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Verbal reasoning

Verbal reasoning is the ability to interpret meaning from the context of written material without significant prior knowledge. Furthermore, it facilitates the analysis and evaluation of sentences and passages.

Strong verbal reasoning skills help establish a solid understanding of text structure and the relationships among words in a sentence.

Verbal reasoning facilitates inferring whether statements can be verified by available information and in drawing reasonable conclusions.

Items in assessments may also tap into vocabulary, synonyms, grammar, and punctuation.


____ of overly sweet home lemonade can be accomplished by adding more water.

  1. Honing
  2. Garnishing
  3. Strengthening
  4. Attenuation
  5. Sweetening

Solution: attenuation, to reduce in strength or force.

1.Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because it is so green; in the winter it _______ rains when I visit.

  1. Invariably
  2. Sporadically
  3. Seldom
  4. Whimsically
  5. Inhabitually

Invariably: never changing, without exception.

2.The awe-struck fan was too ______ to speak, so she just stared and ______ her eyes over and over again.

Blank 1: Shocked, Frustrated, Annoyed

Blank 2: Blinked, Rolled, Winked

Shocked; Blinked. Awe is more commonly associated with shock. The fan was more likely to blink her eyes rather than to roll (annoyance/exhaustion), or wink (amusement/in the know.)

3.Mary declared that she wasn't ______ focused, and that she cares more about someone's heart than their ______.

Blank 1: Aesthetically, Materially, Intellectually

Blank 2: Attitude, Looks, Character

Aesthetically; Looks. The missing words need to have similar meanings, and they both describe what Mary is not primarily interested in.

4.Choose two words that fit in the sentence, and have roughly the same meaning.

Although the sculptor's work contained some cutting-edge ideas, few of the exhibition-goers would portray the work as innovative.

  1. Innovative
  2. Authoritative
  3. Conventional
  4. Pioneering
  5. Trifling
  6. Vital

Innovative; Pioneering. The two words are equivalent, and synonymous with 'cutting-edge'.

5.Choose two words that fit in the sentence, and have roughly the same meaning.

Actually this might be one of the ______ lessons learned; the need for persistence and perseverance.

  1. Nimble
  2. Abiding
  3. Enduring
  4. Obstinate
  5. Straightforward
  6. Indeterminate

Although more than two words are possibilities, abiding and enduring are the closest synonyms. Both mean to continue without change.