What is the HAST Test?

The Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST) in Australia is a challenging exam designed to identify high-achieving students for entry into selective schools. One of the most daunting components of this test is the Abstract Reasoning section. This section assesses a student’s ability to identify patterns, logical rules, and trends in data, skills essential for problem-solving and critical thinking.

Here’s how you can master the abstract reasoning section in the HAST Test.

Understanding Abstract Reasoning in HAST Test

Abstract reasoning section in the HAST test involves non-verbal problem-solving and often includes identifying patterns, sequences, or logical relationships between shapes and figures. This section tests your ability to think laterally and understand complex concepts without relying on language skills.

Typical questions might include:

  • Series of shapes with a specific pattern.
  • Matrices where you need to identify the missing element.
  • Analogies between pairs of shapes or figures.

Preparation Strategies to master the HAST Test


1. Familiarise yourself with question types
Begin by understanding the different types of questions you might encounter. These can include:

  • Sequence and Pattern Recognition: Identifying the next item in a series based on the established pattern.
  • Analogies: Understand the relationship between pairs of figures and application of similar logic to find the missing pair.
  • Classification: Grouping shapes based on shared characteristics.
  • Matrices: Identifying the missing figure in a matrix by understanding the pattern in rows and columns.

For mastering the HAST Test question types use the specifically designed practice books and online resources.

2. Develop Logical Thinking skills
Mastering the HAST Test Abstract reasoning requires strong logical thinking ability. Engage in activities that sharpen your ability to identify patterns and think logically, such as:

  • Puzzle Games: Sudoku, logic puzzles, and other brain games.
  • Pattern-Based Activities: Games and activities that require recognizing and completing patterns, such as jigsaw puzzles or tangrams.

3. Practice regularly
Consistent practice is crucial for success. Set aside time each day to practise abstract reasoning questions. Use timed practice sets to simulate test conditions, which will help you manage your time effectively and master the HAST Test.

4. Analyse your Mistake
Review your practice tests thoroughly. Identify the types of questions you struggle with and focus on improving those areas. Knowing the reason behind the mistake will minimise future errors.

5. Learn Time Management
Effective time management is essential for mastering the HAST test. Practice working under timed conditions and develop strategy to approach the questions. Prioritise answering the questions you find easiest first to secure those points. Returning to the unsolved questions at the end will prevent time wastage.

Mastering The HAST Test

Techniques for solving Abstract Reasoning questions

1. Identify patterns

  • Look for common attributes such as shapes, colours, sizes, and orientations.
  • Check for repeating sequences or alternating patterns.

2. Break down complex patterns

  • Simplify complex patterns by breaking them into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Look for multiple layers of patterns, such as a sequence of shapes combined with a sequence of colours.

3. Eliminate wrong answers

  • Narrow down your choices by following the process of elimination.
  • Compare each option with the pattern and discard those that do not fit.

4. Practise Non-verbal Reasoning skills

  • Engage in activities that boost non-verbal reasoning, such as puzzles, brainteasers, and games that require logical thinking.

Test-day strategies for mastering the HAST Test

Stay calm & focused:  On the test day, keep your cool and don’t lose your focus. Let go of anxiety to maintain your clarity of thought and approach each question with a clear mind.
Read instructions minutely: Before starting the section, read the instructions carefully to ensure you understand what is required. Misinterpretation of instructions can lead to unwanted errors.
Pace Yourself: Keep track of time and ensure you allocate enough time to review your answers if possible.

Resources for Preparation to master the HAST Test

  • Online Practice Tests: Utilise online platforms that offer HAST practice tests and abstract reasoning exercises.
  • Books & Study Guides: Invest in reputable books and study guides focused on abstract reasoning and HAST preparation.
  • Online Educational platforms: Take help of online exam preparation and practice platforms like Selectivetrial to improve cognitive skills and abstract reasoning abilities.

Mastering the HAST Test with Selectivetrial 

Acing the Abstract Reasoning section of the HAST test requires a combination of understanding the question types, consistent practice, and effective test-day strategies. Here at Selectivetrial, we offer the candidates a comprehensive understanding of the core components of abstract reasoning and other test sections as well.

Achieve your academic goals by unlocking the secrets to mastering the HAST test with Selectivetrial. For HAST Test preparation and other related information visit Selectivetrial.