Verbal Reasoning – Hidden Words (Type E)
- May 3, 2021
- Posted by: gg-pure
- Category: Verbal Reasoning
The hidden word question type requires you to find a four letter word which is split between two words that are in a sentence. This means that the four letter word could begin at the end of one word and finish at the start of another, and it can occur at any point within the sentence.
Essentially you are looking across 2 whole words in the sentence you are given and then piecing together a new four letter word from the end of the first word and the beginning of the second. The combination that you need to look for, when trying to identify how many letters of the answer is in one word and how many is in the second is as follows:
- 1 letter in the first word, 3 letters in the second word
- 2 letters in the first word, 2 letters in the second word
- 3 letters in the first word, 1 letter in the second word
The word you identify or piece together must be real, must have a definition and must be four letters unless stated otherwise. The hidden word question type, like all the other types we have covered, seems straightforward and focuses on testing:
- Recognition of English vocabulary / words, not definitions
- Confidence in spelling
- Ability to scan a sentence quickly
- Ability to identify words within words without a prompt or indication
- Working logically and through trial and error
- Focusing on the task even when the information presented is irrelevant
- Attention to detail
To summarise, this focuses solely on your ability to identify words within words, and more importantly patterns and relationships. The expectation is that you are able to process the information, and then according to the instructions, connect two separate pieces of information together to form a new piece of information (in this instance a word).
Remember, this isn’t to do with the information in the sentence, and the word you do recognise may or may not be relevant to the sentence, so do not worry about that. This is exactly what we mean when we talk about connections and patterns. These are things which exist regardless of the sentence.
Through a more simple method, the hidden word question tests how critically you can think and receive information. After receiving this information whether you can quickly see coincidences or results beyond just the information presented, which in this case is forming a new four letter word.
What does the Hidden Word Question Look Like?
As you can tell from the CGP example below, the hidden word question type is in the following format:
- General instructions with an example
- A full sentence per question
- Option to underline or write on the paper or mark the answer on the answer sheet
- 1 mark per question
Verbal Reasoning – Hidden Words – Answer Sheet
How do I find the hidden word?
It is vital that you are practising your English language, vocabulary and spelling routinely and regularly. You not only want to be exposed to new words and terms, but also want to become familiar with how they look and sound. This will make it easier when you are scanning the sentence to find the hidden word.
As part of scanning or skimming the sentence, you are being tested on your attention to detail, to look at things on a more specific and lower level.
The words you are familiar with will stand out compared to looking for a new word that you haven’t come across and trying to make sense of it. To quickly bullet point (you can read the breakdown below):
- Get the answer sheet and look at the options to narrow down your focus
- Scan over the sentence to see if any word stands out
- Work systematically from left to right
- Apply the letter combinations to find the word between 2 words (think, end of the first word, beginning of the second)
- Make sure it is a real word and it is spelt correctly
To start, use the answer sheet
With this type of question, using the answer sheet will not only save you time but will quickly narrow down your options (making it easier to find the hidden word!). You absolutely need to read the instructions, because we are diving straight into the answer options, you cannot afford to have misunderstood the requirements.
So for question 31 lets look at the only the options on the answer sheet as we are sure it will be one of them.
Work systematically and in order from left to right
Whether you start with the sentence or the answer options, it is absolutely vital for you to work logically and in order. Go from word to word, do not rush and look from left to right. All answers will start at the end of the word on the left and end on the beginning of the second word, keep this in mind.
End of one word, beginning of the other (checking for combinations)
With a four letter word, which is what has been asked for in the CGP example, you can expect to look for the following combinations between 2 words. Remember, the word you are looking for has to be formed from end of one word and the beginning of the second word:
- 1 letter in the first word, 3 letters in the second word [1 , 3]
- 2 letters in the first word, 2 letters in the second word [2 , 2]
- 3 letters in the first word, 1 letter in the second word [3 , 1]
This is the quickest way to your answer, but you can also brute force your own way and go through as many variations until it makes sense. Lets look at the answer sheet options for question 31, the first option is:
Following the word combination, looking at the end of the first word and beginning of the second we get the following words:
- path [1 , 3]
- opat [2 , 2]
- Topa [3 , 1]
Just looking at how we applied the letter combinations we can very quickly see that path is a word compared to the other options. Even though we have our word, make sure to double check the other answer options just in case.
What if I find more than one word?
For each question, there is only one possible and real answer. If you have found more than one word then it is possible that:
- It is not a real word or is a misspelling
- It does not fit the requirements of the question and is there to confuse you
- You need to double check both possible answers that you have
What if I can’t find a hidden word?
First of all, do not get frustrated if you cannot find the word. The hidden word question type is specifically set up to make it difficult and confusing for the reader. But there are a number of things you can do to make it easier for yourself:
- Slow down and read the sentence to see if anything jumps out
- Use the answer sheet to focus
- Look between words, remember, the hidden word starts at the end of one word and finishes at the beginning of the next word
- Right down words that you see (even if they don’t make sense)
- Double check
- Apply the letter combinations [ for example 1 letter from left, 3 from right]
What we need to do here is really focus on the specifics, remember, attention to detail. Take your time, narrow down your options using the answer sheet and apply the hidden word technique to find combinations. There is only word answer from each question, so only 1 word from 1 part of the sentence is correct. If you are satisfied that you have got this, move on!
Things to watch out for
Part of the confusion isn’t just not being able to find the word, but it is also the type of words you may come across. What you absolutely need to do is stick to the instructions, they are not written to trick you but guide you. Anything that falls outside of the instructions will not be accepted e.g. more than 4 letters. Here are a few things you need to be wary about:
- Compound words : These are words such as foot and ball coming together to make football or pit and fall (pitfall). Now even though compound words do make sense and can easily be put next to each other in a sentence, it is important to check one thing. Does this fit the instructions or requirements of the question e.g. if it is more than 4 letters then even if it is a real word, it cannot be the answer.
- Not working from left to right : When you first come across a question like this, your brain will try to identify patterns or connections in every way possible. Do not do this, it will lose you time and confuse you. What you need to do is work logically and systematically going from left to right, word to word, looking for the hidden word.
- 3 letter words : These words, like in the CGP example (win everytime) are completely fine because they still fit the requirements of the question (four letter word) and they also fit the letter combination [3 , 1]. Do not overlook this just because it is a small word.
- Misspellings : These are not deliberately put there, but you can easily mis-spell based on the combination of words used. For example, look at question 32 from the CGP test answer sheet. Lets pick out where the answer is, it is in this option [pyjamas should]. Applying our end of first word, beginning of second word technique, it seems the word we are looking for is massh, but that spelling is totally incorrect (should be mash) and it doesn’t fit the requirements of the question (more than four letters). On second look we see that the actual word that we wanted is mass. By seeing massh we considered the misspelling, which would mean a mark lost. A strong grasp of English vocabulary would mean you can spot these small differences.