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Verbal Reasoning in the Terra Nova

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My daughter received her Terra Nova scores. Most are 99% With the exception of sequencing at 97% and Verbal Reasoning - Words at 78% her overall score was 141 and 99%. I would like to know what that Verbal Reasoning- Words covers.

Despite these scores she is an average student. She works hard and wants to do well. However, she refuses to learn a basic concept until she fully understands it. Once she commits to it she knows it perfectly. She also does not do well with things that are hard for her. I believe this is because so much has come easy for her. This is why reading has been a struggle for her. I am hoping insight into this score will help understand what she needs to better meet her potential. Thank you.

A: Her overall score is very good at 99%. The Verbal Reasoning - Words measures ability to solve verbal problems by reasoning deductively (a specific conclusion arrived at from a general principle), analysing category attributes (e.g., words that do not fit in a pattern), and identifying relationships and patterns. The verbal reasoning is lower than the rest of her scores but still in the average range.

It is hard to determine the reason she may be an average student – perhaps you may want to talk to her teachers especially since she did very well in the Terra Nova. A few things you can do to help strengthen her verbal reasoning:

  • Look for reasoning patterns in reading passages (do the “questioning the author” technique)

  • Syllogism - a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

  • Making inferences about word meanings (make sure at least 25% of reading should be above grade level)

  • Word origins, roots, etc.

  • Including new vocabulary in everyday conversation

These may be a great help in improving her verbal reasoning specifically. Hope the above helps and all the best.


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