Verbal reasoning: classification

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What is classification?

Classifying is part of verbal but partly also numerical reasoning. There are different forms of classification, but the most common version is the verbal variant. When classifying you must indicate words or numbers in a list that do not belong. You can come across the following four forms:

  1. Vocabulary.
  2. Analogies.
  3. Letters.
  4. Numbers.


With this form of classification you get to see a few words. You must then indicate which word does not belong. For example, that can be a mammal between the reptiles. Or maybe a verb between the nouns. Below is a simple example:

which is not included?

  • Rails
  • Highway
  • Lawn
  • Canal

Answer: lawn. Rails are used to move a train, a canal for ships and a highway for cars. You can walk on a lawn but this is less strong than the other connections.


You will see a number of analogies in this form. You must then indicate which analogy does not belong. Below is a simple example:

which is not included?

  • Fisherman: fishing rod
  • Writer: lamp
  • Blacksmith: hammer
  • Bakker: rolling pin

Answer: writer: lamp. The first term is always a profession, the second term an object that uses it. Although a writer can use a lamp, this is less strong than the other analogies.


You will see a number of letters and you must determine which group of letters does not belong. You do this based on the properties / order of the letters. Below is a simple example:

which is not included?

  • BIP
  • BAP
  • BOP
  • BBR

Answer: BBR. All other groups of letters always have a vowel in the middle. Also, BBR is the only pairing that does not end with a P.


You will see a few number. You must indicate which number does not match the other numbers. Below is a simple example:

which is not included?

  • 9
  • 16
  • 24
  • 36
  • 49

Answer: 24. The other numbers are powers of two integers (round numbers without decimals):

  • 9 = 3 x 3
  • 16 = 4 x 4
  • 36 = 6 x 6
  • 49 = 7 x 7


Classification is not often used in testing by assessment agencies. If you come across classification, it is probably in the vocabulary form. Classifying is a good step towards single analogies. You have to be able to find connections between words quickly.

The advantage of pracitcing classification is that you quickly become familiar with the possible forms that you can get. As a result, you will be less likely to face surprises on the real test. The disadvantage is that the vocabulary form is used the most. For that you will need a considerable vocabulary. That is not something you build up in a few days. By practicing properly, you can come across some common questions. This allows you to achieve a better result than you would achieve untrained.

That is why it is advisable to always start on time with classifying practice. Then you can identify and complete any gaps in your knowledge on time.



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