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What is Verbal Reasoning?

If sitting the 11 or 13 plus exam (for 2017 entry) in the Manchester area, you need a brilliant grasp of verbal reasoning.

Verbal reasoning, in short, is word and language problem solving. That means you could be tested on vocabulary knowledge, grammar, spelling and word usage.

That’s just for starters. A verbal reasoning paper also tests your ability to spot patterns, apply logical thinking, and understand the relationship words have with each other.

Know your vocab!

Word knowledge is an area many 11 and 13+ students struggle with – mostly because of the way many questions are set. Often you have to:

  • Remove a letter from one word and place into another
  • Change the first word into the last, by changing one letter at a time
  • Spot prefixes or compound word patterns

Sometimes, questions are more cryptic. There are coded sequences to master where you have to decode words using numbers and letters. This means you need tip-top logical thinking, as well as James Bond code breaking skills!

Let the games begin

1. Play the dictionary game: close your eyes and put your finger on a word on a random page. Read its meaning, then think of a rhyme, synonym and antonym for it.

2. Play the group game: In two minutes, write down as many types of boat (steamer, ship, dinghy, barge…) Challenge yourself to all sorts of ‘types of…’ groups. Types of hats, trees, herbs, colours, footwear etc

3. Take the change a letter challenge. Pick a random four letter word and change a letter each time to form a new word. salt – halt – hall – ball – bill – sill – silt

Entrance exam tuition

The key to entrance exams is to think fast on your feet. Therefore, learning English, Maths and reasoning techniques is essential.  A one to one tutor can teach you all of these and more.

For entrance exam success in the Manchester and Cheshire area, call 1-2-1 Home Tutors.


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