Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test

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Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test

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What is a Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test

The Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) Test is an assessment test designed to measure your non-verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, and cognitive functioning.

As Raven’s Test is strictly visual, the issues of potential language barriers and religious/cultural affiliations are circumvented. Hence, Raven’s Progressive Matrices test is one of the most common measures for general intelligence and is used by companies to deduce whether the interviewee has adequate cognitive skills for the job.

In the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test, candidates are presented with a matrix that has a 3x3 geometric design, with one piece missing. The candidates' job is to choose the right diagram, from a set of eight answers, that completes a pattern in the matrix that you have to figure out. The questions and answers are all completely non-verbal and the matrices vary in the level of cognitive capacity required to identify the correct answer.

Many assessment candidates rightfully want to know: is the Raven IQ Test accurate? Raven’s Progressive Matrices allow for the scientifically valid assessment and measurement of the genetic component of mental tests as intended by J.C. Raven. At the same time, the influences of environmental factors are kept random and normally distributed. Therefore, Raven’s IQ Test gives an accurate representation of general and fluid intelligence. Completing a variety of Raven’s Matrices with varying degrees of complexity will give you an accurate estimate of the IQ percentile of the population you belong to.

The calculation of the final score of Raven's Test is not shown as a percentage of correctly answered questions against the total amount of questions. This is because the complexity of the questions varies. In turn, the weighting given to successfully completing a question is different. Consequently, the most accurate way to assess the final score for Raven’s Test is to rank it as a percentile against a representative (inter)national population.

Examples of Raven’s Progressive Matrices

For participants to quickly solve Raven’s Progressive Matrices, it is important to understand and categorize which type of pattern they are supposed to give the answer to. The main patterns that are often found in Raven’s IQ Test are explained in-depth with the following examples:


Type of pattern: Cut-Out Pattern

Question: What replaces the question mark?

  • Pointer 1: Count the number of horizontal lines which are under the question-marked piece of the matrix and match those with the number of horizontal lines and correct spatial positioning in the multiple-choice answers.
  • Pointer 2: Count the number of vertical lines which are under the question-marked piece of the matrix and match those with the number of vertical lines and right spatial positioning in the multiple-choice answers.
  • Pointer 3: Connect and integrate the different pieces of information that are given into a holistic representation of the figure and choose the correct answer. 

Solution: The correct answer to the example question above is option A.


Type of pattern: Mirror and Manipulation

Question: What replaces the question mark?

  • Pointer 1: As the image is entirely symmetrical, it is possible to draw a line starting at any of the five corners of the pentagon with the end-point between the middle of two other corners. Doing this gives you two mirrored counterparts.
  • Pointer 2: Imagine the figure to be oil-painted onto a piece of paper. If you would fold and press the two sides of the paper onto each other and unfold the piece of paper again, the question-marked piece would be filled incorrectly. As a candidate, you need to possess the visualization skills to choose the right answer. 

Solution: The correct answer to the question is B.


Type of pattern: Adjustment 

Question: What replaces the question mark?

  • Rule 1: From left to right, the alphabet skips two letters (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J…)
  • Rule 2:  From left to right, the letter of the alphabet rotates 45 degrees clockwise each time. This pattern continues onto the next row.
  • Rule 3: From left to right, the shape moves one and a half sides anti-clockwise every subsequent cell. 

Solution: Through a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning the only correct answer is A.


Type of pattern: Size Change

Question: What replaces the question mark?

  • Rule 1: From left to right, the trapezium rotates 60 degrees clockwise each time. This pattern continues onto the next row.
  • Rule 2: From left to right, the cloud moves along a horizontal line at the top of the cell. This pattern continues onto the next row.
  • Rule 3: In each column, the size of the trapezium varies from small to medium and large. No two trapeziums in the same column have the same size.
  • Rule 4: In each row, the size of the cloud varies from small to medium and large. No two clouds in the same row have the same size.

Solution: The correct answer to the question is F.


Type of pattern: Row Addition

Question: What replaces the question mark?

  • Rule 1: From left to right, the shapes rotate 45 degrees clockwise each time. This pattern continues onto the next row.
  • Rule 2: From left to right, the number of sides on each of the shapes increases by one after every two cells. The number of shapes in the first column of each row is the same as that of the last cell in the preceding row. This pattern continues onto the next row.
  • Rule 3: In cells having an odd number of shapes, the first shape is shaded. In cells having an even number of shapes, the last shape is shaded. This pattern continues onto the next row.

