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Design a Matrix - Advanced (DESIGMA-A)

Downloads (PDF)


* Please note that HTS 5 tests are available for self-administration or with Hogrefe’s Administration Service


* Please note that HTS 5 tests are available for self-administration or with Hogrefe’s Administration Service

product number: 5998802
Excluding VAT
Technical Report - with Hogrefe Administration Service
product number: 5588204
Excluding VAT
Technical Report - self-administration
product number: 5588205
Excluding VAT
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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

The 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.

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

Convinced that ability testing is right for your organisation or consultancy – but not sure where to start? Read our mini guide to ability tests here.

Online tests on HTS

Most of our online tests are available through the HTS platform – click here for an overview. To access tests on HTS, you can choose between two options:

  • Test with Hogrefe Administration Service (fixed price: cost of test + £40 admin fee + VAT) whereby Hogrefe manage the test administration process (set up link, download reports)
  • Self-administration (with tiered prices) – whereby you have your own HTS account and manage the test administration process, allowing you access to discounted pricing based on the quantity of reports purchased.

To get set up with an HTS account, contact us by email, or you can purchase the tests directly on our website. We will then set up your account.

Account set up procedure

Once we have received your order, we set up the online HTS account for you, add your test licenses and send you your login details by email. This may take up to one working day.

Test administration process

Once you have received your account login details, you will be able to set up your questionnaires and send them via email to your test takers. Once they complete their test, the report is automatically formulated on the portal, and ready to be downloaded as a pdf.

With your login details, you will receive a user manual for the HTS platform, as well as tutorials explaining how to use the system. Your Hogrefe customer support team is also available to assist you with the process and with any queries you might have.


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.


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