Category Archives: Aptitude test design

In this aptitude test design Category, you can firstly find all of our most useful and up-to-date aptitude test information.

Secondly, you can find all of the tips and practice on our site.

We hope you find both of these useful.

Rob Williams Assessment Ltd specialise in designing highly predictive psychometric solutions. In particular, situational judgement test design, realistic job preview design, aptitude test design, ability test design, verbal reasonign test design, numerical reasoning test design, abstract reasoning test design and personality questionnaire design.

We work across a wide range of sectors and job roles. Our tailor-made psychometric offerings are as unique as our clients’ organisations.

Our organisation prides itself on client satisfaction. We have many positive LinkedIn reviews from our big client projects.

Screening test candidates

Screening

We cover both bespoke pretesting and bespoke screening tests. Screening tests can help you identify which applicants are a good match for the role and for your company culture.

These are more valid than cv’s which can leave recruiters to fill in the gaps between what’s written and what’s actually relevant. Skills tests during the application stage help filter out applicants who don’t have the skills you need. 

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Financial Personality online private tuition tools

Numerical Reasoning Test Practice

Numerical Reasoning Test tips

Why test numerical reasoning?

Many medium-sized and large companies now use Numerical Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised Numerical Reasoning Test gives everyone the same numerical reasoning questions.

Numerical Reasoning Tests need to accommodate the very wide difference in mathematical ability from school leavers to senior managers.  Correspondingly there is a range of increasingly difficult Numerical Reasoning Tests from the basic Numeracy Tests (which only require mathematical knowledge of the 4 basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to the most complex and numerical reasoning involved in the interpretation of complex statitistical data.

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SHL practice tests. Coloured pages of book for practice.

SHL Practice Tests

Welcome to our SHL situational judgement test practice.

SHL practice situational judgement tests

* * * Content updated April 2021 * * *

SHL practice tests

PwC’s SHL psychometric tests

PwC uses SHL (CEB) test provider for their psychometric tests – the online reasoning tests are highly effective to filter to the best 10% of applications, from the several thousand they receive per role.

Continue reading SHL Practice Tests

Numerical reasoning and verbal tests

Free online test practice

 Free online numerical reasoning test practicefree online verbal reasoning test practice

Passing numerical reasoning tests

There aren’t any quick wins for being good at maths but some focussed practice will improve your score, as will following a few test-taking strategies.

As a timed assessment, you need to average around one minute per question. Work briskly but accurately. Each question counts the same so pick off the easy ones first and don’t waste your test time on the most difficult questions.

Numerical reasoning test practice is an excellent means of brushing-up on any maths functions you haven’t used in a while. Ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.

You can practise the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. Practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL as these sites cover most of the tests you are likely to find.

Passing verbal reasoning tests 

Verbal reasoning assessments come in many different types of format.

The traditional comprehension format is to have a short passage followed by a series of questions – asking about facts, opinions, and conclusions – based on its content, a bit like those English tests in primary school where you answered questions on a novel extract.

Regardless of the type of test, it’s vital to carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on one or two 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.

Scan the passage initially and then read it in more detail. It’s easier to answer each question if you can recall roughly where to find the answer in the text.

Passing abstract reasoning tests

These ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”.

The easier questions typically appear at the start of the assessment and will involve one change in colour, position, size etc .of the figures shown.

Questions become more difficult as you progress and must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. Once you’ve worked out at least one of the feature changes, check through the answer options to discount those that do not conform.

Passing personality tests

When it comes to answering psychometric surveys that evaluate personality, the best advice is to give your “first response”.

Visualise how you would behave at work on a typical good day. Don’t second guess what is being looked for since “faking” and lying are easily picked up.

Practice, practice, practice psychometric tests

Like anything, practice makes perfect. And don’t be afraid to ask the employer which publisher’s tests they use – most will be happy to tell you.

Being familiar with the format, as well as the kinds of questions asked, will give you a clear advantage. On the day, keep calm and remember that most assessments are timed, so answer the questions as swiftly as you can.

Being familiar with the format, as well as the kinds of questions asked, will give you a clear advantage. On the day, keep calm and remember that most assessments are timed, so answer the questions as swiftly as you can.

Popular Personality Surveys

You might also enjoy the following:

Firstly, How stressed is your child?

Secondly, How effective is your decision-making style?

Thirdly, How are your Basic Tutoring Skills?

Also, IntelligenceTypes.

And, How Effective Are Your Time Management Skills?

Plus, Do your Tutoring Skills Need a Tune-Up?

Finally, How well-developed are your English writing skills.

GCSE past papers and 13+ papers. Children writing exam.

13+ Papers

The focus of this page is 13+ past papers / GCSE Past Papers.

Below you will find links to the different exam board websites, where updates will be provided as they become official. Some of these also provide access to past papers too.

