School-Safe Puzzle Games

Tricky sequence question- IQ test style

The seven figures below form a series. However, one of the five numbered sequences doesn’t fit.

Can you figure out which one doesn’t belong?


The sequence question above relies heavily on your working memory. Interestingly, the extent of your working memory tends to correlate with IQ test performance. About a year ago we had a brain game made that exercises & tests your visual working memory; you can play it here.

Click here to try some more IQ-style test questions.

32 Comments to “Tricky sequence question- IQ test style”

  1. sdwoodchuck | Profile

    #5 does not fit. The black and white squares each rotate clockwise, in the order of top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right. In #5, the bottom left has rotated whereas the top left has not, so it is out of order. In the final frame of the sequence, we see that both the top left and bottom left are rotated. Thus, if #5 were correct, the top left would have rotated instead of the bottom left, and then in the final frame, the bottom left rotates to give us the result we see at the end.

  2. Megan W | Profile

    I found this so incredibly easy: it’s number 5 that’s out of sequence.
    Reasoning: from the initial image, image 1 shows the top left rectangle has been turned clockwise. Image 2 then shows the lower left rectangle has also been turned clockwise. In image 3, it’s the top right which has turned clockwise, and image 4 completes the cycle with the lower right rectangle following suit. Image 5 then seems to depict the lower left rectangle turning – out of sequence, as it would have been the top left rectangle that should have turned.

  3. joe | Profile

    Number 5
    Each time one of the black/white figures rotates 90 degrees to the right. Starting with top left, then top right, then bottom left, and finally bottom right. It then starts again with top left. Removing 5 fullfills this pattern

  4. zxo | Profile


    Each successive figure has exactly one of the black-and-white spots rotated 90 degrees clockwise from the previous figure. The order in which they rotate is UL, LL, UR, LR (U-upper, L-Lower; L&R are left and right)

    #5 breaks this order — LL is rotated instead of UL. The final figure restores the pattern though.

  5. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    I think is number 5 the wrong one, explanation:
    Starting with the left column from top to botton , the figures moves clockwise.
    The pattern will be:
    square 1: starting position
    square 2: figure in top of left column moves clockwise
    square 3: figure in botton of left column moves clockwise
    square 4: figure in top of right column moves clockwise
    square 5: figure in botton of right column moves clockwise
    square 6: figure in top of left column moves clockwise (the error, because it moves the botton of the left instead)
    square 7: figure in the botton left moves clockwise

  6. sue hal | Profile

    Number five does not fit the sequence. The sequence is top left different, then bottom left, then top right, then bottom right. The last one begins a new sequence of the left 2 different.

  7. zenitth | Profile

    i think it’s #2, but that’s just a semi-analytical guesstimate! please don’t ask how :=}

  8. Margot | Profile

    The answer is #3.

    Looking at each figure individually, we can find patterns in their movement. We know that one block will be removed, so the correct sequence is six blocks long. Looking at the figure in the upper left, we see that no matter what block is removed, it will rotate on steps 2 and 6 of the final sequence. We can safely ignore this figure.

    Figure upper right: If you imagine the figure as having a direction going from black to white, we find three figures that face down, and four that face left. Knowing that one must be subtracted, it seems natural to subtract on of the ‘left’ blocks, as this gives three of each. So we’ve narrowed it to 3, 4, or 5.

    Figure lower left. Two figures face up, three face right, and two face down. An even six would have three groups of two, leading us to subtract one of the ‘right’ blocks. This gives us 2, 3, and 4; to continue narrowing it down, we will assume the block is one of the ones from the previous step: 3 or 4.

    Figure lower right. Another set of four and three. This time, four face left, and three face right. Blocks 1, 2, and 3 all contain the figure with an extra, but only block 3 can be removed for all four figures and still maintain the established sequences. Thus I say 3.

    By way of interest, block 2 can also be removed and leave arguable patterns. The upper left, lower left, and lower right patterns stay the same, but the upper right would have two face down, and four left, giving each figure a different sequence, rather than two figures sharing the pattern of 3 – 3.

  9. kinmin | Profile

    my guess is 5

  10. RK | Founder | Profile


  11. RK | Founder | Profile

    I actually had (1) as the best answer (square #2)

  12. giftorater | Profile

    I say 4 because it doesn’t have two identical squares within it.

