Verbal Reasoning Mistakes to Avoid

Are you preparing or about to take verbal reasoning tests such as the one that consists of true, false and cannot say questions. If yes then read following as it is wise to do your research and learn as much as you can about these assessments. Let's look at some common mistakes that candidates make when taking verbal reasoning tests. Knowing how to avoid these when taking your test can save you from frustration and low score in the future. Good luck with your preparation.



Misunderstanding the task

One of the most common reasons as why many people fail verbal reasoning tests is misunderstanding of task involved. Large number of test takers is not clear how to evaluate arguments. Some tend to assume that false means the opposite of true whereas others bring their own understanding of the subject. To avoid such mistakes it is important to note that meaning of true is when statement supports the argument provided in the passage. On the other hand false refers to argument that contradicts the text whereas can’t say implies that sufficient data is not provided. You can find more information on this topic in chapter on how to answer verbal reasoning questions.


Searching for information that is not there

Another common mistake that candidates make in verbal aptitude tests is that they tend to search for information that is not provided. This is usually the case when can’t tell is the correct answer. Remember, some portion of statements may be slightly off the topic and hence paragraph will not provide enough information to cover the argument of the statement. Thus, avoid this trap and don’t spend too long time for searching facts that are not in the passage. The rule of thumb is that if you cannot find the information after your read the paragraph then probably the information you are looking for is not there so move on.


Bringing your own understanding

Trap number three is that test takers tend to bring their own knowledge to the text passage to elaborate on their answers. Note that even though some facts presented in text may be true but if the statement does not fully support such facts you must mark the statement as can’t tell. Remember, you are working only with text passage and statement. Hence to avoid doing these mistakes on verbal reasoning test don't bring your own understanding of the subject.


Reading the text for too long

Often applicants read the text passages for too long only to find out that they are running out of time. As previously mentioned verbal reasoning tests are designed to assess your ability to evaluate arguments. Hence you need to adapt your approach accordingly. For example, you may try to read the statement first and then quickly read through the passage to find relevant argument to avoid spending time for reading less pertinent information. Note that not all of the information in the text passage may be relevant.


Not paying enough attention

At times some questions in verbal reasoning tests are written in somewhat tricky way and many candidates do not pay close attention and hence fail to answer such questions correctly. For example text passage may involve very small changes in wording, shifting or language used. Sometimes very subtle changes make the correct answer false or can’t tell. You can see section on verbal reasoning test questions to review examples of how inferences, extreme language or shifts can make difference between right and wrong answers.