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Logical Perception Aptitude Test

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Although Logical Perception Tests look different from all the other types of aptitude tests, you should not let this fact fool you. Perceptual Reasoning tests function by giving test-subjects a series of images with a series of changing patterns (or pattern). The goal is to determine the sequential changes and infer the next change in the sequence.

Logical Perception Tests



Although Logical Perception Tests look different from all the other types of aptitude tests, you should not let this fact fool you. Perceptual Reasoning tests function by giving test subjects a series of images with a series of changing patterns (or pattern). The goal is to determine the sequential changes and infer the next change in the sequence.

The test functions around this notion. Some changes are basic and only involve one variable that needs to be identified and deduced. Others can be more challenging and feature two or more variables that require closer examination and several deductions. Regardless of the number of variables that change, the basis of the test remains the same as all other aptitude tests, namely, to draw logical inferences through deductive and inductive means.



Logical Deductions



For more information on logical deductions, be sure to check out the General Study Guide provided for the Aptitude Test section. There you can fine important general lessons on the two kinds of logical inferences made, how to convert statements to their logical form, and conduct some forms of deductions/inductions.

In this section, we will just provide a general summary of the two types of logic: Deduction and Induction



Deduction

Perceptual Reasoning Tests test your ability to deduce a conclusion (i.e., reach a conclusion that necessarily follows) by setting up definitive patterns that can be determined. Deductive reasoning is sometimes called ‘air-tight reasoning’ since if it is done properly, then the conclusion must follow from the premises.

In the case of Perceptual Reasoning Tests, the premises are the provided diagrams and the deduction are the changes undertook between each step. Perceptual Reasoning Tests aim to test your skill in being able to deduce the necessary changes in order to infer the next step in the pattern. This is not a guessing game as each question provides the necessary information to reach a definitive conclusion concerning the pattern changes.



Induction


We won’t spend too much time covering induction here as it is not a skill that is generally tested by Perceptual Reasoning Tests. Induction is a type of inference that is said to ‘likely follow’ but does not necessarily have to do so. We make inductions all the time based on signs, evidence, and so on, but the conclusions are not always guaranteed. For example, meteorologists make predictions about weather patterns that do not necessarily have to materialize. Induction offers us a conclusion that is somewhere between 0.1% and 99.9% likely to be true. Of course, the higher the probability, the more likely the chance it will occur, but we should never be completely surprised when something that is likely to occur does not occur!

On this type of test, you do not need to rely on inferences when all the answers can be deduced!



Occam’s Razor



Before we get into the types of Perceptual Test Questions that might come your way, we should highlight one general piece of advice that might go a long way when you are completing this type of test (or any test really!).

Occam’s Razor (sometimes called the ‘Law of Economy’ or ‘Law or Parsimony’) is a general rule established by a 12th-century thinker and philosopher, William of Ockham’ that tells that that “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” To simply this a bit, it means that you shouldn’t add unnecessary parts to a problem or overcomplicate the matter when it is not needed. Some take this to mean that ‘sometimes the simplest answer is the right answer’. Although that is a bit of an oversimplification, the general idea still applies.

As a general tip, do not overcomplicate test items. The added complexity is intended to throw you off and overwhelm you and tire your brain. Do not let that happen. Focus on one variable and its alternations between the images before moving on to a second or third variable.

In short, keep it simple!



Examples



One Variable Example



Typically, the least challenging types of questions will involve one variable changing between the different patterns, requiring you to identify the simple pattern and deduce its next step.

Consider the following example:

Which of the following patterns would follow in the given sequence?



In this question, we are provided with a basic sequential change between the three diagrams. In each diagram, the black circle variable has moved half a step. The black circle does not move in any other pattern (e.g., left or right).

We can deduce that the black circle will move up to the open middle white space.

From the provided answer key, only option (A) meets this deduction!

TIP: Be careful, as the images could have multiple variables that remain fixed while only one variable is changing positions. Remember, keep it simple! Look to each variable at a time to determine if it is changing or not.



Two (or multi) Variables Example



Perceptual questions have levels of difficulties depending on the number of variables and patterns used. However, the underlying strategy remains the same: observe each variable and its particular changes! The following is an example of two variable changes:





Beginning with our black circle variable, we notice that it begins on the left side and returns in the third image on the right side of the circle.

The red triangle seems to alternate from the bottom of the circle to the top (and back again).

We can infer that the red triangle will be at the bottom of the circle in the inferred image. We also can see that the black dot is moving in a clockwise pattern and is only missing in the second image because the red triangle was present.

Given each of these variable changes, the only answer choice (D) is the correct answer.



Patterned Examples



Other types of questions will seek a missing pattern within a larger provided pattern. The goal is to figure out which set fits in the missing spaces. Again, this is not a guessing test item but an inferential one!





Remember Occam’s Razor! Do not let all the unnecessary parts distract you!

The patterns immediately surrounding the missing pattern is a good place to start. Check out th patterns to the left, right, above, and below the question marks. Those patterns must repeat somewhere in the larger image.

To the LEFT of the missing pattern, we have a hammer and a screwdriver. Where else does that pattern re-emerge? We can find it in the lower right-hand side of the large image.

Notice that the toolbox and a hammer are in the positions next to it?

If you found this, then you have already narrowed the answer key down to choices (A) and (B). The rest can already be deduced to be incorrect!

How are we going to determine the other two missing squares?

We can turn our attention to the images that are to the RIGHT side of the missing pattern. We have the wheel set and a nail. Where else can we find that pattern?

We find that pattern in the lower left side of the larger image. To the left of it is the clamp and seesaw!

This helps us rule out the wrong answer key.

The correct answer is (B). That would satisfy the missing pattern.



Other Examples



All other examples play on these three types of questions. Some will alter color patterns or shapes, some will involve three or four pattern changes. Regardless of the type of question you encounter, your strategy should not change. In some cases, I would even say forget the answer key. Take a moment and sketch out what you think the next image will look like. Remember, take each variable one at a time. Where is the black dot moving to in each image? Where is the square moving? And where is the triangle moving as well?





If you did, great job! You were able to see the changes in each variable and deduce the next step!

If not, don’t be too harsh on yourself. It takes practice to get better and faster at these types of questions. Just know you already have the skill to complete this task, you just need to sharpen your skill a little bit more!