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ight, let’s get down to work. First think about how much
time you can spare for practising. Then set aside the time
so you can conduct as many reading and practice sessions
as possible over a period of several weeks or months. This is
preferable to reading through this book in two or three sittings.
You may like to set aside a particular time at the weekend, or a
time of day when your mind is most
alert. Once you’ve committed to a
practice session, make sure you stick
to it. Go on – start practising as soon
as you can!
Why should I practise?
Does a virtuoso violinist ever quit practising? Of course not, she
keeps practising so as to stay at the top of her game.There’s a lot
of truth to the old adage ‘Practice makes perfect’. You’re not
striving for perfection here, but practising questions is known to
significantly improve your chances of passing a verbal reasoning
test. Try to squeeze in as much advance practice as possible.
Make a commitment to practise as much as you can to improve
your confidence and help you keep a clear head on the day.
Continually review what you have learnt from previous practice
test sessions so that you use your time most effectively.
start practising as soon
as you can!
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18 brill iant verbal reason ing
How much practice do I need?
That depends on why you are taking the test and your current
skill level.Your verbal reasoning test may be a key to a new stage
in your life, such as joining the Armed Forces or studying for a
medical degree. You may be seeking promotion or going for a
great new job. Let’s face it – whatever the scenario, you want to
pass that test! Even if the outcome is not solely dependent on
your verbal reasoning test score it is worth maximising your
practice opportunities when entry to a future profession is at
The time required to improve your verbal reasoning testing per-
formance will vary between a few hours for those who are just a
little bit rusty to several days for less experienced readers.
Although they will need to put in more work, those who have not
taken a verbal reasoning test before may well see the most dra-
matic improvement through practice.
If you don’t already know exactly what type of verbal reasoning test
you will be taking, you should find out as your first step. That way
you will know what type of questions you need to practise.
I suggest breaking down each prac-
tice session into three linked stages:
1 before taking a practice test
2 during the practice test
3 after taking a practice test
break down each
practice session into
three linked stages
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Before taking a practice test
G Plan which questions you are going to answer. Then you
can get going straight away instead of wasting time flicking
through the book.
G Identify a quiet place to work where you are unlikely to be
disturbed. It is important to find an environment where you
can read quietly and really concentrate.
G Set aside at least 40 minutes to work your way through a
large number of the practice questions.
G Sit at a desk and clear away anything that may distract you
G Turn your mobile phone off.
G Have a clock or watch handy to time how quickly you work.
During the practice test
G Treat it as a real test session to help you get into the right
mindset. This will help reduce any nerves on the test day,
even if that day will certainly be more stressful!
G Motivate yourself to answer each question as effectively as
G Work systematically through all the questions in the relevant
section.You need to attempt every question: do not cherry
pick or randomly select questions. The reason for this is
simple.You need to identify whether there are specific types
of questions where your performance would benefit from
Practice makes perfect 19
If you finish earlier than you expected then – just as you would in
the real test – use this extra time as an ideal opportunity to go
back and double-check any questions you were unsure about.
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