Example – Decide on the meaning of the code on the left. Each letter means something and can be determined by looking at the symbols. Then look at the test shape and decide which of the given code letters is an accurate description of it.
The key to answering these questions of course is finding the similar codes so let’s look initially at the second letter – ‘M’ or ‘N’. The first and third shape have the code letter ‘M’ and they are both black with a white shape inside. As the second shape is not, and has the code letter ‘N’, we can be confident that we are correct. The test shape is not similar to either of these so should have a new code letter – the options available suggest it should be ‘O’.
The next thing we look at is the second set of similar code letters. The first and second shapes have the letter ‘X’ and they both have a triangle in the middle. As the final shape contains a circle and has the code ‘Y’, the test shape’s diamond inside suggest another new code letter – ‘Z’.
The remaining element of the puzzle must be solved as there are two possible answers which end with the code ‘OZ’. The test shape is a parallelogram and that is the same as the third shape, which has the initial code letter ‘C’. As the other shapes are different and have different initial code letters it is safe to assume that we are looking for the code ‘C’.
Our overall answer must contain the code letters ‘C’, ‘O’ and ‘Z’, which is answer ‘e’.
Don’t be put off by the lack of anything similar in the test shape. In the above question there was nothing with a diamond in the middle amongst the first shapes. Don’t panic – you can always use code letters which are not on the originals, as long as you are sure that you’ve got the right element of the puzzle. Also, if you find an answer code letter which appears in only one answer it will not be terribly likely to be right as it would give you the chance to solve the question too easily!
Example 2 – Decide on the meaning of the code on the left. Each letter means something and can be determined by looking at the symbols. Then look at the test shape and decide which of the given code letters is an accurate description of it.
This question is quite straightforward although it does introduce a rarity – two different shapes which share the same code letters. The first two shapes are both ‘AJ’ and we cannot know which characteristic of the shapes relate to which element of the code. We therefore need to look at something else to determine the answer.
The third and fourth shapes have both got the code letter ‘B’. They are different shapes and the arrows point in different directions in each shape but the two arrows in each shape point the same way as each other. This ties in with the other information from the other shapes as they are not coded ‘B’ and do not have both arrows pointing the same way. The test shape is like the latter so must have the code ‘A’.
The second letter must therefore refer to the overall shape, as the direction the arrows face is always different. This means the test shape has a code of ‘K’. The whole code is therefore ‘AK’, or answer ‘b’.