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Design a Matrix - Advanced

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Design a Matrix – Advanced (DESIGMA®-A) is an online test for assessing general cognitive ability in individuals or groups aged 17 and above. It can be used whenever selection based on general cognitive ability is required, as well as in research.

First published in Germany in 2014 and since published in five other European countries, DESIGMA®-A is available as an English translation, with UK norms.

Suitable for

The test is useful for selection and recruitment in both occupational and educational settings, where decisions based on general cognitive ability are required. It can also be used in some areas of research, including differential and educational psychology, to assess individual differences, using a relevant comparison group.

Language Versions

This test procedure is available in English, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, and Russian.

Product Description

DESIGMA®-A is a figural matrices test which requires test takers to build solutions using separate building blocks. The test measures the ability to recognise and apply patterns or rules in geometric shapes, known as ‘logical reasoning’, ‘geometric reasoning’, or ‘fluid intelligence’. The results from this type of test are used to identify high potential individuals and intellectual giftedness, irrespective of language or culture.

The DESIGMA®-A consists of 38 items and has been constructed to differentiate well in the range of average to above average cognitive ability. Each item of the test is based on a 3×3 matrix, filled with geometric shapes that follow particular rules. Eight completed cells are shown and the ninth is blank. The test taker must work out how to complete the matrix and then assemble the solution by selecting its component parts from 24 building blocks. The uniqueness of the DESIGMA®-A test lies in its innovative response format in which the answers must be assembled from simple building blocks. This removes the possibility of guessing the answer by a process of elimination, a possibility which is present with other, distractor-based tests.

The test is carried out via Hogrefe Testsystem (HTS 5).

Qualification level required:
Test User Occupational: Ability, or equivalent. Please see our Test User Qualifications page for guidance.


Reliability is high (Cronbach’s Alpha = .96 or higher) in all samples. The DESIGMA-A test is available only as a digital test and as such ensures objectivity in scoring and in interpretation.


Most people complete the test in 20-40 minutes. There is no overall time limit, but each item is time-limited, and the test never takes more than 1 hour.