Quick Guide: Non-verbal reasoning tests

The latest in Alexandra Toma’s series on Psychometric testing.

In this series, you can expect to learn more about: Psychometric testing, situational testing, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and what to do if you fail?

To check out other tests click here → Employment Tests

Non-verbal reasoning, mechanical comprehension, and data interpretation? If it does not sound like something you would do in your free time, you are not alone! When we think about this type of psychometric testing, most often we will associate them with the stereotypical IQ tests:

The correct answer, in this case, is C. And if you are having trouble understanding why, don’t worry, so does everybody who sees these exercises for the first time. Some people are naturally more pattern-oriented and might find it easier to determine the right answer straight away, but if you know that you are not in that lucky position, welcome to the club!

You will always perform better if you are familiar with the types of questions you are likely to encounter and have some strategies for solving them.

In many tests, the questions are:

  • Based on rotation (where a shape is turned)
  • Based on alternation (where a shape changes into something else and is then changed back)
  • Based on consistency (where a change is made and is then consistently applied)
  • Based on replacement (where a shape or shapes are replaced by others)

Although setting a programme of practice is key in this case of non-verbal reasoning, problem-solving puzzles are a great way of brushing your skills in this area and many people find them fun. Look for puzzle books or apps that contain a range of different puzzle types.

You can find some practice options:

  1. Book ‘Ultimate psychometric tests’, by Mike Byron can be used/ photocopied at the Careers & Employability office (Bush House, SE Building, Floor 5)
  2. Assessment Day – KCL student access here.  
  3. Free SHL Non- Verbal Reasoning Test access here.
  4. More resources here and here .