Whether you are aware of it or not, you use your verbal reasoning test skills when following a new recipe, reading a notice at a train station, applying for a bank account, or browsing through holiday brochures.
Verbal reasoning test preparation
Of course, the best way to improve your performance is always through practice. You’ll get the most benefit if you practise with questions that mirror the exact test you are preparing to take.
There are many skills that you can practise in advance. The test-taker needs to concentrate, pay attention to detail and interpret the meaning of individual words and phrases as well as analysing the overall meaning of a text passage. When answering individual questions the test-taker needs to focus on extracting the relevant verbal information. Imagine yourself as an eagle, circling over the overall passage and then swooping down to zero in on your prey – i.e. the bit of information needed to answer the question correctly.
Different types of verbal reasoning test
Broadly speaking, the earlier in an assessment process that you are being asked to complete a verbal reasoning test the more important it is to pass. Candidates who do not pass are sifted out of the process, allowing employers to focus on applicants whose skills are most suitable for the job.
Effective verbal reasoning skills are also one of the selection criteria for certain professions and postgraduate degree courses in which it is essential to work effectively with verbal information (e.g. medicine’s UKCAT, teaching’s QTS and the legal sector’s LNAT). We offer many practice verbal reasoning tests including LNAT practice test tips.
Verbal reasoning tests allow employers and university admissions officers to assess such skills of a large number of applicants in a standardised way. The same verbal reasoning test is given to a large number of applicants, which increases the fairness of the application process – whilst also making the process more efficient. A well-designed verbal reasoning test offers both a reliable and a valid means of assessment.
There are many, many different types of verbal reasoning test. These can be aimed at a general level (e.g. graduate tests) or for a specific career path (e.g. for medical school or law school). There is a corresponding range in difficulty from a basic test (e.g. measuring the understanding of words) to tests such as the LNAT. THE LNAT measures the comprehension of each part of an argued case, and appear towards the more difficult end of the verbal reasoning test spectrum.
RAF Verbal Reasoning Test Practice
Applying to the RAF is a process that takes several months from initial application through to acceptance. The staged selection process involves interviews, a fitness test, and of course, aptitude tests. The tests that you are asked to take will depend upon the particular RAF career that you are applying for: officer, non-commissioned aircrew or airman/airwoman. The section below aims to prepare you for the verbal reasoning component of the Airman Selection Test.
Who needs good verbal reasoning test skills?
As you’ve seen above, everyone needs to have basic verbal reasoning skills to survive daily life. And good verbal reasoning skills are a key prerequisite for many different jobs. Any job that involves frequent communication requires verbal reasoning skills. This could mean written communication in emails or reports, or spoken and written communication such as in teaching. In a commercial environment, for instance, call centre employees need to be able to converse clearly with their customers. At the graduate and managerial levels, many jobs require the interpretation and critical analysis of complex verbal information.
Almost all jobs require some form of verbal communication and/or reading written information. Internal correspondence with your colleagues can be more informal (depending upon who they are!) than when you are communicating with your customers or clients.
Let’s have a look at a typical office environment and how different workers use verbal reasoning skills to perform their duties.
Verbal reasoning test tips for Graduate trainees
Recent graduates who have just started working on a training scheme will apply their verbal reasoning skills whenever they interact or correspond with other members of staff. They need to match their verbal communication to different levels of seniority and adjust their communication style to suit the formality of the meeting or event. Graduates may also need to prepare business reports. These should not read like an essay!
Verbal reasoning test tips for Managerial roles
Most managers will need to use higher levels of verbal reasoning when reading or preparing reports. They need to be able to adapt their spoken and written communication style to the situation, whether addressing their subordinates or customers/ clients. Other company reporting procedures, such as appraisals, also require clearly written documentation.
Senior managers and directors will need to use the highest levels of verbal reasoning skills when analysing company reports, dealing with compliance issues and statutory obligations. Here there is a need for concise and accurate communication.
Verbal reasoning test tips for Customer service roles
Effective oral communication is the key to handling customer queries or sales calls. Talking to customers on the phone or face to face demands a flexible communication style. For example, telesales personnel would be expected to respond differently to a customer who was complaining than to one who was a prospective sale. Persuasive presentation skills also rely upon a solid foundation of verbal reasoning skills.
Verbal reasoning test tips for administrative roles
A PA’s responsibilities typically include written correspondence, such as letters and emails, which need to use an appropriate tone and level for the intended audience. Administrative roles also need to check written documents. To file these accurately and to keep on top of plans and procedures that have been agreed orally or in writing.
Verbal reasoning test tips for Sales roles
Effective oral communication is the key for converting sales call prospects – especially for sales roles in call centres which require an even more fluent style of communication style.