OLSAT® Question Type: Figural Reasoning Questions

In this post, we start with an overview of "Figural Reasoning" section, which includes four question types.

We provide links to sample questions and strategies for each of the four question types.

We also provide more general tips and strategies that students can use to perform successfully on the Figural Reasoning section of the official OLSAT® exam.

Figural Reasoning Question Types: What To Expect?

The purpose of figural reasoning questions is to measure a student’s ability to reason their way through non-language based scenarios. These questions take a more visual format than the verbal questions, incorporating geometric figures instead of words. Students will be expected to find the relationship between numbers or objects in a pattern, to predict and create what the next level of the pattern will look like, and generalize the rules they discover.

The figural reasoning section has four question types:

Type Level Description
Figural Classification A-D In these questions, students must examine a
group of figures and identify a pattern or principle that links those figures. Then, students must conclude which of the answer choices follows this same principle.
Figural Analogy A-G Like verbal analogies, these questions require
students to identify the relationship of a given pair. With these questions, however, students are asked to examine the relationship between figures instead of words. Once students have uncovered this relationship, they then must apply this rule to a second pair of figures. This question type assesses the student’s ability to infer a relationship between a pair of geometric shapes and select the shape that is related to the stimulus in the same way.
Pattern Matrix A-G This question asks the student to supply a missing element in a matrix of geometric shapes. These questions test a student’s ability to discern rules and evaluate how those rules govern a series of geometric figures as they run horizontally and vertically across the matrix.
Figural Series A-G With these questions, students must look at a
series of geometric figures, discern a pattern within the series, and predictthe ‘next’ drawing/shape in the pattern.

Figural Reasoning Questions:Tips and Strategies

For this section, your child will need the ability to recognize common patterns and themes among figures, as well as the ability to complete patterns and sequences.

Consider purchasing workbooks or activities for your child related to patterns and sequences in order to familiarize him with these concepts in a fun and engaging way. You can also likely find computer games, video games, or educational TV shows that explore these skills.

Have your child complete practice questions to develop an understanding of how to approach and solve these problems. Don’t just work through the questions and move on. Ask your child to explain his reasoning, giving you the opportunity to correct misconceptions or reinforce strong reasoning skills.

Figural Reasoning: Sample Questions

See sample questions from every question type on the Figural Reasoning section: Figural Classifications, Figural Analogies, and Pattern Matrices and Figural Series.

What's Next?

Learn more about the other areas of the OLSAT and check out sample questions from OLSAT sections on verbal comprehension, verbal reasoning, pictoral reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

If you think you need more information and guidance about the OLSAT, check out our in-depth article on the test, as well as our posts on the verbal and non-verbal section.

Also, learn everything you need to know about other tests that measure a child’s potential to learn in school, like the NNAT or the COGAT.