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Within the Nonverbal section of the OLSAT is the Figural Reasoning subsection. More specifically, this section assesses a child's ability to:

  • Infer relationships between different geometric shapes and figures
  • Understand patterns and progressions
  • Compare and contrast different figures or sets of figures
  • Manipulate and work with figures in a spatial context

Try any one of our OLSAT study packs for comprehensive study materials to help prepare your child for Figural Reasoning questions.

Figural Reasoning Question Types

There are four types of questions within the Figural Reasoning category:

Type Level Description
Figural Classification A-D These questions measure the ability to identify the “odd one out” in a group of five images. A child will have to identify which of the five images does not belong in the group by recognizing a common theme or pattern present throughout the images.
Figural Analogy A-G These questions assess the ability to understand relationships between figures. The objective is to identify which figure in a group of 5 is most similar to the original figure presented in the question. While Figural Classification assesses the ability to identify differences, Figural Analogy assesses the ability to identify similarities.
Pattern Matrix A-G These questions assess the ability to fill in the missing item in a matrix. Matrices are 3X3 grids (9 total boxes) which have sequences and patterns that run horizontally and vertically. Each matrix will have a blank square, which will have to be filled in with the correct figure to complete the pattern.
Figural Series A-G Figural Series questions assess the ability to predict the next step in a progression of geometric shapes. The question will consist of four consecutive shapes, ordered according to a certain pattern or theme, and the test taker will have to predict what the fifth shape in the sequence will be.

Figural Reasoning Sample Question

The following question is a Figural Analogy test item from the Figural Reasoning section:

The pictures in the boxes on the top belong together in a certain way. Choose the picture that belongs with the bottom picture in the same way the pictures on top belong together.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

Each square in the top row contains a circle divided into four equal segments. Each circle is identical to the other, except that the colors of the segments are inverted. The segments that were purple on the left become green on the right and vice versa.

The shapes in the bottom row will follow the same relationship. The answer choice will contain an identical figure with inverted coloring.

How to Prepare for the OLSAT Figural Reasoning Subsection

Many schools use the OLSAT as an admission test to gifted and talented programs. Practice has been shown to improve the results significantly and reflect your child's abilities much better. Therefore, it is important to prepare for the OLSAT. Our website offers full practice packs for all OLSAT levels.

Help your child start preparing today with TestPrep-Online, allowing him/her to perform his/her best on the OLSAT Test. Our all-inclusive OLSAT practice packs include the OLSAT Video Academy, available with most premium packs and levels, as well as study guides, and full-length practice tests.

Keep in mind that your child should practice all types of questions when preparing for the OLSAT. Even if your child finds figural reasoning questions easy, it is still important that he or she practice them, to obtain tools for the more difficult questions which may come up on the real test. If your child finds figural reasoning questions challenging, it is even more important to practice every relevant question in the prep pack. Remember to always read the explanations, since they contain many important details, tools, and additional examples. Remind your child not to skip the explanations even if he or she answers a question correctly, as they may still help them with more challenging questions of the same type.

No matter how old your child is, he or she will benefit from your involvement while preparing for the test. Younger children will probably need you to sit with them when working on the pack, while with older children it may be enough to go over the first few questions together and letting them work alone, with you only being available for questions. Encourage older children to go over the explanation thoroughly before requiring your help, since working alone is crucial - you will not be there during the real test.

OLSAT Question Types

View the table below for a breakdown of OLSAT subsections and question types. 

Verbal Nonverbal
Verbal Comprehension Pictorial Reasoning
Following Directions Picture Classification
Antonyms Picture Analogies
Sentence Completion Picture Series
Sentence Arrangement Figural Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning Figural Classification
Aural Reasoning Figural Analogies
Arithmetic Reasoning Pattern Matrix
Logical Selection Figural Series
Word/Letter Matrix Quantitative Reasoning
Verbal Analogies Number Series
Verbal Classification Numeric Inference
Inference Number Matrix

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