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The verbal reasoning section of the UCAT test 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.

Types Of 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.

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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
577573570567565570

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

Verbal Reasoning Strategies

During the verbal reasoning subtest, you’re put under immense time pressure and may find yourself without enough time to truly read every single piece of text. If you learn strategies for tackling these questions, you’ll find that you can score highly without reading every single word on the screen.

Some of the key strategies that we teach in our UCAT courses include:

  • Learning how to identify key words in a passage of text
  • Spotting common tricks designed to trip you up, such as juxtaposition or dispersion through text
  • Understanding mitigating and contradictory terms

When you understand these strategies, it’s time to practice some UCAT questions. You can answer some verbal reasoning questions for free or try our free practice UCAT Test.

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Practise Verbal Reasoning Questions

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Example Verbal Reasoning Question

The British monarch is arguably the most famous monarchy in the world. With a history of revelations, scandals and celebrity stories, the awe and fascination continues to grow each year. Prince William, along with his brother Harry, have reignited a global interest in the royals. An estimated 24 million Brits watched Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton in 2011 – that’s over a third of the UK population! And that was just the UK viewers. Millions more watched from other countries, including 23 million Americans. But the number of American viewers was dwarfed by Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle seven years later.  Some 29 million Americans tuned in, perhaps due to Meghan Markle being a popular American celebrity.

Question: American actress Meghan Markle married Harry in 2018.

Choose your answer: True / False / Can’t Tell

Watch the video at the bottom of the page for the answer, and an explanation of how to tackle this example verbal reasoning question.

More Verbal Reasoning Tips

This clip from our recent UCAT webinar shows you how to prepare for the verbal reasoning section and walks you through the correct answer for the example question above.

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