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Raven's Progressive Matrices Test: Questions, Strategies & Online Practice

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Looking for ways to ace the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test (RPM)? Interested in learning effective strategies for tackling the notoriously challenging RPM questions? Or perhaps, you're seeking a go-to resource for reliable online RPM practice? If you nodded along, you've landed on the perfect blog post to fuel your preparations.

Raven's Progressive Matrices Test: Questions, Strategies & Online Practice

In the world of cognitive ability testing, the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test (RPM) is a name that stands out. Known for its comprehensive assessment of abstract reasoning and fluid intelligence, it's a tool extensively utilized in both educational and professional settings.

However, like any other cognitive test, the RPM also presents its unique challenges. From complex pattern recognition to time pressure, cracking the RPM test requires more than just raw intelligence - it calls for a systematic preparation strategy, practice, and patience.

In this blog post, we delve deep into the nuances of the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test - decoding its structure, demystifying its questions, and decoding the path to acing it. We provide detailed insights into the RPM test, explore sample questions, and offer tailored strategies to help you conquer this test.

To aid your preparation, we also review some of the best online platforms for the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test test practice. Whether you're a first-time test-taker or someone aiming to improve your score, this comprehensive guide is designed to cater to your needs.

So, are you ready to embark on this journey towards mastering the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test? Let's dive right in!

What is the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test

The Raven's Progressive Matrices Test, often referred to as the Raven Test, is a nonverbal evaluation tool developed to assess an individual's fluid intelligence and capacity for abstract reasoning. This primarily involves the aptitude to navigate and solve new, unencountered problems independent of previously acquired knowledge.

Recognized as one of the most extensively researched General Mental Ability Tests (GMT), the Raven Test has been the precursor to a wide array of abstract reasoning tests, including the well-known Matrigma Test.

The essence of all Raven's matrices test questions lies in deciphering a missing shape in accordance with a given pattern. As the test progresses, the questions rise in difficulty, demanding an increased level of mental agility.

Despite being fundamentally similar, there are different versions of the Raven Test, each catering to distinct needs and varying in length and complexity:

Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test (APM) is a higher-level version of the standard progressive matrices, specifically designed to evaluate more advanced cognitive abilities. It's commonly used in both clinical settings and as a pre-employment assessment tool for senior, analytical, and technical positions.

The APM consists of visual patterns, where the individual must identify the missing piece from several options provided. Unlike the standard version, the APM is designed to challenge even those with higher intellectual abilities.

The main purpose of Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test (APM) is to evaluate abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills, particularly in those expected to demonstrate superior cognitive functions. Click here to try real test questions>>

Test Structure

  • Number of Questions: The APM consists of 23 questions, or a shortened version of 12 questions.

  • Question Format: Each question displays a complex pattern with a missing piece, and test takers must choose the correct missing piece from the options.

  • Time Limit: The full version allows 40 minutes for completion, while the shortened version must be completed in 15 minutes.

  • Difficulty: The questions are more complex and abstract compared to the standard version, requiring higher-order thinking skills.


  • Raw Score: A raw score is calculated based on the number of correct answers.

  • Scaled Score: Depending on the context and the normative data used, the raw score may be converted into a scaled score.

  • Percentile Rank: A percentile rank may also be presented, reflecting how the individual's performance compares to a relevant reference group.

Uses and Applications

  • Clinical Purposes: The APM can be used by mental health professionals to assess cognitive functioning, particularly for individuals expected to have above-average intellectual abilities.

  • Pre-Employment Assessment: Companies may use the APM to evaluate candidates for senior, analytical, and technical positions, where advanced problem-solving and analytical skills are required.

Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices Test (SPM) is a widely recognized intelligence test designed to measure a person's general cognitive ability. It assesses an individual's capacity for abstract thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.

The Raven's SPM consists of visual patterns arranged in a particular sequence with a piece missing. Test takers are required to complete the pattern by selecting the missing part from several options.

The SPM's primary purpose is to gauge general cognitive abilities in a non-verbal format. It's often used in clinical settings and in assessing entry-level job candidates, where verbal and numerical skills may not be crucial. Click here to try real test questions>>

Test Structure

  • Number of Questions: There are 43 questions in the SPM, grouped into five sets (A to E) that gradually increase in complexity.

  • Question Format: Each question presents a visual pattern with a missing piece. Test takers must select the correct missing piece from six or eight options.

