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Indepth: RAVEN'S APM and SPM

For more than 40 years, RAVEN'S progressive matrices has been used in occupational settings as a highly respected measure of inductive reasoning. There are two versions available for occupational use:

RAVEN'S Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) Suitable for graduate, managerial levels & technical roles
RAVEN'S Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) Suitable for entry level and non managerial roles


RAVEN'S is diagrammatic and the questions require test-takers to look at patterns. It is designed in a way that patterns become more complex with each question.


What does RAVEN'S measure?

Inductive (or abstract) reasoning is the ability to solve problems on a complex level. RAVEN'S measures one of the main components of general intelligence, the ability to think clearly and make sense of complexity. 

Psychologists call this “fluid intelligence” which differs from “crystallised intelligence” - a measure of the knowledge and skills acquired through experience for example at school/college or in a job.  

Many theorists believe you are born with fluid intelligence – you cannot develop it to any great extent; having high crystallised intelligence does not necessarily mean you have high fluid intelligence.


Why do employers measure abstract reasoning?


  • Many recruiters now require more information than qualifications - they are increasingly using ability tests to identify problem solving, critical thinking or verbal and numerical skills.
  • RAVEN'S is used by recruiters across many industry sectors to recruit into roles where the incumbents have to solve complex problems.
  • Because RAVEN'S is diagrammatic (non-verbal) it removes language bias and is ideal for use across multiple geographies. 
  • Research has shown that abstract and other reasoning tests are powerful predictors of performance at work.