VERBAL REASONING - COMPREHENSION EXERCISE

 

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
Oscar Wilde

 

These practice tests are designed for UNIVERSITY OF KENT STUDENTS AND GRADUATES.
Other web users are most welcome to use this test, but no feedback can be given or correspondence entered into regarding results.

Most employers who use psychometric tests in graduate selection will include a verbal reasoning test. This is because there are very few graduate careers which don't require the ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information, often of a complex or specialised nature.

This test includes a number of short passages of text followed by statements based on the information given in the passage. You are asked to indicate whether the statements are true or false, or whether it is not possible to say so either way. In answering these questions, use only the information given in the passage and do not try and answer them in the light of any more detailed knowledge which you personally may have.

Below you will find an example question to try. It is a selection of a passage of text which will be followed by four statements. Read the passage carefully and then, using only the information given in the passage, for each statement choose whether it is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer.

The test has 32 questions and you will have 20 minutes to do them. At the end of the test (when 20 minutes have elapsed), you will be given a score. You can still continue answering questions for practice after this point, but your score will not change.

The test will start with four example questions which will not be marked or timed. Now click on the "First Question" button below to begin. Click on the button beneath your answer to answer it. You can change your answer by clicking on another button.You can also go back to the previous question, by clicking on the previous question button. When you have finished the test, click on "Get Your Score".

 

Time Left :

The statement is DEFINITELY TRUE, or would be a reasonable conclusion to draw from the passage
The statement is DEFINITELY UNTRUE, or would not be a reasonable conclusion to draw.
I have INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION to answer either of the above with any certainty

 

WHAT YOUR SCORE MEANS

As mentioned before, this test is for practice only, so you should not regard your result as of importance chiefly because the test was not taken under proper test conditions e.g. in a silent room with no disturbances. Your performance can also be distorted if you have a cold, or have not slept well. Also, evidence shows that international students or those from ethnic minorities may be disadvantaged in this type of test, due to language and cultural differences. If your first language is not English, your score is likely to be lower on such verbal tests than native English speakers. Mature students may also sometimes be disadvantaged and you should remember that your degree subject may change your performance - for example scientists are likely to do better on mathematical tests and Humanities students on verbal tests. Even your ability to use a mouse may influence your score! Having said all this it is still natural for you to want some feedback on your performance.

Score

 

The answers to this test are not confidential and are as follows:

1. Until the nineteenth century, most people could only read with difficulty. Can't Say
2. In ancient times, literature was intended to be read aloud. True
3. Classical histories were passed on orally and never written down. False
4. Only people with literacy problems now read aloud. True

5. Most illnesses in developing countries are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Can't Say
6. Micronutrients provide inadequate nourishment to maintain a healthy life. False
7. Vitamin A, iodine and iron are the only micronutrients that people need in their diet. Can't Say
8. Correcting micronutrient deficiencies would cost about $2 per person per year. False

9. Only mild cases of asthma can be helped by anti-inflammatory therapy. False
10. Use of bronchiodilators has been increasing since 1991. False
11. Doctors are reluctant to treat asthma with inhaled steroids for fear of potential side-effects. Can't Say
12. Bronchiodilators are the single most prescribed treatment for asthma. True

13. Political changes in Eastern Europe led to a change in relations between Sweden and the European Community. True
14. The European Community rejected Sweden's application for membership because of its neutrality. Can't Say
15. After abandoning its policy of neutrality, Sweden applied to join the European Community. Can't Say
16. Sweden applied for membership of the European Community after other neutral countries had joined. Can't Say

17. Buddhism was adopted by the court nobility at the urging of the emperor. False
18. The introduction of Buddhism to Japan led to great political unrest and social confusion. False
19. Buddhism replaced the Shinto religion which had previously been followed in Japan. Can't Say
20. Japanese arts and culture were greatly enriched by the introduction of Buddhism. True

21. Japanese men do not share household chores and childcare with their wives. True
22. A quarter of all part-time workers in Japan are female. Can't Say
23. Part-time workers hold a low status in Japanese companies. True
24. Women in Japan are unwilling to work overtime. Can't Say

