sequence.

For more info about logical reasoning tests and worked solutions, check our YouTube video below. What is a Logical Reasoning Test Explained in under one minute.

Video 1: What is a Logical Reasoning Test

You’ve mastered the ‘what’ about logical reasoning, but ‘who’ uses these logical reasoning tests? In the next section, we provide example companies that ask for a logical reasoning test, and more broadly the most common roles that require a Logical or diagrammatic reasoning test.

2. Which jobs and employers require passing a Logical Reasoning Test?

Logical Reasoning Tests are particularly relevant for roles and jobs where the individual may be expected to deal with new approaches, build strategies, resolve complex, ambiguous and novel problems. 

Logical reasoning tests are commonly used for roles at senior, managerial and graduate level jobs.

Some examples of jobs that require logical reasoning tests are:  

  1. Consultants
  2. IT experts
  3. Investment and consumer banking jobs:
    • traders
    • analysts
    • hedge funds
  4. Other financial institutions 

In each of these roles, data analysis and logic are extensively used in your day-to-day job. You can expect to be asked to complete a logical reasoning test if you’re looking to apply to these types of roles.

Fortunately, you do not need to be a math hero to pass logical tests. 

Which companies would typically put you through a logical reasoning test as part of their online assessment?

Logical Reasoning Tests are effectively required by every major consultancy including:

And most of the big banks including:

With these companies, it is likely that logical reasoning tests are required in their recruitment process. 

To find out what is the most current recruitment and selection process (and if they use logical reasoning tests) in the above companies head to our employer guides, where we provide a step-by-step in-depth description of their assessment processes including tools and examples to help you pass.

Employers use logical reasoning tests in high volumes (dozens of thousands of tests per year per employer) for recruitment purposes. These tests have been designed to predict job performance and research has shown that those who do well in these tests tend to perform better in the job.

You will typically receive an invitation to take a test 2-3 days before the deadline (this may not be the only test you’ll get at the same time). There will be little time for solid practice in such a short deadline.

Logical Reasoning Tests will not be the sole assessment in a recruitment process. They will be assessed alongside other assessments such as numerical reasoning, situational judgement, and sometimes game-based assessments

Take HSBC’s recruitment process for example, notice that HSBC have many layers and tests in the hiring process, including logical reasoning.

The popularity of this test, means that it is key to start practicing logical reasoning as soon as you can. To find out exactly why you should practice logical reasoning tests, move to the next section.

3. Why should I practice logical reasoning tests?

Two pragmatic reasons why practice logical tests:

  1. You want to get the job
  2. You want to beat those who want to get your job (and may have started their practice…)

Simply put, practice means better scores! And since you will be compared vs other test takers, you need to score better than them.

Time pressure is a critical factor why people do not score in line with their ability. 

To break it down – you will typically have between 30-60 seconds per question and between 15-40 questions to solve. There is not much wiggle room to allow for making mistakes, taking time to think too long, or park questions and come back to them. You will need to develop your own strategy on how to behave during logical tests. And the only way to do it is by practice.

If you take practice logical reasoning tests that are timed and scored (i.e. not in a pdf format) under time pressure you will be familiar with the format of questions, how to pace yourself, how to read and understand instructions faster or improve your accuracy. Actually, you will learn to manage your biggest enemy – your stress.

In fact, what had been felt for many years, i.e. that practice increases the chances of success has been recently proven scientifically and recent research has been done to back this up!

Candidates who do not practise assessments, are more likely to fail in psychometric tests. This study looked at the Times Top 100 employers.

“Two one-sample t-tests show that more than 50% of students failed the verbal and numerical reasoning tests (53.53% vs 83.57%). The only predictor of an increased likelihood of passing the numerical reasoning tests was having previous experience with those tests.”

