Verbal Reasoning – Move a Letter (Type J)
- September 29, 2021
- Posted by: gg-pure
- Category: Verbal Reasoning
The Move a Letter question type requires you to take one letter from the first word and put it into the second word, it is important you work from left to right. The result should be 2 completely different, and new, words.
As part of this question you will be given 2 (two) original words to work with.
This question type is straightforward, but it isn’t as easy as you would think. Keep in mind you will be working under time pressure and identifying the right letter to move could be difficult. This question type really focuses on the following skills:
- Identification of English words
- Ability to scan quickly and pinpoint specific information
- Ability to move a letter
- Working in a timely manner
- Working using logic and process in order to select the right letter
- Trial and error skills
Looking at the skills above, you really want to make sure you have a good solid understanding of English vocabulary.
This means knowing your words, but not needing to know all your definitions. You need to be able to identify, not define, when you have selected the right letter. This skill is all related to looking at the detail, how much you can pick up on the detail and then use it to influence or change the information around you.
To identify you just need to be confident that the English word exists.
This will save you a lot of time and give you confidence in your answers and can also shortcut your scanning – meaning you get to your answer quicker.
Remember, because you are moving from left to right, you only have to scan and select the letter from the left word to move to the right word. This should also help shape your trial and error process in order to discover the right letter to move. Go through the process, move one letter from the left word into the right word, ask yourself does it make sense and do you recognise the 2 new words?
What this means is that you really need to practice, not just to answer as many of these as possible, but to get quicker, more confident and learn how you apply the process so you can do it in the best way possible.
There are no trick questions here so as long as you do follow your process, and can do it confidently you should 9 times out of 10, get the right letter.
What does the Move the Letter question type look like?
As you can see from the example below the Move the Letter question type is in the following format:
- General example with instructions
- 1 sentence per question
- 2 words
- The word on the left must have a letter taken from it and the one on the right must have it inserted
- 1 mark per question
- Multiple choice options on the answer sheet
How do I answer this question?
Before we get into a working example of this question type, lets break down the approach we are looking to apply. Remember, this is all about identification, which is your ability to pinpoint a specific letter that can be removed from one word and added to another – the detail. To identify the right letter we can:
- Start by reading the word on the left and right
- Focus on the left word, from your first look, do you think you can remove any of the letters and leave a real and complete word?
- If you can’t recognise a letter straight away, work from left to right on the first word, take one letter away and check to see if the word still makes sense
- You may have one or even two letters which, when removed from the first word, changes the word into another word
- REMEMBER: You can only remove one letter
- Take the letter you removed and now check to see if there is anywhere you think it will fit in the second word
- If there isn’t anywhere that jumps out straight away, start from the front of the second word and put the letter there
- Work your way through the second word, moving the letter until the word makes sense
- If the letter you have chosen doesn’t work, do the same with the second letter you may have
As you can tell, the process above is simple and straight forward, you are essentially just looking for a letter that you can remove from the first word that leaves the it still making sense, and putting that letter into the second word.
Lets get straight into applying the above process, here is an example question below:
Move one letter from the first word into the second word in order to create 2 new words:
Lets work through the process and start removing letters to see if we have any words left:
- If we remove S we have TABLE
- If we remove T we have SABLE
- If we remove A we have STBLE
- If we remove B we have STALE
- If we remove L we have STABE
- If we remove E we have STABL
Just by running through that process we can see that there are 2 letters that, when removed, leave a word which is real and complete, these are:
- S when removed leaves TABLE
- B when removed leaves TALE
Now we want to take one letter at a time to see if we can fit it into the second word:
- If we add S at the beginning it is SROOT
- If we move S across it is RSOOT
- If we move S across it is ROSOT
- If we move S across it is ROOST
- If we move S to the end it is ROOTS
So by identifying S as the letter to move and where to move it we have created 2 new words, these are:
We do not need to work out the answer any more and can leave the second letter we found which was B, if you want, run B through the process and see if you can come up with another word!
Things to watch out for
Although there is a process that you can apply and go through the questions, sometimes you can get caught up / slowed down or slightly confused. Don’t worry, these questions are designed to try catch you out. To reduce how often this happens you can practice doing the following:
- Always move the letter from the left word to the right word
- Only ever move one letter
- If you have 2 letters as possible answers, move one first, if that is not the answer then try the second, do not try them both at the same time
- Select one letter as your answer
- Do not change the order of any of the words, you must only move the letter
- Do not confuse the spelling of a word
- Work in order and step by step, don’t rush or skip letters unless you are absolutely sure
- Always try to see an answer quickly
- Make sure to test to make sure the letter you think is right, actually is right
- Settle for an answer once you get it, don’t spend extra time trying out other letters