13+ Papers

Please use these useful links:

 

GCSE Past Papers

English GCSE Papers

IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1 Insert)
English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1)
English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2 Insert).
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2 Mark Scheme)
English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3 Insert)
English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3)
English (CIE 2015 Paper 1 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Paper 2 Mark Scheme)
English (CIE 2015 Paper 3 Mark Scheme)

GCSE – English GCSE Papers Part II

IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 1 Insert).
English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 1)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 2 Insert)
English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 2)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 3 Insert)
English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 3)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 11 Insert)
English (CIE June 2015 Paper 11 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 11)
English (CIE June 2015 Paper 21 Insert).
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 21 Mark Scheme)
English (CIE June 2015 Paper 21)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 31 Insert)
English (CIE June 2015 Paper 31 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 31)
English (AQA 2010 Foundation Tier 3712:F)

GCSE Papers – Maths GCSE Papers

IGCSE Maths (Foundation Nov 2010 Paper 1).
Maths (Foundation Nov 2010 Paper 2)
IGCSE Maths (Higher Nov 2010 Paper 3)
Maths (Higher Nov 2010 Paper 4)

GCSE past papers. 13+ Exam room with teacher

13+ past papers

12-13+ English (Colfe’s School 2008-9)
13 + English (Charterhouse 2004)
13+ English (City of London Freemen’s School)
13 + English (City of London Freemen’s School 2012)
13+ English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper A)
13 + English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper B).
13+ English (Dulwich College Specimen Paper C)
13 + English (Dulwich College 2009)
13+ English (Emanuel School)
13 + English Section A (King’s College School Wimbledon Pre-test 2019)
13+ English Section B (King’s College School Wimbledon Pre-test 2019)
13 +English Section C (King’s College School Wimbledon 2017 and Pre-test 2019)

Past papers part II

13English (Shrewsbury 2014)
13+ English (St Edward’s 2016)
13 + English (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016)
13+ English (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13 + English (St Edward’s 2014)
13+ English (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013-14)
13 + English (St Edward’s 2013)
13+ English (St Edward’s 2012-13)
13 + English (St Edward’s 2011-12)
13+ English (St Edward’s 2010).

13Maths (Bromsgrove School 2011)
13+ Maths (Charterhouse 2004)
13 + Maths (Charterhouse)
13+ Maths – Revised (City of London Freemen’s School 2014)
13 + Maths (City of London Freemen’s School 2014)
13+ Maths (Colfe’s School)
13 + Maths (Dulwich College Specimen Paper A)
13+ Maths (Dulwich College Specimen Paper B)
13 + Maths (Dulwich College Specimen Paper C)
13+ Maths (Dulwich College).
13 + Maths (Dulwich College) (2).
13+ Maths (Emanuel School)
13 + Maths (Hampton Court House)

Past papers part III

13+Maths Section A (King’s College School Wimbledon Pre-test 2019)
13 + Maths Section B (King’s College School Wimbledon Pre-test 2019)
13+ Maths (Oundle School 1 2009).
13 + Maths (Oundle School 1 2010)
13+ Maths (Oundle School 2 2008)
13 + Maths (Oundle School 2 2009)
13+ Maths (Oundle School 2A 2010)
13 + Maths (Oundle School 2A 2011)
13+ Maths (Reigate Grammar School 2010)

13+Maths (Shrewsbury 2014)
13+ Maths (Shrewsbury Sept 2013)
13Maths (St Edward’s 2016)
13+ Maths (St Edward’s Scholarsh.ip Paper 1 2016)
13 +Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 2 2016)
13Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 1 2015)
13 +Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 2 2015)
13Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 1 2014)
13 + Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 2 2014)
13+ Maths (St Edward’s 2013-14)
13Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 1 2013)
13+ Maths (St Edward’s Scholarship Paper 2 2013)

Past papers part IV

13 + Maths (St Edward’s 2011)
13+ Maths (St Edward’s 2010).

13Maths (The Perse Upper School 1)
13+ Maths (The Perse Upper School 2)
13 + Maths (The Perse Upper School 3)
13+ Maths (The Perse Upper School 4)
13 + Biology Mark Scheme (ISEB Level 2 2017)

13+French (Alleyn’s School).
13 + French – Listening Comprehension (Dulwich College)
13+ French – Reading & Writing (Dulwich College)
13 + French – Writing (Emanuel)
13+ French – Reading (Emanuel)
13 + French (Kent College)
13+ French (Shrewsbury 2014)
13 + French (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016).
13+ French (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13 + French (St Edward’s 2014)
13+ French (St Edward’s 2013)

13Geography (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016)
13+ Geography (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13 + Geography (St Edward’s 2013)

13+Greek (St Edward’s 2013)

GCSE papers. 13 +. Exam room with children and teacher.

Past papers part V

13History (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016).
13+ History (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13 + History (St Edward’s Scholarship 2014)
13+ History (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013)
13 + History (St George’s College Scholarship)

13+Latin (Dulwich College)
13 + Latin (Emanuel)
13+ Latin (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016)
13+Latin (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13+ Latin (St Edward’s Scholarship 2014)
13 + Latin (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013)

13+Religious Studies (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016).
13 + Religious Studies (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13+ Religious Studies (St Edward’s Scholarship 2014)
13 + Religious Studies (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013)

Past papers part VI

13+Science (Charterhouse 1994).
13 + Science (City of London Freemen’s School)
13+ Science (City of London Freemen’s School 2014)
13 + Science (Dulwich College)
13+ Science (Emanuel School)
13 + Science (St Edward’s Scholarship 2016)
13+ Science (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13 + Science (St Edward’s 2016)
13+ Science (St Edward’s 2014)
13 + Science (St Edward’s 2013)
13+ Science (St Edward’s 2013-14).
13 + Science (St Edward’s 2013)
13+Science (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013)
13 + Science  (St Edward’s Scholarship 2011)

13+Spanish – Writing (Emanuel)
13 +Spanish (St Edward’s Scholarship 2015)
13+ Spanish (St Edward’s Scholarship 2014)
13 + Spanish (St Edward’s Scholarship 2013).

