Are you also terrified by the thought of taking the verbal/numerical reasoning test?
Most EPSO-test candidates feel the same way, though it can be your best friend, as long as you know how to handle them. Why? Because these questions don't require any specific knowledge but rather a skill that you can practice and master in the course of your preparation. Being familiar with all these little tricks will help you pass this test with ease.
Let's see some tips about the verbal reasoning first:
1. Many people apply a special technique to save time: they read the four answer options first and then turn to read the main text. This way you can avoid reading the same text twice so you can save precious time.
2. In most cases, there is no specific question asked, you just have to mark the answer that is "most true" or most relevant. Nevertheless, you may still have tricky questions such as "What does the word 'irreproachable' mean in the above context?' or 'Based on the text, we may suppose that...'. Should this be the case, spend five extra seconds interpreting the question to make sure you fully understand what you need to provide an answer for.
3. Careful with logical relations and links - when the text mentions 'may', 'might', 'probably', 'could have been' and other words, don't fall in the trap the examiners set for you. If 'Mr. X was eligible to become vice-chairman', it doesn't mean he was actually elected; when 'The janitor thought that the house was likely to collapse soon' does not mean that the house was about to collapse.
4. Never consider facts that are true in the "real world" but were not mentioned in the text. If the text talks about Segolene Royal, the runner-up at the French elections of 2007, one of the answers may state that "Nicolas Sarkozy is a talented politician" without his name being mentioned in the text whatsoever - within the context of the text, this will not be a correct answer!
As for numerical reasoning, consider the following:
1. You will in most cases be presented with a table containing lots of columns and rows that may seem confusing and discouraging at first glance. Yet all you will actually use is shown in a single cell or two.
2. Try not to count: efficient candidates look for proportions without actually calculating the exact amount. If you face a riddle that has answer options like 0.15, 1.8, 9 and 14.3, you can certainly identify the scale of the result and avoid wasting time in calculating the precise amount.
3. Read the table's title very carefully. If the table is entitled 'Infant mortality in Spain in 2005 (thousands)', you already have several pieces of valuable information that you must bear in mind. You know that the question can only refer to Spain and not e.g. Portugal; you also know that the reference year is 2005 so if the question mentions '2007', you must adapt your calculations accordingly. Lastly, you know that all figures are expressed in 'thousands', so if the question refers to 'millions', be careful with the number of zeros after a given figure.
4. Be very familiar with the different units of measurement, know how much a 'liter', 'hectoliter' is in 'm3', how to multiply m2*m2, how much a 'ton' weighs, and so on. In EPSO exams, you will most likely find questions formulated using the metric system (litres, km, kg) but for safety's sake, be aware of how many metres a mile is, and so on.
5. Last but not least, practice calculations in every field of life: when you go shopping, at work, when paying the restaurant bill - avoid using a calculator or your phone to count whenever possible. You'll be surprised how much your mathematical skills will improve in only a few weeks!