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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

ry our OLSAT Figural Reasoning study pack 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.

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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