What is a verbal reasoning test, how do I pass a verbal reasoning test, how can you practice for verbal reasoning tests with us?

That’s what this guide is all about.

In this text, we will go into depth on Verbal Reasoning tests, what they measure and the best preparation techniques to help you practice for your upcoming assessment tests.

Verbal Reasoning tests are not as complex as they seem if you get to know basic rules, put some practice and create your own tactic to beat them. Remember that this one-time effort will pay off with verbal assessments for most employers.

Ready to understand Verbal Reasoning tests for top employers? Practice Verbal Reasoning tests with us today to prepare with our scientifically validated practice assessment tests to help you get your job, first time.

Not sure if you should practice to prepare for your Verbal Reasoning tests? According to research, 60-80% of candidates are rejected based on their aptitude tests results. It is proven that practice increases your chances of getting hired.

In a nutshell

Verbal Reasoning Tests – The Key Facts

  • Verbal Reasoning Tests are used by the majority of employers in their candidate assessment processes
  • The verbal reasoning test is not there to assess your language skills, however the test implicitly expects good language skill as a pre-requisite
  • The test focuses on how an individual reasons written information to determine its meaning or any implication

You do not need to have a large variety of tests to improve – focusing on a handful of tests repeatedly will encourage deeper learning and understanding, which is better than spreading yourself thinly across say 15 Verbal Reasoning tests.

  • Guessing any questions that you cannot answer before the time runs out is likely to work in your favour as there is no negative marking on these tests.
  • Verbal practice tests in GF’s portfolio have been developed by previous SHL and Kenexa test developers. They give you first-hand experience of the real thing
  • SHL verbal reasoning tests are used by 8000+ companies and organizations around the world; SHL verbal test are by far the most popular tests in use

Let’s jump right in!

What is a Verbal Reasoning Test?

You may want to watch a short YT movie that gives a succinct overview of what the verbal reasoning test is:

Video: What Is a Verbal Reasoning Test?

Verbal Reasoning Tests are a type of aptitude test. They:

  1. Test your ability to understand and respond to questions about information provided in a passage of text;
  2. Examine your ability to reason and critically examine various concepts with the use of words and language;
  3. Require you to filter out key points and information from a longer piece of text, and require use of your literacy and verbal reasoning to understand the concepts in the passage of text.

So how the verbal test actually works?

  • A test taker is advised to read a given passage of text and then consider the questions which are presented as statements corresponding to the passage.
  • They are then required to decide whether the statement given is truefalse, or whether he or she cannot say, given the information contained in the passage.

To help you with your verbal tests preparation we recorded a video with 5 most common questions and worked solutions.

Watch the video, study the step-by-step worked solutions presented, then practise tests to help you succeed.

Video: Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Questions and Answers (2023) | 5 FULLY Worked Solutions!

Or, for a shorter video, check out our dedicated #short for a verbal reasoning test question and answer:

Video: Verbal Reasoning Question and Answer Example

What to expect from a verbal reasoning test?

  1. The aim of the verbal reasoning test is to simply assess your ability to comprehend written passages by measuring your reasoning, your logic, and your understanding of the language;
  2. The most common type of verbal reasoning tests present you with a previously un-seen written passage followed by a series of questions with three possible responses: TrueFalse or Cannot Say:
  • True – if the statement follows logically from the information in the passage
  • False – if the statement does not logically follow given the information in the passage
  • Cannot say – if it is not possible to determine if the information follows logically from the given information
  1. To excel in verbal reasoning tests, you will have to distinguish between these answers
  2. Verbal Reasoning Tests examine whether you can critically dissect the information received, as opposed to jumping to conclusions

For example: If the passage says ‘it was announced that the suspect was seen on the crime scene’ be alert because while it is correct that the announcement was made, it is not ‘True’ that the suspect really was on the crime scene.

Contrary to common belief, verbal reasoning tests will not examine your spelling or language proficiency per se. Your potential employers will want to examine your reasoning ability – and not your vocabulary or excellent spelling.

Why are verbal reasoning tests difficult to pass?

The main challenge of the verbal reasoning test is adhering solely to the information provided in the passage without using information that you are already familiar with in actual life. However, the instructions provided at the beginning of these assessments make it clear that all answers should be determined solely using the information that is given in the passage of text.

Research indicates this type of test could be challenging for individuals for whom English is not their first language. However, this adverse impact is controlled by the use of low cut-offs. This ensures that no one is disadvantaged from the use of this type of assessment.

