Spatial Reasoning Test

Spatial reasoning is a useful pre-employment test that assesses a candidate's ability to think about 2D and 3D objects, and mentally manipulate those objects into new forms as well as spot patterns between shapes.

  • What is a spatial reasoning test and what does it measure?

    A spatial reasoning test assesses the capacity to think about objects in two or three dimensions and make conclusions about them with only limited information. For example, you might be asked to fold, turn and manipulate the surfaces of 2D and 3D shapes with your mind and predict what they would look like after the change.

    Other questions might involve predicting the next form in a pattern or sequence.

    An employer might use a spatial reasoning test to measure the cognitive aptitude of job candidates, as it's one of the best tests to predict long-term job performance.

    The classic game Tetris is one example of how spatial reasoning can be used to solve problems. Players are given 2D shapes which must be rotated and positioned to effectively fill spaces within a growing wall of blocks. Spatial reasoning is just that: the ability to visualize a pattern, make a judgment, and solve the problem.

    Spatial reasoning is a crucial skill to look for when hiring almost for any job, as most positions require critical thinking and problem solving on a daily basis.

About the Spatial Reasoning Test

Spatial reasoning is a category of problem-solving that is often assessed through pre-employment tests. To pass the test, candidates will need to be able to see two- or three-dimensional objects and then mentally manipulate them based on a series of instructions. For example, folding and rotating a 2D shape, then selecting what it would look like afterwards.

Spatial reasoning can therefore be defined as the ability to visualize how different elements may or may not fit together.

It is highly correlated to general intelligence (also known as cognitive aptitude), which is an abstract skill that is universally job-relevant since it relates to someone being given abstract information and then applying that information appropriately.

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  • Why should you use a spatial reasoning test for recruiting?

    One of the biggest benefits of pre-employment tests for recruitment is being able to use test results to make the most informed hiring decisions you can. It also helps remove some of the unconscious bias that can occur from the initial hiring stages of a recruitment process, particularly when reading a resume or application.

    When a candidate takes a spatial reasoning test, they are provided with a score that is sent to the employer to make quicker and easier shortlisting decisions. Using the comparative data, you can rank top-performing applicants based on their test scores while significantly reducing bias.

    Another benefit to a spatial reasoning assessment is that the test is generally independent of education, culture, and language. Test-takers who can visualize and manipulate shapes using their mind don't require any specific training.

    This makes spatial reasoning one of the most widely applicable and accessible skills used to measure a person's innate aptitude. For instance, evaluating the skill in an international candidate who speaks different languages because it makes the assessment process more standardized.

Sample Spatial Reasoning Test question

Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?

  • A

  • B

  • C

  • D

  • E

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Spatial Reasoning Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

The format of Pickeds spatial reasoning test

The spatial reasoning test consists of multiple-choice questions: one correct answer and three to four distractors. Candidates have 10 minutes to complete it, which means they must work quickly but carefully.

The types of spatial reasoning questions candidates can be given vary; from rotating an object, to shape matching, combining two-dimensional shapes and more.

Excellent spatial reasoning skills are needed to do well in the test to visualize shapes, spot patterns and follow instructions. As a result of assessments being timed, the test is also a good measure of how well an individual works under pressure.


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Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


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“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Spatial Reasoning Test expert

Written by a Spatial Reasoning Test expert

This test was created by our team of assessment experts, made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

Spatial Reasoning Test FAQs

Can I try the test for free?

Yes, sign up (no credit card required) and we'll give you a 7 day trial completely free. You'll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like.

Can I mix the spatial reasoning test with other tests?

Yes, one of the benefits of using Picked is that you can mix and match different tests to suit your role requirements.

What is the cost for Picked's spatial reasoning test?

Once you've finished your free trial there are several flexible pricing plans to suit your company's needs, whether you're an SME or enterprise business.

Which jobs is the spatial reasoning test relevant for?

Spatial reasoning skills are considered to be crucial for technical roles. Therefore, if you are applying to be an engineer or an architect, you might be expected to pass these tests.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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