Raven's Progressive Matrices Guide

Raven's Matrices Summary
What: Raven’s Progressive Matrices
Who: Generally adults over 17, but can be given to children.
Where: Tests can be administered anywhere worldwide.
When: Tests can be administered at any time.
How: Test takers are asked to complete missing elements of a pattern.
Type: Completion.
Why: Raven’s Matrices are used to evaluate skills in reasoning, analogies and problem solving.
Time: Untimed, though times usually range from about 20 to 45 minutes.
Language: Raven’s Matrices are conducted in the language of the test taker and administrator.
Preparation: No special preparation is needed.
Cost: Test components range from about $30 to $850.

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


Raven’s Progressive Matrices are a set of multiple-choice, abstract reasoning intelligence tests. Developed in 1936 by John C. Raven, Raven’s Matrices present the test taker with patterns that have pieces missing, and the individual is asked to complete the pattern. Patterns are presented in a matrix format, giving the test its name.


The Raven’s tests measure a test taker’s intellectual and perceptual capacity, thinking and reasoning ability, and problem solving and observation skills. Raven’s Matrices are often used to distinguish people who have high levels of intellectual ability and efficiency. Typically administered to adults, the tests can be used to gauge one’s success potential in technical career fields in which clear thinking and problem solving skills are needed. The test is untimed, but usually takes about 20 to 45 minutes to compete. The test can be administered as a timed exam if the goal is to measure one’s technical efficiency.


Three different types of tests are available, including the Standard Progressive Matrices, Colored Progressive Matrices and Advanced Progressive Matrices.


Standard Progressive Matrices are the original tests. This set includes five sets (A, B, C, D and E) of matrices, each having twelve black-and-white test items. Each question is increasingly difficult than the one before. This test is designed for the general population.


Colored Progressive Matrices are targeted for those with learning disabilities as well as children and the elderly. This Raven’s test set includes A and B from the Standard Progressive Matrices, as well as the additional set AB. The test items are in color, though some questions in set B are offered in black-and-white. This test is designed to be a precursor to the Standard Matrices, if the test administrator deems it appropriate. If so, the test taker can go from set B of the Colored Progressive Matrices to sets C, D and E from the Standard Matrices.


Advanced Progressive Matrices are for high-intelligence teenagers and adults. This test includes 48 items offered in two sets, one with 12 patterns and one with 36 patterns. The black-and-white test items are presented in order of increasing difficulty.


The test is administered verbally and can be scored quickly by the test administrator. The test is designed to provide both a raw score and a percentile rank. Additionally, test scores can be normed to test takers ages six through 65 in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany.


All versions of Raven’s Progressive Matrices are available for purchase through PsychCorp. Individual test booklets or booklets in sets of ten, as well as kits containing all three test formats, are available.  Test manuals are also available that explain administration and interpretation of the test, as well as technical information and research related to the test. Test components range in price from $30 to approximately $850.


To learn more about Raven’s Progressive Matrices, visit the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test Guide. To learn more about intelligence tests, please read the IQ Test Guide.


Source: PsychCorp of Pearson