The purpose of Verbal reasoning is to give the teacher a reasonable estimate of the student’s verbal intellectual ability or intelligence. Verbal reasoning is an adaptive test, which makes assessment swift and efficient. Verbal reasoning is a test of conceptual similarities. In each item two pictures are presented on the screen, separated by six words. The student’s task is to identify the word that provides the best conceptual link between the two pictures: this is the target word; the other five are distractors. The student will hear the words when they are clicked on, so reading competence is not necessary. There is good evidence that such conceptual similarities tests provide a good indicator of verbal intellectual ability. Nevertheless, teachers should be aware that a small proportion of students may experience difficulties with this task, even though in other respects their intelligence levels are at least average.
Since humans endeavour to play to their strengths whenever they can, it follows that where one aspect of intelligence is much better than the other, the former is more likely to be utilised in tackling problems, e.g. if Non-verbal reasoning is much higher than Verbal reasoning, the student is more likely to problem solve using nonverbal rather than verbal strategies, and vice versa. The greater the disparity between the two, the more prominent this effect is likely to be.