How would you solve these? I would pick option 1, second row for the first one but I can't seem to find a comprehensive explanation for it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've definitely seen that second IQ question (or something like that) somewhere on this site (or maybe somewhere else). $\endgroup$
    – mbjb
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


For the first one I would think

The 3rd option


The first row has triangles (3 sides) and a total of 3 dots.
The second row has squares (4 sides) and a total of 4 dots.
The last row hos a 5 sided shape and 4 dots so far, so the answer should be the same shape and have 1 dot. There are only one option that fits this.


#1, I would choose

 |  |


each pattern in the 3rd column has one dot, outside the shape.
or, alternatively, because the major diagonals of the grid have dot counts 1,2,3 from top to bottom.

#2, I would choose

|   ° |
|     |


each row of patterns shows a time sequence of the ball bouncing around the inside of the square.

Of course, as is the norm for these types of puzzles, there will be a multitude of interpretations that work to explain almost any of the possible answers.

  • $\begingroup$ for the first one, the left column would seem to be a counterargument to your argument about the right column. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Not really. Each column could have its own rule; for example, the left column's rule may be "always one dot outside the shape", and the middle column's rule could be "any dots are inside the shape". The fun/annoyance of these is that with so few examples that your explanation needs to fit, with relatively little effort you can make almost anything into a pattern. As it is, each row arguably has its own rule anyway - row 1, shape=triangle. row 2, shape=diamond. row 3, shape=house. so there's no reason why columns can't also have a unique rule each. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ If there is a "best answer", though, it will be one in which the whole 3x3 grid follows a pattern. In other words, either all columns have the same rule, or the rules for the columns (if indeed they have rules when taken in isolation) evolve in some natural way from left to right. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ Blegh, imo these "iq tests" are more like "guess what I'm thinking" questions, in which increase in difficulty is an increase in broadness... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 19:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Another reason for thinking your answer to 1 is correct: the triangle row has three balls and a triangle has three sides; the square row has four balls and a square has four sides; with the single ball house, the house row has five balls, the same number of sides as the house. Bah humbug on these questions. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 2:12

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