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by Ira on Guide to Writing your ACET Essay

Strategies for Abstract Reasoning or Non-Verbal Test

By:  Kevin Lubrin Domingsil


1. Some strategies may refer to letters of the alphabet and numbers. On your scratch paper, make a list of the alphabet and write their corresponding numerical value starting from 1. Example, A-1, B-2, C-3, …

2. Answer the easiest question first, then go back if there is still time. This is good practice because next time you may already notice something you may have missed noting the first time you looked. Or you may have encountered the same pattern already.

3. Patterns that you are looking for may fall under three general types:

a. Figure Problems: Watch out for repeated design elements, pairings, alternate progression of design, changes in size or shading spot deletions or addition of parts

  • Take a good look at all the frames to take note of any progression pattern.
  • Take note of repeated design elements or change/s in the design.
  • Look for pairings among the given frames.
  • Look for alternate progression in the design.
  • Note changes in sizes or shading.
  • Note deletions or additions of parts.

b. Letter – number pattern

  • Letters of the alphabet and their corresponding numerical value.
  • Note the order of letters in an alphabet series.

c. Number series

  • A pattern of increasing value.
  • A pattern of decreasing value.

-> The increase or decrease may be any multiples. The secret here is to determine what number is added to the preceding set to get the next.

Example: 14, 20, 26, 32, ?

The series increases by 6, so the answer is 38.

-> Sometimes, the increase or decrease is not uniform but progressive.

Example: 8, 13, 19, 26, ?

The answer is 34, the increase is by 5 then 6, 7, 8…

-> There are instances when the increase or decrease in not unifrom but retrogressing.

Example: 8, 13, 17, 20, ?

The answer is 22. The increase is by 5, 4, 3, 2, and all are retrogressing by 1 point.


Strategies for Logical Reasoning

1. Read the given statements carefully. Do not consider outside information or basic knowledge on the topic.

2. From the statement, draw a conclusion if it is not given in the statements. Ask yourself the following questions: What do statements prove? What is the author trying to make me believe?

3. Read all the choices first, then eliminate all illogical conclusions and choose the strongest argument or a logical conclusion.