  • Time Limit: The test has a time limit of 47 minutes, providing just over a minute per question.

  • Difficulty: The questions become progressively more challenging, with the final sets requiring more abstract thinking and complex pattern recognition.


  • Raw Score: One point is given for each correct answer, and the total gives the raw score.

  • Scaled Score: The raw score is often converted into a scaled score that takes into account age and other demographic factors.

  • Percentile Rank: The score may also be presented as a percentile rank, reflecting how the individual compares to a reference group.

Uses and Applications

  • Clinical Purposes: The SPM is used by psychologists and clinicians to assess cognitive functioning and identify possible intellectual disabilities or cognitive decline.

  • Occupational Testing: Many companies use the SPM to evaluate the cognitive abilities of entry-level job candidates, especially where logical and analytical skills are essential.

  • Educational Assessment: The test can identify students who may need special educational support or are suitable for gifted programs.

Primarily intended for the clinical evaluation of children aged 5-11, the elderly, and mentally disabled individuals.

All versions of the Raven Test are licensed by Pearson and used by a diverse range of organizations.

Let's delve into the intricacies of the Advanced Progressive Matrices and Standard Progressive Matrices questions, predominantly used to gauge potential employees' capabilities:

Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test Questions

The APM version comprises 23 questions, each requiring you to identify a pattern in a 3X3 matrix and select the correct tile to complete it. This test assesses your abilities through a variety of question types including progression rule, motion rule, rotation rule, and construction rule questions.

In the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test Preparation Pack, JobTestPrep provides free practice tests, tons of real test questions and their comprehensive solution strategies. Each practice test comes with detailed explanations to help you grasp the underlying rules and improve your performance.

Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices Questions

The SPM version is often employed to evaluate entry-level job candidates. This test, although simpler than the Advanced version, still requires you to answer 43 questions in 47 minutes, with the complexity of questions escalating as you progress.

To offer a real test experience, JobTestPrep provides a tailored simulation mirroring the SPM's timing and question format, along with an impressive repertoire of 159 practice questions. These resources are specifically designed to bolster your performance and success on the test.

How to prepare for Raven's Progressive Matrices?

Getting acquainted with the nuances of the Raven's Progressive Matrices tests—both Standard and Advanced—can substantially aid your performance and ultimately boost your score. When you understand the regular patterns and rules embedded within the test, what may initially seem complex can become markedly simpler.

To offer comprehensive assistance in your preparation journey, JobTestPrep has designed an in-depth Raven Matrices Preparation Package which includes:

Raven Matrices Study Guide

This guide serves as an essential tool, designed to unveil the vital patterns typically seen in the matrices. Our meticulous explanations will guide you to become proficient in applying the necessary techniques to ace the test.

The package offers a multitude of practice questions to help you hone your problem-solving skills. Each question is accompanied by thorough, step-by-step solutions that bolster your understanding of the problem-solving strategies needed for this test.

Timed Simulations

Our test simulations closely mimic the actual Raven tests (SPM and APM), complete with time constraints. This immersive experience will improve your speed and confidence, ensuring that you approach the actual test with a calm and prepared mindset.

What Is the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test Used For?

Primarily used for clinical assessments and pre-employment screening, the Raven's test is a powerful tool for measuring an individual's ability to decipher new information and resolve complex problems, independent of their background knowledge. While the test may seem unrelated to your work role, it is a critical phase in many hiring processes.

Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test is often required for candidates applying for positions such as:

  • Leadership roles (VP, Director, CEO, etc.)

  • Technical occupations (like maintenance mechanics)

  • Airline Pilot

  • Financial Analyst

Moreover, the APM can indicate potential employee performance and is frequently utilized in selecting applicants for graduate positions. For other entry-level roles, the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices Test might be preferred.

For specific roles such as airline pilots or senior leadership roles demanding superior leadership skills, candidates might face the Raven Test along with the Hogan Assessment, a series of behavioral questionnaires.

Which employers opt for the Raven Progressive Matrices Test?

Renowned corporations such as Walmart and Amazon, Vestas, Anglo-American, and numerous recruitment agencies for government roles regularly employ the Raven Progressive Matrices Test in their recruitment processes.

Therefore, being well-prepared for the Raven's Matrices test can open a vast range of opportunities. You can use the most comprehensive Preparation Package in JobTestPrep to secure a competitive edge and sail through your hiring process with confidence.

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