Verbal Reasoning Test Tips

Here are our top 3 tips on taking a verbal reasoning test.

Verbal reasoning test tips: 1 - 3

understand the questions

Verbal Test Tip 1: True, false ,or give up

The trick to verbal reasoning questions is to always remember the strict meaning of the three possible responses. They are:

  • True means the statement follows logically given the information contained within the passage.
  • False means the statement cannot logically follow given the information contained within the passage.
  • Cannot Say means you are not given enough information in the passage to decide.

The key to all of these is you must consider ONLY the information given in the passage.

take your own calculator

Verbal Test Tip 2: Take everything literally

A robot would do well in verbal reasoning tests since it will not take anything for granted, it will not make unjustified assumptions, and it will be literal almost to the point of being obtuse. Take every word literally and remember you are asked to answer the questions based on only what is given in the passage. Think to yourself "Am I being told this statement is absolutely 100% true or being told this is absolutely 100% false?" If neither, the correct answer must be Cannot Say. The statements are True or False only if the information in the passage tells you as much. Practice some questions for yourself and check our solutions. You will be caught out of you start making assumptions about information not explicitly given in the text passage.

know your calculator

Verbal Test Tip 3: time allocation for verbal reasoning questions

For verbal reasoning questions, your approach to time allocation should be slightly different to that for numerical questions. Again, have a quick scan ahead to see how many questions the passage relates to; it is typically three to four. With verbal reasoning tests however, the bias of time spent reading the passage should be towards the first reading and understanding. Then when it comes to answering a particular question, you know where to check the wording/meaning of the passage in order to answer the question. So, for a typical set of three questions, the time plan might look something like this:

  • 3 seconds scanning ahead to see how many questions the passage relates to;
  • 60 seconds reading and understanding the passage.
  • 5 seconds reading and understanding the first question;
  • 35 seconds answering the question by finding the relevant sections in the passage.
  • 5 seconds reading and understanding the second question;
  • 35 seconds answering the question by finding the relevant sections in the passage
  • 5 seconds reading and understanding the third question;
  • 35 seconds answering the question by finding the relevant sections in the passage.

That’s about three minutes to answer three questions, which is about right for a typical set of three verbal reasoning questions.

Want some more tips on other tests?

Buy practice numerical reasoning tests

Practice numerical test questions with fully worked solutions and explanations...