# Non Verbal Reasoning – 3D Cubes and Nets (Type 8)

- October 2, 2022
- Posted by: gg-pure
- Category: Non Verbal Reasoning

The 3D cubes and nets question types requires you to look at a 2D net, which is basically the sides of a cube laid flat. What you need to work out here is if all the sides of the net were joined or put together, which of the cubes from the answer options would it look like.

The net is the cube, and the cube is the net, the only difference is that one is in a 2D flat shape and the other is 3D.

The answer options will only show you 3 sides of the cube. What you are required to do here is visualise how the net would look like if you were to put it together, using the sides that you can see as guidance and direction. Now this can be very difficult so it is very important that you begin to become familiar with cubes.

You really need to focus in on understanding:

- How to put nets together as well as take them apart to create your own nets
- Understand order and placement based on the symbols within each square
- Recognise the sides, how they fit and where they fit
- Identify and track patterns and shapes to understand how they would look if rotated or changed in any direction

This question type really does test your visualisation skills, and remember, especially across the non-verbal reasoning question types, they are all about how you take in and interpret visual information so that you can then come to a decision.

This question type is very clever in the way it is presented because it knows that you do not have all the information – so what you really need to begin to work towards is having a process and approach in place that will increase your certainty. Ultimately it all comes back down to breaking down and identifying the information that is available to you.

In order to get your mind thinking it is always good to ask questions about where you see what on the cube and actually use the net as way of confirming or discounting what you are seeing. This means the net is your best friend here.

Remember, everything is provided in front of you, there are no trick questions, and you should be able to work out the answer just from the visual information provided. The 3D cubes and nets question type really does challenge you to think about shapes, patterns in a very different way. But it still aims to test and cover key skills such as:

- Use of one source of information (the net)
- Ability to just identify key shapes and symbols
- Ability to track and place the order of shapes and symbols
- A logical approach to order and structure
- Ability to visual things in a 3D format
- Ability to take in visual information and check that information
- Recognising similarities and differences
- Understanding the same information presented in a different format
- Ability to recognise shape transformations based on the viewing angle
- A test and confirm approach
- Ability to determine a conclusion and answer based on limited or missing information

As you can tell, from above the analysis skills being tested here are very focused and very specific. However, do not get caught up overthinking and over complicating things. The question type deliberately leaves you without all the information, so what you need to begin to understand is where and how symbols and shapes are placed on the flat shape and how that translates or looks in a 3D format.

This is all about how you can identify the same information, shown in a different way based on the available elements or parts and how you track their position.

## How does the 3D Cubes and Nets Question Look Like?

As you can tell from the CGP example below, the hidden word question type is in the following format:

- General instructions with an example
- A 2D flat net which you should use as your one source of truth
- 4 or 5 cubes from which you need to pick the cube that the net would make if all the sides were joined together
- 1 mark per question

## How do I match the net to the cube?

Although the 3D cubes and nets question type does seem to be more complicated than other question types, if you apply a simple approach you can get to your answer more efficiently. Remember instead of analysing everything, we want to work with the limited information that we have available to us which are the cube faces.

This is why it is so important for you to get some practice with recognising places and positions of things. As long as you can do that, you can then focus on trying to make sure everything is in the right position or place which will then help you get to your answer, even if this cube is rotated or transformed.

Now to make sure things are right, you have your net to look back to, and the whole process we are going to go through now relies on that. So lets do it:

- Look at the net for the question, this will tell you where everything should be – the place, position, order, whats above, below, on the left or right
- For each square study the symbol or shape in it, recognise it
- Now you know where each symbol and square should be start looking at the cubes and start asking questions:
- What symbol, shape or colour do I see on the side facing me?
- What symbol, shape or colour do I see on the left or right?
- What symbol, shape or colour do I see on top of it?
- Looking back at the net, based on the symbol, shape or colour facing me on the cube, what does the net say should be ontop and on the right or left?
- How should that shape look if it is ontop, left or right? Should it be transformed in any way or direction?
- Are there any extra symbols that are not on the original net?

- Based on the questions above, eliminate the cubes that do not follow where symbols and shapes are placed on the net
- By elimination you will also identify the cube that does follow the same order and placement of symbols and shapes on the net

### Working Example

Now that we have a process, lets apply it to a working example to see how it works:

So first of all I want to look at my net, understand the symbols and also the position of each square and symbol so:

- At the top of the 2D net there are 5 black spots
- Directly underneath is a black triangle
- On the left side of the triangle is a squiggly S line
- On the right side of the triangle there are 2 black strips with 1 white strip in the middle
- Underneath is a grey coloured square
- Underneath the grey coloured square is a square with an outline of a smaller square

Now I am aware of the different symbols but what is most important is their position to each other – but I do not know how this will look on a cube so I cannot right now say which side is the bottom, top, middle etc.

What I want to do now is move into the cubes and start looking at them based on the limited visual information provided, which is that I only get to see 3 faces or sides. I am going to go through each cube one by one to cross-check that what the cube is showing matches the layout of the net.

So lets start with cube A :

Looking at the face (the side thats facing me) it is a grey coloured square which we know is on the net. Directly on top of the grey coloured square on the cube are 5 black dots. Remember, I want to double check the position and placement of symbols and shapes with the net, because the net is 100% correct.

If I look at the net I can see that directly ontop of the grey coloured square is a black triangle, and underneath it is the outline of a square:

Comparing this to cube A I can now conclude that cube A cannot be the answer, because what cube A shows on the top (5 black dots) is not consistent with what is on top or underneath the grey square on the net.

I can now move on to cube B:

First of all the side facing me directly has the S squiggly line, but I can also see that on the right hand side there is also another S squiggly line. This means the cube has 2 S squiggly lines on it, but looking back at the net, it only has 1 S squiggly line, so straight away I can discount cube B as the option as the symbols are not consistent with the net.

I will also quickly remember that the cube must be the 3D version of the 2D net, so all sides / faces have to be the same.

I will move onto cube C:

Cube C starts off with the grey face / side which is fine. Directly above it is the black triangle pointing away or up, which when I look at the net is also correct. On the right hand side of cube C is the 2 black stripes with 1 white middle stripe in a vertical direction.

Now when I look at the net I see that the grey side does not have anything on its right side, but the black triangle does have the stripes on its right.

But looking at it from a 2D perspective the stripes look horizontal. So what I am quickly going to do is think in my head about how those sides would look like if i folded them, with the triangle being at the top, grey facing me and stripes on the side.

By doing this I can visualise that the direction of the stripes would change from horizontal because now im looking at them from top down, but if I were to fold them downwards and look at them from a side angle, they would look vertical.

I can now conclude that cube C is my answer.

**ANSWER : C**

To summarise exactly what happened here I first started off looking at my 2D net and figuring out all the placements for each square and its symbols. What they were next to, what was on top and underneath, reminding myself that the net is 100% accurate.

So what that means is that to find the cube I need to double check with the net to see whatever the cube is showing me matches up with where it is on the net.

After this, I went through each cube one by one looking at the symbols, checking if they were consistent in the type of symbol and how many symbols there were.

Then I would keep or eliminate the potential answer based on what symbol I can see and what was directly above or to the right of it. I would compare the symbols and their places on the cube with the symbols and places on the net. If the cube did not match the net I would eliminate it.

Remember to keep in mind whether anything needs to transform or rotate based on the angle you are looking at it from, and where side 1 may not be directly linked to side 2, it may be that side 2 is connected to a side 3 which then connects back with side 1 when built into a cube and that the net will help you work this out – so always think how does that side link back to the side that is directly facing me.

Where the symbols match up and so do the order / placement, that cube became my answer.