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Verbal reasoning test tips
Top Ten Verbal Reasoning Test Tips
Now, here’s my top ten verbal reasoning test tips:
- Firstly, often questions hinge on 1-2 key words so you must take more care to interpret these accurately. If questioned whether something “always” applies whilst the passage states that it is “sometimes” the case, then this is a false interpretation.
- Secondly, you should try to develop a systematic approach. For example, you might want to skim the passage first to get a general sense of the content, then read it more closely before answering the questions. Imagine that you are using a camera: first get a panoramic view of the passage, and then use the zoom to narrow in on the detail.
- Read each passage with an objective mindset. Don’t let your own opinions or impressions influence how you answer the questions. Remember to base your answers solely on the information presented in the passage. Even if you are an expert on the subject, don’t be influenced by any of your outside knowledge or understanding of the situation.
- Make sure that you fully understand the answer options. Is a statement 100% true or 100% false? The “cannot say” option applies when you cannot definitely say whether a statement is true or false because there is not enough information provided in the passage. This sort of verbal reasoning test is assessing your powers of reasoning and attention to detail, as well as your ability to analyse complex verbal information.
Top Ten Verbal Reasoning Test Tips (cont’d)
- Once you’ve read a statement, see if you can find the relevant sentence or sentences in the passage. Once you’ve identified this, you are half-way to your answer. When reading the passage make a mental note of the sub-themes so that you can refer back quickly to where particular issues are mentioned. You don’t need to memorize the contents of the passage, but it will help you to remember where key points are made.
- Look out for key words and phrases that emphasize particular points. Determining whether a question is true or false often depends upon the emphasis given to a statement by one or two key words. Many questions will refer back to sentences in the passage that used key words.
- Lastly, watch out for transition words, such as although, instead, yet, however, and alternatively. When such transition words are used, a contrasting point is being made. The passage may describe something in absolute terms, using words such as never, none, unique, only, all. Don’t be tricked by questions that then dilute the emphasis or make a more general statement, by using words such as usually, sometimes, generally, typically, or many. There is a world of difference between a definitive statement that applies 100% of the time and one that only applies only some of the time.
Top Ten Verbal Reasoning Test Tips (continued)
- Words such as possibly, perhaps or maybe imply that there is a possibility of something happening. Be wary of treating conjecture or speculation as a definite outcome. For example, certain would mean one thing in a question. However, when coupled in the passage with the word almost, then the meaning is quite different.
Another set of key words to look out for are proposition words such as: believes, claims, suggests, advocates and recommends. Statements involving these words are not necessarily facts, so don’t treat them as such.
Make a mental note of words and phrases that indicate a cause and effect. For example, you may be asked to interpret statements. For example, words such as since, because, therefore, so, thus, due to, and as a result.
The best way to prepare for a verbal reasoning test is to do practice questions that closely mirror the actual test you’ll be taking. But there are also many everyday ways you can improve your verbal reasoning skills. For example reading a wide range of challenging books, newspapers and magazines. You don’t need to be a speed reader to do well on a verbal reasoning test, but it helps to be able to read quickly and understand complex information.
Additional Verbal Reasoning Test Tips T
- Stay as calm as possible to minimize mistakes.
- Don’t skim read any of the Instructions or any text at the start of each question. This reduces the need to refer back to information provided earlier when answering particular questions.
- Practice questions are usually given at the start of any assessment. Use these as an opportunity to gain familiarity with the following: the format of both the Questionnaire and the Answer Sheet.
- In order to answer as many questions as possible in the limited time available, it is wise to adopt an appropriate strategy. This should be based on whether the test format presents a large number of questions in a short space of time.
- Don’t spend too long on a single question – remember that all questions are worth the same and the next question might be easier. If there is spare time at the end of the assessment, go back to any unused or difficult questions. Try to do as many questions as possible in the time allowed for the assessments.
- Check that the question number being completed always corresponds to the one given on the Answer Sheet. Be especially careful when coming to the end of a block of questions.
- Rule out one or two of the alternatives offered as being extremely unlikely to be correct.
- Ensure you mark the final answer clearly – especially if you’ve changed an answer.
- If in doubt of an answer give the best estimate.
- In case of finishing early, go back and review your answers.
- Motivation is highly important, so try to keep a positive attitude throughout the assessment day.
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