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What's the Hardest Verbal Reasoning Question Ever Written?

Verbal reasoning tests are hard. Usually the first time we encounter them is when we apply for a job. For that reason, verbal reasoning tests are feared. But how hard are they, and what is the hardest verbal reasoning question ever written?

We’ve been through thousands of verbal reasoning questions and millions of answers to find the one. The needle in the haystack. The verbal reasoning question that no-one can answer. And here it is:

Q) Returns on stamp investments have been 60% higher than equity returns over the last ten years.

A) True
B) False
C) Cannot Say

Passage

Alternative investments have become increasingly popular in the last decade as investors seek a safe haven from highly volatile equities and the unpredictable property market. During this time, alternative investments such as art and stamps have outperformed traditional investments by around 60%. High net worth individuals in particular are scrambling to diversify their portfolios in order to mitigate risk and preserve their capital.

While alternative investments can produce higher returns, they have significant downsides. Fakes present a major problem for potential investors as fraudsters flood the market with replicas; this is a particular issue with popular artists such as Picasso, who produced thousands of pieces of art.

Furthermore, art can be expensive to buy and sell, with auctioneers typically taking around 6% of the sale value in fees. Finally, valuable pieces need to be insured and protected. The most valuable artworks are often stored in bank vaults and secure art storage facilities, with the owner rarely getting to enjoy the piece.

Solution

Answer: Cannot tell. The passage states that alternative investments such as stamps have “outperformed traditional investments by around 60%”. However this statement does specify that equity investments are a type of traditional investment.

Results

54,370 takers, 15,130 correct, 39,240 wrong, 28% success

So there you go - that was the hardest verbal reasoning question ever written. Just 28% of people got that one right - bear in mind that 33% would have got it by chance alone! If you’d like to get questions like this right, it might be time to start practicing.