Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) Test

Last updated 12/09/2022

Raven’s Progressive Matrices, or RPM, can be a demanding examination of your cognitive ability, non-verbal reasoning, and abstract logic. Depending on the outcome, you may find yourself with a lucrative new career, or a disappointing failure. If you want the tricks and shortcuts necessary to ace this assessment, you’ll need Prepterminal’s RPM Prep Course.


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Our course will help you:

  • Understand the non-verbal nature of the Raven assessment.
  • Get hands-on experience with real test questions.
  • Learn the shortcuts you need to complete the exam quickly and accurately.
  • Gain the confidence to complete the assessment stress-free.

First, let’s look at what Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test is and what purpose it serves.


What is Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test?

The Raven test is a multiple-choice non-verbal exam consisting of primarily visual questions. Because of its visual nature, Raven’s progressive matrices can overcome language barriers and circumvent cultural obstacles to assess a candidate’s level of intelligence accurately. The purpose of the test is to analyze a potential employee’s cognitive abilities and determine whether they would be a good fit for the job.

There are several variations of the RPM test:

  • Standard Progressive
  • Colored Progressive
  • Advanced Progressive

Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices Test

The standard progressive version of Raven’s progressive matrices, or RSPM, was originally developed by J.C. Raven in the early 1930s. Created to analyze environmental and genetic influences on general intelligence, this version is usually used on candidates applying for entry-level or mid-level positions in management. Companies use it to see whether a potential employee has proper decision-making and analytical skills.

During the test, participants are asked to complete a 60-item total RSPM with 1.5 minutes allotted for each question (for a total of 40 minutes.) The questions become increasingly more difficult, with higher levels of cognitive ability required as the examination progresses.


Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices Test

The colored progressive RPM test was designed for those with reduced cognitive ability, including:

  • Younger participants, generally between the ages of 5 and 11.
  • Elderly participants who have shown a reduction in cognition.
  • Those with physical and mental disabilities.

Items in the exam are created specifically to be more visually stimulating than other versions of the Raven test. Each graphic involves an array of colors, distinctly set against a bright background.


Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices Test

Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices is the most complex iteration of the RPM test and is meant for those with higher cognitive capacity. Composed of 36 questions with barely over one minute allotted for each, the entire exam takes around 40 minutes total. Each question becomes exponentially more difficult as you progress, making this version of the Raven assessment incredibly stressful.
This assessment is intended for candidates seeking positions in upper management and assesses whether they possess the higher level of analytical ability these positions require.


How to Prepare for the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test

With short timeframes, next to no verbal components, and a progressive difficulty system, the Raven test is a taxing examination. Even if you possess advanced fluid intelligence, the stressful nature of the assessment’s structure may cause you to slip up.

The best possible strategy you can use is to understand the RPM exam thoroughly before you begin. The easiest way to accomplish this goal is with our extensive Raven test prep course.


What questions are on the Cut-e Assessment?

Each module is designed to take a type of question on the cut-e test, explain the core concepts, then show examples of that question you will encounter during your assessment. Let’s take a brief look at each module as a preview for this course.


Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test Prep: Sample Questions with Answers

Our test prep will help you understand the seven types of questions on Raven’s progressive matrices, including:

  • Assembly/Disassembly
  • Mirroring
  • Shifting
  • Recurrence
  • Progression
  • Revolution


What Questions Are on Raven’s Progressive Matrices?

Each type of question involves a variation of a 3×3 table, with 8 of the 9 cells containing specific figures. One figure is not provided, and you must identify the rule that governs the matrix and find what value belongs in the missing cell. The different iterations change what figures you are presented with, and what rules govern those figures.



This section of the Raven matrices test involves assembling two figures to form a third figure. You then disassemble the figure, splitting them into two others that allow you to identify a pattern.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

By looking at the first two rows, you can see the assembly pattern involves combining shapes one and two to create the third. If you consider what part of the final assembly these shapes form, you can see the first two figures of the third row are half 5-point stars. That means the only logical answer is 3.



