Get UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Practice Here

There are multiple sections to the UKCAT, the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test, that applicants will need to prepare for. One of the sections is UKCAT abstract reasoning. Practice for this section is vital for achieving the best scores possible. We’re going through the Abstract Reasoning section and looking at practice questions which can help in the exam preparations.


What is the UKCAT?

The ukcat is a test which applicants will need to undertake if they want to study medicine at University. Some medical schools hold preference over the ukcat and some over the BMAT. Applicants should look ahead of time to see which exam they will need to take depending on the Universities they are applying to. Those sitting the test are given two hours to complete this highly challenging computer-based exam and the tests run through a three-month period.

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What does Abstract Reasoning Test?

The reason for abstract reasoning being one of the section in the ukcat exam is to test applicants on their ability to think beyond the information that is readily available. To expand on this, applicants need to show that they can ‘think outside the box’.

Why is this useful? It is thought that the skills of abstract reasoning will be beneficial when interpreting information such as test results in the medical profession. By thinking of other reasonings/ interpretations for the data provided, an individual could discover new solutions/theories that would benefit the patient and the future of medicine.

What types of questions will come up?

Usually, the types of questions you will see in the ukcat abstract reasoning practice and examinations, are pattern recognition. This could also be in the form of finding the logical approach to a series of symbols in order to match those symbols by groups. To put it simply, it tests the ability to recognise patterns in a set of shapes.

Test Structure

As with all sections of the ukcat, you have a certain timescale to answer the questions. In this section, applicants must answer 55 questions in only 33 minutes! (An additional minute will be added to read the instructions at the beginning).

There will be multiple questions per image set. The main investment in time is figuring out the pattern. For example, and as a rule of thumb, if you have 5 questions per one image then you have about 60 minutes to work out the pattern. It’s not as scary as it first looks!

If managing time is something of a concern for applicants, then it’s good to know that practice will increase speed and accuracy. So get practicing! And even, if the pattern seems to be impossible to figure out, just make a guess and move on – there’s still a 33% chance of getting it right!


The 4 styles of questions:

Below, we’ve listed the four main styles of questions that students will find in this section of the ukcat. We have also provided some UCKAT abstract reasoning practice questions as examples alongside each style:

  1. Applicants are provided with two sets of six shapes – Set A and Set B. All images within each set are linked by a common rule (the rule will be different for Set A and Set B). Rules for each set must be identified. With this rule, applicants should then deduce which one of the five options below belong to which set. (If the shape belongs to neither of the sets then the answer is ‘neither’. The same can be said if the shape fits the rules of both of the sets – the answer is ‘neither’.


Answer as follows:

  1. Set A
  2. Set B
  3. Neither

Answer? The answer to this question would be set A. The rule being that there is always a triangle in the top left corner of top A. The rule for Set B is that there is always a quadrilateral in the bottom right corner. However, with the options provided only set A has an image that matches this rule.

  1. Applicants are presented with a single sequence of four shapes which should be read from left to right. They are then asked to select the next shape in the sequence from four options.


Which answer completes the following:


Answer? As the sequences progress the number of objects increase by two. With that in mind, the next in the sequence will be option C with 10 shapes within the frame.

  1. This is another type of sequence style question. On the test, an applicant is given two shapes with a rule linking them. The rubric states shape one is to shape two by this rule. A third shape is then provided and applicants are tasked with applying this rule to find out how it will affect shape four. The tip is to focus on the same elements found between the shapes and notice what changes have taken place.


Which answer completes the following:


Answer? For this, option A is the correct answer. Why? If you notice, the left half of the image the shames are flipped around vertically and on the right side the shapes are reversed horizontally. Then any shape which is find in the same area and in the same orientation is turned black.

  1. Similar to the first style, applicants are given two sets of six shapes and each set is linked by a common rule. Once applicants have discovered what this rule is, they will be given four options and asked to select which options fit into either set A or set B.


Which of the response options belongs to either set A or set B?


(More image set options will be given than just these two and applicants must choose which, out of the ones provided, fit into the main sets).

Answer? The rules for each set goes as follows. Set A’s total number of white edges is an even number, the total number of black edges is an odd number, and there is always one grey shape. For set B the total number of black edges is even, total number of grey edges is odd and there’s always one white shape.


We hope that by providing these UKCAT abstract reasoning practice questions from our Ultimate UKCAT Guide, it clarifies what questions to be expected from this part of the exam.

Practice Pattern Recognition

One of the key tips during ukcat Abstract Reasoning practice is to get used to identifying patterns Luckily, whether recognising patterns is a strength or a weakness, we’ve got a system which can help – the NSPCC system. This follows a certain way to look at the images presented to find out the origins of the pattern whether it is associated with numbers, size, position, colour, or conformation. Applicants should consider each image set presented in this order if they want to figure out the pattern quickly.

More top tips on the abstract reasoning section of the UKCAT can be found here >>>

More Mock Papers and UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Practice…

To get familiar with finding the patterns in images, like the ones presented above, we recommend practicing as much as possible leading up to the interview. Whether this is simply reading through guides such as these UKCAT abstract reasoning practice questions listed above or taking it a step further and sitting a mock test using our UKCAT practice papers.

Further support and guidance on each section of the UKCAT will happily be provided by our expert medical tutors on our UKCAT test tuition. With this package, students will receive unbeatable strategies from the very best in the industry on their ukcat exam. It’s really worthwhile, believe us. And if you can’t take our word for it, then let numbers do the talking – we triple the chances of getting into medicine!

Find out more and get in touch with us or read the latest information and tips on the processes of a medical (or dentistry) application in our blogs below…