The Differences Between Diagrammatical and Spatial Reasoning Tests

Throughout your job search you may encounter diagrammatical or spatial reasoning tests. There are some similarities between them but in actual fact they are aimed at two distinctly different groups. In this blog we will explain what they are, their target audience, and the difference between the two of them.

Diagrammatical Reasoning Tests

Diagrammatic Reasoning Test Sample Exercise

There are many types of diagrammatical tests and they are used in many different contexts. Many assessment companies use this name to describe quite different tests, however they all have one thing in common - they are non-verbal reasoning tests. 

In a broad sense diagrammatic reasoning tests are used in assessing your ability to understand different rules and draw correct conclusions from them. This conclusion may be in the form of working out the next image in a sequence or using the rules that have been formed throughout the question to select a correct output of a particular sequence. Hence, these tests are a true assessment of General Mental Ability (GMA). For example, you may be given a set of instructions that cause the output to change, i.e. a square changes the sequence and rotates it 180 degrees and a circle causes the image to rotate 90 degrees clockwise.

In general, there are three different skills that candidates are assessed on in a diagrammatical reasoning test and these are outlined below. They are the ability to: 

  • Identify different causes to understand missing inputs of a logical sequence. 
  • Understand logical rules. 
  • Infer a set of rules from a chart and to apply these rules to new situations.

The diagrammatical reasoning tests can be utilised for a wide range of job positions as they are a test of a candidates’ ability to think in a logical manner. However, they are at their most useful in the assessment of candidates applying for jobs in the IT sector such as system analysts and system designers. This is because the rules governing such jobs are often in a different form than that of other, managerial type jobs. 

Spatial Reasoning Tests

Spatial Reasoning Test Sample

Spatial tests are more specialised in their approach and are closely linked with the job being applied for. For example, someone working as an engineer needs to understand complex diagrams in both 2 and 3 dimensions and use them to create or fix a structure. Hence these tests are used for those applying to “hands on” jobs such as mechanics, engineers, and those working with Computer Aided Design, CAD. There are also used for design jobs such as architects. Another important need for spatial recognition is in the medical field, particularly for surgeons. There are three main skills assessed in these spatial reasoning tests, they are:

  • The ability to estimate lengths and angles,
  • The ability to rotate shapes mentally, and 
  • The ability to understand the correlation between two and three dimensional shapes. 

For example, you may be presented an image such as a box that has been “unwrapped” and rotated in various ways. You need to use your spatial awareness skills to correctly decide which one of the complete boxes is the 3D image. 

In summary

We have seen that there are similarities and differences between diagrammatical reasoning tests and spatial reasoning test. Both of these tests measure cognitive abilities and are non-verbal tests. Moreover, both of these tests could be used to hire a single candidate for a single position. However, whilst diagrammatic reasoning tests are used in a more general sense, assessing candidates’ logical thinking ability and are used in the main by those working in a computer based environment, spatial reasoning tests are used in more “hands on” positions such as engineers.

How can we help?

At JobTestPrep we have a plethora of resources covering diagrammatical reasoning tests as well as spatial reasoning tests. These tests can be taken in a timed test environment or in an untimed manner giving you the opportunity to fully think through your answers before tackling a timed test. What this means for you is that when you actually come to take the tests you will be fully prepared both in terms of content and with the ability to work fast under time pressure. With our help and guidance we are sure that you will be able to perform your best in your next job application. Looking forward to hearing your positive reply after using our products. Good luck!