Verbal Reasoning Tests
The term ‘verbal reasoning test’ is often used interchangeably with ‘verbal ability test’ and ‘verbal aptitude test’. There is no widely accepted definition of the difference between verbal ability and verbal aptitude, and as far as psychometric tests are concerned the two terms are interchangeable. However the same does not apply to the term ‘verbal reasoning’ which does have a specific meaning as far as psychometric tests are concerned. The term ‘verbal reasoning test’ should really only be used to describe a specific type of verbal test.
This is best explained as follows: there are basically two types of verbal questions that appear in psychometric tests. Speed questions are so easy that with unlimited time all but the most inept of people taking the test could answer them all successfully. However, the time allowed to complete the test is so short that even the ablest person is not expected to finish. This means that the result depends on the number of correct answers made in the relatively short time allowed.
In contrast, a power test contains questions that vary in difficulty and no one is expected to get all of the answers correct even with unlimited time. In practice, a definite but ample time is set for power tests.
Verbal Speed Tests – Spelling and Grammar
These are ‘speed’ questions which test your ability to use English correctly. You should check whether the test you are going to sit contains any of these type of questions.
Questions where you have to identify incorrectly spelt words or demonstrate that you can use correct grammar are common in all levels of verbal ability tests. If you have been out of the education system for a while or you are not an avid reader, then you may be surprised how much your spelling and grammar have deteriorated. Since most of us use word processors with the ‘auto-correct’ option switched on, it is very easy not to concentrate on spelling words correctly. In addition, because email is now the preferred method of communication, and most of us use a fairly informal style, many people are out of practice when it comes to more formal English usage.
Verbal Power Tests – Critical Reasoning
Unlike spelling and grammar questions, these questions are not designed to measure your facility with the English. They are designed to test your ability to take a series of facts expressed in words and to understand and manipulate the information to solve a specific problem. Employers use critical reasoning questions to gain an insight into whether you have the key intellectual skills that are the foundation for success in a managerial position. Consequently, these questions are usually restricted to graduate and management level tests.
It is not always easy to assess whether someone has the ability to interpret information in an analytical way and to make sound judgements based on their conclusions. This is particularly true if individuals are applying for their first management job and do not have a track record of successful decision making. Critical reasoning questions require you to demonstrate your ability to make logical decisions and even to recognise that insufficient data has been provided for a definitive answer to be reached, as would be the case in many real-life situations.
Preparing for a Verbal Reasoning Test
If you are told that you need to sit a verbal reasoning test as part of the job selection process and you want to prepare for it properly, then you should ask which type of questions it contains. Specifically, is it just verbal reasoning or does it also contain spelling, grammar and word meaning questions. Once you have the answer to this question you can run through the free downloadable practice papers on this website to give yourself the best chance of success in the real test.
These sample question papers each contain 8 questions and have a suggested time limit of 20 minutes. The questions are presented in Letter/A4 format for easy printing and self-marking.
Sample Verbal Reasoning Questions
Pedro goes either hunting or fishing every day. If it is snowing & windy then Pedro goes hunting. If it is sunny and not windy then Pedro goes fishing. Sometimes it can be snowing and sunny.
Which of the following statements must be true:
If it is not sunny and it is snowing then Pedro goes hunting.
If it is windy and Pedro does not go hunting then it is not snowing.
If it is windy and not sunny then Pedro goes hunting.
If it is windy and sunny then Pedro goes hunting.
If it is snowing and sunny then Pedro goes hunting.
The cost of manufacturing tractors in Korea is twenty percent less than the cost of manufacturing tractors in Germany. Even after transportation fees and import taxes are added, it is still cheaper to import tractors from Korea to Germany than to produce tractors in Germany.
Which of the following assertions is best supported by this information?
Labor costs in Korea are twenty percent below those in Germany.
Importing tractors into Germany will eliminate twenty percent of the manufacturing jobs in Germany.
The costs of transporting a tractor from Korea to Germany is more than twenty percent of the cost of manufacturing the tractor in Korea.
The import taxes on a tractor imported from Korea to Germany is less than twenty percent of the cost of manufacturing the tractor in Germany.
It takes twenty percent less time to make a tractor in Korea than it does in Germany.
In 1695 about 11,400 doctors who had treated plague sufferers died and about 23,670 doctors who had not treated plague sufferers died. On the basis of these figures, it can be concluded that it was more dangerous for doctors not to participate in the treatment of plague sufferers than it was for them to participate in it.
Which of the following statements would cast most doubt on the conclusion above?
Expressing the difference between the numbers of deaths among doctors who had treated plague sufferers and doctors who had not treated plague suffers as a percentage of the total number of deaths.
Examining the death rates for doctors in the years before and after 1695.
Separating deaths due to natural causes during the treatment of plague suffers from deaths caused by other causes.
Comparing death rates per thousand members of each group rather than comparing total numbers of deaths.
The figures quoted may vary by plus or minus ten percent from the actual figures.
There are 900 bottles to be filled. Jim and Molly working independently but at the same time take 30 minutes to fill the bottles. How long should it take Molly working by herself to fill the bottles?
Statement 1 -
Molly fills half as many bottles as Jim.
Statement 2 -
Jim would take 45 minutes by himself.
Which of the statements above make it possible to answer the question.
Statement 1 alone is sufficient, but statement 2 alone is not sufficient.
Statement 2 alone is sufficient, but statement 1 alone is not sufficient.
Both statements together are sufficient, but neither statement alone is sufficient.
Each statement alone is sufficient.
Statements 1 and 2 together are not sufficient.
Of the teams competing in the world archery championships, twenty percent are from Europe. Half as many are from the United States and one twentieth are from Africa. What fraction of teams are from neither Europe, the US or Africa.
The answers to these questions are at the bottom of the page.
You can practice a further free verbal reasoning test here.
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Answers to Verbal Reasoning Questions