Preparing for Verbal Questions

Being able to communicate, express yourself, and understand information is all rooted in your verbal ability. In fact, there is a strong positive correlation between the size of a person's vocabulary and the strength of their communication skills. Whether you're talking to coworkers, customers, or presenting a new idea, the ability to communicate is crucial to professional success.

Question Type Breakdown

Let’s take a look some real example CCAT questions, and see which JobFlare games can help you prepare for them.

Word Relationships

The average native speaker knows between 20,000 and 40,000 words by the time they reach adulthood. But how well can you wield it?  Aptitude tests like the CCAT evaluate the depth of your vocabulary – and make sure that you know how to use it!

Many verbal sections on an aptitude test will ask you to determine the relationship between two different words. Do they mean the same thing? The opposite?

Let’s look at an example question.

Show Solution

The correct answer is 3.

For this question, you’ll need to first determine the relationship between the first two words, BLATANT and UNOBTRUSIVE. “Blatant” is most synonymous with “obvious” – something being done in plain sight. “Unobtrusive” refers to something being unnoticeable or inconspicuous.  These two words are antonyms – words with opposite meaning.

Now that we know their relationship, we need to see which of the options present words that are opposite of each other. There is only ever one right answer on an aptitude test like the CCAT, so as soon as your find your answer that matches the relationship, you’re good to go.

Option 1, GONE and ABSENT, mean the same thing. We’re looking for antonyms, not synonyms, so we can eliminate it.
Option 2, SWEET and KIND, are also synonyms. Next!
Option 3, RARE and COMMONPLACE, are definitely not synonymous – they mean the opposite of one another, which matches the relationship we’re looking for.
Option 4 also presents two synonyms.

The question asks us to find antonyms, and Option 3 is the only one that fits.

The CCAT tests your ability to determine the relationship and appropriate uses of words in a bunch of different ways. Words of a Feather is the best one to help you practice for these question types. This vocabulary game  has you determine if two words are synonyms or antonyms as quick as you can. And you might just learn a word or two from playing!

Both when playing Words of a Feather and during an aptitude test, you may encounter a situation where you don’t recognize the main words in the definition – or their relationship to each other! Looking for common roots can be helpful, but if you’re at a total loss, make your best guess and move on.

One more hot tip! Because there is only one correct answer for each question on, if you can find two options with the same relationship, you can eliminate them both, which doubles your chance of guessing the correct answer (from 25% to 50%!).

Identifying Opposites

There’s another question type you’ll see that asks you to determine which of the options is the closest opposite to the word presented in the question.

Here’s an example:

Show Solution

The correct answer is 4.

We’re looking for words that will be the opposite of AFFECTIONATE- before even looking at the answer options, what are some words that at antonymous with AFFECTIONATE? Cold, disinterested, antisocial, and standoffish are all solid opposites. Sometimes a word that pops into your head are even listed as an actual answer option, so you know you can confidently select it.

Let’s look at the options we have:

Option 1: SNUGGLY. Well, being interested cuddling up with someone implies that you’re fond of them, and would be an affectionate thing to do. These are too close to being synonyms and are definitely not opposites. This answer is a bit of a trap for those who don’t clearly read the question – we’re looking for opposites, not synonyms.
Option 2: INSISTANT. It’s not really a synonym or an antonym of affectionate – since we know we’re looking for opposites, we can move on.
Option 3: JUVENILE. This word simply means “young”, which, again, is neither the same nor opposite. Next!
Option 4: ALOOF. “Aloof” fits the bill pretty strongly as the most opposite of affectionate. It’s almost perfectly synonymous with a lot of the opposites we came up with before looking at the options. You can be pretty surethat this one is correct, but let’s check the last option just to confirm.
Option 5: CORPORAL. Corporal simply means “of or relating to the body”. It’s another word that is neither the same nor opposite, so we can be confident that Option 4 is the right answer.

Yet another question type that Words of a Feather can help you prepare for! Getting your synonym/antonym practice in with Words of a Feather can help prime your brain for these kinds of questions.

Spatial Reasoning

“Hey!” you may be thinking. “This isn’t a verbal question type!”

And you’d be correct. But one of JobFlare’s word games can actually help you prepare for spatial reasoning questions too. Let’s investigate with an example.

Show Solution

The correct answer is E.

To answer this question, we have to determine how the shape is being manipulated from one box to the next so we can determine the final shape. There isn’t enough time on the CCAT for you to sacrifice precious time drawing out and rotating the shape on a piece of paper – you’ll have to put your spatial reasoning skills to the test and manipulate the shape in your mind’s eye.

From the first to the second box, the triangle rotates 90° clockwise (to the right). The same rotation happens between the second to third and third to fourth boxes. So, in order to determine the correct answer, we need to rotate the shape in box for another 90° to right – which actually gives us the same shape as the first box! Let’s see which of the options match:

A, B, and C are all clearly vertical, and we know we’re looking a more horizontal triangle. So we can eliminate all 3!
D looks promising – it is the triangle in the fourth box rotated 90°, but this one has been rotated 90° to the left. The pattern dictates that the rotation is always 90° to the right. We’ve only got one option remaining.
E is exactly what we’re looking for – the fourth triangle rotated 90° to the right.

Alright, fine” you may be thinking – “but how can a word game help my spatial reasoning abilities?

A fair question! But we’d like to introduce you to Mumble Jumble – a word-unscrambling game.

In Mumble Jumble, you’re shown a series of 4 letters and have to determine if they can be arranged to make a real, English word (no proper nouns allowed!). There’s no time to write out the four letters and figure out if some permutation of the four letter creates a word. Instead, you’ll have to manipulate and rearrange the letters in your head to see if they can be strung together to create a word.

You’ll quickly arrange the letters in your brain to see if they fit a pattern. In this case, the pattern is a correctly-spelled four-letter English word. Even though it’s not a direct comparison of what you’ll see on aptitude tests like the CCAT, it’s still a great way to get comfortable rearranging and manipulating items in your head, which will come in handy.

Getting ready for an aptitude test?

Check out our other subject-specific test prep guides, as well as our general aptitude test prep guide to help you get ready for your test:

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