Spatial reasoning questions are usually what CCAT test-takers struggle with the most. 

And when taking into account the super-tight time limit the CCAT has, it makes these questions way more difficult.

So today, you’ll learn everything about solving these CCAT spatial reasoning questions.

Let’s dive right in:

What Are Spatial Reasoning Questions?

Spatial reasoning questions measure your ability to mentally picture objects in 2 or 3 dimensions and draw conclusions about those objects from limited information. Spatial reasoning question types include map reading, understanding patterns, matching parts, rotating blocks, mirror images, and many more.

That said, the CCAT test includes only three specific types of spatial reasoning questions, and we’ll talk about them in detail further below.

How Many CCAT Spatial Reasoning Questions Appear on the Test?

The CCAT includes 11 spatial reasoning questions (out of 50 questions in total), making it more than 20% of all questions.

(There are 18 math questions and 17 verbal reasoning questions in comparison)

So, you have to get at least several of the spatial reasoning questions right to score high on the test.

The problem is that answering these questions can be time-consuming. Especially if you see them for the first time or struggle with spatial reasoning questions in general.

But here’s the thing:

If you learn specific solving tactics, you’ll be able to knock them down one after another and save plenty of time on the test (more on these tactics later).

What Type of Spatial Reasoning Questions You’ll See on the CCAT?

You’ll face three types of spatial reasoning questions on the CCAT:

  • Next in Series
  • Odd One Out
  • Matrices

Let’s dive into each of them to find out what you’re up against.

Next in Series Questions

In each Next in Series question, you’re given three, four, or five figures. These form a series that follows a specific rule.

Now:

You’ll see three types of “Next in Series” questions that differ in their format and structure. Here’s a quick overview of each one:

  1. The last object is unknown and is marked with a question mark. You’re asked to determine the figure that should substitute for the question mark.
  2. The unknown object is in the middle of the series and is also marked with a question mark. You need to determine the figure that matches the question mark’s position by the pattern.
  3. There is no question mark in the question. Your task is to determine the figure that should continue the series.

Let’s see an example for the first type mentioned above:

Choose the image that completes the pattern

CCAT Spatial Reasoning Next in Series Example
CCAT Spatial Reasoning Sample Question Next in Series Answer Options

The correct answer is the first one from the right:

CCAT Spatial Reasoning Sample Question Next in Series Correct Answer

The logic: there are two rules in this set:

There is a shape in the top left corner of the frame and the bottom left-hand corner. There is a shape in the top right corner of the frame and alternately in the bottom right corner. This rule creates a wave-like pattern of figures if you look at the sequence of frames. This rule already disqualifies answers 1 and 2 from the left.

The second rule concerns the shapes in the upper part of the frames only (the figures in the bottom are only distracters and do not follow a distinct rule). You can see that every two frames, the number of sides (of the shape) decreases by one (a pentagon, a square, and a triangle).

When the shape is on the right side of the frame, it will be duplicated on the left side of the next frame and be replaced in the next frame. 

Therefore, the correct answer is the first from the right, as the triangle is duplicated in the right place. Answer 2 from the right may be distracting as a triangle is present but not in the right place.

Odd One Out Questions

In Odd One Out questions, you’re given five different figures. Your task is to determine which of the figures doesn’t match the characteristics of the other four. This figure will be the odd one out.

Let’s see it in action in the following sample question:

Choose the odd one out.

CCAT Spatial Reasoning Odd One Out Sample Question

The correct answer is (2).

The logic:

Each square contains 16 circles, half are black, and half are white. The common feature among all options (except for option 2) is that each square has at least one black row/column.

One may claim that option 5 is the odd-one-out since the top-left corner is white, while black is in the rest of the options. However, using the same reasoning, one may find option 3 to be the odd-one-out since it is the only option in which the bottom right corner is white.

If you find two options with a different feature than the rest of the options, but these two features fall into the same category, they mutually exclude one another from being marked as the odd-one-out. In such a case, continue searching for an additional different feature.

Matrices Questions

On matrices questions, you’ll be presented with an incomplete series of symbols. Your task is to identify the missing symbol from several alternatives. 

The symbols have no meaning, but the series always follows a logical sequence, from left to right and/or top to bottom.

Check out the following CCAT matrices sample question:

Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?

CCAT Spatial Reasoning Sample Question Matrices

The correct answer is (A).

Every column contains two shapes. The left column includes a triangle and a circle, the middle column contains a circle and a square, and the right column contains a square and a triangle. 

Take a look at the right column. Down the column, one shape increases in size while another shape decreases in size. The triangle becomes progressively smaller as the square becomes gradually bigger. 

Therefore, the answer option will have a small triangle inside a large square. Eliminate answer D since it is missing a large square.

Additionally, in each row, each shape of the same size is of a different color. In the bottom row, there is a small, white circle and a small, black square. 

Therefore, the answer option will contain a small, gray triangle. You can eliminate answer options B and E. Furthermore, in the bottom row, there is a large, black triangle and a large gray, circle in the bottom row. Therefore, the answer option will contain a large, white square.

Eliminate answer C, and you are left with answer A as the correct answer.

For more realistic CCAT spatial reasoning practice questions (as well as other CCAT question types), visit the CCAT sample test on this page.

Why It’s Important to Practice Your Spatial Reasoning Skills Before You Take the CCAT?

Imagine you start your test, and the first question you get is a Matrix question (or one of the other tough CCAT question types) that you’ve never seen before.

It will probably take you 20-30 seconds just to understand what they want from you. And before you know it, you’ll need to move on to the next question because you don’t have time to stall.

But if you familiarize yourself with these CCAT spatial reasoning questions and learn how to solve them before you take the test, you avoid getting caught off guard.

This, in turn, increases the chances of answering more questions correctly and scoring high.

To get focused preparation tips for the CCAT, visit our CCAT test prep guide.

Why Does Your Future Employer Care About Your Spatial Reasoning Skills?

Spatial reasoning is one of the most fundamental reasoning abilities and it’s highly correlated to cognitive aptitude.

Cognitive aptitude is usually considered a strong predictor of long-term job performance. That’s why employers, such as Vista Equity Partners and dozens of other large companies, use the CCAT to evaluate this aptitude in their job candidates.

Also, good spatial reasoning skills directly relate to strong problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, which are almost always in demand in workplaces.

Additional Helpful CCAT Practice Resources

Want to try more CCAT spatial reasoning sample questions or even get a complete preparation kit for the entire test?

JobTestPrep’s CCAT practice includes 5 full-length (50 questions – 15 minutes) CCAT simulations and 24 dedicated spatial reasoning drills. All questions come with step-by-step explanations.

This includes solving tips and shortcut techniques for every spatial reasoning question, to help increase your solving speed and accuracy.

Additionally, there’s a free CCAT sample test to give you a taste of the real exam.

Get a free CCAT sample test and full-length simulations to help you pass the test.

3 CCAT Spatial Reasoning Tips to Answer Faster and Get More Questions Right

  • Every CCAT spatial reasoning question has at least one to two answers that are distinctively wrong. Use the elimination technique to quickly rule them out and make it easier for you to choose the correct one.
  • Every solution has a logic behind it that follows certain rules. For example, the CCAT matrix questions have five common (although not all five of them appear in each question). Once you master these specific rules, you’ll be able to recall them quickly during the test and save precious seconds.
  • Don’t practice generic spatial reasoning questions. The internet is packed with spatial reasoning practice questions and tests. The problem is that the CCAT spatial reasoning questions consist only of three specific question types (explained above). So, to get the most out of your prep time and learn only what matters, strive to practice only these particular question types.