Word relationship questions assess your ability to identify the relationship between words and to then apply this verbal analogy. To answer these questions you need to understand the meaning of the words in the question and establish what exactly the relationship is between them.
relationship questions often take the form of verbal analogies. These can be
classified into specific categories. For example; materials, taxonomic
relationships, temporal relationships, parts of speech etc. The list is almost
endless. Be sure that you understand what an analogy is before you start. Every
analogy expresses a relationship between two things. It is this relationship
that you must understand as you look at the options required to complete the
First try to understand the relationships expressed in the question words. Then choose your answer so that the relationship in the first pair of words is similar to the relationship in the second pair of words in terms of meaning, order and function.
Check that the parts of speech used in the two sections of analogy are consistent and follow in the same sequence. For example, if the first pair of words contains an adjective and a noun in that order, then the second pair of words must contain an adjective and a noun in the same order. Test designers are very fond of offering answer options which initially seem credible but where this golden rule is broken.
Word meaning questions are designed to measure your vocabulary, specifically your understanding of word meanings. To achieve this, the questions focus on the relationships between words and the questions are phrased such that you need to know the precise meaning of the words given in order to select the correct answer.Another type of word meaning question uses words which sound similar but have different meanings. These are called homophones and an example would be the words 'allude’ and ‘elude’. ‘Allude’ means ‘referred’ and ‘elude’ means ‘escaped from’. Once again, the test designer needs to choose common homophones which are in regular use and this leaves a relatively restricted list to choose from.
Questions where you have to identify incorrectly spelt words are common in all levels of verbal ability tests. The test designer needs to choose commonly misspelled words which are in regular use, as it would be unfair to use obscure words which only a small percentage of candidates could be expected to know.
This means that the test designer has a relatively restricted list of words to choose from and you will find that the same words tend to appear in many different suppliers tests.
Many test suppliers frame their spelling questions in a different way to those in this practice test. For example:
1. Choose the pair of words that best completes the sentence.
The -------- of the timetable caused some ----------.
- A) rivision
- B) revision
- C) revission
- D) revition
- A) inconvenience
- B) inconvenince
- C) inconveneince
However, what is being tested here is your ability to spell these words correctly rather than anything else. Improving your performance on these spelling questions is straightforward.
Verbal reasoning tests are designed to measure your powers of comprehension, reasoning, and logic. You will be tested on whether you jump to conclusions or you appreciate the limitations of a statement. If a passage says "it has been reported..." it does not follow that the reported aspect is necessarily true; only that it has been reported. Another classic example is: if the lights in a house come on, does that mean there is someone inside the building? Not necessarily. If A is bigger than B, does that mean B is small? Not necessarily. You will be tested to sort fact from inference, a lot like what's required in a real work environment. You can see why lawyers almost always have to pass a verbal reasoning test, or a critical thinking test.
Something which will not be tested by the verbal reasoning tests used by employers is spelling. The employer is trying to measure your reasoning ability, not your vocabulary or spelling. This knowledge can be learned on the job, whereas verbal ability is an innate capability unique to each person. Recruitment tests are nothing to do with old-fashioned tests such as word association or missing words.
By far the most common form of verbal reasoning test is one in which you are presented with a passage of text, then asked whether certain statements relating to that text are true, false, or impossible to say without more information. Some employers also test things such as word meaning, for example "which word is the odd one out". But these are rarely used anymore as they can be culturally biased.
Although this particular style of verbal reasoning test is the most common, it always helps to contact the human resources department of the employer and try to obtain any information you can about the actual tests you will be taking. They are normally very good at providing you with information about the test and sometimes even tell you what test publisher they are using.
Verbal comprehension questions consist of a short passage of text and some related questions. They will often be about a topic which is unfamiliar to you, but this is an advantage rather than a disadvantage because you need to answer the questions based only on the information that you are given – not using any knowledge that you already have.
These types of question appear in all levels of verbal ability tests but may be more detailed and technical in graduate and management level tests.
The verbal comprehension tests found in aptitude tests tend to follow a similar format in which you are asked to read through each passage and evaluate the statements that follow it. Each statement may be either:
True - The
statement is true given the information in the passage.
False - The statement is false given the information in the passage.
Can’t Say - There is insufficient information to say whether the statement is true or false.
Remember that you can only evaluate the statements using the supplied passage and that you must not use any knowledge that you already have.
Spatial Ability questions measure your ability to form mental images, and visualize movement or change in those images. Spatial ability tests often involve the visual assembly and the disassembly of objects that have been rotated or which are viewed from different angles.
Spatial ability is required in production, technical and design jobs where plans and drawings are used, for example; engineering, architecture, surveying and design. However, it is also important in some branches of science where the ability to envisage the interactions of 3 dimensional components is essential.
At first sight some of these questions look very similar to abstract reasoning questions – they are not. Spatial ability questions are concerned only with your ability to mentally manipulate shapes, not to identify patterns and make logical deductions. They are not routinely used in graduate and management level tests unless the job specifically requires good spatial skills.