Mirroring questions in the Raven assessment involve flipping figures horizontally and vertically to mirror them over a horizontal or vertical axis.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

Two mirroring patterns exist, which we can see by analyzing the first two rows. The first to the second figure is a horizontal mirror, and the second to the third is a vertical mirror. Therefore, the missing figure must be vertically mirrored from the second figure of the third row, meaning the only correct answer is 2.



The questions in this section of the Raven test involve shifting shapes that may overlap, revealing what pieces the graphic is missing.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

The black sections shift one position right as the figures move from left to right in a row. The rule that’s presented is that a black section cannot occupy the same position twice in the same row. From this pattern, you can conclude the correct answer is 4.



Recurrence questions on the test involve identifying patterns defined by counting various components of a sequence. These components include the appearance, position, and color of the shapes within the sequence.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

Looking at the first two shapes in each row, you can see the two thin shapes are vertically and horizontally positioned. This gives way to a third similar shape with more uniform dimensions, having the maximum length and width of the initial two shapes. The rule present here is that the third shape in a row must have the length of the second shape and the width of the first shape. Because of this, the correct answer is 8.



The progression section includes graphics with progressively changing attributes. These attributes include size, number of sides, number of diagonals, colored sections, and other changes.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

In this case, the attribute that progresses is the number of black-colored sections. We can see the number of sections increases by one as the row moves from left to right. This increase occurs in a clockwise direction leaving a blank in between, without changing the outer shape. Based on this rule, the correct answer is 6.



The revolution section of Raven’s Progressive Matrices will show a figure that revolves a certain amount in a given direction. Moving from left to right, a pattern can be identified by determining the amount and direction of revolution.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

Here, the same shape is changed by one-quarter of a rotation, moving counterclockwise from left to right in a row. Based on this description, the correct answer is 5.



The miscellaneous section will include various previous question types while continuing a focus on pattern identification.

Let’s look at an example:


Question: What is the missing shape in the figure?

Explanation and answer:

There are two patterns present here are revolution and progression. The shapes revolve by a quarter clockwise rotation, and the number of items present increases by one while moving from left to right. Therefore, the correct answer would be 3.


Raven IQ Test Score Chart


Percentile points calculated from cumulative score weighted against the age of the participant

While each iteration of Raven’s progressive matrices will have a slightly different grading system, here is an example from the Standard Progressive version of the test. In this table, a participant’s score out of 60 is placed in a column with their age, from which their percentile points score is calculated.

Raven Progressive Matrices Percentile Score

Your percentile score will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your age
  • The type of RPM test you are taking
  • Number of correctly answered questions

As shown above, the grading system will assess these factors and give you your percentile score. The higher your percentile points score, the more fluid intelligence you possess. The average percentile score for all age groups is approximately 61.88. Any score above this average would be considered a good score, with those reaching the 80th and 90th percentile being exceptional.


Raven’s Test FAQs

  • What Does the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test Measure?

The RPM test is designed to be a measurement of fluid intelligence determined by a combination of score and participant age.

  • What Is The Exam Format For Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices?

The format of an RPM test is primarily a visual exam featuring a set of graphics that differ for each participant. The exam takes place online, with instructions in 12 different languages.

  • Are Ravens Matrices Timed?

Raven’s matrices are timed. The test-taker is given 40 minutes to complete the exam.

  • Is Raven’s Progressive Matrices An Iq Test?

Raven’s progressive matrices is a form of IQ test, one that determines a candidate’s non-verbal fluid intelligence.


How to Get a High Score on a Raven Matrices Test

The best way to ensure you achieve a high percentile on the Raven progressive matrices assessment is with our RPM test prep course. We can show you the tips and tricks you’ll need to finish the exam with ease and get the excellent marks you desire.

Passing the Raven Test can mean a new job and a new life. Don’t let your future prosperity be harmed by failing to get a high score. If you want to pass the assessment successfully, don’t wait; enroll in our prep course today!


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