Abstract Reasoning

UKCAT Tips and Tricks
Home / The UKCAT / Abstract Reasoning

The AR section of the UKCAT assesses “the use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information”. In practice, this takes the form of multiple groups of shapes, testing the candidates’ skills in pattern-recognition and sequencing. At only 14 minutes in length, this section is by far the shortest in the test as a whole, yet time is still very tight – to tackle all questions, you need to answer at a rate of over 4 per minute.


There are 55 questions in total, divided among three different types:

Compare Groups

Two groups of shapes, labelled A and B, are presented. You will then be shown a further shape, and must decide whether it fits into group A, group B or neither.

UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Example 1


The question consists of a sequence of shapes. You are presented with four shapes as possible answers, and must decide which of these is the next logical step in the sequence.

UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Example 2


This question type presents you with a statement made up of shapes. For example: Shape A is to Shape B, as Shape C is to [???]. You must then choose the appropriate answer.

UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Example 3

The similarity between groups of shapes can be as simple as the number of items within each box, or much more subtle. It’s good to have a system of things to work through, such as the shapes in the box, how many, their size, angles between them, shading, and so on. Many mnemonics to remember such systems exist…find the one that works for you, and stick to it.

Contact Us

If you've got feedback, ideas, or just fancy a chat...we want to hear from you!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search