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Checkered Figures – Written Guide

Topic Progress:

There are two types of these questions.

On the first type, you are requested to choose three (3) figures that are needed to create the given figure on the left.

Remember that only pieces of the same color may overlap.

Here is an example of the first type (3 choices needed).

Which THREE choices are needed to create the figure on the left? Only pieces of the same color may overlap.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E

On the second type, you are requested to choose two (2) figures that are needed to create the given figure on the left, and again, pieces of the same color may overlap.

Here is an example of the second type (2 choices needed).

Which TWO choices are needed to create the figure on the left? Only pieces of the same color may overlap.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E

Most likely, you will have two of these questions on the Wonderlic test, one of each type.

Many test takers tend to find themselves going back and forth from the given figure to the 5 choices with 45 checkers, getting their eyes irritated, becoming confused with remembering which figures are already eliminated and which ones are needed, double-checking every step, and so on.

The worst scenario which you should avoid is spending 40-50 seconds on one of these questions before eventually giving up and making a guess.

This is without mentioning the impact it may have on your emotional state and self-confidence further on the test.

The good news is that in this module, we will demonstrate two simple tactics for each type of question that make it a lot easier.

By exercising these tactics on the questions in this module and on the demo tests in this course, you can significantly improve your performance.

The tactic for questions with 3 choices needed is simple:

First, start with the left and go over all the choices, one by one:

Quickly scan each figure and eliminate it if it contains at least one mismatched checker with a different color or skip to the next figure if it has all the checkers matching the original figure.

It’s important not to forget your eliminations as there are 5 choices with 9 checkers each that can make it confusing.

This happens to many test takers and you want to avoid that.

Instead of using a scrap paper and wasting time, use your hand and 5 fingers as follows.

Choose the hand you feel comfortable with, and start with an open hand with all fingers spread.

Each finger represents one choice at the same order, from left to right

For a figure that passed the compatibility test, with all checkers matching the original, the finger will remain spread as is.

Keep it spread until you solve the question.

For a figure that needs to be eliminated with at least one mismatch, the finger will be folded.

Keep it folded until you solve the question.

Let’s see how it works on our example:

Choice A is ok, all checkers match the original. The A finger, the thumb, in this case, stay spread as is.

Choice B is also OK, finger B stays spread.

On Choice C we have a mismatch.

The grey checker in the given figure and the blue checker in choice C do not match,

Therefore, finger C will be folded.

On Choice D we also have a mismatch; therefore, finger D will be folded as well.




Choice E is ok; therefore finger E will stay spread.

So we are left with three choices.

As a rule of thumb, we could stop scanning the figures as soon as we already eliminated 2 figures, which leaves us with three choices out of five.

The answer is A, B, and E.

On some rare occasions, you may deal with four choices left after eliminating only one.

In that case, you will have to identify which figure is unnecessary, with all checkers available in the other four figures.

The second type of question is with 2 choices needed:

Which TWO choices are needed to create the figure on the left? Only pieces of the same color may overlap.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E

First, you probably noticed the small icons in the checkers.

The test writers often use small random icons inside the colored-square pieces.

Just like these two other examples:


On all Wonderlic questions of this type, it means nothing, and it’s meant to distract you.

These small icons will remain the same on each color so you can ignore it so you should focus only to the colors of the checkers

In this type of question where two choices are needed, you probably will not find a mismatch at all.

On all of the questions we have seen so far for this type, all the checkers were matched to the original figure.

Therefore, you should not use the same tactic as on the first type.

In these questions, there is always one choice with exclusivity on one of the checkers.

That checker will be found only on that particular figure.

Try to see which one it is in this example:

Usually, the test writers will make it stand out like in this case . You should be able to notice it quickly.

This figure D is necessary since it is the only one with that checker.

Once you’ve found this figure, look at which checkers are still missing. The next figure must have all of these checkers.

These are the missing checkers, the red, blue, and grey.

 

Now look for a choice with all of these missing checkers.

Figure B has them all.

So the answer is figure D and figure B.

Recap

Ok, so let’s quickly recap this module:

  • Learn and exercise the two different tactics for each type. The way to solve each type is different.
  • On the 3 choices type, quickly scan each choice and use your fingers to remember the answers.
  • On the 2 choices type, find the figure with exclusivity on one of the checkers, then look for the missing checkers on it. This will allow you to find another figure with them all.
  • Ignore any small icons in the checkers, it means nothing, and it’s there to distract you.
  • Remember the time management strategy. If for any reason, you don’t see a clear path to a solution after 10-12 seconds, guess and skip the question to avoid a major time loss. There will be easier questions further on.