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UCAT Abstract Reasoning Full Guide & Sample Questions

The UCAT abstract reasoning test uses various shapes to test your ability to find common patterns.

It includes 55 questions and has a time duration of 13 minutes.

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What is the UCAT Abstract Reasoning Test?

The UCAT Abstract Reasoning subtest is one of four parts of the UCAT Cognitive Test. It is used to assess one’s ability to recognise patterns as well as generate hypotheses, change tracks, and critically evaluate. You must consider these skills throughout this section of the test. This test does not contain numbers or words, but rather the questions are based on patterns of provided shapes.

The Abstract Reasoning section is comprised of 55 questions (associated with sets of shapes) to be completed in 13 minutes (plus one minute for instructions).

The UCAT Abstract Reasoning questions are very tricky, and a lot of test takers find themselves wasting a lot of time on the first questions of the subtest.

On our PrepPack™ we included a complete Abstract Reasoning guide (in addition to three Abstract Reasoning practice tests), to help you identify the patterns faster and cut down that solving time.

UCAT Abstract Reasoning Section Format

There are four different question types in the Abstract Reasoning section:

• Type 1 – You are given a test shape and asked to decide to which set of shapes presented your shape belongs (Set A, Set B, or Neither).
• Type 2 – You need to choose which shape comes next in the provided series of shapes.
• Type 3 – You need to select which shape completes the provided statement (involving a group of shapes). These statements are presented in the form of an analogy between two shapes, similar to word analogies.
• Type 4 – There are two sets of shapes and you need to choose which answer choice belongs to one of the sets.

UCAT Abstract Reasoning Sample Questions

Question Type 1 - Example 1

1. Which set does the shape belong to?

View Explanation
The correct answer is Set A.
Set A: There are always four shapes, of which two are the same, and there is always at least one empty circle.
Set B: The number of shapes is always even, and there is always at least one "star" shape.

The test shape belongs to Set A since it includes a shape that appears twice and an empty circle.

More free sample questions are available on our free UCAT practice test. The question bank we use is full of realistic UCAT questions, and each abstract reasoning question comes with detailed solutions.

Question Type 1 - Example 2

2. Which set does the shape belong to?

View Explanation

The correct answer is set A.

Set A: If the arrow points upwards, it crosses only the square. If it points to any other direction it crosses both the square and the triangle.

Set B:
One type of shape (triangle, arrow, etc.) appears 3 times.

The test shape belongs to set A, since the arrow points upwards and crosses the square.

Question Type 2

Which shape completes the pattern?

View Explanation

The correct answer is (B) -

There are two characteristics in this question: the number of chords (lines) drawn, and shading. First, look at the chords. An additional chord is drawn from one corner (vertex) of the pentagon to another corner directly across from it in each frame. If you label each corner of the pentagon with a number, it is easier to see.

The first chord is drawn from vertex one (to vertex three).

The next chord is drawn from vertex two (to vertex four).

The next Chord is drawn from vertex three (to vertex five).

The final one is drawn from vertex four (to vertex one).

Therefore, the missing shape is the one with the chord drawn from vertex five, creating the star shape inside the pentagon.

All of the above eliminates answer choices one and four as they do not contain the star shape.
Next, look at the shading in shape. Each time a new chord is drawn, it reduces the amount of grey shading. The shading always lies on the inside of the chord boundaries. When lining the final chord from vertex five, the remaining space inside that chord is just in the centre of the star. Therefore, it can be only answered (B).

The UCAT Preparation Pack includes full Abstract reasoning drills, with detailed answers like the ones these sample questions offer. Click here to read more about the preparation pack!

Question Type 3

Which shape completes a similar analogy in the second row as the one found in the upper row?

View Explanation

First, let's focus on the top row: on the left, there are straight horizontal lines and S-shaped vertical lines. Moving to the right, you can see that one S-shaped vertical line disappeared, while a horizontal straight line was added. The same logic applies to the bottom row: One vertical shape (8 shaped) disappears, and one horizontal line is added. Hence, the correct answer is 4.

Question Type 4

Which of the shapes belongs in set A?

View Explanation

The rules for set A are as follows:

When the slice of pie (the quarter of a circle) points to the moon, then the frame piece that matches the colour or pattern of the moon will be on the pie’s right side.
When the slice of pie (the quarter of a circle) points away from the moon, then the frame piece that matches the colour or pattern of the moon will be on the pie’s left side.
The pie and the other frame will always be white.

Note: The location of the frame that is the same colour as the moon is not an absolute 'left' or 'right', but is relative to the rotation of the pie.
For example: In set A, look at the box on the bottom left and the box in the middle of the right column. In both cases, the pie points away from the black moon, but the black frames are not in the same place.
That’s because the pie is not standing in the same position. Think of the pie’s pointy corner as its face. In the bottom left box then, the pie is 'facing' away from the moon, and the black frame is on its left.
The same is true for the box in the middle of the right column.

Answer (B) is incorrect because the patterned frame is on the pie’s left side instead of its right side, as the pie stands towards the moon.
Answer (C) is incorrect because the black frame is on the pie’s right side instead of its left side, as the pie stands away from the moon.
Answer (D) is incorrect because the patterned frame is on the pie’s left side instead of its right side, as the pie stands towards the moon.

Remember, once you’ve found the correct answer, mark it and move on.

Use the UCAT Preparation Pack to hone your abstract reasoning skills and ace the UCAT test as a whole.

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