The UKCAT is a test based on five smaller subtests. Over the coming weeks, we will look more closely at these tests and some of the things you can do to improve your score in the test.

The UKCAT verbal reasoning subtest is the first test you will come up against in the UKCAT. In this test, you have 21 minutes to read 11 passages and answer four questions on each test. There are two types of questions you will come up against. The first type will ask you to decide whether a statement is true, false or you cannot say based on the information in the text. Or you will be asked to pick the correct answer out of a selection of statements to answer a question about the text.

What is verbal reasoning?

Verbal reasoning is a way of understanding the information you read. You may remember doing comprehension exercises in school when you were younger- that was a type of verbal reasoning. The verbal reasoning test in the UKCAT asks you to go one step further, to think about what you have read and assess it to decide whether a statement can be drawn from what is in the text, or what information can be read between the lines. In an added complication you can only use information written in the text to inform your answer. No outside knowledge can be used.

Try “quick reading” in everyday life

The test requires some quick reading and quick thinking. One helpful tip for improving your verbal reasoning skills is to read newspaper articles and other forms of information and to think about what you are reading. This will familiarise you with different writing formats and improve your fast reading skills at the same time.

Learn to rely ONLY on what you have read

As mentioned above, you can only use the information in the text. Even when you think you know information that is not mentioned in the text which would help answer the question, this time you have to ignore it and stick to the text. This can be difficult to remember, but it is a key point to remember throughout. On the other side, think about what you have read in the text, and answering the questions becomes a whole lot easier.

Practise questioning everything you read

The aim of the verbal reasoning test is to gain an idea of how well you understand what you are reading and how to take that information to the next stage. As you walk around in your daily life, think about what you have read, and what it means in reality. This will help you pick out the important pieces of information and answer the questions on it.

The verbal reasoning subtest is your first section in the UKCAT. It is important that you set yourself the right tone for the rest of your test in this section. Our UKCAT verbal reasoning tests page can tell you more about the technicalities of the test, including tips on how to prepare, and our UKCAT preparation packs can help you rehearse your technique. Here we have looked at how you can sharpen your verbal reasoning skills every day.

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