Test content and strategy

You should be aware of the structure and content of each of the four components of the VST.


Verbal reasoning is the ability to understand and reason using concepts framed in words. It aims at testing your ability to think logically, understand relationships, solve problems and think critically, rather than simply understanding vocabulary.


Quantitative reasoning measures your ability to understand, analyse, interpret and draw logical conclusions based on numerical and mathematical data and situations.


The abstract reasoning assessment is used to measure the ability to think clearly to solve problems and quickly identify patterns and logical rules based on abstract visual patterns rather than numbers and words. It involves recognising the rule or rules that govern the progression of a pattern from one diagram to another in a series, or to identify the part which is missing from a diagram. 


Mechanical reasoning questions assess a candidate’s ability to perceive and understand relationships between components within a mechanism, including understanding of mechanical and physical concepts such as:

  • understanding the very basic principles of physics in general, and mechanics in particular
  • the ability to visualise the movement of objects through space (three-dimensional spatial ability) and most importantly
  • understanding of cause-effect relationships between mechanical components.

Test-taking strategy

Questions are in multiple choice format. You will be required to read through a passage of information related to each group of questions (called a unit). Then for each question, select the answer you think is correct from a selection of four or five possible answers that are provided. Only one answer is correct.

Consider the following hints for undertaking the test.

  • It is recommended that you work steadily through the test.
  • Read the stimulus material for a unit several times before starting the questions.
  • If you find a question too difficult, leave it and return to it later if you have time.
  • Try not to spend too much time on any one question.
  • Read through all the alternative answers to a question, even if you think the first one is correct, before marking your chosen response.
  • See if there are any options you can discard immediately because they are obviously wrong.
  • If you think you know the answer to a question, mark it, even if you are not certain. Go on to the next question and come back later if you have time. This will prevent you from getting your answers out of sequence with the actual questions, and will give you a better chance of improving your score if you run out of time.

Please note the following:

  1. All questions have the same value.
  2. No marks are deducted for incorrect answers. Therefore, by attempting as many questions as possible you stand the best chance of maximising your score.
  3. Notes, calculations and working can be done on the paper provided.
  4. No calculators are allowed.

Note that no credit is given if more than one answer is marked.

Mark your answers directly onto the VST answer sheet and not in the test book. Answers marked in the test book will not be scored.

Scrap paper is not allowed.