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What are diagrammatic reasoning tests? What do diagrammatic reasoning tests measure? How to pass diagrammatic reasoning tests? If these are questions on your mind, then look no further than this guide.

This text delves into diagrammatic reasoning tests, what these tests measure, which companies use them and how you can ace these assessments. 

Our website provides diagrammatic reasoning practice tests that can be used in preparation for your diagrammatic assessment in the recruitment process. Get the Essential practice for your Diagrammatic test with us.

Not sure if you should practise to prepare for your Diagrammatic Reasoning tests? According to research, 60-80% of candidates are rejected based on their aptitude tests results. It is proven that practice increases your chances of getting hired.

A recent study found that candidates who do not practise assessments tend to fail at the first hurdle of psychometric assessments (54%-84%). This study looked at the Top 100 global employers.

Bradley et al, (2019)

In this guide, we will cover:


  1. What is a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test?
  2. Types of Diagrammatic Reasoning Questions
  3. Why Practice for a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test?
  4. Employers Using Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests
  5. Top 12 Tips to Ace Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests
  6. Diagrammatic Reasoning Question and Answer
  7. Diagrammatic Reasoning Test FAQs

Without waiting any further, let us jump right in!

What is a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test?

A diagrammatic reasoning test is a type of aptitude test used by employers to assess your problem-solving, abstract reasoning and critical thinking abilities. Typically, a standard diagrammatic test will look at how well you can uncover shared patterns across diagrams and shapes. 

Good to know: These tests are often used to assess candidates applying for specialist jobs such as electricians, engineers, technicians in technology and developers. These tests are also very popular within the investment banking industry.

Check out this short video for even more details on what you’ll need to know for your diagrammatic reasoning test:

What is a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test? #shorts

Diagrammatic Reasoning Test – Key Facts

  • Employers use diagrammatic reasoning tests to measure your problem-solving abilities and come up with solutions in real time
  • Digrammatic tests will be in a multiple choice question format
  • The duration of a diagrammatic reasoning test may range from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the employer or provider
  • Diagrammatic assessments do not rely on previous learning or knowledge 
  • The digrammatic test includes a number of diagrams or shapes which follow a shared rule. You must find this rule to determine the correct answer to a question
  • Diagrammatic reasoning tests are often referred to as abstract, inductive, logical or spatial reasoning test and are sometimes used interchangeably

What is the Difference Between a Diagrammatic and an Abstract Reasoning Test?

Understanding the differences between the abstract reasoning test and diagrammatic reasoning test is important as they have many similarities. While often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference:

  • Abstract reasoning tests aim to look at your ability to spot the underlying logic in figures. Hence, common questions fall in the general categories like ‘find the odd one out’, ‘what comes next in sequence’ and ‘analogies’.
  • Diagrammatic reasoning tests on the other hand focus on completing a set of diagrams, images or shapes using an underlying rule.

Now that we’ve clarified what diagrammatic reasoning tests are, let’s take a look at types of diagrammatic reasoning questions.

Types of Diagrammatic Reasoning Questions

Diagrammatic reasoning test questions are often used interchangeably with abstract, spatial, logical and inductive reasoning tests, and so the question types used may overlap or vary. Although the questions used may vary depending on the employer, our experts have found 2 key types of questions that are often used in online diagrammatic tests.

What are the types of diagrammatic reasoning test questions I could face?

Here are the 2 most common diagrammatic reasoning questions used by recruiters:

  1. Missing Part in the Sequence

You will be presented with a sequence of diagrams, with one of the parts in the set being missing. Based on the rest of the complete diagrams, you will need to determine which of the options provided is this missing part.

Clevry diagrammatic reasoning test example
Clevry Diagrammatic Reasoning Test Example
Source: Clevry
  1. Which Set the Figure Belongs to

In this type of question, there will be two or more sets of diagrams marked A, B, C and so on. You will be required to uncover the patterns in the sequences to determine which set a provided figure would belong to. Often, the figure may match one of the sets or even none of the provided sequences.

We’ve now got a good understanding of what diagrammatic reasoning test questions look like. Keep reading to learn why you should practice ahead of your diagrammatic test.

Why Practice for a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test?

