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5 UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips

5 UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips

Our new blog series will give tips on each section of the UCAT. This blog focuses on UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips. This blog will cover how to answer each question type and includes a practice question at the end!

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What is UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

UCAT Verbal Reasoning involves reading a 200 to 300 word passage of text. After this, you have to answer four related questions. It involves two types of questions: True/False/Can’t Tell and Free Text. You can find out more about these two question types – and tips on how to approach them –  on our UCAT guide.

Read more about UCAT Verbal Reasoning


5 UCAT Verbal Reasoning Tips

Verbal Reasoning can seem very challenging: there isn’t a lot of time to read and assimilate the information, so you must think smartly and efficiently. Here are some UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips to maximise your potential for a good score.

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1. Practice your reading speed

This is one of the most important UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips. Try skim reading books or newspapers, and see if you can summarise the argument to a friend. Being able to do this will save you a lot of time when it comes to sitting the UCAT!

See 5 most common UCAT queries answered>>

2. Read the question first

This is key for free text question types. Reading the question first will save you a lot of time scanning the passage, so your reading can be more focused.

3. Understand what true and false actually mean

Too often I remember people sitting at their Verbal Reasoning mock questions and saying ‘I think that could be true or that could be false’, when there was in fact not enough information given.

A statement is true if it follows logically from the information you have read in the passage and the opposite for false if it doesn’t follow logically. If you cannot decide if the statement follows logically then the correct response is most likely ‘can’t tell’.

Read 3 tips to kick-start your UCAT practice>>

4. Don’t think too deeply about what you’re being asked

The examiners know that you don’t have a lot of time to complete each section, especially in Verbal Reasoning. They are not trying to trick you out, so do take statements at face value. If you spend too long thinking around the statement, you’ll get yourself confused and waste time. It’s quite likely that if you have to think too much about an answer it is probably ‘Can’t Tell’.  

Read 5 things you need to know before beginning UCAT prep>>

5. If you’re running out of time go with your instinct

A crucial part of UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips! Some people are Verbal Reasoning wizards and manage to make it through the entire section with a few seconds to spare – but most of us are not. This is part of the reason why it is key to skim read each passage. If you are running out of time just go with your gut instinct in a high pressure situation – it is often right. Don’t take time to doubt yourself as it’s not a good use of the time.

I hope these tips help in making the Verbal Reasoning section a bit easier to navigate and gives you a more ordered approach to tackle it. Some people are naturals at it but most people aren’t, so keep practising and you’ll be able to score well in not just Verbal Reasoning but the whole UCAT.

See how to create an effective UCAT timetable>>


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UCAT Verbal Reasoning Question

In addition to the above, one of the best UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips is to practice! Try a Verbal Reasoning question below…

Scientology is a body of beliefs and practices, started in 1952 by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard. Hubbard was succeeded by the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, in 1987.

The Church of Scientology was granted tax exemption by the US Inland Revenue Service in 1993, on this basis that it was a ‘religion’. Scientology is also recognised as a religion by countries including Sweden, Spain and Portugal. However, other nations, like Canada and the United Kingdom, do not afford Scientology religious recognition. Many people go as far as to suggest that it is a cult, on the basis that it brainwashes and extorts its followers. This is because it is impossible to ascend the ranks of the Church of Scientology without paying cash to advance through the various levels, which range from ‘Clear’ to Operating Thetan Levels I through XV.

It can be widely read on the internet (which practising Scientologists are deterred from using), that Scientology scriptures make reference to a character named Xenu. As dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy”, Xenu supposedly brought billions of his people to Earth 75-million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Some Ex-Scientologists have said that the Church of Scientology only tells its followers about Xenu when they reach Operating Thetan Level III.

Perhaps the most famous practitioner of Scientology is Tom Cruise, who is an Operating Thetan Level VII. David Miscavige was Tom Cruise’s best man at his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006. Cruise has spoken in favour of the Church of Scientology many times since joining in it in 1990.

Want more UCAT Verbal Reasoning questions? Try our UCAT Question Bank!

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Words: Ruari McGowan

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