Spatial ability questions may test either
speed or power.
Generally speaking, if the questions involve the manipulation of 2
dimensional objects then they are probably fairly straightforward,
but you will be challenged to answer them all in the time you are
Example Shape Matching Questions
In this example, you are asked to look at two groups of simple,
flat objects and find pairs that are exactly the same size and
shape. Each group has about 25 small drawings of these
2-dimensional objects. The objects in the first group are labeled
with numbers and are in numerical order. The objects in the second
group are labeled with letters and are in random order. Each
drawing in the first group is exactly the same as a drawing in the
second group. The objects in the second group have been moved and
some have been rotated.
1. Which shape in Group 2 corresponds to the shape in Group 1?
This is very much a speed test as you will be given far more of
these questions than you can comfortably answer in the given time.
These questions use a large number of shapes that are presented
close together. Some people find this very distracting and find it
easier to work through the shapes in the second group
In some questions of this type there may not be a one-to-one match
and some of the shapes in the first group may not appear in the
second. The way that the question is worded will make this clear.
If this is the case then you should be especially careful to look
out for reflections in the second group. These are often put in by
the test designers to trap the unsuspecting. For example:
The shapes in Group A are rotations of each other. The shapes in
Group B are also rotations of each other. However none of the
shapes in group A are rotations of those in Group B.
Visual Comparison – Two Dimensional
In these types of question you will be presented with a number
of objects only two of which are identical. Once again these are
speed questions and you will need to work quickly and attempt to
answer as many as possible in the given time
26. Which two pictures are identical?
26. C and E are the only two pictures which are identical
The best strategy for these types of question is to begin with the
shape on the left and work through the shapes to the right of it
systematically looking for an exact match. If there isn’t one then
move on to the second shape and repeat the process. It can be
quite difficult to discipline yourself to adopt this systematic
approach to these types of question, as you may think that it is
quicker just to look at all of the shapes until the answer’ jumps
out’ at you. The problem with this is that if the answer doesn’t
‘jump out’ fairly quickly then panic sets in and you usually
resort to the systematic approach anyway.
When you are confronted with a large number of similar types of
question on a single page, the questions other than the one you
are trying to answer can be distracting. You may find that it
helps to cover them and concentrate only on the two shapes that
you are comparing.
Spatial Ability Tests >