Agility of mind

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One definition of intelligence is the ability to think quickly, indeed, most intelligence tests set a time limit in which the test must be completed, and if this time limit is not strictly adhered to, then the test score is invalidated. The ability to think quickly and under pressure is a valuable asset to have at one's disposal in many situations.

Agility of mind is the ability to think quickly and react instinctively to certain situations. All the tests in this chapter are speed tests against the clock where in addition to weighing up each situation quickly, you must keep your wits about you, keep calm, and maintain your concentration by dealing with just one question at a time while under pressure.

In psychology, a speed test is a general term for any test that measures ability by determining the number of problems that can be dealt with successfully within a fixed time period. According to this definition, therefore, the majority of Intelligence Tests (IQ tests) are speed tests. Opposite to this is a power test which is defined as any test that measures ability by determining the degree of difficulty of material that can be mastered with no time pressures on the test taker.

In themselves, the questions contained within the tests that follow are not particularly difficult. However, when presented as a series of questions to be attempted within a set time limit, the brain must adapt to the situation before it and agility of mind plus a great deal of concentration is required in order to score highly.

Questions and tests

Speed test (Answers, see pp. 203-5)

1 The following is a speed test of 30 questions designed to test your powers of mental calculation and logic. In themselves the questions are not particularly difficult but because of the short period of time in which you are allowed to complete the test, alertness and agility of mind are the key ingredients to scoring well, as with all the tests in this section.

It is also necessary in this test to maintain your powers of concentration and keep a clear mind throughout, and maintain your focus on dealing with just one question at a time as quickly as possible.

You have just 60 minutes in which to complete the 30 questions.

(i) Which two words are anagrams of each other?

salient, leading, reading, aligned, reaping, teasing, trained, realist

(ii) If the word CAT is written above the word PIG, and the word FOX is written between the words PIG and CAT, what two words are formed diagonally?

(iii) 5632953267846985

Delete all the numbers that appear more than once in the above list and multiply the remaining numbers together. What is the total?

(iv) What letter in the alphabet comes two before the letter which comes five after the letter that comes three places after the letter H?

3 miles east then 1 mile south then 2 miles east then 1 mile south then 1 mile west then 2 miles north how far away will I be from my original starting point?

(vi) If I have £150 and give away 30%, then another £65, how much am I left with?

(vii) The name of what creature (5 letters long) can be produced from the letters of the word COMPOSITE?

(viii) What is the date 45 days after the 22 March?

(ix) What is the longest English word that can be produced from the following letters?:


(x) A triangle has lengths of 9cm, 12cm and 15cm. What is the value of its largest angle?

If a car travels 80 miles in the same time as another car travelling lOmph faster travels 100 miles, what is the speed of the faster car?

(xii) If Wales has 60%, Birmingham has 70%, Scotland has 75%, Las Vegas has 62.5% and Perth has 80%, what percentage has Dusseldorf?

(xiii) What phrase is suggested by the arrangement of letters below?


(xiv) How many minutes is it before 1p.m. if 20 minutes ago it was three times as many minutes past 11a.m.?

What number is 24 less when multiplied by 4 times itself?

The names of which two countries can be produced separately by using letters contained within the word TECHNICAL?

































Multiply the third lowest odd number in the right-hand grid by the third highest even number in the left-hand grid.

(xviii) After having spent % of your original amount and then a further £38 you are left with £58. How much money did you start out with?


Complete the third word in the list.

(xx) Which three of the following numbers add up to 100?

(xxi) Arrange these eight words in alphabetical order:

acropolis adept accompany admission academic address adoration accordion

(xxiii) ACT LITHE is an appropriate anagram of what 8-letter word?

What letter comes next?

(xxv) What number is missing?

(xxvi) Which is greater, thirteen thousand thirteen hundred and thirteen or fourteen thousand four hundred and four?

(xxvii) Angela's mother has three children, the first is called June, the second is called May. What is the name of her third child?

What number comes next?

(xxix) Bill has a fifth as many again as Carol who has a quarter again as many as Ann. Together they have 105. How many has each?

(xxx) Which two numbers in Column A add up to the same amount as two numbers in Column B?

Visual sequence test (Answers, see pp. 205-8)

2 The visual sequence puzzles in this test are of varying degrees of difficulty and have been designed to test your creative powers and alertness of mind, in which you must quickly decide what sequences or patterns are occurring.

No options are provided and you must produce a sketch of the missing figures purely based on the evidence presented.

You have 30 minutes in which to complete the 10 questions.

(i) Draw the next figure in the following sequence.

(ii) Draw the next figure in the following sequence.





(iii) Draw the next figure in the following sequence.










(iv) Draw the next figure in the following sequence.

(v) Complete the next two figures in this sequence.


(vi) Complete the blank circles in this pattern.

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