CHAPTER 3
Tactics and
techniques
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H
as it been a while since you took a test? Are you pan-
icking? If so, take a few deep breaths and stay calm.This
chapter is packed with top tactics and techniques to help
you get back into the swing of test taking and achieve the best
results you can. In addition to measuring your verbal reasoning
skills, the test you are about to sit will measure your ability to
work under pressure. Fortunately there are lots of useful strat-
egies that you can use on the big day and during your practice
sessions.
Familiarise yourself
Knowing what to expect on your test
day will give you a big advantage, so
learn as much as you can about the
test you are going to take. Your
recruiting organisation may send
you practice material in advance of your test. This may be in the
form of sample questions, either online or in printed format.The
information should also outline why the test is being used in the
process and most importantly the exact nature of the test that
you will be taking on the day. If you are taking the test online you
should be provided with contacts for general queries as well as
any technical questions relating to the operation of the online
system.
learn as much as you
can about the test you
are going to take
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30 brill iant verbal reason ing
This practice opportunity levels the playing field and gives
everyone a fair chance particularly important for people who
have not taken a verbal reasoning test before. Make sure you use
this material effectively so that you are comfortable with your
test format. Ask questions in advance, particularly anything that
is unclear in the test instructions. On the test day you will be
given the opportunity to go through the administration instruc-
tions. But if this knowledge is already stored in your brain you
will feel more comfortable about what you are going to be asked
to do on test day.
Practice strategies
Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time in advance of the
real test to complete as many practice test sessions as possible.
Continually review what you have learnt from previous practice
test sessions so that you use your time most effectively.
Multiple practice sessions
I’d strongly advise against doing all your preparation in one huge
hit.You will learn and retain much more if you undertake several
practice sessions instead of one big one. At first it may seem as
if you are only making small gains, but these small gains will
soon add up to improved verbal reasoning skills.
Concentration
‘Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.The sun’s
rays do not burn until brought to a focus. So said the inventor
brilliant
tip
If practice material is not sent to you in advance, call your
prospective employer and ask for any additional information
regarding the test you are going to complete.
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Alexander Graham Bell, and his words certainly apply to your
task here. In order to answer ques-
tions accurately, you need to
concentrate throughout your prac-
tice sessions and during the test
itself. This is easier said than done
but concentration is vital if you
want your brain to function at a high level. You can take
measures to improve your concentration by getting enough rest
and working in an environment free from distractions.
Take a break
Research has shown that most people’s concentration levels drop
off after spending longer than 40–50 minutes in any one practice
session.You should plan your practice sessions accordingly. Also,
if you start to lose concentration take a short break (of at least a
few minutes) and come back to this book later. You’ll hopefully
come back feeling more focused after making a cup of tea. I
know I do!
Learn from your mistakes
Take heed of any errors that you make throughout your practice
session. Make a mental note of where you went wrong so you
can avoid making similar mistakes in future. It’s all too easy to
mess up when when you are under pressure to perform.
Stretch yourself
Run through as many practice ques-
tions as possible in advance in order
to challenge yourself mentally. Don’t
just focus on those practice ques-
tions that you can do quite easily stretch yourself with harder
questions. Undertake timed practice tests on a regular basis to
get your brain used to working under pressure.
Tactics and techniques 31
concentration is vital if
you want your brain to
function at a high level
stretch yourself with
harder questions
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