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Apply the Pattern to Find the Missing Symbol

In this worksheet, students will find the missing symbol to complete a grid of nine boxes. It will develop their ability to find and follow patterns in shapes and symbols.

'Apply the Pattern to Find the Missing Symbol' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Spatial and Non-Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Complete the Grid

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

It’s time to be a puzzle perfecter!

 

In these questions, we have been given a grid and we need to work out the missing puzzle piece.

The grid is sometimes called a matrix.  

Grids can follow a horizontal pattern which goes across, a vertical pattern which goes up or down, or a diagonal pattern.

To find the missing puzzle piece, we first need to think about what the pattern might be.

 

Here are some example patterns and how they change in the grid:

 

Pattern Example Grid
 Number of shapes in the image increases/decreases.
 The shading changes. 
 Size of the image increases/decreases. 
 The image rotates. 
 Shapes within the symbol change position. 
 The number of sides of the shapes in the image changes. 

 

 

Take a look at this example:

 

Which of the following images would complete this grid?

a)        b)         c)         d) 

 

The pattern in this case is horizontal.

The pattern is that the number of sides of each shape increases by one each time. Also, the centre shape gets slightly larger each time. Therefore the answer is b.


 

It’s now your turn to find the missing puzzle piece in grids. Remember to decide if it is horizontal, vertical or diagonal, when working out what the pattern is.

Good luck puzzle champ!


Pssstt!! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status:

Always rule out any obviously incorrect answers.

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

  • Question 1

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
c)
EDDIE SAYS
Which option would be the best fit here grid detective? Can you do a quick scan and make a guess? Our aim now should be to spot very quickly options which we can rule out, so let's give that a try! All the options have wiggly lines in them so let's focus on the small images on the right as the other variable. Each column of the grid has 1, 2 and 3 of these smaller images, so we know that we are looking for an image with 3 smaller shapes. This means we can rule out options a, d and e and just need to choose between b and c now. Each of the squares in the middle of the row is a rotation through 90 degrees or a quarter turn of the images on its left and right. If we apply this to the line in the bottom row, we can see that option c is the best fit. The pointy part of the line can really help us spot the rotation here. Look out for other easy-to-spot features like this to help you moving forwards.
  • Question 2

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
c)
EDDIE SAYS
Nice try puzzle perfecter! You need to be able to spot the correct orientation (remember that this means which way they are pointing) and alignment of the triangles here, as well as the correct colour pattern. The triangles in all the squares of the grid follow the pattern: black, white, grey, black. Options b and e don't follow these colour patterns so these can be ruled out immediately. At first glance, options a, c and d all appear as if they could be correct. If you look carefully, though, you can see that the triangles are rotating through 90 degrees (a quarter turn) anti-clockwise (from right to left). So the group of triangles should be pointing downwards to fit the pattern. This means that option c is the best fit in this grid.
  • Question 3

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
b)
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot this one quickly or did you have to think hard? This one is all about noticing the shading on the cuboids. In every cuboid in the grid, the shading appears on the right-hand side. This can be hard to spot when there are so many images that look like a potential match, though. Option b is the correct answer as it is the only choice which shows the shading on the right-hand side.
  • Question 4

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
e)
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one detective! Look at the way the shape is moving in the top row. It is turning in an anti-clockwise direction by 45 degrees each time. When we look at the bottom row, we can see the same pattern. If we follow this pattern, then the best fit is option e.
  • Question 5

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
a)
EDDIE SAYS
The main clue that helps us with this question is the image in the middle square of the grid. We can see that the two lines of the brackets have been rotated by 90 degrees or a quarter turn from the image to its above left and below right in a diagonal. If you look very closely, you can see that the black spikey bubble has also been rotated in a similar way, although this is much more difficult to spot. So we know that we are looking for a white speech bubble in the space, which has been rotated 90 degrees. You can use a protractor to help you if you're unsure. The best fit here is option a.
  • Question 6

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
b)
EDDIE SAYS
In your 11+ exam, you are likely to see a mixture of 3 by 3 and 2 by 2 grids, so don't let this one catch you out! It's tempting to think that 2 by 2 grids are easier, but this is not always true. In this grid the images are very subtle, as the oval is gradually disappearing PLUS it has a reflection underneath to consider. We are looking for an oval which is similar to the image given in the top left of the grid. So we need to choose between options a and b. Option a has no shadow underneath it, which means that option b is the best fit in this grid. Great work if you solved this one puzzle detective!
  • Question 7

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
d)
EDDIE SAYS
Take note of the different outlines of the shapes here detective. They are solid, dashed and dotted. Also, did you notice that the grey glow effect is larger on the shapes on the left of the grid than the right? The shapes are also rotating clockwise through quarter turns or 90 degrees - the L-shape is the easiest place to spot this in action. So we need to find a pentagon with a dashed outline, medium glow and with the point facing the right or east. This means that option d is the best fit in this grid.
  • Question 8

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
e)
EDDIE SAYS
This one will test your detective skills! If you look at the top row, you can see that the shape is rotating clockwise and turning by 90 degrees each time. If we then look at the bottom row, we can see the same pattern. This means that the correct answer must be d or e as these show the shape rotating by 90 degrees from the shape on its left. If we look really carefully we can see that the only difference between options d and e is the positioning of the cylinders. Option d starts with the first cylinder raised, whereas option e does not. Option e is the best fit as the missing image, as this is the pattern across the grid. Phew, that was a tough one! You really needed your detective's magnifying glass to spot that one!
  • Question 9

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
b)
EDDIE SAYS
Look carefully at the outlines of the shapes here and the direction in which they are facing in the grid. The shapes are all different in each row, but they are all following the same pattern of movement. So we know that we need to find an image with a shape pointing towards the top, right corner as with the other images in the central column. This focuses us in on options b or e straight away. The two central squares both have a dashed shape layered BEHIND a shape with a solid outline. This means that option b is the best fit in this grid. It's time to solve the last puzzle in this activity detective. Are you ready?
  • Question 10

Choose the image from the options below that best completes the grid. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
c)
EDDIE SAYS
It's always tricky to spot patterns with irregular shapes or images. If you look closely though, you'll notice that the first and third columns of images are exactly the same as each other. The middle column has the same images but they have just been rotated 180 degrees or a half turn. So if we can find the image that is exactly the same as the central square in the first column, this will be our answer. The option that is the same is option c. Great work super sleuth, hopefully you are becoming faster and more confident with spotting these grid patterns.
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