25. There is no clear cause for abdominal pain in children. True
26. Abdominal pain in children may be psychosomatic in nature. True
27. Drinking milk may help to prevent abdominal pain in children. Can't Say
28. Children who have problems sleeping are more likely to suffer from abdominal pain. Can't Say

29. After the fall of the Roman Empire, most people who had previously spoken Latin stopped using it. True
30. Latin continued to be used in church services because of the continuing influence of Rome. False
31. Priests spoke a different language from the common people. True
32. Prior to the fall of the Roman Empire, Latin had been established by law as the language of the Church in western Europe. False

Example reasoning for some of the statements

This type of verbal test often contains a degree of ambiguity, unlike mathematical reasoning tests where the answers are more definite. Although they are not intended to be trick questions, there is often room for argument in the interpretation of the answers. The tests on our web site are not rigorous and are offered to help users to practise this type of test and gain some familiarity. If you are a University of Kent student, you are welcome to come to the Careers Service to discuss these tests.

EXAMPLE A)

Cardiovascular disease is so prevalent that all businesses are likely to have employees who suffer from, or may develop, this condition. Research shows that between 50-80% of all people who suffer a heart attack are able to return to work. However, this may not be possible if they have previously been involved in heavy physical work. In such cases, it may be possible to move the employee to lighter duties, with appropriate retraining where necessary. Similarly, high-pressure, stressful work, even where it does not involve physical activity, should also be avoided. Human Resources managers should be aware of the implications of job roles for employees with a cardiac condition.

EXAMPLE A) is: Physical or stressful work may bring on a heart attack.

Use only the information given in the passage to choose whether the statement is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer. Do NOT try to answer the question in the light of any knowledge which you personally may have. We must first take just the text in the passage which specifically relates to the above statement:

High-pressure, stressful work, even where it does not involve physical activity, should also be avoided.

This text in the passage does not clearly indicates that Statement A is definitely true: the statement does not say anything definite regarding whether physical or stressful work may bring on a heart attack, therefore the answer is that we CANNOT SAY: you have insufficient information to answer given just the information in the passage.

EXAMPLE C)

Cardiovascular disease is so prevalent that all businesses are likely to have employees who suffer from, or may develop, this condition. Research shows that between 50-80% of all people who suffer a heart attack are able to return to work. However, this may not be possible if they have previously been involved in heavy physical work. In such cases, it may be possible to move the employee to lighter duties, with appropriate retraining where necessary. Similarly, high-pressure, stressful work, even where it does not involve physical activity, should also be avoided. Human Resources managers should be aware of the implications of job roles for employees with a cardiac condition.

EXAMPLE C) is: Heart disease may affect employees in any type of business.

Use only the information given in the passage to choose whether the statement is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer. Do NOT try to answer the question in the light of any knowledge which you personally may have. We must first take just the text in the passage which specifically relates to the above statement:

Cardiovascular disease is so prevalent that all businesses are likely to have employees who suffer from, or may develop, this condition.

Cardiovascular disease is of course another name for heart disease. Comparing these two statements, they mean almost exactly the same thing. This follows logically from the opening statement that virtually all businesses are likely to have employees who suffer from or may develop, this condition, so the answer here is True.

Statement 7

"Millions of lives around the world could be saved, and the quality of life of hundreds of millions markedly improved - very inexpensively - by eradicating three vitamin and mineral deficiencies in people's diets.The three vitamins and minerals are vitamin A, iodine and iron - so-called micronutrients. More than 2 billion people are at risk from micronutrient deficiencies and more than 1 billion people are actually ill or disabled by them, causing mental retardation, learning disabilities, low work capacity and blindness. It costs little to correct these deficiencies through fortification of food and water supplies. In a country of 50 million people, this would cost about $25 million a year. That $25 million would yield a fortyfold return on investment."

Statement 7 is: Vitamin A, iodine and iron are the only micronutrients that people need in their diet

Use only the information given in the passage to choose whether the statement is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer.Do NOT try to answer the question in the light of any knowledge which you personally may have. We must first take just the text in the passage which specifically relates to the above statement:

"Millions of lives around the world could be saved, and the quality of life of hundreds of millions markedly improved .... by eradicating three vitamin and mineral deficiencies in people's diets. The three vitamins and minerals are vitamin A, iodine and iron - so-called micronutrients."

