# 26 july ar - medic mind€¦ · why do they test it? abstract reasoning is based upon spotting...

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Theory & Technique

Mock Questions

Step-by-Step Guide

Detailed Explanations

Abstract ReasoningUKCAT Course Book

Lesson Page

Lesson 1: Introduction to Abstract Reasoning 3

Lesson 2: Abstract Reasoning Question Types 5

Lesson 3: Warm-Up Quiz 9

Lesson 4: Type 1 Questions 13

Lesson 5: Summary of Abstract Reasoning Patterns 16

Lesson 6: Abstract Reasoning Triggers 20

Lesson 7: Tutorial - Number Patterns 22

Lesson 8: Tutorial - Shape Patterns 26

Lesson 9: Tutorial - Size Patterns 33

Lesson 10: Tutorial - Position Patterns 35

Lesson 11: Tutorial - Colour Patterns 37

Lesson 12: Tutorial - Orientation Patterns 39

Lesson 13: Distractors 43

Lesson 14: Dependent Patterns 45

Lesson 15: Secondary Patterns 46

Lesson 16: Timing Strategies 47

Lesson 17: Type 2 Questions 50

Lesson 18: Type 3 Questions 54

Lesson 19: Type 4 Questions 56

Lesson 20: Abstract Reasoning - Test Day 57

Lesson 21: Tips from the Experts 59

Lesson 22: Summary and Overview 51

Answers and Explanations 71

Table of Contents

What is Abstract Reasoning?

Abstract Reasoning assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes. The key is to focus on the patterns and similarities between shapes, ignoring the relevant and distracting material which may lead to incorrect conclusions.

Page 3UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Set 1 : Questions 1 - 5

Introduction to Abstract ReasoningLesson 1

Understand the skills involved in Abstract Reasoning and be able to appreciate why it is tested.

Why do they test it?

Abstract Reasoning is based upon spotting patterns and connections. When a doctor has to diagnose a patient, they often need to look for symptoms, signs or scientific clues which point towards a particular disease. Similarly, when doing research you need to analyse data to spot trends and patterns which point towards a conclusion.

The Challenge of Abstract Reasoning

Many students find Abstract Reasoning the most difficult section at first. Here are some of the main difficulties of the section:

The skill required is one rarely used by students at school.

Practice is essential to recognise common patterns, so at first the section is especially difficult

You have the least time per question out of any UKCAT section (13 minutes for 55 questions).

Abstract Reasoning: Dos and Donts

One thing to note is that when we refer to Box 1 in a Set, we mean the top left, Box 2 is the top right, Box 3 is the middle left, Box 4 is the middle right, and so on.

Do Dont

Begin by spotting the pattern in Set A and B before looking at the test shapes Start with the Test Shapes

Look for patterns using similarities between boxes in Set A and B, and then using the

pattern to answer the test shapesAnswer the test shapes by matching them

to similar-looking boxes in Set A or B

Impose a limit of 1 minute per set, and then move on if you cannot get the answer Spend too much time on a question

Page 4UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Introduction to Abstract Reasoning Lesson 1

Type 1 Questions

Type 1 Questions give you two sets of boxes containing shapes, with five associated test boxes. You have to find the pattern in Set A and B, and then choose A, B, or C for each test box.

Page 5UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning Question Types Lesson 2

Recognise that there are several different question types in Abstract Reasoning, and be able to identify them immediately.

Set 2 : Questions 6 - 10

Type 2 Questions

Type 2 Questions will be present you with a series of shapes. You will be asked to select the next shape in the series.

Which of the following completes the sequence?

Page 6UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning Question Types Lesson 2

Set 3 : Question 11

Type 3 Questions

Type 3 Questions will present you with a statement involving a group of shapes. You will be asked to determine which shape completes the statement.

Which of the following completes the sequence?

Page 7UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning Question Types Lesson 2

Set 4 : Question 12

Type 4 Questions

Type 4 Questions will present you with two sets of shapes labelled Set A and Set B. You will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B.

