Verbal reasoning tests are an integral part of 11+ exams and Year 7 Cognitive Abilities Tests. Given its importance, it comes as a surprise that verbal reasoning techniques are not typically taught in schools! Many parents choose to have their children study with a personal common entrance exam preparation tutor so they are better equipped to ace the exams. Additionally, children should be encouraged to read a wide variety of books in order to improve verbal reasoning skills, says Stephen McConkey, author of Learning Together practice books. For the benefit of the parents, here’s a quick yet comprehensive explanation of the verbal reasoning tests your child will have to pass.
What is Verbal Reasoning?
In the simplest terms, verbal reasoning is understanding written information and making logical deductions based on the provided material. According to Education Testing researchers Nancy W. Burton, et al., verbal reasoning involves constructing meaning using the information provided, the reader’s own prior knowledge, and inferences he or she makes. It goes beyond simply reading the passage and dwells on the reader’s ability to process the information and gain a precise understanding of it.
In education, both non-verbal and verbal reasoning are included in common entrance exams to test the student’s ability to solve problems. This assesses whether the student will be able to keep up with the requirements of particularly demanding schools. In employment, recruiting processes includes providing applicants with verbal reasoning tests. The results help employers assess the extent to which the candidate can draw logical conclusions, create written reports, and convey relevant information to others in the workplace in a clear and concise manner.
How do Verbal Reasoning Tests work?
The National Foundation for Educational Research defines verbal reasoning tests in the United Kingdom as ‘group intelligence tests that are largely verbal in content and used in an educational context’. They typically involve passages of written information followed by a series of related questions, usually in the style of True or False. All the information required to get the answers are in the passage, but need to be found through logical thinking, deductive reasoning, or problem solving.
While it all seems very simple, especially for an adult, it is not uncommon for children to struggle with verbal reasoning tests. It is not a case of literacy so much as the fact that verbal reasoning techniques are not taught in schools. This is exactly why they can benefit from extra tuition with a private tutor.
What’s the best way to prepare for verbal reasoning tests?
These days there are plenty of verbal reasoning tests online that are free to use. These types of free tests are fun to use and will show you a glimpse of what the tests entail. They’re also great for practicing exam techniques under time pressure. However, sample verbal reasoning tests are not very useful in helping you figure out what your strengths are and what are the areas you need to improve on.
How can you Ace Your Tests?
To get the appropriate live feedback you need to make any significant progress, you will need to work with a private exam preparation tutor. A personal tutor can provide step by step guidance on how to develop your exam techniques, provide you with mock tests, and train you to be very ready and confident to ace your verbal reasoning tests! You can find the perfect exam preparation tutor for you through Classes A to Z!
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