Verbal Reasoning: Theory & Examples

Verbal reasoning forms a crucial part of a number of competitive exams. It tests your ability to understand and critically evaluate the given information. Verbal reasoning questions often feature along with numerical reasoning, or deductive reasoning questions. These tests are predictors of your performance at work, and hence, used as a selection tool.
Types of Verbal Reasoning Questions
  1. Classification
  2. Logical Sequence of words
  3. Analogy
  4. Cause and Effect
  5. Verification of truth (True/False questions)
  6. Puzzles
Apart from the above topics, there are number of other variations of verbal reasoning questions.
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Strategy to handle Verbal Reasoning
In verbal reasoning, you are required to read the given information/problem, analyse and process the relevant information, and evaluate the outcome. Go through the following tips to tackle verbal reasoning questions well:
  • Read the questions asked with the passage/statement.
  • Read and summarise the given information in your own words.
  • Filter out the irrelevant or unimportant information given in the question.
  • Compare the major elements given in the question – identify similarities as in classification based questions. E.g. If you are asked to find the odd word in: January, May, July, August, November. The answer is November since the rest of the months have 31 days.
  • If the questions relate to finding the order, identify the logic behind the required arrangement and then make the order. E.g. If you are given following words: Book, Pulp, Timber, Jungle, Paper. The logical order would be: Jungle, Timber, Pulp, Paper, Book. Additionally, you may be asked to arrange things in the increasing or decreasing order based on some criteria.
  • In case of true-false questions, try to rephrase the information in your words. This will help you identify the truth in the passage.
  • You are required to only use information given in the question, even if the given data contradicts the real world or personal knowledge. Do not make any extra assumptions regarding the data. So, your answers should be solely based on the facts/data given.
  • You will often get stuck between two or more answer options since most of the times, choices are close in meaning. The best way to encounter this is practice. You will understand the concepts better if you practice a good number of verbal reasoning questions.
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