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Verbal Reasoning: Test of skill rather than of learned knowledge

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Verbal reasoning tests are a key part of most govt./bank/competitive exams but your child won’t be taught the skill at school or even in graduation. We explain just what verbal reasoning involves, and how you can help them prepare for their test as well as important of reasoning in personality development of a child.

What is Verbal Reasoning?

Verbal reasoning is, problem-solving based on words and language. It involves thinking about text, solving word problems, following written instructions to come up with a solution, spotting letter sequences and cracking letter- and number-based codes. Practicing verbal reasoning develops critical thinking, problem-solving and ultimately, intelligence.

Verbal Reasoning Question Type:

• Identifying one letter that will complete two words - e.g. banan (A) pple [Banana & Apple]

• Identifying a word hidden inside another word, e.g. reSIGN

• Identifying the odd ones out e.g. apple, pear, banana, CREAM

• Identifying the words that mean the same from two lists e.g. BASIC/high-class/ironic and SIMPLE/cash/income

• Identifying antonyms from two lists of words, e.g. IN/on/over and through/between/OUT

• Breaking a alphabet code

• Next number in a sequence (1, 5, 9, 13…)

• Problems where the numbers are represented by letters

Although these questions require a basic knowledge in maths, the main principle is how carefully a child read the instructions, decode them in mind and apply them to solve problems.

Skills and knowledge required for verbal reasoning tests

• Widely read and have an extensive vocabulary

• Solid grasp of synonyms , antonyms, plurals, good spelling skills and strong maths

• Good general knowledge is also needed

Why mastering verbal reasoning is hard?

Some children have a knack for verbal reasoning, but for others, it doesn’t come so naturally. And it’s not just about being ‘good at literacy’ – children who can read and spell very well may still struggle with some of the code-based questions. Moreover, verbal reasoning isn’t a curriculum-based skill, so your child won’t be taught the techniques at school, and while they may make sense once they’ve been explained, at first glance, they can be baffling.

Helping your child practice verbal reasoning at home

The best thing you can do to improve your child’s verbal reasoning is encourage them to read. Children who read widely have a big head-start, as they’re building their vocabulary and general knowledge. You can also try the following tips to boost your child’s verbal reasoning skills:

• Play word games and quizzes, for example, spotting the odd one out from a list of words, giving a synonym or antonym for a word, solving anagrams.

• Encourage your child to do crosswords and word searches

• Play word-based family games like Scrabble

• Set your child spelling challenges

• Focusing particularly on commonly misspelt words

To help your child practicing verbal and non-verbal reasoning, you can start with reasoning tests for class 1 to 8, where questions are provide in chapter-wise order and compiled tests form all chapters i.e. sample tests. You can register on and can avail free sample tests.
Tags : iRAO, Olympiad Exams , Preparation, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, International Reasoning & Mental Ability Olympiad