Abstract reasoning: diagrammatic reasoning

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What is diagrammatic reasoning?

Diagrammatic reasoning, also known as flow charts, are part of abstract reasoning. With flowcharts you first get to see a number of figures to which a change is applied. That change is often represented by a letter after which you get to see a new figure. Common changes are:

  • Size: the figure becomes larger or smaller.
  • Shape: the figure changes shape. For example, a circle becomes a square.
  • Color: the figure changes color.
  • Switching: figures are switched places.
  • Filling: the figure gets a different filling.
  • Orientation: the figure is turning.

The tricky thing about diagrammatical reasoning is that you usually don’t see the changes one by one. So you first have to determine which letter causes which change. Only when you know that can you solve the question.

In other cases, a certain letter causes multiple changes. You then have to determine which changes that are. Then you can apply it again.

Example of diagrammatic reasoning

Diagrammatic reasoning legend

You get to see a legend of initial figures, the applied changes and the final figures. You must determine yourself which letter (s) cause which change.

Diagammatic reasoning example

The change is TFK. We can conclude that T = switch places of elements, F = change colour of elements and K = change size of elements. So, none of the answers are correct: A.

Saville style diagrammatic reasoning

Saville uses flow charts under the name diagrammatic aptitude in the Swift Analysis Test. These flow diagrams clearly state what exactly changes do. You will then see a starting figure and the change. You then have to determine what the final figure will be.

The tricky thing about these flow charts is that you can get many different changes. You must pay close attention to the order to find the correct answer.

Saville style diagrammatic reasoning
Diagrammatic reasoning

Other diagrammatic reasoning

With these flow charts you get to see a legend with a few initial figures, changes and final figures. You must then apply these changes to a given figure.

The tricky thing about these flow charts is that you have to determine which changes are caused by which letter. More letters are always given. Once you know which letters are responsible for the changes you can determine the answer.


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