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Welcome to our aptitude tests info and practice test tips.

How to do well on verbal reasoning tests

These come in many different types of format. The traditional comprehension format is to have a short text passage followed by a series of questions about facts, opinions, conclusions from the passage 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 remember:

  • To carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on 1-2 keywords 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.
  • One useful strategy is to scan the passage initially, then to read it in more detail.
  • It’s more efficient as you answer each question if you can recall roughly where to find the answer in the passage.

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.

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.

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.

Kkey psychometric pillars

Being Non-discriminatory

 Standardization  

Since the first IQ tests were developed the whole point is to compare with a group of previous test-takers.

Reliability

There are two key types of psychometric reliability:

  • Test-Retest Reliability
  • Internal reliability.

In summary, aptitude test reliability means if I take the same test next week, my results will be similar.

Aptitude test’s psychometric terms

  • Test-Retest Reliability

This concerns score consistency over time. If the test is measuring some stable characteristic of the individual such as intelligence, then the test should produce similar results if a group of candidates are examined using the same test at two points in time. The time gap between the measurement is important, as some psychological characteristics change considerably over time. Yet, a short gap of two weeks should not cause major changes.

Still, an external event in the period between the two assessment might cause a change, but here it is expected that the change will affect similarly all the candidates. This type of reliability is also known as test re-test reliability. It is assessed by correlating the tests scores measured first time with the test scores measured the second time. Ability tests are expected to have a reliability of at least r = .75, yet personality tests might have somewhat lower reliability.

The internal consistency refers to the question of whether all the test items measure the same concept. It can be assessed in two ways. The first method is known as the split-half reliability which require correlating the score based on half of the test items with the score based on the other half (e.g., scores on odd and even items). Alternative method is item-total reliability which requires correlating each item score with the total score of the rest of the items. There is a statistical measure called Cronbach alpha that summarises all the correlations into one figure. A test should have an alpha of at least a = .80.

Validity – means the test measures what it says it measures. MindX knows which personality traits are measured because we have compared our results to well-established personality tests. HireVue validates its video assessments using high performer data and job analysis results.

Norm-Referenced

Every psychometric test has at least one norm group.

The standalone score has little meaning, so a comparison with previous candidate performance is used. For example, percentile rank.

Pre-test (or Pilot) Item

A trial item as part of a larger-than-necessary set of pre-test items. The  final, refined test is created by refining those items that work best. This is based on a statistical analysis of the trial item set’s results.

Aptitude Test Reliability

Firstly, is the test a reliable measure?

Most commonly the internal consistency index coefficient alpha or its dichotomous formulation, KR-20. Under most conditions, these range from 0.0 to 1.0, with 1.0 being perfectly reliable measurement. A reliable test may still not be a valid test.

Aptitude Test Validity 

Secondly, is the test valid? A measure of what it ‘says on the tin’?

In our opinion, both the initial content validation and later criterion validation analysis are vital for any bespoke psychometric test.

We recommend collecting additional recruitment data over time so that additional validation studies can be conducted. Such as assessment centre data.

There are many other types of psychometric test validation evidence, and one-off studies investigating a psychometric test’s criterion validity are common.

British Airways Aptitude Test Design Example

The Army psychometric design project we led for KenexaIBM encompassed several psychometric test designs:

  • Situational judgment test design;
  • Numerical reasoning test design;
  • Verbal reasoning test design
  • Personality questionnaire design.
  • Aptitude test design

For these two British Airways roles:

– Cabin crew assessment; and

– Customer service representative assessment.

British Army Aptitude Test Design Example

Psychometric lead role with Kenexa IBM; managing twenty associates.

  • We developed over twenty psychometric tests;
  • Situational judgement tests for Officers and for Soldiers;
  • Realistic job previews for Officers and for soldiers;
  • Ability tests (including problem-solving test) for Officers;
  • Ability tests (including a spatial reasoning test) for soldiers;
  • Officer personality questionnaire;
  • Soldier career guidance tools.