Past papers

13-14+ English (Shrewsbury 2013)

13- 14+ English as an Additional Language (St Edward’s 2016)

French (Shrewsbury 2013)

14+ English (City of London Freemen’s School)
14+English (City of London Freemen’s School 2012).

14+ Maths (City of London Freemen’s School December 2012)
14+Maths (City of London Freemen’s School 2012)

14+ Maths, English & French (Monmouth School)

14+Science (City of London Freemen’s School)
14+ Science (City of London Freemen’s School 2014)

Past Papers

IGCSE English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1 Mark Scheme)
IGCSE English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 1)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2 Insert)
IGCSE English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2 Mark Scheme).
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 2)
IGCSE English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3 Mark Scheme)
IGCSE English (CIE 2019 Specimen Paper 3)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Paper 1 Mark Scheme)
IGCSE English (CIE 2015 Paper 2 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Paper 3 Mark Scheme)
IGCSE English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 1 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 1).
IGCSE English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 2 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 2)
IGCSE English (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 3 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE 2015 Specimen Paper 3)
IGCSE English (CIE June 2015 Paper 11 Insert)

Past Papers Part II

IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 11 Mark Scheme).
IGCSE English (CIE June 2015 Paper 11)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 21 Insert).
IGCSE English (CIE June 2015 Paper 21 Mark Scheme)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 21)
IGCSE English (CIE June 2015 Paper 31 Insert)
IGCSEEnglish (CIE June 2015 Paper 31 Mark Scheme)
IGCSE English (CIE June 2015 Paper 31)
GCSEEnglish (AQA 2010 Foundation Tier 3712:F).

GCSE Maths Practice test set 1A – Paper 1F (Pearson)
GCSEMaths Practice test set 1A – Paper 2F (Pearson)
GCSE Maths Practice test set 1A – Paper 3F (Pearson)
IGCSEMaths (Foundation Nov 2010 Paper 1)
IGCSE Maths (Foundation Nov 2010 Paper 2)
IGCSEMaths (Higher Nov 2010 Paper 3)
IGCSE Maths (Higher Nov 2010 Paper 4).

Which School Guides

Welcome to our Which School Guides:

Firstly, private Sixth Form Admissionstop private sixth Forms Guide , private London Sixth Forms blog and London Sixth Forms Guide.

Secondly, London Prep Schools GuidePrep schools, London prep schools guide and Top London Prep schools blog.

Thirdly, London private schoolsPrivate London School Admissions (A-M), Sunday Times Private Schools League Table and top private girls schools in London.

Plus, London Independent Schools Guide, and London’s top independent school A-Level results.

Then, Grammar Schools GuideLondon 11 plus practice tests11Plus GL Guide.

Grammars using 11 plus GL Assessment Guide , Guide to Grammar School Entry.

Also, UK Boarding Schools Guide, and primary school league tables.

Finally, London Pre-Schools Guide.

GCSE Past Papers

Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Tips. Child sitting on books.

Aptitude

Welcome to our aptitude tests info and aptitude test practice.

Aptitude Test Design Services

We are specialists in psychometric test design. In particular aptitude test design:

  • Verbal reasoning test design.
  • Numerical reasoning test design.
  • Abstract reasoning test design.

Premium aptitude test practice

Aptitude Test Tips

There are many free aptitude test tips and aptitude test practice papers throughout our site. For example, here’s our free practice literacy test.

Passing aptitude tests

Aptitude tests are used by many companies as a standard part of the recruitment process. If you’re currently aplying for jobs, you’re likely to face one or more psychometric tests, measuring everything from verbal reasoning and numeracy to emotional intelligence. I would say that 90 per cent of big companies use skills and/or aptitude tests, though the kind used will depends on the role and industry you’re aplying for,’ says Rob Williams.

How you perform matters. ‘Even if you wow a potential employer with a great first or second interview, the results can make or break your chances of getting hired,’ says Rob. Research backs up the claim. Nearly 90 percent of companies said they would reject candidates if the test showed them to be deficient in basic skills, according to a survey by the American Management Association.

Companies use aptitude tests to identify which candidates are most likely to perform well on the job, potentially saving time and cost in the recruitment process and decreasing employee turnover. Skills tests are used to verify whether a candidate has the skills they say they have, and are proficient enough to do the job. Such skills tests are specific to the job – for example a design challenge using Photoshop for graphic designers or a proof reading test for editors. Aptitude tests are more general and are used to evaluate an aplicant’s ability to learn new skills and indicate how they may react to different situations once hired.

The most commonly used aptitude tests measure numerical, verbal and logical reasoning, though personality-based psychometric tests are becoming increasingly popular and are used by companies you wouldn’t necessarily expect,’ says Rob. Employers may ask you to take a test – often delivered online at home – after you’ve made an initial aplication or may invite you to an assessment centre after a successful interview.