Situational Judgement Tests (or ‘SJTs’, as they are often abbreviated to) come in a great variety of guises and have been growing in popularity as an assessment method since the late nineties. Currently organisations as diverse as Waitrose, the NHS, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sony, Wal-Mart, Deloitte, John Lewis, the law firm Herbert Smith, the Fire Service and many more, are using SJTs as part of their recruitment process.
Situational judgement tests present candidates with a range of different situations that they might experience in the job for which they are applying. For each situation, a number of possible actions are suggested. There are usually around 4 or 5 actions but this varies. It is the candidate’s job to choose between these possible options and judge which is the most effective course of action to take and therefore which action they would take if faced with this situation. SJTs are always multiple-choice; no answers other than the options listed are allowed.
For employers, SJTs are a very cost effective, powerful and convenient way to select the potential strong performers from a large group of candidates. Employers will be more likely to use an SJT if they have a high volume of candidates applying for a role or position and if they recruit for this position on a regular basis. So the recruitment process for a graduate training scheme or internship programme is a likely place to find an SJT whereas assessments for more senior positions are less likely to include one.
Employers may use SJTs on their own as a sifting tool or sometimes they will include SJT questions in a realistic job simulation which might also include an in-tray exercise and ability measures such as numerical reasoning. Job simulations are usually presented online or computer-based. They can incorporate various different media such as video, animation and written text. Employers use these to try and create as realistic a situation as possible for the employer to test how the candidate will respond to the ‘real’ demands of the job.
The difficulty level of the maths involved in a numerical reasoning test is only about as difficult as GCSE level. The tricky part is interpreting the numerical data and figuring out what calculation is required, under the pressure of the count-down timer. Here is a list of the most common operations you can expect in your numerical test:
- Percentages (including percentage changes)
Numerical estimation is key in many craft and technical jobs where the ability to quickly and accurately estimate material quantities is essential.
Numerical estimation questions usually form only part of a numerical ability test and you can also expect numerical computation questions.Even though numerical estimation questions appear straightforward, it can take some time to develop the optimum compromise between speed and accuracy. Before you attempt to answer each question, look at the range of answers available and ask yourself how accurate your estimate needs to be. For example, is an order of magnitude sufficient or does the answer need to be worked out to the nearest whole number?
Numerical computation questions test your ability to use the basic principles of arithmetic like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They may also use mathematical terms and methods such as decimals, percentages, ratios, roots, fractions, powers and exponents.
These questions make no attempt to test your numerical reasoning ability. The method you need to get the correct answer will be obvious and to score well on these questions you will simply need to make quick and accurate calculations
These questions are directly applicable to many administrative and clerical jobs but can also appear as a component of graduate and managerial tests. The speed at which you can answer these questions is the critical measure, as most people could achieve a very high score given unlimited time in which to answer. You can therefore expect 25-35 questions in 20-30 minutes.
reasoning tests measure your knowledge of straightforward mechanical and
physical concepts. They do not measure your underlying mechanical aptitude in
the same way that abstract reasoning questions measure your underlying
For example, you could sit an abstract reasoning test without having seen one before and still get a reasonable score. The same is not usually true of mechanical reasoning where your score will depend significantly on your knowledge of:
- Simple Electrical Circuits
- Shop Arithmetic
Different types of logical reasoning
There are numerous types of logical reasoning test, and many of these are used interchangeably. These tests tend to be similar in their layout and methodology, but with subtle and important differences. A list of common logical reasoning tests is as follows:
Inductive reasoning is the ability to reach general conclusion based on perceived patterns observed in specific events. Inductive logic is often used in everyday life and is therefore practical to a work place environment. In these tests candidates will be provided with a series of diagrams with an evident pattern. Candidates will need to identify the pattern in the sequence of diagrams and select the next diagram in the sequence
Deductive reasoning involves a general rule or principle that leads to a specific conclusion. These tests will evaluate and measure a candidates ability to make logical arguments and draw sound conclusions based on provided data, as well as identify flaws in a piece of information. As a result this is a useful tool in selection procedures as this type of reasoning will be used in the workplace. This type of reasoning will often be used in verbal reasoning tests and numerical tests, and is therefore very likely to be encountered in recruitment processes.
Abstract reasoning, also known as conceptual reasoning measures your lateral thinking ability. In these tests candidates will be tested on their ability to identify relationships, patterns and trends. Candidates will be provided with a series of images that follow a logical sequence or underlying rules. This may include following a rule in a sequence, identifying a code or finding a missing diagram.
Diagrammatic reasoning is a specific form of abstract reasoning. Tests which assess this ability will typically show a flowchart of diagrams and symbols, with an input and an output. Candidates will need to identify which inputs effect diagrams, and therefore generate a specific output based on those rules.
Critical thinking:Critical thinking tests are a type of verbal critical reasoning task which assesses various different types of logical reasoning in arguments, assumptions and conclusions. Typical logical abilities tested include analysing arguments, making inferences and evaluating conclusions.
