Raven’s Progressive Matrices


The Raven’s progressive matrices test was developed in 1938 and has been revised multiple times since then. Abstract tests will almost always be part of your assessment for a job. Since it is a non-verbal test it usually just requires the candidate to select the correct item. Therefore its used in situations where the examiners want to measure the ability of an individual that is not based on educational background, cultural or linguistic deficiencies.

Although these tests seem to have no direct connection with the content of the job you are applying for, they provide an idea of the extent to which you can find solutions and whether you can work flexibly with unfamiliar information. It is thus an indicator of the applicant’s IQ. The test is composed of geometric figures that require the test taker to select among a series of designs the one that most accurately represents or resembles the one shown in the stimulus material. Some sample questions are described below. You can also attempt the free practice test here.

Get started immediately with a complete set of exercises for the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test. The package below contains more than a 110+ questions distributed over 9 tests, which can be practised in 4 different exercise modes (with time, without time, with direct feedback or time per question).
9 complete Raven tests € 14,95

You can also try our free Raven’s matrices test first.

Practise free Raven’s Matrices

Each matrix problem consists of seventeen figures: nine problem figures and eight answer options (A to H). In a matrix problem, there are three options for rules to apply.

  • The same rule applies both horizontally and vertically.
  • One rule applies horizontally, while another rule applies vertically.
  • The matrix is a continuous series from box 1 to box 9.

In the above example, one rule is applied both vertically and horizontally. See the example below. If you move box 2 over box 3, you will get box 1 (horizontal). If you move box 4 over box 5, you will also get box 1. This applies to all horizontal and vertical rows. The correct answer option, which should be where the question mark is (box 9), can therefore be solved in this way: box 6 + box 9 = box 3 and box 8 + box 9 = box 7. The correct answer must then be answer option H.

Let’s go over another sample problem.

job aptitude test, assessment, abstract matrices, figures

The correct answer is C. In this example, a specific rule applies horizontally, and a specific rule applies vertically.

  • The shapes are different in terms of the number of corners: boxes 1, 4, and 7 contain two corners per line. Boxes 2, 5, and 8 contain no corners per line. Finally, boxes 3, 6, and 9 contain one corner per line.
  • The shapes differ vertically in how they interact. You could say that the lines slide over each other. Boxes 1, 2, and 3 only touch each other in the center and do not overlap. Boxes 4, 5, and 6 touch each other at two points. The two lines are still reasonably close together. Boxes 7, 8, and 9 also touch each other at two points, but there is considerably more space between the two lines.

There is another common element in this problem: all figures contain one thick line and one thin line. The thick line shifts further and further up; the thin line continues to move downwards.

Industries that use this test:

Due to to its ability to measure the capabilities of a candidate irrespective of educational or cultural background it is widely used as a first round assessment. Industries that require high IQ problem solving give special consideration to the results of this test. Some of them are:

  1. Information Technology (coding) Assessment
  2. Project Management Assessment
  3. Business Innovation Assessment
  4. Consulting Assessment
  5. Marketing Assessment
  6. Engineering Assessment

What we offer:

  • Sample questions to establish basic familiarity to the test concept.
  • Free test with 10 questions (timed and with feedback).
  • 30 day access to 9 tests (110+ questions).
  • Options to practice with timer, without time, immediate feedback to each question or feedback at the end of the test.

Sample Question

Tips for Matrix Problems

A matrix problem can differ both in its primary rules (horizontal/vertical same line, horizontal/vertical separate line, continuous series) and in its common traits. There are a lot of things that you have to be aware of. Creating some matrix problems yourself would be a good exercise: it teaches you to think creatively and look at the figures from a broad perspective.

Below you will find a number of common features that you can look for in the matrix problems. Try to memorize these characteristics; the more rules/common elements that you are familiar with, the easier it is to quickly see through a matrix problem.

  • The colors. What color patterns do you see per line?
  • The number of elements per figure plus the number of elements per row.
  • Each line contains certain shapes.
  • Addition or subtraction. Box 1 + Box 2 = Box 3 or Box 1 – Box 2 = Box 3.
  • A series: For example, does a rule become progressively more significant? Or does an element always become more significant or stand out more?
  • The direction of a figure. Does a line always point to the left corner or downwards?
  • How the figure is centered. Elements within a figure can pull it towards one specific side per vertical or horizontal row.
  • For example, are there overlaps in color? Do blue and green lead to a red figure, while purple and orange lead to a yellow figure?
  • Calculations. An example: the number of elements at the top of a figure can be added up or subtracted from the number of elements at the bottom of a figure.
  • Similar relationships. Are line segments parallel to each other or do they cross each other?
  • Patterns. Does a figure shift or rotate along the row?

Let’s use the traits mentioned above for the final sample problem.

  • Each figure contains yellow stars (colors, shapes).
  • Each figure contains a zigzag line in the center, two sloping lines, and one vertical line (shapes).
  • We can also conclude that there are not as many stars above the line as below the line when we view the vertical and horizontal rows. We can therefore ignore this characteristic (number of elements).
  • However, we can add and subtract here. If we see the stars above the line as PLUS and the stars below the line as MINUS, we can make some useful calculations. Stars in box 1 = +2, stars in box 4 = +1, stars in box 7 = +3. Box 1 + box 4 = box 7! Let’s take a moment to double check this. Stars in box 1 = +2, stars in box 2 = -4, stars in box 3 = -2. Box 1 + box 2 = box 3, meaning 2-4 = -2.
  • The last thing to notice is that within a certain row, both horizontally and vertically, there are patterns in the lines. Each line is at a different angle in each row. In addition, the left corner in the figure is always empty.

Practice makes perfect!

It is very important to practice for a capacity test. If you do not practice, your score may be lower, and this often decreases your chances of getting that much-desired job! By practicing, you can solve problems more quickly and efficiently, so that your score will increase.

Get started immediately with complete set of exercises for Raven’s Progressive Matrices. The package below contains more than a 110+ questions distributed over 9 complete tests, which can be practised in 4 different exercise modes (with time, without time, with direct feedback or time per question).
Add to cart € 14,95