The general advice given is typically to give your “first response”. It was certainly important to visualize how you would behave at work, say on a typical good day. Don’t second guess what is being looked for since “faking” and lying are easily picked up.

Our Top psychometric test tips

Premium aptitude test practice

  • Make a mental note of words and phrases that indicate a cause and effect. For example, you may be asked to interpret statements with ’cause and effect’ words. For example, since, because, therefore, so, thus, due to, and as a result.
  • 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. If coupled in the passage with the word almost, then the meaning is quite different.
  • The best way to prepare for a verbal reasoning test is to do practise 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.

Verbal Reasoning test tips

Key words

Watch out for certain keywords and phrases in either the passage or question (or both!). These keywords often act as the link between different pieces of information. In many cases they qualify the information that has been given. When you come across keywords in passages and questions you need to focus on their precise meanings.

Contrast words verbal reasoning test tips 

Spain has always been a popular tourist destination, however it now faces competition from cheaper resorts in other countries.

You need to pay careful attention to the information that follows the contrast word. This is often the key to answering the question.

Is the answer to the following statement True, False, or Cannot tell: Spain is unrivalled as a tourist destination. The answer is False. The sentence says that Spain has always been popular, Then goes on to say that it now faces competition.

Propositions tips example: 

The author claims that his book will improve your verbal reasoning test performance.

Is the answer to the following statement True, False, or Cannot tell: This book will improve your verbal reasoning test performance. Yes, there is a very good chance that this book will improve your performance if used properly. However, this is not a fact so the answer has to be Cannot tell.

Comparisons tips example: 

There is less unemployment in the UK today than at any other point in the past decade.

So, it follows that unemployment rates are lower than they were five years ago.

Absolutes and generalisations tips example: 

UK Most educators agree that excessive television viewing usually damages a child’s concentration.

If faced with the statement: Excessive television always damages a child’s concentration you might be tempted to answer True. The answer is, in fact, False – because the word usually tells you that this is a high possibility, not a guaranteed effect.

So, to summarise: don’t assume that usually means the same as always. In the world of verbal reasoning tests, such words are miles apart!

Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Tips. Executive members of a team discussing strategy.

Cause and effect

After doing lots of practise tests you will come to recognise cause and effect words and phrases. These include: since, because, for, so, consequently, as a result, thus, therefore, due to and hence. It is a good idea to focus on these as often a question will ask you to interpret how these words have been used to link different aspects of an issue or argument together. There are subtle differences between these words and phrases, as some signal stronger causal relationships than others. A word like because indicates a direct causal link. The word so also joins facts together but does not necessarily mean that it was the first fact that led to the second.

More verbal reasoning test tips

  • Firstly, the introductory statement. What points are made?
  • Secondly, the main body of the text. What does this explore/detail?
  • Thirdly, the final statement(s). What details are provided here?
  • Fourthly, the final summary at the end of the passage, what point, if any, is it making?

Finally, ask yourself again. Do I have a sufficient understanding to answer the set of questions? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to carefully read the first question. You may only need to read the passage in full twice if you already know where to find the relevant information. Remember that the passage will always be there for reference. So you don’t need to memorise it.

Don’t worry if the subject matter in the passage is unfamiliar to you. Many of the passages you read will be about areas in which you have no interest or background knowledge. Nor do you need to apply any outside knowledge of the subject.

A reading comprehension task requires you to extract the relevant information to answer each question. Each question will relate to a particular part, or parts, of the passage.

Verbal Reasoning tips examples

1) As a result of oversubscription, Adam did not get a place on the philosophy course.

2) The philosophy course was oversubscribed so Adam enrolled in a different class.

What is the answer if you are asked: Did Adam get a place on the philosophy course? In the first sentence, you know that he did not. The second sentence is more ambiguous. Perhaps Adam got a place, but opted out of the overcrowded course.

Be careful not to mix up causal words with words such as then, next, after and later. These words indicate a chronological sequence rather than a causal effect. For example, then does not imply that one thing caused another to happen, only that it happened after.

Verbal Reasoning tip – Speculation

Look out for words or phrases indicating speculation, such as perhaps, probably, possibly and maybe. Words such as may, might and can also point to the possibility of something happening. You need to tread carefully with such phrases – they do not mean the suggested outcome is guaranteed, only that it is a possibility.

If you are told – The team is almost certain to win the championship – you should not interpret this as meaning that the team will definitely win. It is just speculation, even if there are good reasons for making that prediction.

Verbal Reasoning tips example

Conglomerate Plc announced redundancies in its accounts team, as well as job losses in its logistics and human resources departments.

You may be asked to say whether the following statement is True or False: Conglomerate Plc made redundancies in three parts of its business. The answer would be True because the statement mentions job losses in accounts, logistics and human resources.

‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test Design

Specific design criteria were applied.  Sufficient administration time was made available for a test taker to exhibit the appropriate reasoning ability. 

Other design criteria related to the target population groups. For example, this form of verbal reasoning test does not require the candidate to have any technical knowledge of grammar. Or to be able to spot minor errors in the spelling of unfamiliar words.

Practical examples are proved at the start of each test. Thus, test takers can familiarise themselves with the test format.

