Verbal reasoning tests can seem daunting, but if you prepare properly, are a perfect opportunity for you to do well and put yourself in front of the competition. Here are some tips and tricks that will do just that.

So, here are our top tips for really mastering the verbal reasoning tests:

Read all instructions provided

Do this before starting your verbal reasoning test. Take note of how many questions you have to answer during the test and how long you have to complete the test. Quickly calculate how many minutes to have to answer each question. Typically verbal reasoning tests last approximately 15 – 20 minutes and you generally have approximately one minute to answer each question.

Some verbal reasoning tests present multiple questions relating to each passage of information. Others have a new passage every question. You might be given this information in the instructions or you might not know this until you move onto the second question. The key here is to make sure you stick to timings, do not spend a disproportionate amount of time on the first question and if you get stuck move on.

Focus closely on the passage

You should only use information provided in the passage to answer each question. Even if you are a subject matter expert in the passage topic do not use personal knowledge to answer the questions and even you disagree with what the passage claims. You should only use information provided in the passage and should not make assumptions based on your personal knowledge. Base your answers solely on the information provided in the passage.

Learn that it’s ok to say cannot say

It is likely that you will find false and cannot say the hardest category to differentiate between. The best way to improve your ability to differentiate between false and cannot say is question practice. The more questions you sit prior to your examination the more likely you are to improve your performance.

Move on if you’re unsure

If you get stuck on a question don’t be afraid to move on, there may be easier questions that follow. It’s very important to stick to timings if you get stuck simply move on. You may be allowed to go back and review your answers if you have time at the end of the test so make a note of the questions you would like to go back and review as you go along. The instructions should tell you whether you are allowed to go back and review your answers if you have time at the end.

Practice verbal reasoning questions beforehand

Question practice is the best way to improve your test performance. Practice as many verbal reasoning test questions as you can before sitting your real assessment, this is the best way to improve your speed, accuracy and timings.

Practice under exam conditions. This means at a table, with rough pen and paper, sticking to timings and in a quiet environment. Do not practice in front of the TV or somewhere you are easily distracted and not fully engaged. Make your revision time as efficient and effective as possible.

Concentrate on reviewing the question you get wrong during your question practice. Read and re-read the explanations, you will learn more from the questions you get wrong than the ones your get correct.

Outside of your revision time when reading news articles or magazines practice reading them quickly and carefully, identifying and understanding the key points and themes.

And finally, if you’re panicking before or during your assessment take a deep breath, this will help to calm your nerves. Doing plenty of question practice prior to your examination will help you improve your speed, accuracy and timings and boost your confidence.