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The verbal reasoning section of the UCAT test is known as the English section and requires you to approach the answers logically and with a scientific mind. It might be the most time-pressured, and the lowest-scoring section of the UCAT, but you can still perform well if you practice and apply the best verbal reasoning strategies.

What Is The Verbal Reasoning Section?

The verbal reasoning section of the UCAT is a comprehension test that measures your ability to read information and then decide if conclusions can be drawn from the text.

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.

In that time you’ll have to read 11 passages of text and answer four questions per passage. This means you’ll have 44 verbal reasoning questions overall, working out at two minutes per set – or just 30 seconds per question.


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Verbal Reasoning Questions

There are two key question types in the verbal reasoning section:

  • 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.

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

Statistically, verbal reasoning is the lowest scoring UCAT section. 

Between 2015 and 2019, the average verbal reasoning score fell to around 570 – which was the exact average for the 2020 exam.

Average Verbal Reasoning Scores201520162017201820192020

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


  • Work on your timing. Practice as many UCAT questions as you can. The more verbal reasoning questions you do, the quicker you pick up time-saving techniques.
  • Team up with a friend, pick an article and create verbal reasoning-style questions for the other to answer.
  • Read with a critical eye. Always consider if something is being explicitly stated or just implied. Is an opinion being presented as fact?
  • Learn verbal reasoning strategies with our UCAT course or online UCAT course and UCAT tutoring.
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