Verbal Reasoning Tests Practice

What is Verbal Reasoning?

Verbal reasoning is a type of cognitive ability or aptitude that involves understanding and interpreting information presented in written or spoken language.
It aims to assess your ability to comprehend and draw logical conclusions from written texts, statements, or verbal information.

Contrary to belief, verbal reasoning tests are not easy. Although they do not assess specific knowledge, it is complex because it aims to measure your ability to reason and understand information from a text. This means that you will have to demonstrate your capacity in several different skills.

These tests are usually at a stage after receiving the C.V and prior to the job interview. The test format may vary, typically timed for 1 minute to answer each question, so working quickly and accurately is vital.

Verbal Reasoning Tests will include some (or all) of the following topics Reading Comprehension, Critical and Logical Thinking Skills, and Language Presentation.  

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Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension questions test your ability to read and understand written texts, identify key points, draw inferences, and interpret information accurately.

You will be presented with a passage, which will be followed by questions relating to information contained in the text. Keep in mind that your answers should be based solely on the information presented to you and not on general knowledge.

💡Tip: Try reading the questions before the passage. It can be helpful to know what information to focus on while you are reading.


Reading Comprehension — Sample Question

Read the following passage to answer the question below.

Early results suggest that empathy and social functioning improve when a small area at the front of the brain is stimulated. However, concentration and the ability to communicate appear to be boosted when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to suppress activity in a different region of the brain.

Suppression by TMS is applied in order to:

A. Improve social functioning

B. Alleviate pain

C. Improve concentration

D. Improve empathy

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C).
According to the passage, the "ability to communicate and concentration appear to be boosted when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used.” Social functioning (Answer A) and empathy (Answer D) are improved when a different area of the brain is stimulated, and pain (B) is not mentioned at all in the passage.

Critical and Logical Thinking Skills

Logical reasoning is the capacity to identify patterns, relationships, and connections between different pieces of information, and apply logical thinking to solve problems or answer questions. Often, deductive reasoning skills will be necessary for questions involving syllogisms.

On the other hand, critical thinking involves skills to evaluate the information presented, identify assumptions, detect biases, and make reasoned judgements based on evidence.

Syllogisms — Sample Question

Some citizens pay taxes. Many citizens receive income support.

According to the statement above, answer the following:

More citizens receive income support than citizens who pay taxes.

A. Conclusion follows.

B. Conclusion does not follow

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (B) Conclusion does not follow.

Citizens = A, pay taxes = B, receive income support = C.
According to the premises, (A+B)some, and (A+C)many.

The conclusion states (A+B) -> ~C.

This statement is not a manipulation of the premises.

In Logic tests, "some" may refer to 1 citizen, several citizens, and even all citizens. While "many" may refer to at least 2 citizens, and possibly all. "Some" and "many" can fill the same purposes in most cases. Therefore, we cannot conclude that "many" is more than "some".

Language and Literacy

Language and literacy questions measure your skills and knowledge in English language proficiency. Specifically spelling and grammar, vocabulary, and word analogy.

  • Spelling and grammar: Aims to assess your ability to complete a sentence that is missing one or more words.
  • Vocabulary: It will not only examine the range of your vocabulary, but also your ability to identify correctly how ideas are related. Usually, vocabulary questions will ask you to identify synonyms or antonyms.
  • Word Analogy: These questions test your ability to identify relationships between ideas implied by a given word-pair, and your ability to think methodically.

Synonyms & Antonyms — Sample Question

RULER means the same as:

A. Heavy

B. Meter

C. Yardstick

D. Metal Survey

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is C. Yardstick 
A ruler is a straight piece of plastic, wood, or metal that has marks on it to show units of length and ‎that is used to measure things. A Yardstick is also a long, flat tool that is used to measure things. A ‎Meter is a fundamental unit of length in the metric system.‎ 

How to Ace the Verbal Reasoning Test?

Although each Verbal Reasoning test is different depending in the company you are applying to and the test provider, the question types and difficulties are usually the same — and the main struggle candidates face is the time constraint. You have less than a minute to answer each question!

Familiarizing yourself with the question types and practicing questions like those you will encounter in the test is the best way to answer quickly, keep track of time, and achieve a good score. 

