What is the Royal Navy verbal ability test?
Naval Officers and crew members need to be able to communicate effectively, and one of the best ways to test this is through an aptitude test based on verbal ability. As part of the Naval Service Recruitment Test (NSRT), several aptitude tests are combined to get a picture of the candidate.
The verbal ability test assesses your knowledge of the English language such as the meaning of words and the relationship between them.
The format of the Royal Navy verbal ability test
The Royal Navy verbal ability test consists of 30 questions to be answered in just 9 minutes.
The questions themselves are based on your knowledge of the meanings and relationships of words. Questions in this part of the test might be based on homophones - finding the right word to complete a sentence from a list of similar-sounding words. There are likely to be questions regarding antonyms and synonyms; replacing words in sentences with a new word or finding the word with an opposite meaning. Some of the questions may involve choosing the right prefix or suffix.
How is the Royal Navy verbal ability test scored?
As with the rest of the aptitude tests, the score is calculated by the number of correct answers and how fast the questions are answered.
The Royal Navy does not publish the scores that are needed to pass for entry into different branches, so it is always better to work as hard as possible to answer as many questions as you can. In most cases a score of 50% or more is sufficient for entry, but for some career routes the score might need to be higher.
The best way to ensure a good score is to work quickly and accurately, moving on from any questions that might be more tricky and coming back to them again at the end. The Royal Navy Careers understand that the test is difficult, and this is an important part of the reason that they are used - the Service wants to make sure that they are employing the very best candidates.
How to pass the Royal Navy verbal ability test
While the content of the Royal Navy verbal ability tests are not difficult in themselves, it is the time pressure that makes them hard.
The English language knowledge needed to be successful in these tests are based on GCSE-level studies so you do not need to hold an English degree. However, it is a good idea to brush up on your word knowledge through extensive reading of different types of texts, from newspapers to articles to fiction. Focus your pre-practice training on:
- Recognising homophones
- Prefixes and Suffixes
Alongside this research, try to practice verbal ability tests to become familiar with the layout and nature of the questions. There are practice questions available on the Royal Navy recruitment site, and you can even take a Royal Marine version of the test if you are applying through that route.
As the most important part of the test is the timing, it is important that you work quickly. Through your practice sessions, use a timer that matches the allotted time for the questions so that you can get used to working quickly and answering as many questions as possible.
Check out our full Royal Navy psychometric tests page here that include free tests.