The notion that verbal ability is related to mental processing speed was examined using tasks that systematically varied in semantic content. Subjects’ reaction times were measured in five tasks involving arrow matching, physical identity word matching, or taxonomic identity word matching. The findings indicated that matching tasks using different decision rules and different stimuli were all related to verbal ability. In fact, reaction time for subjects required to judge whether two arrows pointed in the same direction was the best predictor of verbal ability. One explanation of the results is that speed of information processing (a general factor) may be the important component of verbal ability which is measured by seemingly different matching tasks.