People tend to be fairly polarised on how they feel about Verbal Reasoning. If you love reading and reading comprehension it can be quite easy, but if you are more logical and mathematically-minded, it can be a challenge. As with all parts of the UCAT, doing some past questions is going to give you the best feel for what it is going to be like, especially if you do them under timed conditions. That being said, there are other options too, and here are my top three UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips.
If you are not a fan of current news, try a science magazine, or non-fiction science books or articles. This will get you used to reading long, sometimes abstract chunks of text, which make up the base of the questions.
When you do this, it’s good practice to really try and understand the full context of the text. If you like, you can even make bullet point summaries of the content from memory and see how much you remember each time.
This is one of the most important UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips. Do what you can to improve your reading speed, especially if you know this is an issue for you. Each question is based on a few paragraphs of text, but that can feel like a wall under timed conditions. Feeling like you are struggling for time will only make it harder to relax and do well.
There are apps you can use to practice this, but also skim-reading books or newspapers every so often and seeing how much you remember can help. Skim-reading means that when you are answering questions, you’ll be able to read through the passage, look at the question, and then skip back through the passage looking for keywords that are in the question, all without losing too much time.
Always pay attention to the question wording – this is one of my top UCAT Verbal Reasoning tips. For instance, if the text says that ‘X sometimes happens’ and the questions asks you if ‘X always happens’ then you know it’s not technically correct.
Little changes in question wording are often what give away the correct answer. The questions will only be based on what is in front of you, so it is important to take the text as it is, without bringing any of your own knowledge to it. You should assume that the text in front of you and the question are very literal and specific.