  • Many multinational companies use diagrammatic reasoning tests as a part of the aptitude stage to select suitable candidates. We’ll cover some of these employers further below.
  • Diagrammatic reasoning practice tests are essential to develop an effective strategy that you can use to maximise your efficiency during the real test.
  • As these tests do not base on prior learning or information, practising is an important way to familiarise yourself with the format of digrammatic assessments and what you can expect.
  • A key way to gain an advantage above the other applicants competing for the same job is to practice diagrammatic reasoning questions to boost your scores above the competition.
  • Diagrammatic tests range from 15-30 minutes, depending on which publisher your employer uses. This short duration calls for effective time management. Practicing allows you to develop and improve your time management during diagrammatic assessments.

For more tips on how to ace your DRT, check out this short video:

Top 3 Diagrammatic Reasoning Test #shorts 

Employers belonging to a variety of different industries often use diagrammatic assessments in their hiring processes. But which industries are these? Keep reading to find out!

Employers Using Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

Before jumping onto the employers, let us take a brief look at the industries where diagrammatic reasoning tests are common.

What industries use diagrammatic reasoning tests?

Much like abstract reasoning tests and logical reasoning tests, the diagrammatic test is often in industries that have technical roles. These include:

  • Consulting
  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • Banking
  • Technology

What employers use diagrammatic reasoning tests?

Here are just some of the many major employers that use diagrammatic tests to hire:

Johnson & JohnsonDHLDyson
Virgin Media Shell Microsoft

Why do Employers Use Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests?

Employers use diagrammatic reasoning tests to evaluate the following key skills in a candidate:

  • Problem-Solving: Gather information to find the best solution to a problem.
  • Risk Analysis: Identify and evaluate risks to a situation or decision.
  • Mitigation Measures: Any steps you can take to reduce the negative effects of a risk or threat.
  • Data Interpretation: Analyse and understand data to make informed data-driven decisions and recommendations..
  • Critical Thinking: Thinking beyond what is there, evaluating information to make meaningful decisions or judgments.
  • Abstract & Analytical Reasoning: The understanding of complex ideas and being able to break these down into simpler parts.

Good to know: If you have applied for a job which requires some or all of the above skills, it is likely you will be assessed using diagrammatic assessments.

Now let’s move onto the top diagrammatic reasoning test publishers used by employers.

Key Diagrammatic Reasoning Test Providers

There are several top test publishers or providers of diagrammatic assessments that employers use to recruit. As a candidate, it is useful for your test preparation to find out which test provider your employer will use. Often, employers may mention the test provider in the test invitation email. 

What are some of the common diagrammatic reasoning test publishers?

Some of the most commonly used Diagrammatic test publishers include:

  1. SHL
  2. Cubiks
  3. Saville
  4. IBM Kenexa
  5. Clevry (formerly Criterion)
  6. Korn Ferry Talent Q

Good to know: If you click on the links to our publisher pages in the list above, we tell you all you need to know about each publisher with examples and tips to pass!

Now that we’ve covered some of the major providers of diagrammatic tests, how can we ace these diagrammatic reasoning tests? Let’s find out!

Top 12 Tips to Ace Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

Here are 12 simple yet effective tips you can use to prepare and pass your diagrammatic reasoning test, starting with some handy preparation guidance before you take these assessments: 

