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Raven's Progressive Matrices™ (RPM)

The Raven's™ Progressive Matrices (RPM) is the leading global non-verbal measure of mental ability. The RPM offers information about an individual’s capacity for analysing and solving problems, abstract reasoning, and the ability to learn. It does this in a non-verbal format that is an especially important feature for an ethnically diverse population. For many years the Matrices have found wide application in numerous research studies. Their strong theoretical background, lengthy citation count and application across multiple language, ethnic and cultural groups make them ideal tools for investigations requiring measurements of cognitive abilities in a wide range of organisational, educational and clinical settings.

The test offers three progressively more difficult forms intended for different populations. Items on all forms ask the examinee to identify the missing component in a series of figural patterns. The test can be individually or group administered. The three forms are: Coloured ProgressiveMatrices™ (CPM), Standard Progressive Matrices™ (SPM), and Advanced Progressive Matrices™ (APM). All three forms measure the individual’s clear-thinking ability.

The items on the Raven’s CPM are arranged to assess the chief cognitive processes of which children under 11 years of age, are usually capable. The Raven’s CPM items are arranged to assess cognitive development up to the stage when a person is sufficiently able to reason by analogy and adopt this way of thinking as a consistent method of inference.

The Raven’s SPM is a test of observation skills. It is suitable for the general population – individuals with average intellectual ability.

The Raven’s APM measures high-level observation skills and intellectual capacity. This test is designed to differentiate between people at the high end of intellectual ability. When administered under timed conditions, the APM can also be used to assess intellectual efficiency – quick and accurate high-level intellectual work.

The RPM produces a single raw score as well as percentile rank to indicate the candidate’s educative ability or the ability to make sense of complex situations, compared to a norm group. Scores are relatively unaffected by linguistic and ethnic background and can be used as a good predictor of success in an educational context for both children and adults. In clinical settings the reliability of the measures and lack of bias makes them ideal tools in neuropsychological assessment, working with elderly people and many clinical groups whose particular needs make the demands of more traditional cognitive testing unrealistic.



The Raven’s CPM is useful in:

  • educational settings to identify students with exceptional cognitive abilities and logical reasoning skills.
  • assessing elderly persons and mentally and physically impaired persons.

The Raven’s SPM score can be used as:

  • an indication of a candidate’s potential for success in professional, management and high-level technical positions that require clear thinking, problem identification, holistic situation
  • assessment, and monitoring of tentative solutions for consistency with all available information.
  • scores can also be used for developmental purposes in occupational and educational settings.

The Raven’s APM can be used in the following settings:

  • Indication of a candidate’s potential for success in high-level technical, professional, andexecutive positions that require high levels of clear and accurate thinking, problem identification, holistic situation assessment, and monitoring of tentative solutions for consistency with all available information.
  • Developmental purposes in occupational and advanced educational settings.



The Raven’s SA versions of the matrices are currently hand-scored.



South African research and case studies are available for the RPM, and JVR Psychometrics have normed the matrices for South African use. The assessments are also now locally printed. JVR Psychometrics further welcomes the opportunity to partner with clients in conducting further studies in their organisations.

Basic info



Age range

CPM: Children 5 years to 11 years; SPM: Individuals 5 years and older; APM: Top 20% of the population

Administration time

CPM 15-30 minutes (36 items); SPM 15-45 minutes (60 items); APM 40-60 minutes (36 items)

Comparison group

South African

Language availability

Instructions in English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Zulu (Non-verbal assessment)

Scoring options


Integrated report options


Additional info

Useful links

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