“Falling at the first hurdle: undergraduate students’ readiness to navigate the graduate recruitment process”

Bradley et al (2019)

Benefits of practicing logical reasoning tests:

  • Learning how to manage your stress
  • Learning most common types of questions and how to solve them
  • Developing your own strategy to maximize efficiency during the real test
  • Staying focused on the task at hand. You have limited time available
  • Identifying the best time of the day to take the real test (so it is in synch with you bio clock)
  • Increasing your fluency and confidence in operating the testing software platform

There is a right way, and a wrong way to practice logical reasoning…

How to practise logical reasoning tests:

  • Pay attention to small changes between diagrams and train your attention to detail and fast pattern recognition
  • Be ready for real test lengths, i.e. tests that have between 20-40 questions
    • You will only have around 30-60 seconds to analyse a sequence of diagrams and identify the right answer
    • Your brain and body need to be able to fully concentrate for 30-45 minutes
  • Learn from your mistakes
    • Review worked solutions from logical reasoning tests, repeat the required thinking processes
  • Familiarize yourself with the assessments
    • Go into depth in your practice, and cover a whole manner of question types
  • Build your confidence with practice
    • Our research shows that test takers have performed twice as well after practising just five of each of our assessments. For more science that proves practice works, check out  the paper above

Three common mistakes when practicing Logical Reasoning Tests. 

Do not:

  • Leave practice to the last minute
    • You can do it, but then your first real tests(s) will be your practice. And, as most graduate schemes have 6 or 12 month cycles, you will not be able to apply to this employer until this period is over.
  • Focus on practicing too many tests in a short time period
    • It is a common error to prioritise quantity over quality. This will not allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on analysing and understanding worked solutions
  • Panic when you get a question wrong
    • Confidence is key. With every mistake, there is learning, and it is important you develop your skills before the real test

You now know why it is essential to practice logical reasoning tests. But, you need to put this theory into practice. Start your practice in the right way, with expert insights into using practice tools effectively, and pass a logical reasoning test first time.

The popularity of this test, means that it is key to start practicing logical reasoning as soon as you can. But, what are the essential tips recommended by experts for passing a logical reasoning test?   Join us in the next section of this article to find out!

4. How to pass a logical reasoning test: 12 essential tips and your checklist

By now you know which typical jobs and companies require you to take a logical reasoning test (if not, check section 2 above: Which jobs and employers require passing a Logical Reasoning Test?).

You have applied to one or more jobs or graduate schemes and expect to face this style of assessment, so it is time to prepare. It’s time to start practicing now. Do not wait until you get an invitation, you’ll have just a couple of days to complete the employer tests.

Below we will share with you 12 essential tips to help you get your best scores. These tips come from the experience of thousands of test takers and top recruiters.

Let’s start.

Tips to pass logical reasoning tests before taking the real tests:

  1. Prepare by practicing logical reasoning tests
    • Find a trusted practice tests provider or providers
      • Aim for those who use the IT platform (pdf will not give you a full immersion with time pressure, etc.)
    • Watch our YouTube Logical Test tutorial here to see different variations of questions
    • Understand the most common patterns of logical tests (refer to section 5 below for details)
      • Now you are equipped with basic knowledge that should help you solve majority of logical test questions
    • Practise in an emulated test environment (under time pressure)
      • Review the worked solutions carefully until you understand it fully and can replicate for a similar type of question
    • Why not practise offline? Get a book with Sudoku and other logical games

Remember: practicing in a safe home environment will not only help you manage your stress and time under pressure but also develop a personal strategy on how to approach the questions (e.g. do I quickly solve the ones I know and come back to you the questions I did not know how to solve immediately).

         2. Practice tests until you are able to correctly identify around 90% of the right answers and have 20-30% ahead of time scheduled remaining.

Tips to pass logical reasoning tests during the real tests: 

          3. Select time of the day your brain is at its peak performance (i.e. synched with your bio clock)

          4. Find a quiet space

    • No dorm rooms, no kitchen tables (unless you are alone), no ‘let’s hide somewhere in the closet’ places, no Starbucks or Pret, you get it. If you leave with others – tell them to keep quiet and stay away

           5. Make sure your WiFi works

    • If the test gets interrupted – you will not have a 2nd chance

          6. Use your laptop or computer

    • Never use a mobile phone or a tablet (even for gamified tests); sometimes the tests are not fully mobile-friendly. You may not see full diagrams on the screen, they may be small or you will need to scroll – all of which costs much time and focus

          7. Read the instructions very carefully

    • They may differ depending on the provider a company use (e.g. time per question, number of questions, option to come back to unanswered questions)

          8. Do not cheat!

    • Even if you close the browser, the clock will continue counting. Many of the tests have ‘cheating prevention option’ functionalities

