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UCAT Verbal Reasoning

What is UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

The UCAT Verbal Reasoning (previously UKCAT Verbal Reasoning) section requires you to read a 200 to 300 word passage of text. After this, you have to answer 4 related questions. With only 21 minutes to answer 44 questions, this is generally considered the most time pressured section of the UCAT exam. This page provides an overview of the section, plus our top UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips.

Please note that UCAT was renamed from UKCAT in 2019. However, the UCAT Consortium has stated that the test content between UKCAT Verbal Reasoning and UCAT Verbal Reasoning will be the same. Read more about the UKCAT to UCAT changeover here.

Looking for more Verbal Reasoning tips? Visit our UCAT Tips page!

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What is the UCAT Verbal Reasoning Format?

FormatVerbal Reasoning
Questions44
Timing 21 minutes
Question TypeTrue/False/Can’t tell or Free text

What was the average UKCAT Verbal Reasoning score in 2018?

The average UKCAT Verbal Reasoning score in 2018 was 567. Students scored an average of 621 across the whole test. You can read more about how the exam is scored and average results on our UCAT Scores page.

What are the UCAT Verbal Reasoning Question Types?

There are two types of verbal reasoning question in the UCAT:

  1. True / False / Can’t Tell

Following the passage you are presented with four statements. For each statement you must decide if, based on the passage of text, it is true, false or you cannot tell if it is true or false.

  1. Free text

Following each passage you will be presented with four questions or incomplete statements. You must then choose which of four free text answers applies. This question style assesses critical thinking abilities, such as identifying conclusions and proving causality.

Since 2013, evidence suggests that the UCAT Verbal Reasoning section is skewed towards this question type. Many students have found that this makes the exam more difficult. It is certainly harder to complete these questions to time.

It is important when preparing that you practice both question types. We have a useful blog post covering strategy for the most challenging free text questions. You can read that here.

Get started with free Verbal Reasoning questions

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips

Read with a critical eye

This is one of the most crucial UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips. As Verbal Reasoning tests your ability to read and interpret short passages of text, getting into the habit of reading short articles and summarising them in bullet points will help your efficiency and accuracy in this section.

Summarising the articles you read will be great UCAT preparation: it will help you to familiarise yourself with digesting passages of text to pick out key information. Remember to read with a critical eye – for example, is an opinion presented as fact? Is something explicitly stated or just implied? You could even team up with a friend, pick an article each and create Verbal-Reasoning-style questions for the other to answer, with ‘true’, ‘false’ and ‘can’t tell’ options.

Practise your timing

As there’s only 21 minutes to answer 44 questions, this is considered the most time pressured section of the test – so you may want to spend some time practising this section before the exam.

One of the best ways to manage your timing in the test is to have completed lots of practice beforehand. You could do this by trying our Question Bank to get used to the format of the questions.

As you familiarise yourself with different question types across Verbal Reasoning, this will help with your efficiency. For example, as you practice, you’ll pick up certain tricks for each style of question that will save you time – such as reading the question first before the Verbal Reasoning passage, so you can focus your reading.

Read more tips on managing your UCAT timing>>

Most Popular UCAT Verbal Reasoning Blogs

You can read a selection of our most popular UCAT Verbal Reasoning (UKCAT Verbal Reasoning) blogs below.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips in 60 Seconds

Preparing for Verbal Reasoning and want The Medic Portal’s top tips? Watch Tristan’s tips in 60 seconds below!

Please note that test content between UKCAT Verbal Reasoning and UCAT Verbal Reasoning is the same.


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How should I answer UCAT Verbal Reasoning questions?

Watch this short video to get a feel for what UCAT Verbal Reasoning questions are like, and how to answer them:

It is very hard to replicate the UCAT experience and difficulty level exactly. Your test experience might differ.


READ NEXT ➜ UCAT Quantitative Reasoning


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