The UKCAT Abstract Reasoning (AR) section is an assessment of spatial awareness and reasoning. There are both static and dynamic shapes and you have to identify the patterns among distracting material. This page will provide an overview of the section, as well as our UKCAT Abstract Reasoning tips.
As a doctor, you will be faced with both reliable and unreliable information, and you’ll need to make judgements about possible diagnoses from test results – so this section of the UKCAT is designed to assess your ability to evaluate and generate hypotheses, as well as your critical thinking.
From 2019, the UKCAT is to be renamed UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test), following an announcement made by the UKCAT Consortium.
There are four types of Abstract Reasoning question in the UKCAT:
You are presented with two ‘sets’ of shapes (Set A and Set B) followed by five ‘test shapes’. You need to decide if the ‘test shape’ fits into Set A, Set B or neither set A nor set B.
You are presented with a series of shapes, alternating form one box to the next. You need to say which of four shapes would come next in the sequence.
You are presented with a ‘statement’ of two sets of shapes – where changes have been applied to one set of shapes to create a new one. You must then apply the same changes to a set of test shapes and choose which of four options comes next.
A variation on Type 1 questions, but instead of five sequential ‘tests shapes’ you are presented with four ‘test shapes’ simultaneously and have to decide which one of the four belongs to either Set A or B.
This is one of our top UKCAT Abstract Reasoning tips. The Abstract Reasoning section tests your ability to recognise patterns. The best way to prepare for this is by completing practice questions, as this will enable you to recognise the kinds of patterns that commonly feature in the exam.
Familiarise yourself with looking at different examples and asking yourself questions: how many shapes are there in each box and does the tile fit this format? Do the shapes or patterns rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise? With Abstract Reasoning, practice makes perfect.
Most Popular UKCAT Abstract Reasoning Blogs
You can read a selection of our most popular UKCAT Abstract Reasoning blogs below.