HM Treasury Careers logo
We are policy makers

I can ensure value for public money

Application Advice

We want to make sure that you can make the best first impression possible at every stage of your application process. This page is designed to help you understand what we’re looking for and how to prepare for each step.

Verbal Reasoning Test

We’re proud to be working with upReach to support candidates from underrepresented groups to apply to our graduate programme, including those who come from a lower socioeconomic background. If you feel they could support you at this stage of the application process please visit their website for more information.

We’ll ask you to complete a Verbal Reasoning Test online as part of your application. This test is not timed, however it usually takes between 15 and 45 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked to read a paragraph of text with a statement, and then asked to respond whether the statement is ‘true’, ‘false’ or you ‘cannot say’ without further information. 

The Verbal Reasoning Test assesses skills that are necessary to the role of a Policy Adviser. It looks at your ability to identify key information in pieces of text and draw logical conclusions from these. This skill forms a big part of the day-to-day work of a Policy Adviser, where you would handle complex written information and need to think clearly about it. 

You’ll have a certain time period of about a week to complete the test, with the deadline detailed in the test invitation we send you by email. You can choose where and when to take the test within this time frame so ensure you plan ahead, and don’t leave it to the last minute.

Take time to read the test instructions and questions thoroughly, remembering that the wording used is important. If you’re not sure of an answer, select your best guess.

We strongly encourage you to practice taking verbal tests before completing the real assessment, as it will help  familiarise you with the types of question asked. University Career Services can be a great source of information on this. There is also further information on Civil Service tests with practice examples here you can try.

If you have any issues with the test or require adjustments, please get in contact with us at [email protected] or call 0845 3017999 as soon as possible.