Reasoning Tests 101

Employers and test providers use all sorts of names to describe job assessment tests, and it’s important for you, as the test taker, to know exactly what to expect from tests before you encounter them. Below is a guide to the various reasoning tests you are bound to see on your next job application.
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Psychometric tests are used as a psychological measurement of a test taker’s abilities. In job applications, these tests are used to help hiring teams find candidates with the strengths and skills they are looking for. However, these are not simply tests to determine if you have specific knowledge, so do not expect questions such as 685-497 or ones asking what a specific word means in a sentence. Rather, these tests are concerned with drawing logical conclusions from information in various forms, such as verbal, numerical, or abstract. This process is known as reasoning and is based on the idea of using reason rather than knowledge to answer test questions.

Numerical Reasoning

Numerical reasoning, also called numerical critical reasoning, is an area which requires you to not only understand numerical information but also to make decisions and conclusions based on that information. On numerical reasoning tests (also called numerical critical reasoning tests), you are often given a chart with information on it. The chart may be easy to read and understand, and it may also include such information as the growth of a company’s income over a 3-month time span. The questions often have two parts: one where you need to make calculations and the other in which you need to form a conclusion based on those calculations. For example, a question might ask you to predict the company’s income growth in a fourth month as based on the chart. This requires you to read the chart correctly, understand all the information contained in it, and then reason if the average growth rate should continue or if it will change in that fourth month. The work required in this question goes beyond calculations and into the world of logic and reason.

For more information on numerical reasoning and examples of mathematical reasoning questions and tests, please visit our numerical section.

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning, also referred to as verbal critical reasoning, requires you to come to a logical conclusion based on a written text. There are two major types of verbal reasoning questions. The first is analogies, a concept many test takers are already familiar with. In an analogy, you are given two words whose relationship you must determine. Once you have determined the relationship, you must then choose one of the multiple choice answers which contain two other words that share the same relationship. The question is often formulated as such:

Stop is to Go as…
  1. Run is to Jog
  2. Money is to Coin
  3. Water is to Oil

Since the relationship between stop and go is that they are opposites, your task is to find the answer option which contains two words that are also opposites.

The second type of question gives you a short text about any given topic. Following the text are a number of statements relating to that text. You need to determine whether the statements are true, false or you cannot say. The statements relate to the argument of the text, so answering this type of question involves not only understanding the sentences themselves but also how they relate to each other in connection to the point the text is trying to make as a whole. For example, you may encounter a text discussing the pros and cons of hunting deer. A statement in a following question may ask if the text could apply to duck hunting as well. You need to be able to apply each of the pros and cons to a different topic and see if it fits.

Logical Reasoning Tests

Logical reasoning examines two types of thinking: inductive and deductive. Once again, on logical thinking tests you must come to a conclusion based on the information presented. However, logical reasoning involves more than just alphanumeric information. These tests can include image sequences, series, or matrices. Some logical reasoning tests will use verbal information similar to riddles; these are called syllogisms. When it comes to tests, logical reasoning is often broken down into subcategories: inductive or deductive reasoning and abstract or generic critical reasoning. While these tests all assess the same areas of intelligence, different jobs and positions require different types of reasoning and problem solving.

Mechanical and Technical Reasoning

While mechanical and technical reasoning tests are not as common as those previously mentioned, they often come up in technical-based job assessments for fields such as engineering and construction. Similar to numerical reasoning, there is basic knowledge one must have to complete these tests. However, even if you forget the specifics of a formula, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Mechanical and technical reasoning is the logic behind these areas, and the tests are much more focused on that than on concepts associated with mechanics.

Practice with Online Reasoning Tests

While every person has the ability to reason, it is often difficult to focus on these skills, and it can be especially challenging during a time-pressure test. Therefore, it is highly recommended by many employers that you familiarise yourself with these tests by practising beforehand. The testing team at JobTestPrep specialises in creating online tests to give you the preparation you need along with full answers and explanations. We know how important getting that job offer is, and we want to help you every step of the way. Good luck!

Related Links

Deductive Reasoning Financial Reasoning Mechanical Reasoning
Spatial Reasoning Diagrammatic Reasoning Abstract Reasoning
Numerical Reasoning Inductive Reasoning Verbal Reasoning

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