Tips for UKCAT Verbal Reasoning

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July 30, 2012 by Emedica

Some Verbal Reasoning Hints and Tips

Anna Greathead

The ‘common knowledge’ trick:
This relies on people knowing something…. which isn’t explicitly stated in the text. For example – if there were a passage about the England Football Team there might be a question about their world cup win in 1966 and the fact they haven’t won it since. It would be easy to answer because we know that’s true… right? If it isn’t stated in the text that a) they did win the world cup in 1966 and b) they haven’t won since then you would have to answer ‘can’t tell’ even though you know it to be true.

The ‘easy to misread’ trick
To the uninformed it is easy to confuse DAC with CAD and get an answer wrong. Other common versions of this occur when there is foreign language names or places mentioned, or a series of names / words which may be confused with one another.

The ‘got to read two paragraphs’ trick
Sometimes a question will need you to read two sentences in separate paragraphs. For example – in a passage about tree shrews (!) it might state in paragraph one that the tree shrews are nocturnal and in paragraph 3 say that their natural predators are black mambo snakes who attack when they are searching for grubs…. and the question might be ‘Black mambo snakes feed at night-time…. they MUST if they are preying on nocturnal creatures when they are foraging.

The ‘synonym’ trick
This is a simple one – a question uses a different word which means the same thing. This makes skimming for a particular word hard.

Anna Greathead is part of the E-learning team at We have over 100 free UKCAT questions for you to try. We also have over 1700 UKCAT questions with the same screen layout as the real thing.

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