Aptitude Tests’ Vital Role

Many companies today are turning to testing and assessment tools to help them address these challenges and make more substantive and data-driven hiring decisions. Assessments are a great way to level the playing field and evaluate many candidates for the same skill sets in an objective fashion, using real-life technical scenarios that mirror the work they will be performing on the job. Automated assessment tools in particular can scale to make better use of your time and resources. Several key recruitment benefits are listed below.

Differentiation Benefits

Providing unbiased assessments is a great way to distinguish yourself to candidates in a crowded hiring environment. Candidates will see that you really care about hiring the most qualified tech workers in a manner that is unbiased and uncovers their true value.

Recruitment Cost and Recruitment Funnel Benefits

Automated testing helps you scale your recruiting efforts, evaluating many candidates simultaneously to save engineering hours, and ultimately the cost of those used hours, time and costs, which is particularly important for larger tech organizations.

Hiring, training and replacing a bad hire can cost almost 5x their annual salary. Making the right choice the first time around is vital to growing your business and keeping costs low.

Removing bias

Assessment tools give you a structured mechanism to remove bias from the evaluation and interview process. And it mitigates the disadvantage a candidate whose first language is not English may have in a traditional format.

Focusing on skills, not experience

Experience listed in a profile isn’t necessarily the most important indicator of true skills and expertise.

Assessments help you find candidates that may not have a lot of experience in a certain field. But nonetheless have the skills you’re looking for.

Consistent process benefits

Assessment tools help you standardize your ongoing evaluation process. You’ll get an objective look at how candidates perform in the testing phase and can then compare it to their success on the job. A post-mortem can reveal how a good (or bad) hire performed in the assessment and help you to duplicate (or avoid) that performance in the future.

Rob Williams Assessment Ltd has considerable experience in assessing test reliability test validity. This is one of the key final stages in any psychometric test design. Most recently we have been asked to validate situational judgement tests. In addition to testing the SJT reliability and to advise on suitable cut-off scores which minimise any adverse impact (due to gender, age, ethnic group and disability).

Many of the UK’s and US’s leading test publishers have used Rob Williams Assessment’s to assist with ensuring the psychometric properties of their trial psychometric tests. We consult on how to improve any test’s psychometric properties, particularly the test’s internal reliability and construct validity.

Our verbal reasoning advice on YouTube

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.

Clerical Checking Tests Samples

  • This has been the most dreadful storm this millenium.  The torrantial rain is causing chaos.  Thousands of devestated families have had to evacuate their homes.
  • Your cycling proficiancy test will take place next month.  It is advisible to recap on your highway code in the time leading up to your test.  Remember, it is imperative to put safety first.
  • This is  a fire percaution.  The key is available from reception.  Always return the key straigth away as others may need it.
  • Statistical tables show the values of the cummulative distribution functions.  They also contain probability dencity functions of certain common distributions for different values of their parametres.
  • Volunteer conservationalists worked through the night in a desparate attempt to rectify the damage from the storm.  They specialies in rebuilding fences and moving debrie from pathways.

Clerical Checking Test Example Questions

  • Already his dedication to the promotion of our policies has made a significant impact in our local area.  Therefore please vote for him as our new president in the comittee elections next month.
  • The endurance test required competitors to tolerate extreme physical challenge.  One potental problem being that the weather forcast had predicted rain and strong winds.
  • The immaculate appartment was bursting with antiques, and various other treasures he had acumulated from his world-wide travels.  He claimed the most precious items were those with sentimental value.

verbal reasoning test tips

Why test verbal reasoning?

Many medium-sized and large companies now use verbal Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised verbal Reasoning Test gives everyone the same opportunity to demonst.

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 Tips. man in suit at computer, thinking.
Secondly, Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests book by Rob Williams

Aptitude test tips

Verbal 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.
  • 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.
  • Remember that you are not expected to finish the verbal reasoning test.
  • In fact we recommend that your best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
  • Remember to only use the information that is provided.
  • Do not use any of your own background knowledge.

