Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal reasoning tests assess a candidate's comprehension skills through the presentation of a short passage to text.

  • What are verbal reasoning aptitude tests?

    A verbal reasoning aptitude test is used by recruiters and employers to assess candidates on their ability to read, understand, and analyse data in the form of written text.

    In a verbal reasoning aptitude test, the candidate is presented with a passage of text, usually written in formal language and related to the workplace. They must quickly read the given information and answer a multiple-choice question based on the text.

    The question for each passage can be answered with knowledge from the given information, and the possible answer choices are usually true, false, or cannot say.

    For the candidate, the verbal reasoning test does not need any prior knowledge of the business or the job role; all the information needed to answer the question correctly is in the paragraph of the text given.

    Verbal reasoning tests are usually taken at home by a candidate in their own time, and they are timed assessments.

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  • What do verbal reasoning tests measure?

    Verbal reasoning tests are not necessarily tests related to spelling, grammar, or sentence structure - although some knowledge of business language will be useful for understanding the content of the provided text.

    Instead, the verbal reasoning test is an assessment of the candidate's ability to make reasoned and logical decisions based on written information. They are designed to be simple and straightforward, but put the applicant under pressure to answer so that they are working in a way that is similar to the pressure of the workplace.

    To answer the verbal reasoning test questions, the candidate needs to be able to pick out important information from a passage of text that could be dense and worded in a complicated way. They have to be confident in reading and understanding complex information quickly, so they can analyse the text for the important points that will help them answer the question.

    Like other aptitude tests, verbal reasoning assessments are used to evaluate fluid intelligence and inherent abilities, rather than skills that a candidate might have learned in school or through experience at work.

Sample Verbal Reasoning Tests question

When companies are making larger profits they tend to pay a larger dividend to shareholders.

  • True

  • False

  • Cannot Tell

What employers use verbal reasoning tests and why?

Verbal reasoning tests are among the most widely used aptitude assessments for employers, and they are used in the recruitment process for roles throughout different industries.

Recruitment teams in the legal, civil service, and even industrial professions use verbal reasoning assessments to ensure that candidates are able to read and understand business language, and also analyse written information to help them make logical and reasoned deductions.

Verbal reasoning tests, like other aptitude tests, are a simple way to assess candidates based on their inherent abilities, and provide recruiters with the data they need to make the right decisions on who to put forward to the next stage of the application process - and ultimately, who to hire.

verbal reasoning test

What are the benefits of using a verbal reasoning test in your hiring process?

If you are recruiting for a role where an understanding of business language is necessary - which can cover almost every role in all industries - then using a verbal reasoning test has many benefits.

Whether you are recruiting for customer service agents, solicitors, engineers, or executives, a popular job posting can leave your team sifting through hundreds of application forms and resumes. Even after qualifying candidates based on essential criteria like qualifications and experience, you could be left with a large group of apparently similarly qualified applicants and face the arduous task of arranging dozens of interviews.

Aptitude tests like the verbal reasoning assessment can help reduce this large candidate pool and narrow down potential employees based on their skills and abilities that relate directly to good performance in the future.

The verbal reasoning test is simple to administer to a large number of candidates, with a link to complete the test sent to every applicant via email.

Each applicant takes the timed test at home or wherever is comfortable, and once they have completed it you will receive their results.

These results will demonstrate how good each candidate is at verbal reasoning, giving your objective, quantifiable data to help you choose the top-performing candidates to take further in the application process. As a pre-employment screening tool, the verbal reasoning test will save the recruitment team time and money, and help to prevent bad hires and the costs associated with them.


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    For each of your candidates, you’ll be given a comprehensive report. Included will be all the metrics you need to build a detailed picture of each candidate and ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.

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Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Verbal Reasoning Tests expert

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Developed by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians, our assessments provide reliable, valid and impartial results. They strictly follow industry best practices and stay on the leading edge of innovations to have job seekers' unique profiles, abilities and knowledge accurately evaluated while minimising bias. They draw on years of research and cutting-edge predictive analytics to create assessments that provide valuable insights into performance, retention, culture fit and more.

Verbal Reasoning Tests FAQs

Is the verbal reasoning test difficult?

The verbal reasoning test questions are not difficult, and the answers are provided in the text at the beginning of each question. However, the sometimes complex content of the text can be challenging, as can the unfamiliarity of the test structure and the pressure of the time limit.

Why are verbal reasoning skills important?

Verbal reasoning is about more than just reading and understanding written information, it also relates to skills in perception and analysis, making reasoned decisions, and seeking the right information to make a deduction.

Are these tests available in my plan?

We have a range of plans available. The difference between the plans is the number of test attempts permitted, not the type of tests. All our plans include our full test suite comprising all tests and all levels.

Can I see what the test is like?

Yes, of course. You can see try a free example of the verbal reasoning test here.

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Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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