Preparing for NSW Police Verbal & Abstract Tests


If you are applying to join the NSW Police, you are required to undergo a set of tests. Two of those are psychometric tests - verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning tests:

Verbal Reasoning Test

The Verbal reasoning test is timed and includes a list of multiple choise verbal test questions. The test measures you verbal reasoning skills which includes yor ability to process verbal information in an effective and efficient manner, identify crtitical issues and master the English language as a way to communicate and comprehand instructions.

The verbal reasoning test for NSW Police includes the following types of test questions:

Type 1 – ‘List of statements’ test questions

With this type of question, you will be presented with a list of statements or facts. You will then be asked if one or more of the statements ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the conclusion in the test question.

Let’s look at the following example test question:


Which two statements together prove that boys are not girls?

A.   all boys have an earring in one eyebrow

B.   girls don’t like boys

C.   boys don’t like girls

D.   if you have an earring, you are not a girl

E.   if you are not a girl, you must have an earring

If you combine the first statement that ‘all boys have an earring in one eyebrow’ with the fourth statement, ‘if you have an earring, you are not a girl’, you will get: ‘all boys have an earring, and they are not girls’.

As you can see, this is factual nonsense, but you are not being asked about reality: only whether you can identify if specific statements (right, wrong or indifferent) support a particular statement (however silly). Your ability to apply logic is being tested, not your grip on reality. Therefore, the correct answer is A and D.

Type 2 – ‘Word list’ and ‘odd-one-out’ test questions

This type of question presents you with a list of words or phrases, and asks which one or two in the list are dissimilar to the others (i.e. find the ‘odd one out’).

Let’s review the following example:

Four of the following five options are alike in some way – select the one that is not.

A.   to acquit

B.   to esteem

C.   to exculpate

D.   to exonerate

E.   to vindicate

Most words in this list have a common theme: ‘to acquit’, ‘to exculpate’, ‘to exonerate’, and ‘to vindicate’ are all verbs that relate to being found or declared not guilty, or free from blame. However, ‘to esteem’ means to respect and admire and has a different meaning to the rest. This is the odd one out.

Type 3 – ‘Word association’ test questions

For these, 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. 

Let’s look at an example:

Cane : walk, as eyeglasses ?

A.   taste

B.   hear

C.   colour

D.   run

E.   observe

F.   sun

The association between ‘cane’ and ‘walk’ is that the cane is an ancillary instrument to assist someone to walk. Therefore, we need to find a word in the list with a similar association to ‘eyeglasses’. ‘Eyeglasses’ are an ancillary instrument to help someone ‘observe’, so this forms the same relationship as exists between ‘cane’ and ‘walk’.

Abstract Reasoning Test

Same as the Verbal reasoning test, NSW Police's abstract reasoning test is timed and has a list of multiple choice test questions. All test questions are non-verbal problems. Your task is to quickly identify logical rules from the shapes to correctly answer each question.

Here is an example for an abstract reasoning test question:

Which figure is next in this series?


To discover how to answer this type of abstract reasoning test question, please click here to take our tailored preparation solutions for candidates applying for professional jobs with NSW Police.