Solution: Integrating the rules together, the correct answer is F.

Versions of Raven's Progressive Matrices

Today this form of psychometric testing is widely used as a pre-employment assessment tool. Raven’s Test is administered in three forms. The different types of Raven’s Progressive Matrices allow for the capacity to accurately estimate the general and fluid intelligence of people with varying cognitive capacities.

Standard Progressive Matrices

The Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test was developed in the 1930s by J.C. Raven to research how genetic aspects and environmental aspects influence intelligence. The initial booklet consisted of 5 series of five sets of 12 items. In general, the items of each set become progressively more complex and require an increasing amount of cognitive capacity and fluid intelligence to analyze the information and solve the problem. 

When presented with Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices, participants will have to complete 60 questions within a time span of 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes have elapsed, Raven’s IQ Test will automatically be scored in relation to normative inter(national) standards. 

The type of positions where the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices are typically used to screen candidates is for entry-level and supervisory level jobs in management. In addition, the test is often used in assessments for mid-level roles where proficient decision-making and analytical abilities are crucial.

Coloured Progressive Matrices

The Colored Progressive Matrices are predominantly administered to test the cognitive capabilities and fluid intelligence of children between the ages 5 and 11, the elderly with declining cognitive capabilities, and individuals with physical and mental impairments. As the test indicates, most items are shown against a coloured background which consequently makes the test visually stimulating for the participants taking the test.

Advanced Progressive Matrices

Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) can be seen as a more complex version of Raven’s Test and the test is capable of assessing candidates with a greater level of cognitive abilities. This version of Raven’s IQ Test is composed of 36 questions and assessment takers have to solve as many questions as possible within approximately 40 minutes. The questions become progressively harder to solve as you work through the exam. 

The Advanced Progressive Matrices are typically presented to candidates who apply for positions in upper management and for roles that require a superior level of cognitive and analytical abilities. This test is most suited for adults and adolescents of above-average intelligence who want to challenge their fluid intelligence and cognitive ability.

Short Advanced Progressive Matrices

The short APM has the same aspects as Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices with the only differences being found in the number of questions and the time in which the test must be completed. This short version of Raven’s Intelligence Test merely consists of 12 questions and must be finished within a time span of 15 minutes. 

The short APM is frequently administered to screen participants in the human resources industry because this shorter version of Raven’s Intelligence Test has high accuracy in relation to the cost of administering the test. 


Tips and tricks from Assessment-Training to ace the Raven’s Progressive Matrices

In the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test, it is crucial to categorize which pattern types (cut-out, mirror and manipulation, adjustment, size changes, and row additions) are to be found in the image. Next to this, it is also vital to quickly switch back and forth between inductive reasoning, where you swiftly explore different premises of possible answers without full assurance that they are correct and deductive reasoning where you cross off false lines of reasoning. In Raven’s Intelligence Test, practice and reflective reasoning are key stepping stones to successfully ace your assessment.

Going into more depth on the specific tips and tricks to quickly find the right solution in Raven’s Test, participants will often find the following characteristics: 

  • Several types of figures can be used, even in one grid. Examples of figures are circles, squares, arrows, stars, and triangles. 
  • The number of figures used can be of importance in trying to figure out the pattern that is used in a specific grid.
  • Every figure can rotate. This can be clockwise or counterclockwise. Try to figure out how many degrees the rotation is and whether that number increases or decreases between cells in the matrix horizontally or vertically.
  • Every figure can move places in the grid. The movement can be a specific number of steps horizontally and/or vertically. As a test taker try to rasterize the square cells of the matrix into as many points as you need to infer how many steps the figure has moved in between cells of Raven’s Progressive Matrices.
  • Figures frequently change in size but they also tend to change in shape. In the more advanced matrices, figures alter both in size and shape.
  • The shading of the figures can change between cells of the matrix. In addition, the total number of figures that are shaded, the specific spatial position, and the degree of rotation can be of importance. Don’t forget to note the connection between the different types of fillings and/or figures across different rows and/or columns.
  • The more complex Raven’s Test becomes, the higher the number of different types of patterns you will find in the items of the assessment. In order to not become cognitively overwhelmed by the variety of different possibilities and potential solutions, it is helpful to start with a narrow focus. After determining which types of patterns you see broaden your view from there and switch between inductive and deductive reasoning to come to the correct answer.
  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices are administered under exam conditions and strictly timed. As test takers are commonly permitted to use a blank sheet of paper, write down the lines of reasoning so you can explore those that make sense and cross off the ones that are shown to be false. This method will keep you from wasting time going through the same thought patterns and mental arithmetic.

