IBM Verbal Reasoning Test
IBM looks for employees with a high verbal ability. Applicants have to pass a verbal test before being offered a position.
IBM use the following tests in their selection process:
- Verbal reasoning test
- Numerical reasoning test
- IPAT Test
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About IBM Verbal Reasoning Tests
IBM is a multinational technology and consulting corporation, previously ranked as the second largest firm in the US. Securing employment or a place on one of their graduate schemes is extremely competitive and candidates must be prepared to undergo a lengthy selection procedure. Once an online application form has been completed, candidates are required to undertake online psychometric tests. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
IBM use a combination of Bespoke and Kenexa assessments throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates. In regards to potential employees, IBM look for a set of key values throughout the selection procedure: Adaptability, Communication, Client Focus, Creative Problem Solving, Drive, Teamwork, Passion for IBM and Taking Ownership.
Verbal reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for IBM to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised verbal reasoning test, IBM are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.
IBM use SHL ver reasoning tests. This test typically consists of 30 questions, a few questions per written passage, all to be answered in under 20 minutes.
Often, IBM will ask applicants to take a verbal test online, which you can take from home. When the verbal test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a verbal test again. This is so IBM can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.
IBM Application Process Stages
Here is the typical process for your application to IBM.
Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. Candidates are also required to complete an IBM application template, which lists competencies associated with the role and asks for examples of times when the candidate has demonstrated them.
Telephone InterivewVerbal, numerical, logical and/or situational strength
Candidates who have applied for a BDE role will be contacted for a telephone interview, and not have any online tests to complete.
Successful candidates are sent an invitation to complete the “IBM IPAT”, a logical reasoning test comprised of three sections. Candidates need only complete two of these sections and can choose whether to complete them in one or two sittings. However, they must be completed within seven days of receiving the invitation link. All instructions regarding the IBM IPAT will be provided to candidates in the invitation email. Candidates who have applied for the ‘Graduate Strategic Analytics Consultant’ role will be asked to undertake an additional aptitude test provided by SHL which focusses more on their verbal and numerical ability. Candidates who have applied for the ‘Software Developer’ role will be asked to complete a personality questionnaire.
Selected candidates are then invited to attend an assessment day, during which they will undergo some or all of the following assessments: Group Activity – This usually involves logical problem solving or a discussion board, Confirmatory Test – This is a short test similar to the online test completed during the earlier stages, Written Tests – Some candidates will be required to complete Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning tests. Some applicants will also have a first round interview during their assessment day.
During this interview, candidates are assessed regarding specific skills necessary for the job applied for. It is also a good chance for candidates to find out about the role and establish whether this is likely to be a good fit. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be made an offer of employment or a place on a graduate scheme with IBM.
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Our verbal practice test pack is suitable for preparing for the IBM verbal reasoning exercise.
Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.
IBM Verbal Reasoning Test Questions
Like most verbal tests, the one used by IBM looks at your ability to interpret written information and answer questions which require verbal analysis of the content provided. The verbal test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. Sometimes you will find that you can make a best guess estimate by deducing that some of the answer options are incorrect. This approach to verbal tests will come with practice, and you will become familiar with the type of verbal tests used by companies such as IBM.
Verbal reasoning tests and who uses them
Companies are using verbal reasoning test more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. verbal reasoning tests are favoured when the role being recruited for requires assessment and generation of written content on a regular basis. A person's score in a verbal reasoning test is a good indicator of their ability to work well with written information. This is very important in a variety of roles, especially those in which communication with colleagues and clients is routine.
IBM use verbal reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.
So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at IBM you might feel like the verbal reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that IBM are asking you to complete the verbal test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by IBM, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.
What you should know before taking your verbal reasoning test
The passage of text given to you in a verbal reasoning test will contain the necessary information to answer the questions accompanying it. The passages are usually brief, often a paragraph, or two at most, made up of a few short sentences. Take the time to read the passage well. Skim-reading can lead to missing out details. The passage will be short enough that you can read it comfortably in the time limit given. You don't need to be a super-fast reader to pass a verbal reasoning test. One of the most important things to remember is that the test will not assume that you have specialist knowledge. All questions can be answered from the information given in the passage.
Different types of verbal tests
Most questions in most verbal reasoning tests follow a standard format displaying written information, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The written information will be a blurb of text, but might not be adapted to suit a particular style. The language may be technical and succinct, or colloquial and informal, or may appear to be more like a section of prose. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's already given, which might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. Lastly, the answer options are almost always a multiple choice of True / False / Cannot say. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 5 options to pick from, which include the standard 3, but with a Probably False and Probably True added. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.
Some publishers will have less subtle variations in their test from what's described here. Capp for example, will ask you to rank the answer options by a particular criteria, or categorise different passages of text according to the style. Sometimes, in Saville Assessment tests, you may be asked to select which phrase from the options is true, or false, or referred to in the passage. Test types by different publishers are explained here in more detail.
Are these tests suitable for IBM?
Yes. IBM use verbal reasoning tests to assess applicants in the recruitment process. The practice tests we provide have been designed to mimic the verbal reasoning test's style to create an environment similar to the real assessment. This provides you with confidence that the questions you practice with us now are an accurate reflection of the real assessment.
How difficult are your tests?
The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.
Are they compatible with my Mac / Tablet / Phone?
Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!
How many times can I take the tests?
Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.
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