Knowing the type of wrong answers in the UCAT Verbal Reasoning Subtest is beneficial especially when eliminating answer options.
During practice I encourage you develop an eye for spotting wrong answers to reduce the likelihood of falling for them. Let’s go over the main types of wrong answers used by examiners in the verbal reasoning subtest and strategies to help spot them!
Type #1: Extra Information or Slightly Off
These are answer options that provide extra details that aren’t backed up by the passage. Even one unsupported descriptive word can make an answer incorrect. Sometimes, an answer might contain an extreme language(such as ‘none’, ‘always’, ‘every time’, ‘must’, ‘definitely’ etc)that may shift the context of the statement and make it incorrect. Make sure you look at wording carefully and cross it out if you think it’s extreme (unless its explicitly stated in the passage).
Type #2: Opposite or Contradicts
These are answer options that are opposite to what is stated in the passage. Even if you don’t know the exact answer to the question, you should be able to tell by assessing cues and tell if relationships in the passage were reversed. These answer choices can be tricky because if you’re reading quickly, you might miss it. That’s why it’s so important to double check your answers! Always scan for textual evidence in the passage before picking an answer.
Type #3: Irrelevant or Concept Confusion
Irrelevant answers can be tricky because they prey on a candidates’ tendency to overthink the question and twist any choice into a plausible answer. If something seems unrelated to what you read, it’s wrong. Don’t doubt yourself! Again, if you’re going too fast these can be a problem for you. Never choose an answer just because it contains key words.
Type #4: Plausible Interpretation
These ones can be tough to eliminate, especially if you’re used to viewing literature in the context of standard English GCSE level, where many interpretations are valid. Again, you should only rely on direct evidence to answer questions.
For more UCAT tips check out the rest of the blog and join our free UCAT Study Group. You can opt-in for our UCAT Virtual Tutor – 30-day Study plan designed to get you from zero to scoring in the top percentile within 30-days. For in-depth exam strategies and actionable techniques grab our new UCAT Study Guide, includes 200+ exam strategies and techniques for each subtest.