Master the 2023 SHL Inductive Reasoning Test with Our Expert-Led Course

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Are you preparing for an inductive reasoning test as part of your job application process? Inductive reasoning tests, also known as abstract reasoning or diagrammatic tests, assess your problem-solving skills through non-numerical and non-verbal questions. These tests require you to identify patterns and consistencies among a series of objects to predict trends, showcasing your problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

It’s important to note that inductive reasoning tests consist solely of images, with each question presenting five answer choices. Once you make a selection, you cannot skip the question or go back to it. This adds an extra layer of challenge and emphasizes the need for effective reasoning within a limited timeframe.

What is The SHL Inductive Reasoning Test?

The SHL Inductive Reasoning Test is crafted by experts in psychology and psychometrics to assess your problem-solving skills. Similar to abstract reasoning, logical reasoning, and diagrammatic reasoning tests, inductive reasoning tests require you to uncover underlying patterns and logic to choose the correct answers.

During the SHL Inductive Reasoning Test, you’ll need to draw conclusions and understand connections between different concepts without relying on external knowledge. It measures your ability to quickly analyze and interpret abstract information, helping to sharpen your analytical thinking.

Types Of Questions in SHL Inductive Reasoning Test

The SHL Inductive Reasoning test primarily revolves around series-based patterns. It presents candidates with a sequence of shapes, images, or figures that exhibit a distinct pattern. The objective is to discern the underlying pattern within the series and apply logical reasoning to identify the next image in the sequence. By effectively recognizing and interpreting these series-based patterns, candidates can successfully navigate the SHL Inductive Reasoning test.

Here are some common styles or types of sequences that you may encounter in Inductive Reasoning questions:

Inversion Sequences

In these sequences, the figures may undergo inversion or flipping. For example, a sequence might consist of a triangle pointing upward, followed by a triangle pointing downward, and then a triangle pointing upward again.

Example: Determine the next figure in the sequence: ▲ ◆ ▲ ▼ ◆ ▼ ?

Rotation Sequences

In rotation sequences, the figures may rotate or turn in a specific direction. Each figure is rotated by a certain angle or direction in the sequence.

Example: Determine the next figure in the sequence: ◖ ◗ ◔ ◕ ◑ ◒ ?

Positioning Sequences

Positioning sequences involve changes in the position or arrangement of the elements within the figures. The figures may shift, move, or change their positions in a systematic manner.

Example: Determine the next figure in the sequence: ● ◆ ○ ▲ ● ◆ ?

Counting Sequences

In counting sequences, the figures may involve a change in the number of elements or objects present. The number of elements may increase or decrease in a specific pattern.

Example: Determine the next figure in the sequence: ○ ○ ● ● ◆ ◆ ○ ?

Size Sequences

Size sequences involve changes in the size or dimensions of the figures. The figures may increase or decrease in size based on a specific pattern.

Example: Determine the next figure in the sequence: ▲ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ?

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How is The Inductive Reasoning Different From Deductive Reasoning?

The SHL assessments also include a section for deductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning involves drawing specific conclusions from general principles or premises. It follows a top-down approach, starting with general statements or rules and applying them to reach specific conclusions. For example, if we know that “all mammals are warm-blooded” and “dogs are mammals,” we can deduce that “dogs are warm-blooded.” Deductive reasoning relies on established information and logical rules to derive specific conclusions.

Sample Deductive Reasoning Question

Question: Based on the given statements, determine which option cannot be true:


  • Statement 1: All certified accountants have a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Statement 2: Alex has a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Statement 3: All professionals with a bachelor’s degree in accounting are eligible for certification.


  • Option A: Alex is eligible for certification as a professional accountant.
  • Option B: Alex is not a certified accountant.
  • Option C: Alex does not have a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Option D: Alex is a professional accountant.

On the other hand, inductive reasoning involves drawing general conclusions from specific observations or examples. It follows a bottom-up approach, starting with specific instances and using them to infer general principles or patterns. For example, if we observe several dogs and find that they all have fur, we might generalize that “all dogs have fur.” Inductive reasoning is based on probabilities and allows us to make predictions based on observed patterns.