Good luck practising and successfully completing your assessment!



How to prepare for the Raven’s Progressive Matrices

  • Be conscious of the time you have for each item of the test. If you are completing the assessment online there will usually be a digital timer. If you are tested at an assessment centre make sure to wear a watch or look at the clock to keep an eye on the time. 
  • Don’t spend too much of your time being stuck on the same question. You can always come back later to solve the problem if you have time left.
  • Prepare a mental checklist of strategies to quickly determine which types of patterns can be found in the assessment. 
  • Before making the actual test go through complex practice exercises that test your cognitive ability and which have step-by-step solutions that lead to the answer. This will prime your mind to efficiently switch between the required inductive and deductive reasoning that is required for abstract reasoning tests such as is the case with Raven’s Progressive Matrices. 
  • When using pen and paper, try to write down your thoughts and subsequent mental arithmetic in a concise manner. Use abbreviations for certain figures when useful (Rectangle= Rec, Pentagon = Pen, etc).

Why practice for Raven's Progressive Matrices?

The main reason why you should practice online for Raven’s IQ Test before taking the actual assessment is that you want to maximize your chances of passing the test with an optimal score. It is a common misconception that a person can’t increase their performance on IQ tests. It has been scientifically validated that proper analytical and reflective training can significantly improve your performance on Raven’s Progressive Matrices. Even more so, the effect of training does not depend on age or gender.

A couple of quick training sessions have a positive short-term effect on your Raven’s Test scores. Knowing the types of patterns and characteristics is essential to analytically increase your processing speed and the ability to answer questions quickly. Important to note is that Raven’s Progressive Matrices have a time cap. Therefore, practice and repetition are crucial.

Additionally, it is beneficial to reflect on the answers and solutions and learn from your mistakes so you decrease the chance of making them again. Remember, practice makes perfect. You will see that through practise your performance will improve. Familiarizing yourself with psychometric tests is the first step to success. Through practice, you will get a clear picture of what these tests are, what they look like, what they measure, and what the testing conditions will be.

Assessment-Training.com is the go-to platform for certification practise, assessment/aptitude test training, and job application preparation. We offer tailor-made preparation packages with tests in the same style as the actual Raven’s Progressive Matrices Tests.

In addition to the fact that all our practice tests come with worked solutions and an explanation on how to get to the right answer, we offer you a unique Personal Progression Tracking System.

This progression system will help you track your progress and give a detailed view of your performance. It will help you identify your stronger and weaker points and give insight into your areas of development. The progression tool keeps track of your scores, test times, and overall progression.

We offer you the tools to reduce anxiety and make sure you get the most out of yourself on the day of your certification, assessment test, or job application interview! Research among our users showed that through practise your scores can improve up to 80%.

Over 96% of our customers would recommend Assessment-Training for practice.

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Assessment-Training.com is the market leader in online assessment preparation. With our continuous research and development, we provide a cutting-edge e-learning platform that enables you to ace your assessment!  We work tirelessly to enhance our tests and we can assure you that they are of the same standard as those of the latest tests of the leading assessment publishers. 

Our Raven’s Progressive Matrices Tests have been developed by specialists and experts in the field of psychometric tests. Our mission is to help candidates complete their applications fully prepared to their utmost capability. Our goal is to help you ace your assessment, regardless of the company, job, or level, you are applying for!

To help you master the Raven's Progressive Matrix assessment we sorted through and combined only the best tailor-made questions. These questions were rigorously put to the test by our psychometric test developer specialists team to deliver you the best and most representative Raven’s Progressive Matrices preparation package on the market to date. Our hand-picked preparation package will give you access to 25 tests with 10 questions amounting to 250 questions in total.

All practice tests come with step-by-step solutions on how to logically arrive at the right answer. The solutions allow you to engage in reflective learning and improvement by going over the mistakes you made. 

Our Personal Progression System will help you track your progress and provide you with a detailed view of your performance over time. We provide you with a reference group that is categorized by educational level. You can compare yourself to peers who have completed the same test, allowing you to see where you stand. Assessment-Training is more than just a training platform, we are an e-learning community that is here to help you land your dream job!

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Raven’s Progressive Matrices Preparation Package

Measures spatial, abstract and cognitive reasoning ability, as well as problem-solving skills. Practice now and score high on the actual test!
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