The Verbal Reasoning subtest assesses your ability to read and think carefully about information presented in passages and to determine whether specific conclusions can be drawn from information presented. You are not expected to use prior knowledge to answer the questions.
You will be presented with eleven passages of text, each associated with 4 questions.
Some items assess critical reasoning skills, requiring candidates to make inferences and draw conclusions from information.
You will then be presented with items which comprise a stem, which might be an incomplete statement or a question, with four response options. The candidate is required to pick the best or most suitable response.
For other test items, your task is to read each passage of text carefully and then decide whether the statement is True, False or you Can’t Tell.
True: On the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is true.
False: On the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is false.
Can’t Tell: You cannot tell from the information in the passage whether the statement is true or false.
Verbal Reasoning was a tough section for me, easier for those who generally read a lot. It is very time consuming and the time frame makes you feel very pressured which makes it difficult to read analytically. The best tip I can give you if you are struggling is, PRACTICE!
• You cannot make assumptions and must interpret the sentence directly. For example, the phrase, “I may apply for Medicine at university.”
This statement hasn’t told us the person is going to study medicine or is going to university, but at this same time the statement doesn’t tell us that they’re not either. It hasn’t told us where or when. In fact, it has told us very little. If you encounter a statement like this in the UKCAT, treat it with extreme caution.
• We often skim read articles quickly and are able to understand the passage easily, like you are doing right now. Although the UKCAT is different, it is very ambiguous and one easy mistake is to skim read it like a standard newspaper article.
After a lot of practice you will have mastered the ways of how to read the passage effectively.
• My top tip is to read the question first and try and select key words from that question. Such as a date, a name or an uncommon word. Then skim the article for that key word or phrase to find an answer for that question.
Although, this does not work so well for the questions which require an understanding of the passage but rather for the True/False/Can’t Tell questions.