Verbal Reasoning – Find the Missing Word (Type F)
- May 13, 2021
- Posted by: gg-pure
- Category: Verbal Reasoning
The Find the Missing Word question type requires you to complete the capitalised word in the sentence, and after completing it, you will have a sentence that makes sense.
To explain, the letters in the capitalised word will be missing and this will either give you a misspelling or a wrong word (a word which doesn’t fit the sentence). What you need to do here is correct the capitalised word by adding the right letters to it to make a word which does fit the sentence.
What this type of question doesn’t have is blank spaces or gaps where the letters are missing. This makes it trickier to figure out the word that needs to be completed because you need to complete the word in your own way, but it is not impossible.
Remember, the word that you complete must be a real word. The Find the Missing Word question type really focuses on the following skills:
- Working through the questions and answers in a time efficient way
- Broad understanding of the English language including words and definitions
- Ability to step back and look at information
- Working with incomplete information
- Identifying background context
- Filtering solutions by relevance and context
- Trial and error
Looking at the skills that are being tested here, you really need to first of all take in and absorb the sentence give it a good read and see if anything immediately jumps out at you. Read it once and see if you can naturally make sense of it.
Ask yourself what does it mean, what is it trying to tell you and also what is the sentence. By doing these things you can then begin to identify the reason and meaning of the sentence as well as the word you are looking to complete i.e. is it an adjective, verb or noun. Remember, the word has to make sense in the sentence.
This also makes selecting a word from your vocabulary (which you should have practised early on) much more easier. You are quickly building a picture with the information given to you, which will then help you fill in the missing information.
What does the Find the Word question type look like?
As you can see from the example below the Find the Word question type is in the following format:
- General example with instructions
- 1 sentence per question
- 1 incomplete / capitalised word per sentence to correct
- 1 mark per question
- Multiple choice options on the answer sheet
How do I answer this question?
Lets get through this working example before I break down the more broader points:
Jimmy had 100% ATDCE at school.
Now looking at the example above, we can try to use the context to work out what the word is. Here are a few points:
- The word starts with A
- It is something that 100% can be achieved in
- It is something to do with school
- It is something Jimmy (who is a student) does at the school
- As it is a state it is a noun
Now using all these indicators from the sentence we can assume that Jimmy has done something at the school (past tense) which gives him 100%. We can ask what those things can be, is it eating, taking part, going to? By asking these questions it helps filter our possible options even more (at this point I am already thinking about what words could be the answer!)
We can now look at the answer sheet and see that ATTENDANCE is the most relevant word here. The reasons why are:
- It is something that is achieved
- It has all of the letters in the order they should be in
- 100% is a maximum that any student can achieve in school
- It makes sense because it is about going to school
So here, in the working out we have used our logical reasoning, with the answer sheet to quickly identify the word that fits the sentence the best!
Words and Not Wasting Time
First of all it is important to recognise your aim here, which is that you need to be able to quickly and effectively work through the whole verbal reasoning exam without wasting time. Technically you will have around 45 seconds to 1 minute (60 seconds) per question.
By working through quickly and effectively, especially on easier questions this will free up time on the more difficult questions, which could easily take a few minutes – not only that, you need give yourself time so that you do not not feel stressed, reduce any pressure and also so you can double check.
There are a few ways that you could answer the Find the Missing Word question, all require a strong foundation in English vocabulary. You absolutely have to have practised saying, defining and spelling English words this is so that:
- You know when and how they are used (context)
- You know what they mean (definition)
- You know how they are spelt (spelling)
These 3 area will give you full confidence in the answer you are choosing but can only be developed before your exams.
Getting to the answer – Use the Answer Sheet
To get to the answer quickly, the easiest path is to use the answers already given to you on the multiple choice answer sheet. This will save you time thinking and instead give you the opportunity to quickly filter and select. What you need to do is:
- Read the sentence, more often than not the right word could jump out at you whilst you are reading
- Go through each word from the answer sheet and replace the missing word with the answer
- Ask yourself – does it fit and does it make sense?
- Double check all the letters that are given to you are in the selected word, in the order that they should be
- If it makes sense, choose the answer and move on
What if I cannot figure out the word / there is no multiple choice option?
Now in the event that you cannot find the answer, whether it is because you do not recognise the answers on the answer sheet. Even if there aren’t even any options and you need to think of your own answer – what you need to do is take your best guess.
The best guess approach is systematically working through options to get as close to the answer as possible. This means 70 or 80% confident you have the answer – then moving on. You can do this by the following:
- The first letter given to you is generally the first letter of the word – Think of all the possible words with the first letter in it
- Brainstorm – Remember, the word you select must have the letters they question has already given you – try to jot down as many possible words you can think of with those letters
- Context – Cover the missing word and read the sentence, what is it trying to say and what does it mean? Can you now think of a word which fits in with the meaning?
- Looking at the word – Take a good look at the word, funnily enough the word might just pop into your head! Your brain has an amazing way of piecing together information that is incomplete so give it a shot!