You can practise the most common verbal 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.

verbal reasoning test tips

Our Practice Aptitude Test Books

  • Passing Verbal Reasoning practice test book. This is regularly featured in Amazon’s top ten study guide.
  • Plus, our Numeracy Test Practice book, which reached Number One when the publisher Pearson offered it for free (throughout the UK’s first 2020 lockdown) .  

Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests Amazon reviews

5 star    62%
4 star    14%
3 star    19%
2 star    3%
1 star    2%

5 / 5 stars 

Brilliantly practical advice

The advice and practical examples will answer all your questions about an impending assessment. The book is easy to read and covers preparation, practical examples and an overview of the usual proceedings on test day. The author also highlights questions to be asked before test day and (I was very pleased to see) encourages feedback after assessment. The recaps at the end of every chapter are great for a quick overview before test day. Definitely a worthwhile investment and sure to put you at ease before an assessment of this kind.

2 people found this helpful

5 / 5 stars  – brilliant

It really helped with my Police assessment

Great Book

It helped me a lot

5 / 5 stars 

A MUST BUY for anyone attempting to pass any verbal reasoning test.

An informative yet easy to read book which helped me get through graduate level tests to the next stages of application. Would highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

5 / 5 stars 0  Brilliant Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests

very useful

5.0 out of 5 stars 

Excellent sample verbal reasoning tests and explanations

Passed the VRT for HMRC Legal Trainee Scheme this year after reading this book.

LATEST BOOK REVIEWS for Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests

4 / 5 stars Very useful and good practice

The book has a good range of tests that reflect what comes up in real tests – so pretty good practice for the real thing

5 / 5 stars Highly recommended

Just what I needed to further my career.Now I’ve tried the tests I feel more confident.

Definitely one of the best books on verbal reasoning! Clearly outlines how to tackle each passage and makes you very aware of things that are designed to catch other people out such as Key Words. Pick this book up if you are taking a Verbal Reasoning Test.

Very good. Great for both…

Grads and experienced hires applying to large firms.

I was told that I needed to get good results in verbal and numerical reasoning for an upcoming job, but I felt very nervous about it. This book carefully explains why the tests are used and how to do your best. It was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want to waste $40 on those silly Test Monkey type websites, so I was happy with this book for US$10.
It would be great if he could produce a book that contains only practice tests for the True, False, Cannot Say tests since those are the common ones.

An excellent guide to verbal reasoning tests.

This book is an extremely well written and helpful guide for anyone needing guidance in how to perform well in verbal reasoning tests. There are plenty of examples of the different levels of tests.Clear explanations of the correct responses are given. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is facing taking verbal reasoning tests in pursuit of a new job or promotion.

7 people found this helpful

5 / 5 stars 

A must have for verbal reasoning test preparation.

This book is great. The author is involved with writing these kind of tests so the examples and explanations are excellent. Its helped me to see where I’ve been going wrong, especially with the true/false/cannot say multiple choice type questions. The book has lots of examples which are relevant to the RAF aptitude test which I am studying for.

4 people found this helpful

Helpful

4.0 out of 5 stars … have previous editions of this book and would definitely recommend to those who are preparing for these sorts of …

I have previous editions of this book and would definitely recommend to those who are preparing for these sorts of tests, great variety of example questions to get lots of practice with.

6 people found this helpful

4 / 5 stars – Found the layout of the book easy to follow

Found the layout of the book easy to follow. It has made the tests more accessible to me and will hopefully help me in my job search.

Must Have for Verbal Reasoning

Definitely one of the best books on verbal reasoning! Clearly outlines how to tackle each passage and makes you very aware of things that are designed to catch other people out such as Key Words. Pick this book up if you are taking a Verbal Reasoning Test.

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. Great for both grads and experienced hires applying to large firms.

I was told that I needed to get good results in verbal and numerical reasoning for an upcoming job, but I felt very nervous about it. This book carefully explains why the tests are used and how to do your best. It was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want to waste $40 on those silly Test Monkey type websites, so I was happy with this book for US$10.
It would be great if he could produce a book that contains only practice tests for the True, False, Cannot Say tests since those are the common ones.

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