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All about Verbal Aptitude Tests
Verbal reasoning psychometric tests are among the most common tests you will come across when applying for a new job. Verbal reasoning is the name given to a whole range of tests that use words and paragraphs to test your ability to understand, analyse and interpret information in a written text.
Verbal reasoning tests examine you on a range of English language skills, depending on the test you take. The skills can be broken down into the following groups:
Your understanding of the words that are used in your line of work. This is measured through tests such as mixed sentences, complete the sentence tests, spelling tests and more.
These tests examine your understanding of English grammar and your ability to recognise good or bad grammar. Grammar is measured through tests such as complete the sentence, identify the correct next sentence in a paragraph.
Comprehension means your ability to understand written information, analyse it and interpret what you have read to answer questions.
Critical reasoning is a measure of how you analyse the information in front of you. In verbal reasoning you are generally required to identify whether a statement is true or false based on the information provided, or whether the information isn’t sufficient to come to an answer.
There are several different types of verbal reasoning tests, measuring different skills.
- Critical thinking tests - for example the Watson-Glaser Test or Oxford and Cambridge Universities’ Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA).
- Reasoning tests - require you to analyse the information in a test, and decide whether a statement is true, false, or you cannot say.
- Logical reasoning tests - or verbal deductive reasoning tests, measure your ability to deduce information from premises and facts.
- Analogies - testing your understanding of what words mean and their relationships with other words.
- English proficiency tests - measuring how you follow instructions, vocabulary and spelling.
- Verbal application - usually tested through sentence completion, assessing your reading comprehension and ability to identify missing words.
- Mixed sentences - words in a sentence are mixed up, and you have to identify the words in the wrong place.
- Verbal comprehension - a popular question type, where you have to identify a piece of information from the text within a limited time frame. This test measures your ability to quickly scan and pick out relevant data.
- Multiple choice - many verbal reasoning tests contain multiple choice questions, requiring you to choose the correct answer from a list of options.
- Verbal analysis test - a top level test for senior manager or director positions, this test mixes up formats and difficulty levels, making it more challenging for candidates at this level.
- Grammar tests - grammar tests can encompass a range of grammatical elements, but the aim of these tests is to measure your ability to identify good and bad grammar and know how to use grammar in sentences.
There are quite a few verbal reasoning test providers in the market, and each test is slightly different in its’ application. Here we look at some of the providers you are most likely to come up against.
- CEB's SHL - CEB's SHL offer tests at a range of levels depending on the job you are applying to. Verbal reasoning tests are usually 18 questions long, and are usually multiple choice or true/ false/ cannot say. Tests are time limited, but the time allocation per question depends on the level of the test. CEB's SHL also offer verbal application tests measuring usage of English such as spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Find out more about CEB's SHL’s verbal reasoning tests on our site.
- Kenexa - Kenexa provide verbal reasoning tests tailored to the employer’s recruitment. These verbal reasoning tests are usually true/ false/ cannot say format, and they are time limited. The Kenexa Infinity Series verbal reasoning test allocates 20 minutes to answer 24 questions. Learn more and prepare for Kenexa’s verbal reasoning tests with JobTestPrep.
- Saville - Saville offer tests at three levels depending on the position. Tests are time limited, usually offering three minutes per set of four questions, or less than one minute to answer. Saville offer verbal reasoning tests and comprehension tests, in a short or long format. Questions in the Saville verbal tests are multiple choice or true/ false cannot say based on a passage. Read more about Saville’s verbal reasoning tests on the JobTestPrep website.
- Talent Q - Talent Q tests are adaptive, meaning that the questions change depending on whether you get the previous question right or wrong. There is no overall time limit for the test, rather each question has a time limit of 75 seconds for the first question of each set, and 60 seconds for each subsequent question. Questions are multiple choice, and you may be asked to choose more than one answer, sometimes you may be asked to determine whether a statement is true or false. Start practising for Talent Q verbal tests with JobTestPrep.
- Cubiks - Cubiks provide tests at a variety of levels. In these tests you are given a short passage to read containing four to six facts and a statement on this passage. Your task is to decide whether the statement is true, false, or you are unable to deduce (cannot say) from the information provided in the text. For more information about Cubiks verbal reasoning tests, see the JobTestPrep website.
- EPSO verbal tests - learn more about the verbal reasoning test from the EU test.
Verbal ability, or your comprehension, vocabulary and interpretation can be improved through practice. Simply taking practice tests and having exposure to the types of question you will experience in the test can relax you, improve your confidence and increase your speed and accuracy in the test.
However, understanding the underpinning principles of of the tests and what you are doing right and wrong in the tests will contribute even more to your success in these tests. The key elements to prepare for when preparing for a verbal reasoning test are:
- Accuracy in answering questions.
- The speed at which you answer (most verbal reasoning tests are time limited).
- Understanding the passage and how to answer the questions.
JobTestPrep have created practice tests along the same formats as the main test providers, enabling you to prepare the tests employers use ahead of taking the actual tests. We constantly update our tests to ensure that they are up to date with the most recent trends.
For the best preparation, use all the information your recruiting employer have given you to choose the correct product to buy
“ Great and focused service. Without it I wouldn't have been prepared enough for the online test. The JobTestPrep website contains exactly what is necessary to get ready and improve at the most. Thanks! „
Graduate, February 2015
“ It contributed a lot. In particular, explanation on methods of summary of a text, the difference between best summary and suggestion of a passage etc... „
Council of Europe, January 2015
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