VERBAL REASONING TEST DESIGN RATIONALE

Many jobs involve working with verbal information and verbal comprehension forms a core component of almost all senior managerial roles.  The ‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test measures the verbal reasoning skills that are fundamental to effective communication in such roles. 

In many organisations, verbal reasoning skills are key to the effective dissemination of business information across the workforce.

‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test assesses how well an individual’s verbal reasoning skills can operate at a high-level.  In our opinion, primarily understanding written communication. Although, ‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test also encompasses the ability to understand complex discussions.

Verbal reasoning is central to many roles. Thus the ‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test is appropriate for a very wide range of senior job roles and tasks.

VERBAL REASONING TEST FORMAT

Many graduate and senior managerial roles require quickly extracting relevant information from written documents. And to make a judgement based on this information.  Thus ‘Bespoke’ Verbal Reasoning Test measures the ability to read. And to interpret a detailed block of text under strictly timed conditions.

The verbal information in the test appears in the form of passages of text. Each is followed by a series of 4 multiple-choice questions.  Each question requires relevant pieces of information to be extracted from the passage.And a specific judgement to be made on the basis of that information. 

Verbal Reasoning TEST DESIGN

After reading a passage the test taker has to read a series of statements referring back to information contained within the passage.  The test taker has to identify whether the statement is true. Or false. Or whether it is not possible to tell. Then to decide which is the appropriate multiple-choice answer to fill in. 

Each answer must be based solely on the information presented in the passage – ignoring any background knowledge that the test taker may possess.  The questions must also be answered without any interference from the test taker’s own beliefs about the subject matter. 

This reflects work conditions where there is a need to make objective decisions based solely on the information available at that moment in time.

Number of Items:          48

Test Time:         25 minutes

Time needed for Administration (including Test Time):     35 minutes

EXAMPLE APTITUDE ITEM

For each statement, fill in either T, F or CS on the answer sheet.

These corresponds to your decision as to whether the statement is True. False. Or whether it is not possible to tell.

T: True                    

F: False                   

CS: Cannot Say      

Verbal Reasoning Test Prep

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.

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.

Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Tips. man in suit at computer, thinking.

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

  • medicine’s UKCAT.
  • teaching’s QTS.
  • 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.

Aptitude Test Practice Strategies

Firstly, skim read the passage to get a rough idea of its content.

Secondly, skim read the questions to get a rough idea of the level of difficulty and the sorts of things that you are going to be asked. Steps 1 and 2 will prepare you for the level of complexity and the time that you need to spend answering the questions.

Thirdly, read the passage again! Go through the passage again but read it more carefully this time. Do not spend time trying to memorise the details. Instead, think in broad terms about the different areas that the passage is covering. Try to make mental notes about where the specific pieces of information relating to each area are located in the passage.

Fourthly, try to get a broad sense of what you are going to be asked in each question and to know where this information was covered within the passage. Ask yourself: Am I in a suitable position to answer the questions? For more complex passages the answer to this will be no. Read the passage a third time. Try to identify the pieces of information in the passage that seem particularly important.

Verbal Reasoning tips example: 

UK Most educators agree that excessive television viewing usually damages a child’s concentration.

If faced with the statement: Excessive television always damages a child’s concentration you might be tempted to answer True. The answer is in fact False – because the word usually tells you that this is a high possibility, not a guaranteed effect.

Cause and effect

You will come to recognise cause and effect words and phrases. These include: since, because, for, so, consequently, as a result, thus, therefore, due to and hence.

There are subtle differences between these words and phrases, as some signal stronger causal relationships than others. A word like because indicates a direct causal link. The word so also joins facts together but does not necessarily mean that it was the first fact that led to the second.

Verbal Reasoning tips example: 

Spain has always been a popular tourist destination, however, it now faces competition from cheaper resorts in other countries.

You need to pay careful attention to the information that follows the contrast word as it is often the key to answering the question.

Is the answer to the following statement True, False, or Cannot tell: Spain is unrivalled as a tourist destination. The answer is False. The sentence says that Spain has always been popular, but goes on to say that it now faces competition.

Who needs good verbal reasoning 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.

At the graduate and managerial levels, many jobs require the interpretation and critical analysis of complex verbal information.

Let’s have a look at a typical office environment and how different workers use verbal reasoning skills to perform their duties.

Why do I need verbal reasoning test practice?

Verbal reasoning ability links to job performance. This is why verbal reasoning tests are so popular for firstly job selection. Secondly, for entrance to certain professions and postgraduate degree courses. Only those where it is essential to work effectively with verbal information.

Many medium-sized and large employers also make extensive use of ability tests. For example, verbal reasoning tests. This is part of their standard recruitment and promotion processes.  Ability tests differentiate high from low performers.

A well-designed verbal reasoning test is a reliable and consistent assessment. It focuses on those verbal skills required for effective work performance.

Ability tests allow employers and university admissions offices to assess a large number of applicants for competitive positions in a standardised way. The same ability test can be given to a large number of applicants. Their results are an efficient means of comparision. This standardisation makes the process much fairer. When compared to old-fashioned, unstructured interviews.

There are many, many different types of verbal reasoning test. These aim at a general level (e.g. graduate tests). Or at a specific career path (e.g. for medical school or law school). There is a corresponding range in difficulty.

