General Ability Test (GAT)

General Ability Tests (GAT) are a major component in the Direct School Admissions especially for non-GEP students who need to pass through the GAT tests before being eligible to enter the interview stage. This is consistent for most of the schools such as Dunman High School, River Valley High School, Raffles Institution and Raffles Girls School. 

While many examination boards and websites claim that one is not able to prepare for the General Ability Test due to the nature of it, we believe that there are still some good areas where a student can do some adequate preparation. 

1) Familiarizing oneself with the nature of the questions and the nature of the examination

Much like how one still practices for Listening Comprehensions even though a thousand practices may not help in anything since the score one gets hinges upon his foundation in the language and his attention span. However, people still do practice for Listening Comprehension! The reason being that it helps students familiarize themselves with the procedure in the examination. Same with the GAT test. 

By doing sufficient GAT practices, students will feel a lot more comfortable when they do sit in the actual GAT examination. 

2) Developing analytical skills otherwise hidden

Everyone has a certain level of analytical skills which we may not necessarily employ in real life, day-to-day situations. In fact they might only surface if time allows.

We should not take the chance, thinking that our unknown analytical skills will prove itself worthy only during the day of the GAT test. That is dangerous. Given the chance, why not take a good chance and chance upon your hidden analytical talents?

Spatial analysis and pattern analysis are hot favourites in the General Ability Section. These questions generally favours those who had previous experience in dealing with the same kind of questions. Truth to be told, some questions will definitely come out for each GAT test. 

These questions require astute pattern analysis skills. Given the relatively short time of the test, the brain must function in a more-than-agile manner, making full use of every single second. This entails the extreme fine-tuning of the thinking processor, suited for these kind of standard questions.


Non-verbal reasoning test involves pattern recognition. There are many forms of pattern recognition exercises. Some may be identifying the odd or similar shape; some may be looking for the hidden shape in a pattern; and some may involve the recognition of sequences. Here, we will focus on the recognition of sequences.

When come to recognition of sequences, you need to employ your inductive reasoning abilities to identify the pattern that comes next in the sequence. Inductive reasoning abilities are cognitive abilities that help you to manage uncertainty, to infer and to draw conclusions that go beyond the information given.

To identify the pattern in a sequence, you need to focus your attention and evaluate each pattern in the sequence in a systematic way. You need to identify the underlying rules of the sequence, how the pattern evolves to the next. You need to analyse each pattern in details. Here are some basic attributes that you need to look out for:

Changes in colour/shape/size

Increase or decrease in shape and size
Shrinkage or expansion of a shape
Changes in position of symbols
Rotation of shape in a certain angle or direction (clockwise or anticlockwise)
Changes in number of symbols
Look at general changes and similarities, between each pattern
Look at the different changes one at a time
Make possible conclusion of which one comes next?

To do well in a non-verbal reasoning test, you must keep clam and stay focus to examine the pattern.

Planning your test time:

The duration of the test and the number of questions tested vary from school to school. 
In general, you should approximately give 30 seconds for each question.
The level of difficulty increase as you goes along.
The most difficult questions are generally placed at the end of the test.
Do not skip a question (Attempt it and circle it).
Don’t be a perfectionist.
Avoid shading any of the shapes.
Should you have time left over, go back to those you have circled.

If you are looking for some practices to try out your non-verbal reasoning skills, you can fill in the practices exercise request form below. 


  1. Hi I will like to have some practices exercise to better prepare me for my upcoming GAT papers.

  2. Hi I will like request practices exercise to prepare for my upcoming GAT papers.