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For the Verbal Reasoning section of UCAT, you’ll need to read written passages of 200-300 words and answer related questions. It lasts 21 minutes and is often considered the most time-pressured of all the UCAT sections.  

This page gives you an overview of UCAT Verbal Reasoning, strategies to boost your score, and tips to help you prepare.

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What Is Verbal Reasoning?

Verbal Reasoning is the first of the five sections of UCAT.  You’ll need to answer questions based on passages of around 200-300 words.

There are 11 passages, each with four related questions. This means that there are 44 questions overall. They need to be completed in 21 minutes, so you have roughly two minutes per set and just 30 seconds per question. 

What Is The Question Format?

There are two key question types:

  • True/False/Can’t Tell: Based on the passage of text, you need to reason whether the statements are true, false or it cannot be told whether it is true or false.
  • Free Text: You may see questions or incomplete statements, and you need to select the free text answers that best apply.

Whilst the trend from 2013 has shown that UCAT tends to incorporate more free text style questions, it is crucial to practise both question types.  

What Skills Are Tested?

The Verbal Reasoning section of UCAT draws upon a your ability to critically evaluate written information, proving causality and identifying reasoned conclusions. 

This section is particularly time-pressured, so candidates will also be tested on their ability to work quickly and efficiently. 

Verbal Reasoning Example

Check out this worked out example of a Verbal Reasoning question to get a better understanding of this UCAT section:

Average Verbal Reasoning Scores

Between 2015 and 2019, the average score in this section typically fell around 570. In 2019, the average Verbal Reasoning score was 565

Average Verbal Reasoning Scores20152016201720182019

Statistically, Verbal Reasoning has been the lowest scoring UCAT section. 

If you want to learn more about how scoring works, check out our UCAT Scores page. 

Verbal Reasoning Preparation Tips

One of our top tutors offering some advice on how to tackle the Verbal Reasoning section of UCAT in the video below:

More UCAT Tips:

  • Practice Your Timing
    The most effective way to manage your timing is to practice as many questions as you can. The more Verbal Reasoning questions you do, the quicker you pick up time-saving techniques. For example, reading the question first so you have a more focused approach when you begin reading the passage.
  • Read With A Critical Eye
    Get into a habit of reading short articles and summarising the key information into bullet points to build your reading and writing efficiency. Always consider if something is being explicitly stated or just implied. Is an opinion being presented as fact?
  • Teamwork
    Team up with a friend, pick an article and create Verbal Reasoning-style questions for the other to answer.

Want to try some Verbal Reasoning questions? Start for free on our UCAT Question Bank!

UCAT Question Bank

For more preparation tips and advice, check out our Verbal Reasoning blogs:



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