What is Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning tests are psychometric measurements that assess verbal aptitude, that is, the extent to which you can make meaningful conclusions from written information. Such assessments come in variety of forms for example some consists of passages with questions where your task is to evaluate statements as true, false or cannot say while others may be comprehension exercises designed to assess your reading comprehension skills. However in this section we will be concerned with aptitude tests that comprise of true, false and cannot say questions.


What is the format?

Such ability tests usually constitute six passages of text where each passage is followed by four statements. Your task in such exercise would be to evaluate the statement based on the information within the text. Depending on the test publisher the length of the verbal extract may vary between 120 to 280 words and may include two to four paragraphs. In most cases extracts are written in somewhat neutral stile much like magazines but can at times be written on specific topics using certain terminology. For example, some writings may discuss topics from science or medicine whereas the others may focus on business, history or arts or topics of everyday life. As to the verbal reasoning statements these are fairly short usually up to 15 words or less and you will have to evaluate them as either true, false or can’t say.



What is the task?

As already indicated, your task in such assessments is to evaluate statement based on the information provided within the passage. You will have only three answer choices and these will be always the same for each claim.

Remember, you will base your answer only on the information provided in the text and no other assumptions are to be brought to your understanding. You can try our free verbal reasoning practice test which is true reflection of such assessments.



What are the main challenges

One of the major challenges of such selection exercises is the time within which you have to read the passage to extract relevant information. Usually, to maximise your score and answer most of the questions you would have to read the extract within 40 seconds and evaluate each of the statements within 20 seconds. That is, you would have about 2 minutes to read the text and evaluate four questions. However, note that not all of the questions will be of the same difficulty. Some of the questions might be simple, straight forward statements whereas the others could be of medium to advanced difficulty. Thus, you will have to work through your test as quickly as you can to save valuable time on simple straight forward statements so that you have enough time to focus on more advanced questions.

Another challenge of verbal reasoning tests is the actual task involved. A number of test takers do not clearly understand how to correctly evaluate statements. For example, many test takers are not clear what true, false and cannot say means. At many occasions candidates have difficulties to distinguish as when these are to be marked as false and cannot say. Remember, statement is to be false when it contradicts the passage whereas it would be marked as cannot say if there is not enough information provided. For further in-depth explanation refer to our chapter on how to answer verbal questions.