Selection Event General Mental Ability Test

The selection event includes a short general mental ability test which examines candidates' verbal and numerical reasoning skills. These are now a common part of many recruitment processes as employers seek to test candidates' ability to understand, analyse and interpret written and numerical information, often of a complex or specialised nature. The results of the general mental ability test will count for 10% of the overall rating of your readiness for clinical psychology training at Lancaster at the selection event.

Format of the General Mental Ability Test

Our test will last 40 minutes and consist of 45 questions. 25 of these are verbal reasoning questions, 20 are numerical questions. Candidates will be asked to spend 20 minutes on each type of question.

The test will be paper based, not on a computer. Calculators are permitted and will be provided by the course. Answer sheets can be used for any rough working.

Candidates who qualified for additional time on the written task will also be given additional time for the ability test.

Practice tests and example questions

You can find examples of the format of mental ability testing questions and take practice tests on the following website: -

Many other websites also provide similar free practice tests for both verbal and numerical reasoning which candidates can use to prepare themselves.

We have also included an example of a verbal reasoning question and numerical reasoning question below.

Example Verbal Reasoning Question

By screening over 1,000 different types of molecules, scientists have identified a compound that can literally blow up tumor cells belonging to the most aggressive form of brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The study, performed on mice, could form the basis of an entirely new form of cancer treatment. Currently, only 5 percent of patients with GBM survive longer than three years, and the average life expectancy of a patient is 15 months. Even when aggressive therapies are implemented GBM is essentially incurable. Identifying vulnerabilities in this cancer's cells is an essential step in the development of new drug therapies. The compound works by shutting off the cells' ability to control what gets in and out of their walls. This causes bag-like vessels filled with water and other materials, called vacuoles, to accumulate in the cells. Under these conditions, the cells eventually reach capacity and explode. But what's truly remarkable is that the noncancerous cell types that surround the cancer cells remain intact, so the treatment is GBM-specific.

  1. As the compound only targets cancerous cells, it will not affect other cells types in people with GBM
A) True
B) False
C) Cannot Say

Answer: C) Cannot Say - while the compound had this effect in the study on mice, there is no evidence regarding its effects in humans

Example Numerical Reasoning Question

Pub Chain PLC Bar Costs (1,000s)
Month Cask beer Keg beer Wine Spirits Soft drinks Snacks
June 100.5 100 60.6 92.3 24.4 19
July 94.1 88.3 50.5 84 26 21.4
August 98 105.2 55.5 90 22.2 20
September 102 72 62 77.1 20.6 20
October 122.5 90 59.4 83 21.6 19.5

  1. If the percentage change trends between September and October continue at the same rate in November, what will be the total November expenditure on all beer types?
A) £212,750
B) £224,500
C) £247,000
D) £259,500
E) £386,500

Answer: D) £259,500 - Work out the percentage increase for cask and keg beer between September and October. Then apply this percentage increase to the October values to get the November values for each beer type. Then sum them to get the answer.

DClinPsy Insight

The Lancaster Course look to recruit you as a person and allow you the freedom and space to develop into the type of clinical psychologist you want to be

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