The levels of difficulty of verbal tests

Employers have different expectations of candidates' verbal reasoning skills based on the job role.  To accommodate this psychometric testing companies typically have verbal reasoning tests with different difficulty levels and benchmarks.  Employers typically don’t expect candidates who apply for different roles within the organisation 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 be required 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 which is maintained across all test questions. However, you can expect the questions at the beginning of the test to be easier than those towards the end. The verbal reasoning test’ s level of difficulty is determined by four main factors – the length of the reading passage, the complexity of the text, the use of higher language rather than simple words, and time constraints.

Typically, lengthier passages make it more difficult for you to understand the information and reduce the time available to read and solve the related questions.

Similarly, more-complex text such as a passage on medical procedures (for those who are not medical doctors) places a higher level of comprehension on the test-taker.

The use of higher language or less commonly used words, adds complexity to the text which requires you spend more time on comprehending the passage reducing the time available to answer the questions.

Time constraints is another fairly obvious factor that can be used to make the verbal test more difficult, this can be done by reducing the time available for each question. The typical verbal test is designed so you can take up to 30 seconds to solve a question. This time frame includes the passage reading time and assumes that there are several questions per passage.

This means that even if you are a quick reader and you have good control over the English language, there are many hurdles you are likely to hit when taking the verbal reasoning test. Practice and familiarity will increase your ability to perform well; therefore, we recommend that you practise as much as you can before actually taking the verbal test.

IPC UK offers a wide range of 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 and identifying correct and incorrect answers.  The detailed explanation for each answer provides you with an opportunity to learn how to avoid making a similar mistake in your real verbal test.

Our online verbal reasoning course offers you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the test structure, strategies and tactics for efficiently reading verbal reasoning passages and techniques for solving verbal reasoning test questions.