  13. sdwoodchuck | Profile

    Now that I look at it, I can see 1 working too, for the same reason that 5 works. Since they both represent the same frame of the sequence, one of them must be wrong, but is there any way to really tell one over the others? I mean, maybe 1 is more intuitive since then they’re rotating clockwise, in a clockwise order, but unless I’m missing something, I’d say either works well for it.

  14. RK | Founder | Profile

    I initially felt #1 was better for reasons sdwoodchuck mention, but in retrospect, #5 is probably just as good. The question should have been constructed differently….

  15. Baseball22 | Profile

    It Cannot be #5 becuase of the fact that if u block out 5
    It still makes TWO turns
    Mean while every box makes 1 turn at a time
    so either this Puzzle is scrwed up
    There is a more HARDER Logical Answer
    So If there is Tell me the answer i just spent 20 minutes starring at the dam screen lol


  16. Piggylicious | Profile

    Looks like it should be 5 if I saw the pattern correct.

  17. cag | Profile

    ? think the right answer for this quest?on is the first square and to understand that it is not correct you should see the pattern from the last square to the beggining and there you realize that first square should be changed in order to finish the pattern and complete the series. have fun:))

  18. jdesi15564 | Profile

    It’s number 3. Only one block w/in a group changes as you progress thru the sequence. I.e Starting with the leftmost group… one block has black on left, one block has black on right, 1 on top & 1 on bottom. Move to #1 …the only change in the group is the block w/ black on the left changes to black on top. Move to number 2, the only change is block w/ black on bottom changes to black on left. It’s that easy !

  19. Jerrud Edwin | Profile

    Lets take a good look at this, most say it is number 5 because of the pattern given in 1-4 but since the pattern is only evident in the options that we must choose shows us that we must asume that 1-4 belong and are correct. This goes against intuition and I think this is the trick that most would notice the pattern before any similarities first.

    Look at the first block thats not numbered, every black and white block inside it are faceing different directions but it is symetrical and negative entropic, look at the very last block that is’nt numbered, two face the same direction but is’nt symetrical but entropic and random.

    Since options 1-5 are needed to have the end result the patern is not in question.
    Number 4 is the only one of the options that is symetrical and ordered like the first example, therefore it does not belong logicaly in an example representing entropy of an ordered system.

    I use entropy as an analogy, sorry if it seems out of place.

    number 4 is my answer

  20. Jerrud Edwin | Profile

    But as it is a test that does note that working memory is involved number 5 maybe the answer they are looking for. Still the patterns are relivent for the last figure or end result. Go figure lol 4 or 5? Pattern or symetrical relivence?

  21. changwang0 | Profile

    I noticed it instantly, so i assumed it was easy, but apparently am i the only one to notice? It is because if you look at it, all of the dark brown lines are on the outside for the first four. If you look at the last one it has a dark brown line that is facing inward on the bottom left. That has to be the answer, because it isn’t a coincidence.

  22. ibryamo | Profile

    the fig after ( 5) must be come before ( 5 ) then >> the sequence will be correct

  23. clb | Profile

    5 patterns switches

  24. whatamIdoinghere | Profile

    I found 1, but that’s because I thought if a pattern exists left-to-right, one exists right-to-left as well. There’s no reason for the pattern to be established left-to-right alone, so I tried right-to-left. I agree that 5 also works.

  25. JB968 | Profile

    5 changes the sequence if we are to assume it is supposed to repeat it’s self.

    It becomes a little ambiguous though when you consider 2 doesn’t belong due to being the only one that has a line of symmetry.

  26. julonk | Profile

    2 is error
    so you must cut 2
    and see sequence (start -> 1 -> 3 -> 4 -> 5 -> end)
    just clockwise move to right.

  27. smartie | Profile

    it must be 2! 5 is part of the pattern!!

    Each individual block rotates 90 degree to the right in the pattern.
    Which of these blocks moves dictates the order.

    The first block(not numbered) shows the start and the last un-numbered block shows the final position the individual blocks must reach in 4 moves as one of the numbered blocks is an error.

    Block 2 is the only one that doesnt follow a logical order of rotation. If this is removed, the positional order of the 90 degree rotating block is this:
    top left (1), top right (3), bottom right (4), bottom left (5) and then we would expect the top left to rotate in the un-numbered block; which it does.

    Therefore, the odd block MUST be image 2

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