Verbal reasoning tests

What are verbal reasoning tests?

Verbal reasoning tests assess your ability to comprehend, interpret and use words. Depending on the type of job you are applying for, you may be asked to:

  • identify the word that is spelt incorrectly in a sentence
  • identify or correct a grammatical error
  • choose the most appropriate word to complete a specific sentence.

At graduate recruitment level, you are most likely to come across the following format:

  • read a passage of text and then say whether a statement is true, false or it isn’t possible to say, based on what you’ve just read.

One of the more hidden aspects of verbal reasoning is testing your ability to follow instructions, so take time to carefully read the passage or question.

How can I prepare for verbal reasoning tests?

There are many sources of practice test available online. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with the way questions might be asked and the pressure of a time limit.

  • Login to GraduatesFirst to access verbal reasoning tests via the LSE Careers subscription. Unlike many of the free online resources, this one will give you a personalised report and worked solutions to questions – so you can use this to work out where you need to improve.
  • A quick Google search will provide a list of free online practice tests. Try the following: AssessmentDay, VerbalReasoningTest or JobTestPrep.   
  • Read newspapers/magazines, books or manuals. Question the facts you find and consider what the purpose of the piece is.
  • Try to expand your vocabulary by using a dictionary to look up words you don’t know.

How can I perform better on the day?

  • Read the questions and possible answers carefully. Some questions may have answers that are similar or designed to catch you out.
  • Do not make assumptions or use your own subject knowledge to answer the questions, use only the information and detail available to you in the test.


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