Top Ten verbal reasoning test tips

  • Practice has been shown to improve test results. So get in all the practice you can before the big day! Then, it will be easier for you to get into the right mind-set on your actual test day.
  • Ensure that your practice material is as close as possible to your actual test. Find out in advance as much as you can about this verbal reasoning test.
  • Set aside a quiet time when you are unlikely to be disturbed to practice. To do well on the test you’ll need to stay completely focussed. So use high levels of concentration in your practice sessions as well.
  • Pace yourself. Aim for a calm but efficient approach and work systematically, tackling one question at a time. The goal is to complete as many of the questions as possible in the time allowed. If you work too fast, you’ll make unnecessary mistakes. If you go too slow then you won’t complete enough questions.

Top Ten verbal reasoning test tips Part 2

  • If in doubt, double check that you have read the statement correctly. Check that you understood exactly what the question is asking you. Misreading a question can cost you points. Similarly, misreading instructions is a potentially disastrous mistake. So make sure you fully understand the instructions before you begin.
  • Stay positive. If you find yourself struggling with a question, remember that every question is worth exactly the same. Rememebr, it’s just one point. You won’t be expected to get every question right. Or even to complete every question, to pass the test. Aim firstly to do your best. Secondly, to answer as many correctly as possible.
  • You won’t succeed if you guess all your answers. However, if time is running out it makes sense to guess. Putting the same answer option for all your remaining questions may get you a few extra points. So go for it!
  • Learn from your mistakes. You will probably get some of the practice questions wrong. Review the correct answers. Thus you will fully understand where you went wrong and how you need to approach such questions next time around.
  • Check your average time per question when you review your results. Do you need to pick up your pace? Do you need to slow down?
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the test so that you will be fully rested and able to perform to the best of your abilities. Give yourself plenty of time so that you arrive a the testing location with time to spare.

Verbal reasoning test practice 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 practice 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

Verbal reasoning test practice for PA or administrative roles

A PA’s responsibilities typically include written correspondence. For example, letters and emails, which need to use an appropriate tone and level for the intended audience. Administrative roles also need to check written documents. Also, to file these accurately. Plus, to keep on top of plans and procedures that have been agreed orally or in writing.

Verbal reasoning practice tests – Sales roles

Effective oral communication is the key for converting sales call prospects. In particular, sales roles in call centres which require an even more fluent style of communication style.

How to do well on SHL abstract reasoning tests

SHL abstract reasoning tests ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”. The easier questions typically at the start of the test, will involve one change in colour, position, size etc of the figures shown.

Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. Once you know one of the feature changes, check each answer option to discount any in conflict with it.

You can find more detailed advice in our non-verbal reasoning test article for City Kids online magazine.

Verbal reasoning test practice 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 practice 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 practice for PA or administrative roles

A PA’s responsibilities typically include written correspondence. For example, letters and emails, which need to use an appropriate tone and level for the intended audience. Administrative roles also need to check written documents. Also, to file these accurately. Plus, to keep on top of plans and procedures that have been agreed orally or in writing.

Verbal reasoning practice tests – Sales roles

Effective oral communication is the key for converting sales call prospects. In particular, sales roles in call centres which require an even more fluent style of communication style.

– – – Verbal Reasoning Test Practice – – –

Aptitude test design clients include EPSO, Kenexa IBM and HireWindow.

Verbal reasoning test test design is one of our key psychometric test design specialities.

We also specialise in other forms of psychometric test design, such as personality test design and situational judgement test design design.

Numerical Reasoning Test Practice

Why test numerical reasoning?

Many medium-sized and large companies now use Numerical Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised Numerical Reasoning Test gives everyone the same numerical reasoning questions.

Useful Websites

Firstly, try test publisher websites. Visit the test publisher Website once you know the type of psychometric tests you will be taking. Since most test publisher Websites offer practice questions.

For example, practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM TalentQ and SHL sites. Reputable test publishers will send you some sample questions for you to practice in advance.

Secondly, familiarise yourself with the test format. Read the instruction and introduction sections carefully for each psychometric test you will take. This should ensure you are familiar with the test format.

– – – Verbal Reasoning Test Practice – – –

Third, try to work efficiently without rushing

Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. You may find subsequent questions easier to answer. With the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions. Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.

Fourth, stay positive

If you find yourself struggling with a question, remember that every question is worth exactly the same point. You won’t be expected to get every question right, or even to complete every question. To pass the test – just do your best and try to answer as many correctly as possible.

Fifth, learn from your mistakes

You will probably get some of the practice questions wrong. Review the correct answers so that you fully understand where you went wrong. You should learn how to approach such questions next time around.

Our numerical reasoning test book 

Brilliant Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests and Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests.

Secondly, Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests book by Rob Williams

Free online aptitude test practice

Free online numerical reasoning test practice / free online verbal reasoning test practice.

Quantitative Reasoning Assessment Practice

Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.

  • Firstly, before deciding upon your final answer. You may be able to rule out one or two of the multiple choice questions as incorrect.
  • Secondly, read each question and also review each chart very carefully. Take one chart and its associated questions at a time. Only start looking at the answer options once you have done this.
  • Ensure that you are also aware of the units of measurement that each question is referring to.
  • Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. So, remember that you may find subsequent questions easier to answer. If there is time at the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions.
  • Work efficiently, but do not rush. You may not finish the test. However, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
  • Remember to only use the information that is provided in the charts. Do not use any of your own background knowledge.
  • Lastly, round up any decimal points and any pence.

