The levels of difficulty of verbal tests

Psychometric testing companies typically have verbal reasoning tests with different difficulty levels and benchmarks. The different levels of difficulty are to cater for employers’ different expectations of candidates’ verbal reasoning skills. Employers typically don’t expect candidates who apply for different jobs to demonstrate the same level of verbal reasoning skills. Their expectations of your verbal reasoning skills depend on the organisational level (such as graduate, professional and managers) and on the type of occupation you applied for. For example, if you applied for a senior management role, you are typically expected to demonstrate stronger verbal reasoning skills than if you applied for a graduate role. Similarly, if you applied for a role in HR, you are likely to show higher verbal reasoning skills than if you applied for a payroll officer position.

What is a difficult verbal reasoning test?

Each verbal reasoning test has a specific level of difficulty. This level of difficulty is maintained across all test questions. However, you are likely to expect the questions at the beginning of the test to be easier than those towards the end. The verbal test’ s level of difficulty is determined by four main factors – the length of the reading passage, complexity of the text, use of higher language rather than simple words, and time constraints. Typically, lengthier passages make it more diffiult for you to comprehend the data and have sufficient time to read and solve the questions relating to the paragraph. Similarly, more-complex text such as a passage on medical procedures (for those who are not medical doctors) places a higher level of difficulty on the test-taker. The use of higher language or rarer words in the English language add complexity to the text and require you to waste more precious time on comprehending the passage rather than answering the questions. Time constraints is another fairly obvious factor that can be used to make the verbal test more difficult. The typical verbal test is designed so you can take up to 30 seconds to solve a question. This time frame also includes the passage reading time, assuming that there are several questions per passage. Therefore, allowing test-takers less than 30 seconds per question will make the test more difficult.

This means that even if you have good control over the English language and you are a quick reader, you are still likely to hit some hurdles when taking the verbal reasoning test. Therefore, we recommend that you practise as much as you can before taking the real verbal test. You can practise by taking some of our many practice verbal reasoning tests, which are designed to match the level of difficulty of the real verbal reasoning test that you are likely to receive. Upon completing a test, you will receive a detailed report including scores, correct and wrong answers, and a detailed explanation for each answer so you can learn how to avoid making a similar mistake in your real verbal test. You can also take our online verbal reasoning course to learn about the strategies and tactics for efficiently reading verbal reasoning passages, solving verbal reasoning test questions, and getting the knowledge you need about the test structure.



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