What to expect in your verbal test


There are several types of verbal test questions:


Type 1 – ‘Verbal comprehension’ test questions

Typically, you will be given a passage of text to read and then asked a series of questions about what you have read. You may be presented with a statement and asked to say whether, based on the text, the statement is ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘can’t say’.

You might also be asked to answer a question about the passage (e.g What is the main theme the author is trying to communicate in this passage?). This form is popular with psychometric test providers like SHL, Saville Consulting, and TalentQ.


Type 2 – ‘List of statements’ test questions

Some test providers (e.g. Onetest or Revelian) will present a question with a list of statements. You will be asked if one or more of the statements ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the question.


Type 3 – ‘Word list’ and ‘odd-one-out’ test questions

You will be presented with a list of words/phrases and asked which one in the list is not similar to the others (i.e. find the ‘odd one out’).


Type 4 – ‘Word association’ test questions

You will be given two words that are associated in some way (i.e. an analogy) and a list of options. You will then asked which of the options is most like the given word association. This form is popular with test providers such as Onetest or Revelian and Testgrid.


Important facts about verbal tests:


  • Some tests can include a mix of the various types of questions – for example, Revelian’s cognitive test includes the ‘list statements’ style, as well as ‘word lists’ and ‘word association’ questions.
  • All verbal and logical thinking tests are timed. For most, the timer is set for the entire test; however, in some cases, such as TalentQ, each question is individually timed.
  • Although different verbal tests may have different time limits, you should expect to be given approximately 30 to 45 seconds per question.
  • Verbal tests are designed so that only 1% to 2% of test-takers will correctly answer all questions within the time limit. This means that you don’t need to correctly complete all the questions in the test to get the highest score.
  • The most difficult questions are generally placed at the end of the test.
  • Every question in a verbal and logical thinking test is worth the same number of points. There’s no bonus for answering the more difficult questions.