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Verbal reasoning is understanding and reasoning using concepts framed in words. It aims at evaluating ability to think constructively, rather than at simple fluency or vocabulary recognition.

Verbal reasoning intelligence testsEdit

Verbal reasoning tests of intelligence provide an assessment of an individual's ability to think, reason and solve problems in different ways.

Verbal reasoning tests are often used as entrance examinations by schools, colleges and universities to select the most able applicants. They are also used by a growing number of employers as part of the selection/recruitment process.

Criticism of verbal reasoning testsEdit

Some have criticised verbal reasoning tests due to their lack of precision - many questions arguably having more than one answer. For example, a question which asks:

"When will Joe Bloggs retire?"

may expect the testee to respond with the answer "Joe Bloggs will retire at 65" based on the following two sentences (taken from a preceding paragraph - the format of most verbal reasoning tests):

"Joe Bloggs currently works as a civil servant" and "Those in the civil service generally retire at 65"

However, though the two sentences make it probable that Joe Bloggs will retire at 65, it is still a logical possibility that he will continue to work beyond this point, or that he will retire early and live off savings. Additionally, a number of questions ask testees to decide what the central focus of the preceding paragraph is, however the options provided often afford more than one arguable response. As such, critics suggest that standard IQ tests; or numerical reasoning tests, are preferable due to their precision .

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