Verbal Reasoning Tests:

  1. Do not assess the language skills per se; instead they are focused on critical reasoning on written information and its meaning.
  2. Require analysis of ONLY what is in the text passage and ignoring any implications you would make based on what you already know. It is very important that you answer using only the information contained in the passage of text.
  3. Are typically more challenging for non-native English speakers. The passages of text are not likely to use very technical or unusual language. However, the texts are likely to be short and succinct.

How to pass a verbal reasoning test: 8 tips and tricks

Verbal reasoning tests will be done typically at home after you receive the invitation with a link. Therefore, you can control the environment around you for better results. You may typically get an invitation to SHL verbal reasoning tests, Cubiks, Talent Q or Saville verbal tests. They are all similar in nature and purpose and may differ in the layout.

Make sure to get good sleep before the test and eat a good source of energy before the test.

Take a break and watch this short clip summarizing tips and tricks to score best in verbal reasoning tests. Text continues under the video..

Video: Top 5 Verbal Reasoning Test Tips and Tricks

Best 8 tips to pass a verbal reasoning test:

Before the test:

  1. Get as much practice as possible so that you can familiarise yourself with what the day will be like. You will be relaxed and confident when taking the assessment and more focused on doing a good job.
  2. Read a lot. Ideally relatively complex information such as scientific or journal papers. Focus on understanding the logical flow of the texts read. Convert sentences into questions. Attempt to answer: True, false, Cannot Say
  3. Use practice websites that offer timed tests. The challenge is the stress under time pressure thus practicing against the clock is a must. Managing your stress is a critical part of your learning / practicing.

During the test:

4. Follow your biological clock

If your brain works best in the morning, take a test in the morning; align this to the time of day when your brain operates at highest performance

5. Carefully read the instructions

Ensure you are familiar with what is expected from the assessment. They are different depending on the provider. It may be daunting but read every sentence to make sure you understand the structure of the test.

6. Spend on average 1 minute on each question

7. Do not get stuck on one question. Remain calm. You have practiced.

If some questions are more difficult DO NOT STRESS and also DO NOT WASTE TIME and move on to following questions.

It is okay to miss a few questions, but it is not okay to get through only some questions. Verbal tests usually have no negative marking so if your time is up, select ‘best choice answers’ for questions you have still pending.

8. Remember to base your answer only on the information contained in the passage.

Whilst it is argued that practising may not actually improve one’s aptitude or ability, it is however an accepted fact that a lack of familiarity with tests will hinder your performance in an assessment. Practising helps to remove errors due to other interfering factors, and test takers who have practised have a better chance of demonstrating their fullest potential, than those who have not.

Video: How to succeed during the Verbal Reasoning Test

Why do you need to practice verbal reasoning tests?

You will only have one chance to do well in verbal reasoning test to get the job you want! Many employers implement a period of at least several months (up to 1 year) between tests. If you fail your verbal test for P&G for job A, you will be typically not invited to another verbal test for another P&G job in the following months. Therefore, you must learn more about the verbal reasoning tests and practice the questions format.
Verbal Reasoning Texts are written in a specific way. The passage of text is written to fit test objectives. It is not a familiar piece of text taken from a newspaper or a book. It has to be very precise, short and leave no room for interpretation. Thus, you need to learn how to find information, then extract and interpret this in order to answer the questions.
Tests are typically done online and always under time pressure. Practicing solving verbal reasoning tests helps you manage your stress, avoid simple mistakes, learn various tactics that you can deploy during real tests and automate certain decisions. You do not need to invent the tactics while you sit a real teat. You just use the ones that you have well-rehearsed and noted.
If you do not practice, be assured that other job seekers and your potential competitors practice verbal reason tests and get prepared. Many do it only after they fail several recruitment processes. However, as explained above, for these employers it is too late to get in, at least in the short run.

SHL are the leaders in the design and development of Psychometric assessments worldwide and set the benchmark accordingly. SHL Verbal Reasoning Tests are commonly used by 8000+ companies worldwide to assess candidates. GF offers SHL-style verbal reasoning practise tests that have been designed by the same experts who have previously developed tests for SHL.

The majority of sites providing practice tests do not provide Normed scoring. We provide the most detailed feedback reports available online with a breakdown of your performance across various question types to help you identify which areas you may need to develop further. Our numerical verbal tests reports also provide data backed indications of your performance, based upon your accuracy and speed strategy as well as recommendations on how to improve and perform your best on the day. You can store and access your reports online, anytime and track your performance as you improve.

Take a FREE verbal reasoning test now and get a free detailed feedback report with ‘normed’ scores and information on how to improve your performance. Click on the tab at the top-left of this page now.


for SHL, Kenexa, Talent Q, Cubiks verbal reasoning tests