          9. Monitor the time

    • You will only have 30-60 seconds per question; the test may include between 15 to 40 questions

          10. Take the test one question at a time

    • Do not be discouraged if you struggled with the previous question. Move on, and remain confident

          11. Be prepared for if you cannot answer a question

If you are not sure of the answer, and time is fast approaching: 

    • Do not panic! You have practiced
    • Eliminate nonsense answers (usually at least one) and use your intuition to select from the rest
    • There is typically no negative marking (unless it was confirmed in the instructions) so you can guess

          12. Bring a notepad and pen to the test

    • Making quick notes can help you keep track of your progress per question; this one is optional, you will find out if you prefer note taking while practicing)

Keep in mind that other candidates will have practiced. Logical reasoning tests can be effectively mastered via practice. You will soon see the improvement in your performance.

Head to our YouTube short video to find out how to prepare for your upcoming logical reasoning test.

With these Top 12 logical reasoning tips now under your belt, we explain how to practice before the real tests to be successful and secure your pass to the next level of aptitude tests.

Let’s move on.

5. How can you practice effectively to pass a logical aptitude test first time?

          1.Understand common patterns

You need to understand what a logical test involves and the kinds of complexities that are presented in the questions.

Although there is no limit to what patterns might be applied in the sequence of a logical aptitude test, some of the most common patterns typically include:

    • changing shapes through consecutive diagrams (circle turns into square, then square turns into a triangle which then turns into a circle etc.)
    • shapes which have sequences of colours (e.g. they change from white to grey to black to white again)
    • objects moving around diagrams (clockwise or anticlockwise!) or rotating around the diagrams by different angles

           2. Quality and depth over quantity

    • You do not need to practise a large variety of tests to improve
    • You should focus on completing a handful of tests repeatedly to help you achieve a deeper learning and understanding of the patterns and sequences that typically come in the questions
    • Deep practice, reviewing worked solutions, and learning to recognise patterns will improve your ability to quickly spot patterns, reduce stress test anxiety and get the right answer within the time limits

           3. Focus on increasing your speed during logical tests practice

    • Start your practice ignoring the clock and time passing until you are comfortable recognizing at 6-9 patterns out of 10 (questions)
    • Then include the timer: try to do first 5 questions, then another 5 to fit within time limits scheduled for these questions 
    • Increase number of questions that you answer in one go as you progress through the test

This will help you build your confidence and also get you used to sitting the full test focused.

It is important you also realise though that speed is not everything! It is also important to balance this with your accuracy. Do not sacrifice either speed or accuracy, as both are used to determine your final score.

            4. Always refer to worked solutions if you got the answer wrong

And take notes if needed.

           5. Be decisive

If you’re unsure of an answer and time is fast approaching, select the answer that looks most right to you. 

In other words, use your intuition, it’s better than not selecting an answer as there is most often not negative marking.

It is always best to read the instructions first. They contain tips and timings for the test, but importantly also inform you if the test is negatively marked. If it is, it may be wise to skip the odd question if you do not know the answer.

Take a minute to check out how to improve your speed in employer tests with the video below.

6. Examples of a logical reasoning test questions with answers and solutions

So you have made it here. You must be wondering, what are some examples of logical reasoning tests, questions, answers, worked solutions.

Let’s dive right in! We have provided our top tips, and now is the time to face example questions. 

Why not attempt the example logical reasoning question below? Then, see how you performed with a step by step worked solution. 

Remember, your task is to identify what comes next in the sequence. Is it option A, B, C, D, or E?

Logical Reasoning Question Example

Pic 2. Example 1 of logical reasoning test with worked solutions

Solution:

Step 1. The arrow moves clockwise every diagram. The correct answer must have an arrow at the top above the figure, leaving B, C and E as correct answers.

Step 2. The sequence of changes for figures in the centre is triangle, circle, square. The correct answer must have a square, leaving C and E as correct answers.

Step 3. The line moves from horizontal to vertical every diagram, so in the answer it has to be vertical leaving C as the correct answer.

The answer to this Logical Reasoning Test Example is: C

Now, let’s consolidate your practice with a second practice question. Have a go at working methodically through the question below.

logical-reasoning-free-practice-example

Pic 2. Example 2 of a logical reasoning test with worked solutions

Solution:

Step 1. The circle shape moves one step clockwise across the sequence. Therefore the correct option must show the circle in the top-right. This leaves the possibility of options A, B or D.

