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It's not just children that find non-verbal reasoning questions difficult, many adults do too. Some people seem to naturally be able to see the solutions to non-verbal puzzles while others can struggle for ages and still not get the answer.Â For eleven plus tutors, this can be a problem, but there are strategies to help!

It goes without saying that doing lots of practice is a good way to improve, but unless you know the rules it's hard to know where to start.Â There are loads of online and printed resources but a couple of things to get you started.

Often the answer is simpler than you think. You might be given four patterns and then choose the one that comes next from a number of options.Â Each of the four patterns may have an increasing number of small symbols inside which are randomly chosen. Thus the first may have a circle, the second two squares, the third two triangles and a squiggle and the fourth two circles and a diamond. Thus the next in the sequence just has the right number of symbols. Easy really but you may get sidetracked by looking for some code in the actual symbols.

Another answer using the same type of question may have a sequence of shapes with symbols but there may always be two squares. The next in sequence must also have two squares.

To help children tackle these kinds of questions Cotswold Education run a Summer School to identify more tips and tricks. Find out more on our website here!

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