In the EPSO verbal reasoning test you have to answer multiple-choice questions on complex texts between 110 to 200 words. There are often a number of different facts in the texts. Even if at first it may seem as though the information is contradictory this is not the case. You have to really pay attention to the text in the EPSO verbal reasoning test as it is easy to be caught out.
In order to pass this verbal reasoning test in your EPSO exams you need to get 50%. However, if you want to ensure that you will get an invitation to the EPSO assessment centre you will need to score significantly higher than this. We advise that you aim for at least 85% on all your EPSO tests to give yourself the best possible chance.
General format: Texts ranging in length about pertinent subjects in the European Union.
Allotted time: 35 minutes
Number of questions: 20
In this test you have 35 minutes to answer 20 questions. This may seem like a lot of time, particularly when comparing this test to other psychometric tests where you only have approximately one minute to answer each question. The EPSO verbal reasoning test however is geared to gauge your thinking skills as opposed to how well you work under pressure. Although you do have to complete the test in the allotted time, everyone should be able to do so. Therefore we can conclude that in order to excel in this test you need to be able to use the information in the passage and make correct judgements and decisions based on this material.
This test is administered in your first language and this is because they need to know that your thinking skills are high enough to do well in a position of authority in the European Union. Regarding the scoring system of this test, there are 20 questions as we have already mentioned and you have to score a minimum of 50%. In reality however, because of the EPSO test weighted scoring system you need to score approximately 85% to ensure you come through this test. This is due to a combination of factors but mainly because you will be competing against a high number of applicants. What this means to you is that you need to ensure that you are fully prepared for this test.
An Example Question
Acid rain comes in the form of precipitation such as rain, snow, sleet, and hail containing high levels of sulphuric or nitric acids. Produced when sulphur dioxide and various nitrogen oxides combine with atmospheric moisture, acid rain can contaminate drinking water, damage vegetation and aquatic life, and erode buildings and monuments. Vehicle exhausts and the burning of high-sulphur industrial fuels are thought to be the main causes, but natural sources, such as volcanic gases and forest fires, may also be significant. It has been an increasingly serious problem since the 1950s, particularly in the North East United States, Canada, and Western Europe, especially Scandinavia.
Why has there been a serious problem of acid rain in Canada?
- Because the precipitation level in this country is higher than in other countries.
- Because there is a high level of high-sulphur industrial fuels being burned there.
- Because there are not significant winds to carry away the noxious fumes from the industrial zones.
- None of the above.
When faced with these questions it is important to know what the correct answer really is. There is a specific feature in these tests that can easily trip you up. If we take the above question as an example option A doesn’t seem to be incorrect when thinking about it. If there is more rainfall then there should be more acid rain too. This stands to reason. However, is this the best answer? Answering these questions requires you to select the best choice out of the different options available. You need to analyse each answer option and decide whether it is the best one, the closest to being true if not completely true in and of itself.
One very important tip to bear in mind here is that you need to pay close attention to the specific wording of the question. The question states: Why has there been a serious problem of acid rain in Canada? One of the answer options could be: Scandinavia has seen an increased level of car users. Whilst this statement may be true, it isn’t the correct answer as it doesn’t relate to the question. These options are there to distract you, particularly as the standard question is of a more general nature such as: Which of the following statements is correct? Hence it is very important to double check the exact wording of the question.
In this test you have 35 minutes to answer 20 questions. This may seem like a lot of time; however in this assistant level test the focus is on your ability to answer the questions correctly more than answering them quickly. Although this test is time limited, you can definitely complete all the questions on time. Whilst there are some EPSO tests such as the accuracy and precision test that examine your speed, this one wants to find out about your verbal skills.
In fact, because there are such a high number of applications for so few places in order to progress to the EPSO assessment centre you should aim to score at least 85%. This is even though the pass mark for this test is only 50%.
An Example Question
Thunderstorms form when warm, moist air collides with an eastward moving cold front and often produce strong winds, damaging hail, and even tornadoes. A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Most countries experience tornadoes, but they occur more frequently in the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, than anywhere else on Earth. On average, almost 1000 tornadoes touch down in the U.S. each year, leaving in their wake destruction and sometimes death. The force of a tornado is measured using the Fujita Scale, which ranks tornadoes based on the level of damage caused by the storm and ranges from F-0 for a storm that causes light damage to F-5 for a storm that leaves incredible damage.
Which of the following statements are correct?
- There are more tornadoes in the Rocky Mountains than in the rest of the world.
- Tornadoes always cause death.
- A tornado starts from the ground up.
- The United States has the highest amount of tornadoes.
In order to answer the questions on this EU test it is important to understand what to look for. As you can see, the passages on the EPSO verbal reasoning test are not too difficult to understand but do have a number of different interrelated facts in them. You have to be able to “zero in” on the correct information in order to answer the question in the correct manner.
One very important tip to bear in mind here is that you need to pay close attention to the specific wording of the question. If we look at answer option B: Tornados always cause death, we do find information backing this up. In fact, this is a bit confusing and many people make the mistake of associating death and tornados together and by simply seeing the words death and tornado many decide that this is the correct answer. This is also due to the fact that whenever you hear about tornados on the news they are associated with death. However, by looking at the passage carefully we see that this isn’t the correct answer. The text states that they sometimes cause death; not always but sometimes. Therefore this answer option is incorrect.
The EPSO verbal reasoning test can be tricky and confusing. In order to answer the questions correctly you have to pay very close attention to the text and not be swayed by your own knowledge of the subject matter. What this means is that even if you know for sure that one of the answer options is correct based on your own knowledge of the subject it may not be so. The correct answer to the question is based solely on the subject passage and not on any of your general knowledge at all. Without getting EPSO test preparation it is very difficult to come to terms both with the question and answer style and dealing with the time pressures of the test getting a score that ensures your entry into the EPSO assessment centre.
Please note that this test, along the numerical and abstract reasoning tests will be administered in your first language. Regarding the other tests however, such as the accuracy and precision test, you have to take them in your second language.
This EPSO AST verbal reasoning package contains the same passage and question styles that you will find when taking the test in an EPSO AST competition. This gives you a true practice session where you can experience taking EPSO tests. By practising these tests you will gain skills and understanding that you need in order to pass the real EPSO competition test.This pack is suitable for anyone applying to an assistant level position (AST 1-16) in the European Union. If you want to learn how to answer these questions when you come to your EPSO competition you will be doing yourself a favour by getting this package.
Here at JobTestPrep, we have crafted a name for ourselves as experts of job application preparedness. We are now leading the way when it comes to preparing people for psychometric tests. We do this by providing up to date tests that can be taken in both a timed and an untimed mode. As well as this, each question is treated as an individual lesson with a full explanation on the answer. We look forward to having you on board!