Seven things you need to know about verbal reasoning tests

Verbal reasoning tests are frequently used in administrative, managerial and technical job recruitment. They help employers, who often have a large pool of interested candidates, to examine how people comprehend, analyse and respond to the written word. Want to learn more? We’ve put together everything you need to know…

1. The two types of test

There are two types of verbal tests: comprehension or basic reasoning. Comprehension questions are designed to unpick how you understand complex paragraphs of text, while reasoning questions tease out how you analyse the data in more complex ways.

2. Expect the unexpected

Verbal reasoning tests could be about anything! But the best thing is you won’t need prior knowledge of the subject as the answers are hidden in the text, right there in front of you. You could be answering questions on short sentences or dense paragraphs; on a range of subjects from science and history to business.

3. Choosing the right answer

Multiple choice answers are the norm in verbal reasoning tests. You’ll respond to questions on a paragraph of text with ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘cannot say.’

4. Levelling the playing field

Understandably, candidates want to know whether the tests they’re taking are marked without bias. We can confidently say that psychometric testing is one of the fairest ways you can be judged as an interviewee. Unlike interviews, which are subjective and often based on first impressions, psychometric tests are scored against a strict sheet of criteria.

5. What are you really judged on?

Verbal reasoning tests are designed to gauge your powers of perception, reasoning and rationale. The timed conditions allow employers to deduce what you’re like in a pressured situation.

6. You can ditch the dictionary

Contrary to popular opinion, spelling isn’t something that’s taken into account when marking your verbal reasoning test. Spelling and grammar can be sharpened up further down the line; what employers want to find out from these tests is much more intrinsic to you as a person.

7. Don’t forget the clock

As in most exams, verbal reasoning tests are timed. So it’s important to strike a balance between speed and accuracy. Don’t panic if you can’t answer every question. You’ll find some harder than others and getting caught up on the difficult ones may mean you miss out a simpler problem further down the line.

But really, if we could give you just one piece of advice on how to do well at the verbal reasoning tests – it would be to practise. You can try out lots of different verbal reasoning tests with Practice Aptitude Tests. Not only will you get used to the format and learn how to answer the questions with speed and confidence, you can also access lots of tips and tricks to help you do your best on the big day.

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