Page 8UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning Question Types Lesson 2

Set 5 : Questions 13 - 15

Using SPONCS to Brainstorm

All patterns will come under the Medic Mind Acronym: SPONCS

S hape

P osition

O rientation

N umber

C olour

S ize

Common Patterns: SPONCSLesson 5

Learn Medic Minds acronym SPONCS

Category Pattern Example

Shape

Each box has a particular shape Set A has one triangle in each box.

Each box has a particular characteristic to its shapes: Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Curved vs. Straight Concave vs. Convex Right vs. Acute Angles Regular vs. Irregular x-sided vs. y-sided

Set A has symmetrical shapes.

Set B has asymmetrical shapes.

Position

Each box can be split into sections (left, right, top, bottom)

Set A has more shapes on the left hand side than right hand side

Each box has certain shapes positioned next to each other

Set A has a triangle and square adjacent in every box.

Each box has rotated shapesSet A has a shape and adjacent to it the same shape rotated 90 degrees clockwise

Each box has shapes arranged by feature (colour, size, number of sides)

Set A has the biggest shape in the top half of each box.

Each box has a shape arranged in a specific way relative to another

Set A has a triangle to the left of a circle in each box.

Page 18UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Common Patterns: SPONCS Lesson 5

Orientation

Each box has an arrow pointing in a particular direction

Set A has more arrows pointing right than left.

Each box has a triangle pointing in a particular direction

Set A has a triangle pointing to a black shape in each box.

Number

Each box has a specific number of all shapes

Set A has two shapes in each box.

Each box has a specific number of a particular or coloured shape

Set A has two black triangles in each box.

Each box has an odd or even number of shapes

Set A has an even number of shapes.

Each box has a particular number of a feature: Intersections Regions Sides Right Angles Regions

Set A has shapes with an even number of sides.

Colour

Each box has shapes of a certain colour (black, white, grey, spotted, striped)

Set A has only black shapes.

Each box has a certain number of coloursSet A has twice as many black shapes as white shapes.

Each box has a particular shape coloured Set A has a black triangle in each box.

Size

Each box has a big or small shape in a particular orientation

Set A has the biggest shape in the top half of each box.

Each box has a big or small shape of a particular feature

Set A has the biggest shape shaded black in each box.

Page 19UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Common Patterns: SPONCS Lesson 5

Lesson 5

What are the triggers for Abstract Reasoning?

When doing Abstract Reasoning questions, you want to look for one of the patterns from SPONCS. However, do not mindlessly apply SPONCS in the same way for every question type. You will only have time to look for 1 or 2 out of SPONCS.

Instead, you should looking for the pattern type based on certain triggers:

Page 20UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning TriggersLesson 6

Use the Medic Mind triggers to choose the correct SPONCs category early, saving yourself time when finding the pattern.

S hape

If you see peculiar shapes, such as the crescent moon, think of the SHAPE pattern of Curved vs. Straight. This is because to represent curved shapes they cannot always use a circle, so then start to make new curved shapes such as the crescent moon.

P osition

If you see clocks, dont read them as telling the time. They are just shapes- instead think about the ANGLES between the clock hands.

O rientation

If you see lots of similar shapes in every box, think of ORIENTATION. There may be subtle differences in arrangement e.g. in Set A the triangle is always above the square, and vice versa in Set B.

If you see lots of triangles, think about ORIENTATION as triangles can point, and also about ANGLES as some may be right angled and some isosceles.

If you see arrows, think about ORIENTATION as they are often pointing in a direction or at a particular shape (e.g. in Set A the arrow always points to a right angled shape).

N umber

If you see very few shapes, think of NUMBER. If there are many shapes, it is not worth your time counting.

C olour

If you see grey, spotted or dotted shapes, consider COLOUR as the pattern.

S ize

If you see big and small shapes in the same box, consider SIZE as the pattern.

Page 21UKCAT BMAT www.medicmind.co.uk Interview UCAS

Abstract Reasoning Triggers Lesson 6