Passing numerical reasoning tests

There aren’t any quick wins for being good at maths but some focussed practice will improve your score, as will following a few test-taking strategies.

As a timed assessment, you need to average around one minute per question. Work briskly but accurately. Each question counts the same so pick off the easy ones first and don’t waste your test time on the most difficult questions.

Numerical reasoning test practice is an excellent means of brushing-up on any maths functions you haven’t used in a while. Ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.

You can practise the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. Practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL as these sites cover most of the tests you are likely to find.

Extra psychometric test practice

Verbal reasoning test tips

abstract reasoning test strategies. Abstract shapes.

Abstract reasoning test practice

If you have some spare cash then here is premium abstract reasoning test practice from our practice aptitude test partner.

Premium aptitude test practice

Abstract reasoning test tips

Graduate abstract reasoning test scores provide an indication of learning potential. Abstract reasoning tests indicate an ability to reason logically and to work with new ‘ideas’. In summary, non-verbal reasoning tests assess critical thinking.

Most of these practice test sites also offer their own abstract reasoning test tips and non verbal reasoning tips.

TalentQ abstract reasoning test practice and TalentQ abstract reasoning test example

Types of Abstract Reasoning Test

In a series abstract reasoning question, you are presented with 4 to 5 boxes in a line. The individual boxes contain a series of ever-evolving figures. For example, there may be one black square and four white circles in the first box. The pattern could be an increase in the number of black figures by one for each step in the series. Thus, the pattern in the second box would be two black figures, three black figures in the third box and so on.

Alternatively, the pattern in the second box could shift such that the colour moves along one place in the series. Thus, the single black square would become a white square and the first white circle would become black.

“Complete the pattern” abstract reasoning test tips

Similar to the series abstract reasoning format, instead of having a line of 5 boxes the abstract reasoning format could be more elaborate.  You need to select which of the five answer options completes the 2 by 2 / 3 by 3 box.

It’s key not to panic. Whilst the question may look more complicated than the series row of boxes, you find the answer in the same way. The pattern will be both horizontal and vertical. This actually makes it easier to spot the similarities across and down the boxes. Once you have spotted the abstract similarities you are very close to knowing how the pattern differs going from one box to the next. Yes, exactly the same as in the simple series form of non-verbal reasoning question.

Abstract reasoning test practice

Abstract reasoning strategies

Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. It can help, once you’ve worked out at least one of the feature changes, to check through the answer options to discount those that do not conform said feature changes.
Alongside SHL’s practise test pages these three sites cover most of the psychometric tests you are likely to find. You can ask in advance which test publisher’s test you will take.

The key is to always identify those patterns that differentiate Set A from Set B. You can find further UCAT abstract reasoning test practice tips here.

SHL abstract reasoning test

Whereas, SHL abstract reasoning tests ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”. The easier questions typically at the start of the test, will involve one change in colour, position, size etc of the figures shown.

Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. Once you know one of the feature changes, check each answer option to discount any in conflict with it.

Introduction to Abstract Reasoning tests

Abstract reasoning is the ability to perceive logical patterns and relationships and then to be able to extrapolate this information to new patterns/relationships. Being able to do this effectively is an important component of complex problem-solving.

The term general intelligence was conceptualized in the 1920’s by Charles Spearman. He believed that general intelligence was the most important estimate of someone’s overall intellectual ability. Spearman defined general intelligence as the innate ability to perceive relationships and to predict co-relationships. In other words, to understand how different concepts relate to each other; and to be able to assimilate new information into these concepts.

Abstract Reasoning Tests measure general intelligence by assessing the ability to identify the inherent patterns in a series of shapes/figures. The candidate needs to identify logical patterns and relationships in the sets of complex shapes and figures that are presented in each question block.

UCAT abstract reasoning test

Each block of Abstract Reasoning questions starts by presenting the candidate with two sets (labeled Set A and Set B) of six square blocks each. The six squares that make up Set A and Set B each contain a variety of different figures. These may include traditional geometric shapes (circles, squares, triangles etc), arrows, hearts as well as unusual and more intricate shapes. Each shape may be black or white and may enclose other figures. Please refer to the Example Items 1-3  section that appears later in this Test Taker’s Guide for an illustration of the format of the Abstract Reasoning Test.

Upon first appearance it may appear as though the different figures/shapes appear randomly. However, it is both useful and confidence-building for you to recognise that there are only a few different types of pattern. Such useful test-taking hints for the Abstract Reasoning sub-test are provided in the subsequent sections of this Test Taker’s Guide.

For each question block of Set A and Set B there are 7 questions that the candidate needs to compare to Sets A and B. There are three answer options available: whether the shapes in the question have most in common with Set A, with Set B, or share characteristics of Sets A and B. For each answer your response should be A, B or C respectively. Only one answer is correct for each question. You need to start by deciding which rule is followed by the shapes in Set A and which variation of this rule is followed by the shapes in Set B. Once you have decided this, then consider whether the shape in the first question belongs in Set A or Set B or if it has features of both – as so it does not clearly belong to either Set A or Set B.