JobTestPrep will help you formulate your own solving strategy with accurate practice tips and sample questions with accurate answers and explanations. Our practice tests and study guides were formulated to help you ace the test and you can access them starting at 79$ for one month.

Verbal Reasoning Question Types

True/False/Cannot say

This format is very common for Verbal Reasoning questions. You will be presented with a passage followed by a statement. Based on the text, you will have to determine whether the statement is true, false or cannot say.

Keep in mind what each option means:

  • True: A statement is true only when it can be logically drawn by the information and opinions provided by the passage.
  • False: Use this option when the statement cannot be true based on the information given.
  • Cannot say: There is not enough information available to be absolutely certain that the statement is true or false.

💡Tip: As you read through the given passage, take notes on what you do or do not know. It will be easier to determine if the statement is true or false when you have explicit data and not a body of text.


True/False/Cannot Say — Sample Question

The production of organic food products supplied in food stores continues to increase considerably with demand particularly high in Europe and North America. Health awareness and higher standards of living are both enhancing consumption and the market is likely to triple over the next decade. The organic food industry is facing the challenge of how it will cope with the forecasted future demand.

According to the passage above, answer the following:

The consumption of organic food has tripled over the past decade.

A. True

B. False

C. Cannot say

Answer & Explanation

The answer is C. Cannot say

The text states that, "the (organic food) market is likely to triple over the next decade". There is no reference to the past, therefore we cannot say.

Explicit Multiple Choice

These types of questions are the ones to which their answers are explicitly stated in the text. They will often include questions like 'in what year...?' or 'what is another name for...?'

Explicit Multiple Choice — Sample Question

Read the following text to answer the question below. 

In 1804, the United States decided to fight the pirates of Barbary. Lieutenant Decatur and his small crew sailed into Tripoli harbour in order to attack them. Decatur's act, no matter how daring, did not alter radically the situation in the Mediterranean. Tripoli was defended by 25,000 soldiers and 115 cannons ashore, and 24 warships guarded the harbour. Against their enemy, Preble could pit only 1,060 men aboard seven ships, of which only the Constitution was heavy-gunned. Without troops to storm the port, all that Preble and his men could do was to disrupt the Pasha's economy by not allowing the pirates to practice their trade and to keep him on the defensive.

How many of Preble's ships were not heavy-gunned?

A. Four

B. Six

C. Seven

D. Three

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (B) Six. 
According to the text: " Against their enemy, Preble could pit only 1,060 men aboard seven ships, of which only the Constitution was heavy-gunned." Out of his seven ships, only one was heavy-gunned. Therefore, six of Preble's ships were not heavy-gunned.


Implicit Multiple Choice

Here, the answer won’t be explicitly stated in the passage, rather will have to be inferred and deeply related to the details provided. Examples of these questions include 'why did the manager decide to...?' and 'what could be the reason for...?'

Implicit Multiple Choice — Sample Question

Until now, German economic growth has been the potential buffer for keeping the Eurozone system intact. But if the latest figures of a measly 0.1% growth for the second quarter of the year turn from a blip into a trend, two things will happen. The likelihood of a return to recession in Europe will increase, putting more pressure on the public finances of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and everybody else, and the reluctance of the German taxpayer to deliver rescue money in return for the continuance of the Euro might rise.

According to the passage above, answer the following question:

What might be a consequence of low growth?

A. Germany will stop functioning as an economic buffer.

B. Pressure will increase on Greece’s public finances.

C. The Euro’s value will decrease.

D. Rescue money will be transferred to countries in financial crisis.

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (B) Pressure will increase on Greece’s public finances.  

The passage refers to "a return to recession” and “putting more pressure on the public finances of Greece."
Answers (A) and (C) are not mentioned in the passage at all, and (D) is incorrect since it states clearly that "the reluctance of the German taxpayer to deliver rescue money in return for the continuance of the Euro might rise" – the opposite of answer (D).

Meta Multiple Choice

Meta questions will not refer to specific details in the text, rather will ask more broad questions regarding the purpose or function of the text. Either way, reading the passage will be essential to answer the question.

Questions will be formulated like 'what can be concluded from...?', 'what assumption is the author making...?', and 'what is the main point of the text?'

