Time to
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ow it’s time to put the strategies you learned in the pre-
vious chapters into action. This part of the book is all
about practising. Here you can find examples of the
most popular verbal reasoning tests used in Britain. Try to fit in
as much practice as you possibly can before your test date. It is
worth putting in the effort when acceptance into your future
profession is at stake. In addition to the practice test questions,
there are lots of Advice boxes scattered throughout this section.
Be sure to read them, as they suggest great ways to improve your
overall performance.
If you know your test format then you can go straight to the rel-
evant chapter. For example, if you are preparing to take the
UKCAT you should start by doing the UKCAT-specific practice
questions.The following role-specific verbal reasoning tests have
their own practice questions:
G Armed Forces (Chapter 7)
G Army
G Navy
G Qualified Teacher Status (Chapter 8)
G Spelling
G Punctuation
G Grammar
G Comprehension
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78 brill iant verbal reason ing
The UK Clinical Aptitude Test for Medical and Dental
Degrees (UKCAT) (Chapter 9)
Other readers may know only that they will be taking, say, a
general graduate-level or a senior managerial-level verbal rea-
soning test. In this case, you should start with Chapter 10, which
contains practice tests at that level of difficulty.
For each test format there are many realistic practice questions
mirroring the different types of questions that are likely to come
up in the actual test. At the end of each chapter there are
detailed, step-by-step answers for every question. Most of the
practice questions are multiple choice. This doesn’t make the
questions easier. It doesn’t mean that your test is ‘multiple guess’
either. Having written many such tests myself I can assure you
that guessing is not an effective strategy.
If you don’t know your test format, choose a format that most
closely resembles the difficulty level. If you are a beginner I
suggest you start with the next chapter and work through as
many of the subsequent chapters as you can. Be selective if you
like and dip into other practice chapters. You’ll find a summary
of what each test assesses at the start of each chapter. For
example, if you want more practice at reading comprehension
you can cherry-pick questions from several different chapters –
from the QTS section onwards.
A note about difficulty levels
The questions in the following chapters appear in a rough order
of increasingly difficulty from the most basic to the most diffi-
cult. If the practice questions you started with are too difficult
you can always go back to complete the earlier chapters. Equally,
feel free to skip ahead if you find the questions too easy! Stretch
yourself by trying the practice tests in subsequent chapters
these harder questions will help sharpen your verbal reasoning
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The Armed Forces entrance tests in the next chapter are
examples of basic literacy tests. If you know that you are facing
a basic literacy test you can use these tests as practice. By basic
literacy I mean the ability to construct sentences and to under-
stand the meaning of individual words. Tests of basic literacy
may involve finding the most suitable replacement for a missing
word in a passage or selecting a word that is opposite in meaning
to the one shown.
More complex verbal reasoning tests build on this basic literacy
and require you to understand the meaning of more unusual
words. You may need to summarise the content of a passage or
fill in a missing word in a sentence.The literacy test for achieving
Qualified Teacher Status, for example, tests the use of grammar
and punctuation when constructing sentences. The QTS prac-
tice tests can be used by anyone preparing to face a mid-level
verbal reasoning test.
The most advanced verbal reasoning tests are those aimed at
graduates and individuals applying for managerial or senior
managerial level positions. Although there are many different
tests in common use, they all use a passage-based format, where
you read a short text and answer related questions. If you know
that you are taking a passage-based test you can practise with
questions in the graduate and senior managerial chapter, as well
as the more difficult examples from the UKCAT and QTS com-
prehension sections.
Time to practise 79
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