The key difference between deductive and inductive reasoning logic lies in the direction of reasoning. Deductive reasoning moves from general to specific, while inductive reasoning moves from specific to general. Deductive reasoning aims to reach certain conclusions based on established principles, whereas inductive reasoning aims to infer general principles or patterns based on specific observations.

Both deductive and inductive reasoning skills are important and are evaluated in assessments like those conducted by SHL. It’s beneficial to understand and practice both types of reasoning to improve your logical thinking abilities and perform well in these assessments.

SHL Inductive Reasoning Sample Questions & Answers

Question 1:

Correct Answer: E

Question 2:

Correct Answer: E

Question 3:

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The figures are overlapped. However, the condition is that when both parts of a certain section are black, the resultant part is white, otherwise it is black. The only figure that fits this description for the second pair is at A.

How To Pass The SHL Inductive Reasoning Test

Top Tip #1. Examine one aspect of a shape at a time

If you attempt to look at the entire pattern featured in the inductive reasoning test, you may feel overwhelmed. A better approach is to look at one element of the pattern at a time, including the size orientation, and location of an inner shape. It is important to keep in mind that these patterns are intentionally complicated. If you make small assumptions, this could lead to a wrong answer. Carefully study one aspect of a shape at a time.

Top Tip #2. If you get stuck try looking at the END of the pattern

If you face a challenging inductive reasoning question and find yourself stuck, a useful strategy is to shift your attention to the end of the pattern. Take a moment to carefully examine the final elements in the sequence, as they often contain valuable clues that can unlock the underlying pattern or rule. 

Top Tip #3. Keep calm

This may seem simple, but when you are in the middle of the test you may find yourself getting flustered. Nothing will hurt your performance more than losing focus while taking the test. Inductive reasoning tests come with a harsh time limit, which can cause people to feel pressurized. Practicing on timed inductive reasoning tests can help you stay relaxed throughout the real test process.

Top Tip #4. Practice as much as you can

Nothing will help you succeed in the real test more than practising on timed mock inductive reasoning tests. Familiarize yourself with these styles of tests in order to improve your chances of performing to your maximum potential on test day.

Top Tip #5. Carefully manage your time

Keep track of the time throughout the testing period. A good tip is to scan ahead and see how many questions you have left, this will help you decide how much time to allocate to each question. Also, the more you practice the better you will become at finding a balance between speed and accuracy. Though practice you can find your ideal pace.

Top Tip #6. Increase your spatial awareness

To improve your spatial awareness, practice visualizing and mentally manipulating objects in your mind. Pay attention to the positioning, orientation, and relative distances between objects. This practice will train your brain to better recognize and comprehend spatial patterns, allowing you to make more accurate predictions and decisions in the inductive reasoning test. Remember, by honing your spatial awareness, you can sharpen your problem-solving skills and excel in identifying patterns and trends within complex visual stimuli.

Increase Your Confidence With Prepterminal’s SHL Course

We understand the significance of practicing for the SHL inductive reasoning test to increase your chances of success. Without prior exposure, this test can catch you off guard and potentially impact your score. However, with our comprehensive SHL prep course, you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the test format, practice your abstract reasoning skills, and gain the confidence needed to excel.

Our course is designed by a team of SHL test experts who have curated a range of resources to help you refine your inductive reasoning skills. With access to numerous mock tests and a module-based approach, you can gradually build your understanding and proficiency in this crucial area. By immersing yourself in our preparatory course, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the SHL inductive reasoning test with calmness and confidence on the day of the exam.

Inductive reasoning skills are highly sought after in today’s job market, and our goal is to provide you with the tools and support necessary to showcase your abilities. Don’t leave your performance on the SHL inductive reasoning test to chance. Enroll in PrepTerminal’s preparatory SHL course and experience the benefits of thorough preparation, knowledge enhancement, and increased self-assurance. Take control of your test preparation and maximize your potential for success with PrepTerminal.

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Michael Lerner

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Hey, welcome to our Rapid SHL Masterclass. I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s SHL Rapid SHL Masterclass in-house expert. I am here to assist you with any queries about the Rapid SHL Masterclass. Don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

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