Step 2. The triangle shape moves diagonally as you move across the sequence. The correct option must show the triangle in the bottom-left. This leaves a possibility of option A and B.

Step 3. The square shape moves one step anti-clockwise across the sequence. Therefore the correct option must show the square in the bottom-right. This leaves option B as the correct answer.

The answer to this Logical Reasoning Test Example is: B

Find more worked solutions in our logical reasoning test reports, taking you step by step how to best approach the question.

We offer practice online logical tests that have been prepared by former SHL and IBM Kenexa psychologists. Similar online SHL-style logical reasoning tests are used by over 8000 large companies worldwide.

Feel free to take a FREE logical reasoning test as a starter.

Want to see 5 most common logical reasoning questions solved? These questions show the patterns that are used in approximately 80% of all logical tests. 

Head to our YouTube videos for logical reasoning tests step-by-step work solution below. We guide you through 5 real employer questions: 

Great work if you had a go. This is just the beginning of your practice. To ease any anxieties you may have at this stage, in the next part of this article, we let you in on how well you have to score in logical reasoning to pass!

7. What is the typical pass mark for logical reasoning tests?

The pass mark for logical reasoning tests is typically around the 30th percentile! Industry standard practice is to progress applications above the lowest 30% of test performers. 

Many believe the pass mark for logical reasoning tests is very high, meaning only the top performers move to the next stage. In fact, this is not the case. Here is why:

  • Logical reasoning tests measure your ability, and are usually taken alongside other assessments
  • While it is best to perform optimally and get your highest score on the day in logical reasoning tests, employers want a full picture of each candidate, given that they meet this minimum threshold
    • This means that all qualities are measured with equal weight
  • So, even though candidates are sifted out of the process after sitting their logical test, it is not as scary as people often think!
    • Armed with this knowledge, be sure to relax during the test, and do your best on the day

If you decide to practise using oure tests, read and utilise your logical reasoning test reports (refer to section 8 below). These are vital as they provide further information about pass marks, and to gather in-depth feedback on your performance, to help you improve.

Filled with renewed confidence, it is likely that you’re raring to start practicing. You don’t just want to practice with anyone, so keep reading to find out where the best logical reasoning practice can be found.

8. Which logical reasoning practice tests are the best?

We have received many questions about what criteria should be used to select the best logical reasoning tests practice platform or software.

There are many logical reasoning tests practice software platforms available on the market these days. 

Here are several ‘must have’ criteria to consider before making a purchase of the logical reasoning practice tests:

  • designed by professional psychometricians and organizational psychologists
  • must run on an online platform 
    • yeah, pdf will help, but you will not provide you with an emulated test environment to develop your strategies and manage stress under time pressure
  • should have free tests option so you can see how it works before you buy
  • emulate the actual test environment 
    • timer, browsing through questions, questions selected into separate tests to ensure their difficulty is even across all tests
  • provide answers, detailed worked solutions, progress tracking
  • provide comparison of your performance vs other test takers (yes, in the real tests you will be compared to others) called normed scoring
  • option to retake the tests unlimited number of times
  • if you have paid, a refund option would be a nice to have
  • responsive and free support

At Graduates First, our mission is to help you get the job first time so we make every effort to make it happen. 

We offer practice logical reasoning tests that meet the criteria above (and more).

Try our FREE (SHL-style) logical reasoning tests by signing up here. The reason we ask you to sign up is simple: after completing basic bio info we will be able to provide you with the ‘normed scoring’, i.e. compare you to other test takers so you will already know how you fit against your (potential) competitors.

Feel free to check our FREE logical reasoning practice test.

Our tests are designed to be similar and give you credible experience of taking a logical reasoning test. Graduates First logical reasoning tests are created by experienced organizational psychologists and psychometricians with years of experience creating aptitude tests for major global test publishers like SHL or Kenexa IBM.  

The majority of sites offering logical reasoning test practice do not include ‘Normed’ scoring. ‘Normed’ simply means that we have collected a large pool of results from people similar to you (experienced professionals and graduates) and have been able to use this to create an average score based on what most people would achieve. Using this, we can confidently categorise your performance from well below to well above average.

