UCAT Verbal Reasoning
What is UCAT Verbal Reasoning Subtest?
Of the five subtests of the UCAT there is one that stands out as the more difficult to master. The UCAT Verbal Reasoning section has a few unique characteristics, which are unlike anything candidates may have encountered in other areas of their studies. The UCAT Verbal Reasoning section requires the candidate to scan a stimulus quickly and identify the answers to the questions within a limited time allowance. While this may seem easy enough to some, the speed at which students need to be performing while dealing with fairly complex and tricky passages is very fast, to say the least. The UCAT Verbal Reasoning passages are usually 250-300 words in length broken into paragraphs on topics that might not be familiar to the candidate at all. There is also no set topic for the passages, and they can be absolutely anything, from science to politics, to history, fiction, and so on. Each passage has a series of four questions that require the candidate to answer in roughly 30 seconds or less. Candidates will intuitively want to read the passages in detail to gain a better understanding and knowledge. However, this is not possible or even necessary at times in the UCAT Verbal Reasoning section and therefore often where the candidates lose time and their focus. Instead, UCAT candidates need to improve their skills of speed reading, while looking for answers as well as other time saving and test-taking strategies.
Why is UCAT Verbal Reasoning so speed-driven?
The UCAT Verbal Reasoning construct assesses the candidate’s ability to analyse, identify, and comprehend information quickly from passages where much of the information may be irrelevant to the question. As is in the medical field, doctors often have to deal with a great deal of data in client files where they need the capacity to identify important and relevant information quickly, come to correct conclusions or to critique information where required. For a medical professional, a decision must be reached logically while assessing the information carefully and accurately. This very same prompt, decisive, and accurate action is the assessable component of this section. While the VR section may look like a written comprehension task, it is easy to become distracted and waste time reading the lengthy passages which make this construct deceptively difficult. The UCAT Verbal Reasoning questions assess the candidate’s aptitude for drawing conclusions, finding facts, and assessing information that is relevant to the question while under pressure and time limits.
The idea of reading 11 passages and answering 44 questions in 21 minutes can easily cause concern and angst in most candidates, but with some practice and development of key strategies, considerable improvement can be achieved in a reasonably short amount of time. Nothing is impossible with a little hard work and commitment. This is where some targeted UCAT Verbal Reasoning tuition can be helpful.
The key here is practice and pace. UCAT Verbal Reasoning practice questions are a great starting point for development and understanding of the construct. The different types of questions can be identified as:
UCAT Verbal Reasoning questions
- True / False/ Can’t tell
- Inference questions
- Multiple choice = most likely, least likely, agree, disagree, author questions, and must be true statements.
All the above UCAT Verbal Reasoning question types require some understanding of the skills required to find the information quickly from unseen texts without using any prior knowledge. Advantages of a crash course in Verbal Reasoning Skills which targets areas of reading for responses, identifying keywords, difficult language, and loaded questioning can be beneficial in using your time effectively and therefore optimising your results.