What Is the Difference Between Verbal Reasoning & Verbal Critical Reasoning?

Verbal critical reasoning tests are often described by job seekers as the most difficult type of aptitude tests. In most psychometric tests, you have to find or use key information in the text to answer the questions. For example, in many verbal reasoning tests you are presented with a statement about a passage and then asked to decide whether the statement is true, false or cannot say. This means you are simply asked to find the statement in the text, basically a fact-finding mission. This generally isn’t the case in verbal critical reasoning tests. On critical reasoning tests, you only use the text as the basis of your understanding and not to actually answer the question. To answer the question correctly, you need to use your critical and logical thinking skills to decide whether different statements relating to the text are logical and compatible with the text or not.

In very simple terms, many tests simply require you to find information. Once this is done, the question has been answered. In verbal critical reasoning tests, you have to take a further step to arrive at the answer.

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Verbal Critical Reasoning Question Example

If the pear crop in South Sichuan Province continues to be endangered due to the absence of bees, Chinese farmers may have to hand-pollinate. The Chinese government announced it would implement the above policy only for crops the U.N. food agency deems vital. Since the U.N. food agency recently deemed the pear crop as vital, the Chinese government is sure to implement the policy of hand-pollination.

Which of the follow is the best illustration of the flaw in the above argument?

  1. The Chinese government presumes without proof that hand-pollination is the most effective solution to the problem of the absence of bees.
  2. The Chinese government may not implement the policy for all the crops the U.N. food agency deems vital.
  3. A presumption exists that the U.N. food agency will deem some crops as not vital.
  4. A decline in the bee population can also be solved by increasing the number of bee hives.
  5. If maize is less dependent on pollination by bees then the pear crop should be too.


The last sentence in the passage tells us that based on the previous information in the text, we can make the following assumption; the Chinese government will implement the policy of hand-pollination for crops that the U.N. food agency deem vital. Based on the information in the rest of the text, you need to deduce which of the five options is the best flaw in the assumption.

Nowadays, verbal critical reasoning skills are mostly assessed with the use of the true/false/cannot say question format, introducing high level texts that contain hidden premises and assumptions. In order to determine whether a certain statement is "true, false, or cannot say" from the text provided, you must develop an ability to evaluate arguments and the logic used, summarize the data, and draw important inferences. Through practice and internalization of concepts, you will see an increase in your performance levels for verbal critical reasoning tests in just a short period of time.

Verbal Critical Reasoning Tips

Succeeding, when taking critical reasoning tests, requires you to have the skills listed below. Like any skill in life, through practice and understanding, your ability to answer the questions correctly and with speed will increase.

These skills are:

  • Your ability to distinguish between inferences and assumptions.
  • Making conclusions using explicitly provided data rather than prior knowledge.
  • Identifying premises and conclusions.
  • Extracting relevant information.
  • Reading quickly.
  • Maintaining a high level of concentration.
  • Working under time pressure.

Prepare for Verbal Critical Reasoning

Verbal critical reasoning tests fit into the most advanced form of psychometric testing and are used in assessing candidates in many positions. They are generally used in the management area, as in the hiring of managers, professionals, supervisors, and graduates. Verbal critical reasoning tests are specifically used in the SHL CRTB and MGIB packages. Practising for these tests is your way of ensuring that you are at your best when you take the real test.