OLSAT® Question Type: Number Matrices

In this post, we start with an overview of "Number Matrices" question types. We also provide a sample question, accompanied by tips and strategies that every student can use to perform successfully on "Number Matrices" questions during the official OLSAT® exam.

Number Matrices: What To Expect?

Students must examine a sequence of numbers and determine a pattern that governs those numbers. They will then apply that pattern in order to predict what comes next.

The amount of these questions on the test depends on the age of the student and the test level. For example, 4th and 5th grade students taking the OLSAT®Level E (for admission into 5th and 6th grade) are asked approximately six of these types of questions.

Number Matrices: Sample Question

Correct Answer: D The pattern in the first and second row of the box shows that as we move from left to right we multiply the numbers by 3 (2×3=6 and 6×3=18 for the first row and 3×3=9 and 9×3=27 for the second row). Therefore, the missing number is 4×3=12 which is also validated by the next number 36 as 12×3=36. Therefore, the correct answer is D.

Number Matrices:Tips and Strategies

Successful completion of this question type requires the ability to identify and complete patterns and sequences among numbers.

Your child is probably not accustomed to completing number matrices, so it is important to frequently expose him to this question type in order to build confidence and familiarity. Consider modeling how to approach solving a number matrix by “thinking aloud” as you work through a question with your child. As your child begins to complete questions on his own, ask him to explain his reasoning. If he is correct, you can reinforce his strong, logical approach to the question. If he is incorrect, you can correct misconceptions and offer suggestions on how to better approach the question.

You can also invest in engaging workbooks or computer games that teach patterns, sequences, and number concepts. Remind your child not to spend too much time fretting over one question, but to simply make an educated guess and then move on if they get stuck.

What's Next?

Learn more about other quantitative reasoning question types on the OLSAT, including number series questions, and numeric inference questions.

Also try some sample questions and see critical teaching tips that cover other areas of the OLSAT, including the sections on verbal comprehension, verbal reasoning, pictoral reasoning, and figural 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.