UCAT Verbal Reasoning: Mastering the Art of Understanding and Concluding

What is UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

The UCAT Verbal Reasoning subset evaluates your ability to comprehend information and draw logical conclusions from it. Though seemingly straightforward, it consistently records the lowest average score among all UCAT subtests. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the Verbal Reasoning subtest, providing insights on how to prepare, invaluable tips to excel, and where to find high-quality Verbal Reasoning questions.

Why Does UCAT Include a Verbal Reasoning Subtest?

The UCAT incorporates a Verbal Reasoning subtest for the following reasons:

  1. It is vital for doctors and dentists to grasp complex information and convey it to patients in a clear and concise manner.
  2. Utilizing published materials and interpreting their findings are crucial in applying them to one’s medical practice. This involves critical analysis and drawing conclusions regarding their validity.

The UCAT Verbal Reasoning Format

The structure of the UCAT Verbal Reasoning section is as follows:

  • 11 passages of text
  • 4 multiple-choice questions for each passage
  • A total of 44 multiple-choice questions

How Long is the UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

You are allotted just 21 minutes (plus a 1-minute instruction section) to read the 11 passages and answer the associated 44 questions. Time management is crucial in this subtest, with an average of less than 2 minutes for each passage and its related questions. Check out the tips section below for advice on how to handle this time constraint effectively.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Questions

The UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest comprises two types of questions:

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Scores

For each question in the Verbal Reasoning section, you can only choose one answer from the multiple-choice options. Each correct answer is worth 1 mark, allowing a total score of 44 marks. The raw mark obtained is then converted into a ‘scale score’ ranging from 300 to 900. The scoring method for the other cognitive subtests – Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, and Quantitative Reasoning – follows the same approach, while the Situational Judgement Test adopts a band system for scoring.

What is the Average Score for UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

Throughout the UCAT, Verbal Reasoning consistently receives the lowest average score among the subtests.

According to the UCAT website, the mean scores for the Verbal Reasoning subtest from 2018 to 2022 are as follows:

For complete information on UCAT scoring, including scaled scoring, visit our UCAT Score and UCAT Decile Ranking blogs.

What is Considered a Good Score for UCAT Verbal Reasoning?

As a general guideline, a ‘good’ UCAT score is typically 20-30 marks higher than the average score for each subtest. For instance, for the Verbal Reasoning subtest in 2022, a ‘good’ score would range from 587 to 597.

Since the average score varies each year based on the candidates’ performance, the definition of a ‘good’ UCAT score also fluctuates.

How to Prepare for UCAT Verbal Reasoning

To perform well on all UCAT subtests, it is essential to understand the test format, familiarize yourself with the types of questions, and develop strategies for coping with time pressure. Dedicated practice using UCAT practice questions and tests will greatly contribute to your preparation.

Below, we provide UCAT Verbal Reasoning strategies and tips to assist you in your preparation.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Strategies

Two techniques will aid you in swiftly extracting relevant information from passages, helping you answer the questions in the Verbal Reasoning section efficiently:

  1. Skimming the text: Rapidly read the passage to gain an overview of its content.
  2. Scanning the text: Quickly search for specific information within the passage.

Both techniques are valuable reading approaches. Skimming allows you to grasp the overall purpose of the passage, while scanning helps identify keywords to answer specific questions. While some UCAT advice recommends using only the scanning technique, where you read the questions before scanning the passage for answers, feel free to adopt your preferred approach. Experiment with different approaches during your UCAT revision to discover the most effective method for you. Combining elements of both techniques may yield the best results.

To practice scanning, you can identify key words in the questions before using scanning to locate them within the passage. On the other hand, you can practice skimming by reading any text at a rapid pace whenever you have a free moment. This will help you build speed and efficiency.

5 Top Tips for UCAT Verbal Reasoning

Time management is crucial in the UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest. While the task itself may seem straightforward, the challenge lies in reading each passage and answering the questions within the limited time frame. The following tips will help you navigate the time pressure of the Verbal Reasoning section effectively:

  1. Complete timed practice tests: Allocate time to practice under timed conditions. This will enhance your speed in reading passages and answering questions while providing a realistic understanding of the time available for each passage and associated questions.
  2. No negative marking: Remember, incorrect answers do not result in deductions. It’s better to provide an answer than to leave a question blank. If time is a constraint, start by eliminating obviously incorrect answers and then make an educated guess from the remaining choices. The test includes a ‘flag’ function, allowing you to review flagged questions if time permits. Avoid spending excessive time on unanswered questions. A guess with a ‘flag’ is better than leaving an answer blank.
  3. Avoid excessive double-checking: While minimizing mistakes is important, it is unlikely that you will have sufficient time to double-check every available answer option. Use the ‘flag’ function to mark questions that require further review. This way, you can dedicate time to reviewing flagged questions if there is extra time available.
  4. Don’t rely on prior knowledge: The passage may cover unfamiliar topics. Avoid relying solely on previous knowledge in your answers unless you can find supporting information within the text. Remember, the question evaluates your ability to extract information and draw conclusions from the given text, not your prior knowledge.
  5. Apply critical thinking: Apply critical thinking skills to both the passage and the questions. Despite time constraints, pay attention to distinguishing between facts and opinions. This distinction is crucial in answering questions accurately. Additionally, scrutinize the language used in the questions, as qualifiers such as “always” or “usually” can alter the meaning and play a significant role in choosing the correct answer.

UCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

Practice questions and tests are invaluable tools in UCAT preparation. They familiarize you with the types of questions you will encounter and enhance your response speed, a vital skill in the time-sensitive UCAT Verbal Reasoning subtest.

Our adaptive question bank offers personalized learning with practice questions powered by artificial intelligence. As you progress, the questions adapt to your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus on areas that need improvement. This targeted approach can have a significant impact on your UCAT score and support your overall preparations.


Mastering UCAT Verbal Reasoning requires honing your ability to comprehend written information and draw logical conclusions. With thorough preparation, effective time management, and the right strategies, you can excel in this challenging subtest. By incorporating practice questions and tests into your study routine, you will enhance your performance and boost your chances of achieving an excellent UCAT score.