We provide logical reasoning tests with worked solutions and answers to guide you along each step of the way. With GF, you get a personalized and detailed feedback report available online with a breakdown of your performance across various types of logical assessment test questions so that you can identify which areas you may need to improve in and HOW to improve them.

Our reports are embedded with every logical practice test and provide data backed indications of your performance based upon your accuracy and speed. Additionally, we also offer useful logical reasoning test tips on how to improve and perform at your best on the day. 

logical-reasoning-test-online-report-graduatesfirst

Pic 3. Online Logical Reasoning Test Report: Graduates First practice tests

You can store your reports online and access them at any time whilst tracking and improving your performance.

To give you the best experience possible, we are always at hand to answer any queries or questions that you may have. Our typical response rate is around 2 hours and there are many ways you can get in touch; social media, e-mail, phone or our contact form online.

Here is a breakdown of benefits when practicing with our Logical Reasoning Tests:

Essential Features Available with GF
Designed by experienced Organizational

Psychologists and Psychometricians

Yes
Online testing platform Yes
Normed scoring Yes
Feedback reports with top tips Yes
Worked solutions Yes
Progress tracking Yes
Responsive customer support Yes

You should now be well equipped to take your logical reasoning journey to the next level, and delve into industry-standard examples. However, to help gain clarity of these assessments, we go on to make clear the distinction between test types that provide companies with the logical reasoning tests you are to face.

9. Most Common Logical Reasoning Test Publishers

Logical Reasoning Tests are developed by many test publishers. These test publishers design the assessments and their questions, which are in turn used by employers to assess candidates. Some of the most common logical reasoning test publishers are: 

Whichever publisher you sit the test with, it is important to note: 

If you consider yourself to have a disability that may affect your performance in your employer tests, you are within your rights to get in touch with the publisher to ask for additional time. 

It is also important that regardless of the test publisher, you are aware of the types of questions you may be asked. Here is the lowdown on each assessment publisher, and what you can expect.

SHL Logical Reasoning Tests

SHL are one of the largest test publishers. They provide many large global companies with recruitment assessments for candidates to take when applying for a role. You may be familiar for example with SHL numerical reasoning tests, or SHL verbal reasoning tests. They provide assessments for graduate roles, managerial roles, and professional roles alike. Some examples of companies that have used SHL assessments are:

  • Microsoft 
  • UBS
  • Kärcher

The SHL logical reasoning tests provided by SHL are often referred to as SHL inductive reasoning tests. These assessments are often termed inductive reasoning tests as they involve a combination of varying styles of question. Many questions are styled in the same way logical reasoning tests we have faced throughout this article and on our YouTube Channel in which you have to find the next shape in the sequence. Other questions in an SHL inductive reasoning test may ask you fill the blank of a shape or sequence.

A typical SHL logical (inductive) reasoning test will present the candidate with 18 questions in which they will have 24 minutes to answer them. This gives candidates approximately 80 seconds to work through each individual inductive reasoning question. 

With the time pressure involved in SHL inductive tests, here are some essential logical test tips for doing your best in SHL (logical) inductive reasoning tests.

  • Practice 

It is vital you become familiar with inductive and logical reasoning tests before the real thing. Your competition will already have started to practice job assessment, so you must ensure you do not fall behind . Unfamiliarity with logical reasoning tests is one of the key reasons that candidates do not progress. You can practice  with our SHL-style logical and diagrammatic reasoning tests, designed to help you move one step closer to passing SHL job assessments.

  • Balance Speed and Accuracy 

Finding the balance between speed and accuracy allows you to use your time effectively, and get your high score. This is why our SHL-style logical reasoning tests provide live reports on your performance, in particular your speed score and accuracy score when taking the test. Use advice and tips given to improve your performance in time for your SHL logical reasoning assessment.

  • Get in the zone 

SHL inductive reasoning tests require logical thinking. Working through these problems requires you to be able to concentrate. Why not try to face one or two of GFs practice 

 

Cubiks Logical Reasoning Tests

Cubiks logical reasoning tests or Logiks Abstract Tests, are alike the questions we have already faced in this article.

They typically ask for candidates to complete their tests in a 15 minute period, in which you will have 30 questions to complete. Of course, the ti