Hannah’s UKCAT Tips! Verbal Reasoning


July 20, 2013 by Emedica

My recommended technique for verbal reasoning is quickly scan-read the passage of text first, then read the question and statements. This method should give you the edge as your quick scan of the text will help you hone in on the part(s) of the passage which is relevant to each question.

It’s worth practising your scan/speed reading as part of your preparation for verbal reasoning. You could even time yourself reading short passages of text to try and improve your skills.

Some people think it’s not worth reading the text before reading the questions; however, I disagree for two reasons:

  1. Each passage of text will have at least 4 questions associated with it. If there was only one question per passage it might make more sense to read the question first.
  2. The majority of the questions are now the new style 4 statement questions not the true/false/can’t tell options. These take longer and it works better if you have already got the gist of the text before attempting the questions.

By adopting this technique, you give yourself the best chance of getting through all the questions in this section. Beating the clock is your goal!


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3 thoughts on “Hannah’s UKCAT Tips! Verbal Reasoning

  1. Ben123 says:

    Really good advice, how long did you give your self to initially read the passage as each set is very tight for time. Hope your UKCAT went/goes well aswell. 🙂

    • Emedica says:

      As short a time as possible!
      You have about 30 seconds per question – and there is usally 4 questions per text passage. (Thus 2 minutes per text) I probably spend the 1st 30 seconds reading the passage meaning I have about 20 seconds per question.

  2. Gurvinder says:

    Hello, I agree that to read the passage first is a better method; or at least it is for me. I usually finish reading each text within about a minute, but then struggle to answer the longer, non-T/F/CT associated questions within a decent amount of time. I did a timed test today and only finished 22 questions thoroughly, picking up just 18 marks. I’m thinking of slowing myself down, to muse the text for a bit longer before looking at the questions. But I don’t know if that’ll work. Please, Hannah, can you think of any solutions to my predicament?


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