No time limits are given for the practice questions presented in this Test Taker’s Guide. However, you do need to remember that the UK-CAT Abstract Reasoning Test requires you to answer 65 questions in 16 minutes.

Strategies for Completing Abstract Reasoning Tests

Each of these question blocks needs to be approached in the same logical way. To answer the first question in a block of Abstract Reasoning questions you will need to differentiate between Set A and Set B. The steps for doing this are given below:

First Step – Identifying Set A’s Features

Review the six squares in Set A. Ask yourself what features the figures in Set A have in common. There are a number of different features that you need to look out for. The main ones are as follows:

 Number

How many figures are contained within each square?

  • Size

Is there one large shape shown in each square?

Are there two medium-sized shapes?

Are there a large number of small shapes?

  • Shape

Does the same shape feature consistently within a square?

Does the same shape feature consistently within a square?

  • Colour

Is a figure wholly black or white?

Is a figure partly black or white?

  • Position

Is there one central figure?

Are there two figures positioned in a row?

Is there a figure in each of the four corners of the square?

  •  Miscellaneous other characteristics

Have the same two shapes been rotated?

How is a shape constructed? Is it made up of straight lines, curved lines, dotted lines, continuous lines, lines that do not close?

Are there two shapes that are mirror images of each other contained within the same square?

Second Step – Identifying Set A’s repeating pattern

  • Ask yourself what features are a repeating pattern across all six of the squares in Set A.

Third Step – Identifying Set B’s features

  • Ask yourself what features the figures in Set B have in common.

Fourth Step – Identifying Set B’s repeating pattern

  • Ask yourself what features are a repeating pattern across all six of the squares in Set B.

Fifth Step – Identifying the theme that Set A and Set B have in common

  • There will be one characteristic that links Set A and Set B.
  • You need to identify the theme that Set A and Set B have in common. This will link the repeating pattern that you have found for Set A with the repeating pattern that you have found for Set B.

Sixth Step

  • Not apply what you have learnt to Question 1. Do the figures in Question 1 have most in common with Set A, with Set B, or share characteristics of Sets A and B?

This sixth step is what you now need to apply to answer question 2 and the remaining questions in that block. Then on reaching the second block you need to go back to the First Step again in order to differentiate between Set A and Set B.

Top Ten Tips

This section is designed to highlight ten tips to enable you to perform at your best on the Abstract Reasoning. These Tips are presented in no particular order since each may be more or less relevant on a particular Abstract Reasoning question.

  1. Always follow the recommended step-by-step approach given previously.  This will save you time pondering and avoid getting stuck on a particular question. 
  2. It is very time efficient to adopt a structured approach to each question in terms of your strategy for answering and in terms of how much time you allocate to completing each question. If you have an alternative structured approach to the one given above then use this as your strategy.
  3. One type of misleading question that you may encounter is where there is the same type of shape appearing in several of Set A or Set B squares. For example, the crosses that appear in several of the Set A and B squares in the question block 15-21. These are deliberately used to distract you and to not contribute to the overall pattern that you are looking for.
  4. If you cannot allocate a set of figures to Set A and B do not spend too long trying to find why. Remember that answer option C is the third option and covers both components of Set A and Set B – even if you haven’t bottomed out what these actually are.
  5. You may find that even if you are unable to identify the underlying pattern in Set A and/or Set B you can intuitively see or feel that a question belongs in either Set A or Set B. In this case do not be afraid of giving that best estimate as your answer.
  6. You will find some items much easier than others. This is why it’s important to get to the end of the Abstract Reasoning subtest before the allocated time. That way you can return to the more difficult items and at least have attempted answers to all the questions.
  7. If you have spent considerable time attempting to differentiate between the figures in Set A and Set B then try to apply the same explanations as have been demonstrated to you in this book. Maybe one of these, or something similar will be what differentiates Set A from Set B.
  8. One pitfall to avoid is spending too long on the first half of the subtest. Ask yourself the question when you are halfway through your allocated time, Have I finished half of the questions?  If the answer is yes then you are working at the right pace. If you have completed less than half you may like to speed up your working. Do not do this at the expense of accuracy.
  9. You may find that you can automatically run through the recommended sequence of stages once you are familiar with the Abstract Reasoning sub-test format of the CAT. Obviously if the answer “jumps out at you straight away” then you may well have detected the underlying pattern without having to spend much time thinking about it. The time saved will benefit you when you come to Abstract Reasoning questions that you find more difficult to detect the underlying pattern.
  10.  If after having completed the Abstract Reasoning subtest practice items you still have concerns about your ability to pass this CAT subtest then you may like to memorise each of these Top Ten Tips over the next few days.

Best Three Strategies for you to Remember

The best current strategy for you to adopt now is a three-fold one:

  1. Work through a number of examples and get a feeling for how comfortable you are doing this sub-test;
  2. Check your answers against those provided at the end of this Test Taker’s Guide; and then;
  3. Review those questions that you did not complete correctly. It is vital that for each of the questions that you answered incorrectly, you read the rationale and learn how this reasoning has been applied to this particular type of question. Do ensure that you spend sufficient time going over the reasoning provided.

Other Psychometric Test Practice

Abstract reasoning test practice