  1. Practise Sample Questions
    • The diagrammatic test is based on logical or abstract reasoning with no need for prior knowledge.  Regular practice is key to demonstrating these reasoning skills in the real assessment and has proven to improve candidate’s performance during job aptitude tests.
  1. Understand the Format
    • All aptitude tests have a common format across different employers and providers, and diagrammatic reasoning tests are no exception. Eliminate uncertainty and nerves by familiarising yourself with what to expect with diagrammatic practice tests.
  1. Track Your Progress 
    • The more you practise the better you get at it. With consistent practice, you can increase your chances to ace your diagrammatic tests. Use progress tracking to spot areas of improvement and focus your practice to develop these areas ahead of the real test.
  1. Use the Time Blocking Technique 
    • To make sure you have uninterrupted practice sessions, use the time blocking technique also known as block scheduling. Here, you block out a chunk of time for practising diagrammatic tests. During this time, eliminate all distractions like phone notifications and background noise. 
  1. Read Instructions Carefully
    • Since the number of questions often is more than the time limit, it is common for candidates to miss out the key points in questions due to time pressure. To avoid this, read the question thoroughly before you attempt to answer each question.
  1. Measure Your Speed and Accuracy
    • Maintain a balance between time and accuracy. The best way to ensure this is to spend the average time per question. For example, spending a minute per question if you were given 20 minutes to complete a 20-question test.
  1. Move on if You are Stuck
    • Diagrammatic reasoning tests often have a strict time limit of around 30-45 seconds per question on average. Avoid worrying and wasting your time on a difficult question and move onto the next question to ensure you answer as many questions as possible. 
  1. Eliminate Wrong Answers First
    • Another method to save time finding the correct answer is to quickly look for the answer options that you know are incorrect and eliminate those first to narrow down the potential answers. 
  1. Take Notes
    • If you are taking the test at home, keep a pen and a paper nearby. Taking notes can be useful to track the changes and similarities across diagrams, figures and shapes.
  1. Take in a Quiet Environment
    • Distractions may interfere with your focus. Take the diagrammatic test in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Ensure you have a stable internet connection and any additional equipment mentioned by the employers ahead of time.
  1. Select Your Peak Performance Hours
    • Be well rested and stay hydrated before the test; do not exhaust yourself with other activities beforehand. Select a timeslot most suitable to your body clock so that you can perform well.

Good to know:The flexibility of diagrammatic tests may differ with employers. Before taking the diagrammatic test, check the test email invite carefully for any last minute tips or instructions.

  1. Stay Focused
    • Focus on the practice you have done to prepare for your diagrammatic test. Take deep breaths before you start, and don’t get caught up on a question you have gotten stuck on. Aim to focus on each question individually.

Looking for even more tips? Check out this YouTube Video for more tips to pass a diagrammatic reasoning test:

How to Pass Diagrammatic Reasoning Test #Shorts 

Now let’s move onto a diagrammatic test question and answer!

Diagrammatic Reasoning Question and Answer

Here is an example of a diagrammatic reasoning test question. Test your diagrammatic reasoning skills by attempting this example question within 45 seconds. 

Keep reading below the example for the worked solution and explanation on how to reach the answer.

Diagrammatic analysis test example

Step 1: On taking a closer look at the two sequences of diagrams, you may notice that within each of the boxes in Set A have 3 lines, whereas each of the boxes in Set B only has 2 lines.

Step 2: Furthermore, we can also see that the boxes in set A consistently contain one black and one grey shape, whereas in set B throughout the sequence these remain as two circles.

Step 3: Since the figure in question also has two lines and two circles, we can determine that B is the correct answer

Correct Answer: B

And there you have it, we’ve covered all you’ll need to know about diagrammatic reasoning tests. But wait, don’t go just yet!

Check out below to more answers to even more frequently asked questions regarding diagrammatic reasoning tests used in recruitment.

Diagrammatic Reasoning Test FAQs

What is meant by diagrammatic reasoning?

Diagrammatic reasoning is an individual’s ability to comprehend concepts, ideas and arrive at a logical conclusion through interpretation of the diagrams. This is a key skill required for many job roles, such as in technology, engineering and finance.

What is a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test?

A diagrammatic reasoning test involves shapes, figures, patterns and numbers. A candidate must display a decent level of proficiency in identifying the rules that may apply to the sequence and employ that rule to arrive at the correct answer.

How to pass Diagrammatic-Reasoning Tests

To score a passing mark in a diagrammatic reasoning test:

  • Familiarise yourself with practice
  • Practice under timed conditions
  • Train using puzzles and crosswords
  • Answer one question at a time 
  • Eliminate wrong answers first

What is the difference between abstract and diagrammatic reasoning tests?

Both abstract and diagrammatic reasoning tests are quite similar and are often used interchangeably. However, diagrammatic reasoning assessments mainly examine a candidate’s reasoning using sequences of shapes and diagrams. Whereas, in abstract reasoning tests, this may be assessed using additional question types which include letters and numbers.

Are diagrammatic reasoning questions difficult?

The assessment may be difficult for new job seekers as they are more technical in nature and assess abstract reasoning skills. It has been proven through research that practice to familiarise with the assessment format helps to improve candidate test performance, helping to reduce variables such as anxiety which add to the difficulty of these questions..

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