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How to answer the Verbal Reasoning questions in the 11+ (Blog series 4 – Finding Words)

Updated: May 18, 2023

Verbal Reasoning aims to evaluate the ability of a pupil to think constructively rather than just recognise vocabulary. It covers a whole range of question types, however predominantly it is how letters, words or numbers can be used to complete a task. VR is not taught in schools, and puts pupils who do not practice these questions at a disadvantage.

Our blog series on how to answer the Verbal Reasoning (VR) questions in the 11+ continues with the next types of questions pupils may be asked for the NVR section of the 11+; Finding Words. These questions require pupils to find words similar in meaning, opposite in meaning or any double meanings.

We will be looking at one of the main question types in the finding words category; words opposite in meaning.

Words Opposite In Meaning

In the questions pupils are given six words, split into two groups. Pupils need to find two words, one from each group, that are most opposite in meaning. Both words need to be marked as the answer.

In this example, our two words most opposite in meaning will be early and late.

Your turn (answers are at the bottom of the page)


Q1. Close and Distant.

Q2. Rarely and Often.

Q3. Stiff and Flexible.

Q4. Approximate and Precise.

Please note that these are really simplified examples of the questions pupils will receive on the 11+. We have a wealth of experience of assisting pupils prepare for all aspects of the secondary transfer test (11+), including Verbal Reasoning.

For more information about how we can help your child as they prepare to take the 11+ in Buckinghamshire please contact us at, or call us on 01296 931078.


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