This is an IQ test loosely modeled after Raven's Progressive Matrices. It was normed on an internet
This test has 25 questions which start on the next page. The last page has scoring instructions.
The questions take the form of a 3x3 matrix from which one tile is missing. For each question their are
eight possible answers A-H. You must choose the tile that completes that matrix best.
As modern equipment of all types becomes more dependent on electronic control systems (and arguably more complex) the ability to approach problems logically in order to find the cause of the fault is increasingly important.
This type of test is used extensively to select technical and maintenance personnel as well as to select for artificer (technical) roles within the armed forces. For example, aircraft technician.
Fault Diagnosis tests usually form part of a test battery in which verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning also feature. No specialized knowledge is required to answer these fault diagnosis questions (unlike mechanical reasoning )
Error and data checking tests assess your ability to comprehend a string of figures or numbers and match them up to one of the options offered. You will be presented with a string of either numerical, alphabetical, or alpha-numerical data and you have to compare this string to either a number of different possibilities or to a line in a piece of text. Generally, you will be under strict timed conditions with only approximately 20 seconds to answer each question. Hence whilst you are taking an error checking test you will be under severe time pressure to succeed.
Therefore, without an understanding of how the tests work, what they look like, and how to answer them quickly, you will not be able to do yourself justice. With proper training, you will be able to succeed and perform on a much higher level.
Inductive reasoning is not only an important part of everyday life, but it can be essential in many careers as well. This is why more and more employers are subjecting their candidates to inductive reasoning tests before they're offered a position, and if you could be faced with such a thing it's important that you know what to expect and how to succeed.
Inductive reasoning tests, sometimes also referred to as abstract reasoning tests, are used to test the logical problem solving ability of each candidate. They're a common part of many job application processes (often used in addition to numerical and verbal reasoning tests), and are particularly seen in jobs of a technical or engineering nature.They're there to test your skills in inductive reasoning - in other words to see whether you think logically and methodically, as tested by your ability to spot patterns in a series of figures. Accuracy and speed are incredibly important in tests of abstract reasoning, and you'll be scored accordingly. Therefore, it's important that you get the chance to practice in advance in order to increase your chances of coming out at the top of the pile.
reasoning tests measure logic skills which are useful for solving problems.
They require you to think broadly and in your head test out different
The skills required to do well in an inductive reasoning test are applicable to most jobs but particularly applicable to engineering, science and IT. It has been said that females are better at two dimensional problems while males are better at 3D problems. Most inductive reasoning tests involve thinking about transformations in 2D but there are also sometimes 3D problems such as choosing which net correctly forms a given cube.
It is not always easy to assess whether someone has the analytical ability needed to succeed in a technical job in the information technology industry. Many people who are regarded as 'intelligent' and who have good academic qualifications find this kind of pure analytical thinking both alien and difficult. It is widely accepted in the IT industry that a 'natural' programmer can be many times more productive than someone who does not share this 'natural' ability. It is not surprising therefore that diagrammatic reasoning tests are used extensively to select software developers.
These types of questions can appear in other types of test but they are particularly suited to information technology jobs in which analysts and programmers need to be able to work through complex problems in an analytical way.
Deductive reasoning is not only an important part of everyday life, but it can be essential in many careers as well. This is why more and more employers are subjecting their candidates to deductive reasoning tests before they're offered a position, and if you could be faced with such a thing it's important that you know what to expect and how to succeed.
Deductive reasoning tests are used to test the logical problem solving ability of each candidate. They're a useful part of many job application processes (often used in addition to numerical and verbal reasoning tests), and are particularly seen in jobs of a technical or engineering nature.They're there to test your skills in deductive reasoning - in other words to see whether you think logically and methodically, as tested by your ability to follow premies to their logical conclusions. Accuracy and speed are incredibly important in tests of deductive reasoning, and you'll be scored accordingly. Therefore, it's important that you get the chance to practice in advance in order to increase your chances of coming out at the top of the pile.
Deductive reasoning tests measure logic skills which are useful for solving problems. They require you to think analytically and to hold multiple, and perhaps contradictory, variables and in your head at a given moment. The skills required to do well in an deductive reasoning test are applicable to many jobs but particularly applicable to engineering, science and IT.
The ability to interpret data presented in tables, graphs and charts is a common requirement in many management and professional jobs.
Interpretation questions are very widely used to assessing candidates for
graduate and management level jobs. Many people who have been out of the
education system for a while or who don’t use interpret graphs, pie charts,
scatter diagrams and tables of data on a day-to-day basis may feel overawed by
these types of question. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need
to have studied mathematics to a high level to succeed. These questions are
primarily tests of interpretation and the math needed is invariably
You will usually be allowed to use a calculator for these types of question and investing in one which can handle fractions and percentages is a good idea. You should also try to work through a few numerical computation practice papers to get back into swing of these types of calculation.