Understanding RAVEN’s Advanced Matrices for Businesses

An Overview of the RAVEN’S Advanced Matrices

For businesses and managers unfamiliar with the RAVENs Advanced Matrices test, this non-verbal human intelligence test is a test widely used by businesses across the globe. 

Created in 1936 by John C. Raven, these abstract reasoning tests are used to measure candidates ability when solving problems. The idea behind the tests is that subjects are asked to identify the missing element that completes a pattern. These patterns vary in form, ranging from 6×6, 4×4, 3×3, or 2×2 matrix.

The RAVEN’s Advanced Matrices test looks to measure an applicant’s ability to:

  • Lateral thinking
  • Learning new concepts quickly
  • Solving new and complex problems without drawing on prior knowledge

This is important in modern business due to the need for innovation and strategic thinking to tackle new and different business problems. 

While businesses remain comfortable in knowing the immediate commercial, customer and market issues, advances in technology, consumer behaviour and competitive product developments means that to stay competitive and operating efficiently, businesses need to incorporate new strategies to tackle new problems. This is ultimately where the need for lateral thinking and abstract reasoning come into play. 

How Does the RAVEN’S Advanced Matrices Differ to the Progressive Matrices?

There are two types of RAVEN’s matrices tests. These are the RAVEN’s Standard Progressive Matrices and the RAVEN’s Advanced Progressive matrices

In essence, these tests are extremely similar and work based on the John C. Raven matrix, however, there are some small nuanced differences between the two.

Firstly, the progressive matrices is aimed more toward entry-level roles within an organisation, whereas the advanced matrices is aimed at managerial talent, looking to identify those who may need support in thinking more strategically from positions of management and above. 

Secondly, the progressive matrices is a test used with the general population, whereas the advanced RAVEN’s matrices is a test typically associated with the top 20% of the population (Pearson Clinical).

Finally, the major difference being the difficulty between the two tests. With the advanced matrices being tailored more towards middle-to-senior management roles, the difficulty in patterns is higher than that of the progressive matrices. 

A World-Renowned Cognitive Ability Test

The RAVEN’s matrices test is the Gold standard test used globally. However, this is an abstract reasoning test that is also frequently researched. As recently as 2011 saw a research paper into the relationships through verbal ability tests (RAVEN’s APM II Test).

Research has also transferred into the education sector, with papers as recent as 2019 researching how the APM II can be used in educational analysis through RASCH Analysis.

Further research into cognitive processing suggests that the progressive matrices whereby patterns are easier to identify, showed suddenness and certainty in pattern identification was much higher than the advanced matrices, which shows a higher level of analytical thought and contemplation, while also showing more uncertainty in decision making. 

This is important because it shows the breadth of influence in which the RAVEN’s matrices, both progressive and advanced, have across multiple industries and the global interest across business, education and relationships this abstract reasoning test garners. 

Lateral Thinking Skills in Practice

The use of the RAVEN’s matrices measures abstract reasoning and lateral thinking. Ultimately, the ability to see patterns and relationships where others might not see them. This is the core of lateral thinking as a concept. Lateral thinking is something that many strategic thinkers possess as a highly effective skill. 

Strategy is the ability to see the bigger picture of where a business needs, or wants to be, versus where they currently are. Lateral thinking doesn’t concentrate on the how, but the why and what we need to achieve in a business sense. 

In doing this, those who are strategic will look at the final goal, the objective and why the business needs to achieve this. Whereas those who are more logical thinkers will look at the specific tactics of ‘how’ a goal can be achieved.

An example of this might be a marketing proposition or campaign to communicate a new proposition a company is. The lateral thinking part of the proposition is the strategic idea to offer a new proposition or reposition the brand based on market and consumer analysis. 

The lateral or abstract reasoning behind this looks to research the data, identify the insight (whether business or consumer-related) and leverage this to push the company’s efforts towards a new strategic direction.

This is how the Advanced Matrices test in particular helps identify the intrinsic abstract reasoning skills or the requirement for developing those skills within your talent pool.

Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us or visit our RAVEN’S Advanced Progressive Matrices Test (APM-III) or RAVEN’S Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) to learn more about how your business could benefit by measuring and developing abstract reasoning and lateral thinking skills.