The key word here is only. The passage says that vitamin A, iodine and iron are very important micronutrients, but nowhere in the passage does it say that these are the only ones of importance, therefore the answer is that we CANNOT SAY: you have insufficient information to answer using just the information in the passage.

Statement 14

D) Relations between Sweden and the European Community had always been restricted in scope by Sweden's traditional neutrality and for many years any suggestion of Community membership was out of the question. But the upheavals in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s gradually led to the conclusion that membership of the EC was no longer incompatible with its neutral stance. People came to the conclusion that Sweden has already taken over a large part of the Community rules and began to weigh up the pros and cons of membership along the lines sought by Austria.

Statement 14 is: The European Community rejected Sweden's application for membership because of its neutrality.

Even though you may know that the European Community did not reject Sweden's application for membership, as it is not mentioned in the paragraph above, your knowledge should not have a bearing in your answer.

In the passage there is no mention whatsoever of Sweden's application to the European Community nor whether the European Community had considered it, nor their decision and therefore certainly no mention of the European Community's reasons.

The passage is from Sweden's perspective whether to join the European Community, not the European Community itself, and therefore it not possible to draw a reasonable conclusion as to what the European Community did or thought.

Therefore the correct answer must be: 'I have INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION to answer.

Statement 22

F) In Japan, companies generally expect their employees to put in long hours of overtime. But it is difficult for women, who also have household chores to do and children to take care of, to work at the same pace as men, who are not burdened with such responsibilities. Many women inevitably opt for part-time jobs, which enable them to combine work and domestic duties. At present, 23% of all female salaried workers are part-timers and the ratio has been on the rise in recent years. Part-time work places women at a disadvantage. The wages of part-time workers are considerably lower than those of full-time employees, and part-time work tends to involve menial labour. Moreover, because salary and promotion in Japanese companies are often based on seniority, it is extremely difficult for women either re-entering the labour force or switching from part-time to full-time work to climb the ladder.

Statement 22 is: A quarter of all part-time workers in Japan are female.

Use only the information given in the passage to choose whether the statement is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer. Do NOT try to answer the question in the light of any knowledge which you personally may have. We must first take just the text in the passage which specifically relates to the above statement:

At present, 23% of all female salaried workers are part-timers and the ratio has been on the rise in recent years.

These two statements say very different things.
Statement 22 says: one quarter of part-time workers are female.
The passage says: about one quarter of female workers are part-time.

We have no information on the size of the total pool of part-time workers, nor any information of how many women work in relation to men. The 23% of all female salaried workers that are part-timers could make up 1% or 100% of the (genderless) part-time workers in Japan.

As these two statements mean different things, the statement is CANNOT SAY: you have insufficient information to answer using just the information in the passage.

Statement 29

H) When Christianity was first established by law, a corrupt form of Latin had become the common language of all the western parts of Europe. The service of the Church accordingly, and the translation of the Bible which was read in churches, were both in that corrupted Latin which was the common language of the country. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Latin gradually ceased to be the language of any part of Europe. However, although Latin was no longer understood anywhere by the great body of the people, Church services still continued to be performed in that language. Two different languages were thus established in Europe: a language of the priests and a language of the people.
 
Statement 29 is: After the fall of the Roman Empire, most people who had previously spoken Latin stopped using it.

Use only the information given in the passage to choose whether the statement is definitely true, definitely untrue, or you have insufficient information to answer. Do NOT try to answer the question in the light of any knowledge which you personally may have. We must first take just the text in the passage which specifically mentions what happened after the fall of the Roman Empire.

'After the fall of the Roman Empire Latin gradually ceased to be the language of any part of Europe'.

As these two statements mean substantially the same thing, the statement is DEFINITELY TRUE, or would be a reasonable conclusion to draw from the passage.

 

For further example tests and help with tests, see our Aptitude Tests page with tips on how to pass tests. There are now several free practice aptitude tests available on the University of Kent Careers web site. The tests are Numerical Reasoning , Numerical Test 2 slightly harder graphs and tables test, Verbal Reasoning , Verbal (Synonyms) , Letter Sequences (logical thinking) and Diagrammatic/Spatial

 

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