﻿ Learning to Love Verbal and Numerical Reasoning

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22 Sep 2011 Print Learning to Love Verbal and Numerical Reasoning

For some, verbal and numerical reasoning tests can be very intimidating, and it can be hard not to think about how much depends on one particular test. However, verbal and numerical reasoning tests are the easiest types of tests to learn to master, simply because they don’t need any specific prior knowledge. With a few tips you can learn to love these tests. Here is a handful of them:

Tips for Verbal Reasoning Tests

#1: Try a new technique
One tip in particular that seems to help many people manage verbal reasoning tests is to read the questions before reading the text. It will likely save you time as you won’t have to return to read the text again, and will have the questions in mind when you are reading.

#2: Extra time for unspecific questions
The most frustrating part of verbal reasoning tests is the questions that appear to have no specific answer. In this case you have to choose the answer that “best” answers the questions. Take a few extra seconds on these questions to ensure you have the best answer.

#3: Caution with verbal logic assumptions
There are usually at least a few questions that will try to trip you up by using words like “might”, “likely”, “probably”, or “could have”. Remember, just because someone “might have become President” does not mean that they actually did – do not make an assumption.

#4: No real world data
A verbal reasoning test is testing your abilities based on the information given in the test. This means that you do not include outside information in your reasoning to select the best answer, only go with what has been given you.

Tips for Numerical Reasoning Tests

#1: Avoid confusion
The test can feel daunting at the start – all those numbers and figures! However, remember that for most questions you will only need a single figure for the answer, so try to exclude as many things as possible and focus on the relevant data only.

#2: Avoid counting / calculating
In most cases the answers on a numerical reasoning test are spread far enough apart that you don’t need to calculate the “real” answer – just know what ballpark it is in. This can save valuable time.

#3: Check the table title
The title of the table of figures can offer valuable information about the type of questions it can answer. For example, if a table is entitled “Auto Accidents in France in 2009 (thousands)” then you know it won’t answer questions about accidents in Italy; likewise, the information is not for 2007 or any other year, and if you do answer a question you need to take into account that the data is per thousand, so include the appropriate amount of zeros.

#4: Understand the units of measurement
To succeed on a numerical reasoning test you need to be familiar with the different types of measurement, from litres (or liters) to metres (or meters), miles and tons. While most EPSO exams will focus on metric measurements, it is a good idea to understand non-metric measurements as well.

#5: Practice!
The best way to excel at numerical reasoning is to put everything you learn into practice. Doing so will keep you sharp, so the next test you take will be a breeze!
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