Verbal Reasoning for Trafford’s Entrance Exams

On this page you will find information about the Verbal Reasoning questions that form part of entrance exams for Stretford Grammar, Sale Grammar, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Loreto and Ambrose College.

Better Tuition's team of expert teachers can prepare your child for entrance exams.

Better Tuition’s team of expert teachers can prepare your child for entrance exams.

More information about entrance examinations for Trafford’s grammar schools can be found here.  You can also call Better Tuition on 0161 748 3912 to book tuition, a FREE assessment or a practice entrance examination.  Find out how to book our popular summer school  and ensure your child remains focused throughout the long summer break.  Check out our useful links page for plenty of focused online activities to help your child prepare for these important exams.

Verbal Reasoning Question Categories

Verbal Reasoning Category A: Word Progression

1.  Rearrange to make new words

Move one letter from the first word to the second word, to make two new words.


brain/ rake

Answer:  b

New words = rain, brake

2.  Insert a letter

The same letter must fit into both sets of brackets, to complete the word in front of the brackets and begin the word after the brackets.


cal (?) and

gul (?) air

Answer: l

New words = call, land, gull, lair

3.  Make compound words

Choose two words, each from a list of three, to make a compound word.


(foot            feel            hold)

(card            toe            ball)

Answer:  foot, ball (The word is football.)

4.  Insert a word

Find the three letter word that will make the word in capitals complete.


The dog BED at the little boy.

Answer:  ARK (The word in capitals is BARKED).

Verbal Reasoning Category B: Selecting Words

1.  Finding the odd one(s) out. 

Which two words are different to the rest?


apple            banana  gravy rattle orange

Answer: gravy, rattle (all the rest are fruit).

2.  Similarities

Find the two words closest in meaning.

(bag, boot, whistle)

(foot, apple, sack)

Answer: bag, sack

3.  Hidden words

Find the pair of words that contains the hidden, four- letter word.


She went out.

Answer: went, out (the word is tout).

 4.  Analogies

Find the pair of words that relate together in the same way.


Apple is to (orange, fruit, tree)as carrot is to (red, potato, vegetable)

Answer: fruit, vegetable

Verbal Reasoning Category C: Codes and Logic

1.  Substitutions

In these questions, letters stand for numbers.  Work out the answer to each sum.


If A = 2, B = 3, C = 4, D = 5 and E = 9, What is the answer to this sum written as a letter?

A + B + C = (?)

Answer = E

2.  Alphabet sequences

Determine which pair of letters completes the analogy.


AB is to CD

As PQ is to (?)

Answer: RS

3.  Numeric Sequences

Determine which number completes the sequence


2, 4, 6, 8, ____

Answer = 10

4.  Worded logic puzzles

Solve the puzzle.

Toby and Tilly play tennis.  Bob, William and Ruby play tennis and netball.  James, William and Toby play rugby.  Everyone likes cricket, except Ruby.

Who likes netball and rugby?

Answer: William

Verbal Reasoning Category D: Relationships

1.  Vocabulary

In these questions, two pairs of words are given.  Only one of the possible answers given will go with both pairs equally well.

e.g.   (light, blond) (just, unbiased)
Answer: fair

2.  Number relationships

The three numbers in each group are related in the same way.  Find the number that completes the last pair of words in the same way as the other two pairs.

e.g.     (2       [8]         10)
(3       [?]            9)

Answer: 11 (subtract the first number from the last).

3.  Make a new word

The missing word in the second group should be formed in the same way as the middle word in the first group.

(bat  [bag]  egg)
(ham [?]  sit)

Answer: hat (use the first two letters of the first word and the last letter of the last word).

We hope this page has helped give you an overview of Verbal Reasoning question types: please don’t feel overwhelmed.  There is a lot of ground to cover and at first it can seem daunting.  Practice makes perfect and over time your child will really improve their scores.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like to book a FREE assessment, some tuition or a practice test.  You can download a FREE Better Tuition Verbal Reasoning paper here.

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