M&S Verbal Reasoning Test
M&S looks for employees with a high verbal ability. Applicants have to pass a verbal test before being offered a position.
M&S use the following tests in their selection process:
- Verbal reasoning test
- Numerical reasoning test
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About M&S Verbal Reasoning Tests
Marks and Spencer is a major British multinational retailer with headquarters in London. Specialising in home products, luxury food and clothing, there is a broad variety of roles available with the company. Applications are generally made online and psychometric testing is adopted throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. Typically, candidates are asked to complete numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and personality questionnaires, although further tests may be used for some positions. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
Marks and Spencer use tests and assessments provided by SHL. The function of these tests is to screen out candidates without adequate numerical, verbal ability, although different combinations of tests could be required depending on the level of role applied for.
Verbal reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for M&S to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised verbal reasoning test, M&S 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.
M&S 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, M&S 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 M&S can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.
M&S Application Process Stages
Here is the typical process for your application to M&S.
Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. Applicants are also instructed to complete psychometric tests at this time, as a means of sifting out candidates who lack the necessary requirements. The online psychometric tests can include some or all of the following; numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and a personality questionnaire. All of which have strict time limits and last approximately 20 minutes each, meaning that practice tests are recommended.
Selected candidates will be invited to an interview, at which it is not uncommon for applicants to take part in a role play exercise before being asked situational questions. This may be followed by a further interview with the manager, which usually lasts around 10 minutes.
The final stage of the graduate selection process is attendance at an assessment centre, during which candidates will be asked to complete a variety of assessment exercises such as a presentation, group discussion, role play or simulation exercises and a competency based interview. Marks and Spencer look for their candidates to demonstrate clear communication skills, teamwork achievements, problem solving abilities and business awareness.
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Our verbal practice test pack is suitable for preparing for the M&S verbal reasoning exercise.
Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.
M&S Verbal Reasoning Test Questions
Like most verbal tests, the one used by M&S 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 M&S.
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.
M&S 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 M&S you might feel like the verbal reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that M&S 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 M&S, 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 M&S?
Yes. M&S 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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