Meta Multiple Choice — Sample Question

Read the following passage to answer the question below.

“Sharing economy” is on the rise, with millions of people renting beds, cars, boats and other assets directly from each other, coordinating the transaction via the internet. Technology has reduced transaction costs, making sharing assets cheaper and easier than ever, and therefore possible on a much larger scale. The big change is the availability of more data about people and things, which allows physical assets to be disaggregated and consumed as services. Smartphones with GPS let people see where the nearest rentable car is parked; social networks provide a way to check up on people and acquire additional information; and online payment systems handle the billing.

Which one of the following provides the best summary of the main point of the passage?

A. “Sharing economy” is growing fast due to technology gadgets such as smartphones.

B. “Sharing economy” is growing fast.

C. Technology development has contributed largely to the rise of “sharing economy”.

D. “Sharing economy” is the commerce of commodities via the internet.

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C) Technology development has contributed largely to the rise of “sharing economy”.

Since the distractors are quite confusing, let's go over them one by one: (A) The first part is true: “sharing economy” is growing fast; however, the second part is inaccurate and overly specific. The popularity of “sharing economy” is not specifically due to smartphones. (B) “Sharing economy” is indeed growing fast but we are left to decide whether this is a sufficient summary of the text or perhaps there is an important aspect that has been excluded from it. We should be a little skeptical when encountering a very general summary and go over all the other options before marking it as the best summary. (C) This seems like an upgrade of distracter B as it offers the same idea (“sharing economy” is growing) with an additional explanation, one that is also offered as the key explanation of the “sharing economy” phenomenon in the passage. (D) This is basically a dictionary entry to the question “what is sharing economy?” and not a summary of the text. Therefore, the best summary is provided in distracter C.


Why Do Employers Use Verbal Reasoning Tests?

Verbal reasoning tests are used in various selection processes, such as job assessments, university admissions, and other educational or professional evaluations.

These tests are useful for employers to select candidates for a number of reasons. First, they are psychometric tests designed to examine a candidate’s language and comprehension skills, and their ability to apply reason and logic. These skills are essential in any working environment, even in positions that are seemingly not strictly connected to verbal abilities.

Verbal Reasoning tests are used because they offer a more objective way to score candidates than traditional methods such as interviews or CV. Many employers believe these kinds of tests can better determine which candidate is most suitable for the role.

Employers will often use Verbal Reasoning tests as one part of a wider selection process that can include examinations in other cognitive skills and a formal interview.

The content of the test and skills that are evaluated will depend on the company you are applying to and their test provider.

💡Tip: Make sure to ask what specific test you will take to know what skills and abilities you should practice and prepare for.


Common Verbal Reasoning Test Providers

Wonderlic SHL Talent-Q Cubiks
IBEW Watson Glaser Cut-e CCAT

Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Tips

  • Find out who your test provider will be: This step is crucial to fully understand the test format and question types you will encounter. We offer preparation materials stylized after those by the most popular verbal assessment providers, including SHL, Cubiks, Wonderlic, and Talent-Q.
  • Read all the instructions before starting the test: This will give you an idea regarding the format, number of questions and the amount of time available to complete the test. With this knowledge, you should be able to quickly calculate how much time you will have to answer each question in the time allotted.
  • Move on if you get stuck on a question: Try not to spend more time than necessary on any one problem. If you do happen to get stuck, move on with the test and come back to the question you had trouble with later.
  • Don’t make assumptions: Everything you need to answer will be contained in the passage associated with each question. Even if you know something to be true outside of the text, you should disregard it and go by the information provided in the test.

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What is the pass score for Verbal Reasoning tests?

The passing score will depend on the company you are applying to. You can inquire about the scoring once you know your specific test provider. 

Are Verbal Reasoning tests difficult?

Difficulty varies from test to test. However, candidates struggle most when they are not familiar with the format and the range of skills that will be evaluated. You will find the test easier if you have prepared thoroughly and practiced beforehand.

How do I prepare for a Verbal Reasoning test?

Familiarizing yourself with the test format and question types will be crucial for successfully completing the Verbal Reasoning test. Time is of the essence, practice and preparation are your best options to ensure you will answer correctly and within the time limit.


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