Verbal Reasoning : Complete the Word Pairs (Type O)
- January 1, 2022
- Posted by: gg-pure
- Category: Verbal Reasoning
The Word Pairs question type requires you to complete the third pair of words based on the pattern or rule that you see in the first and second pairs.
Each pair has 2 words for example : (WORLD, WORD) (SOLDER, SOLE)
The first word in the pair WORLD is changed in one way or another to create the second word in the pair WORD.
In order to identify what the rule is and how the second word is made you need to study the changes between the 2 words. In the above example we can see that from WORLD we carry over letter 1,2,3 and 5 to create the second word WORD.
Keep in mind that rules can be based on different things but generally involve either:
- Letter sequencing e.g. where a letter in the word changes by a number based on where it is in the alphabet
- Letter removal e.g. a certain letter is removed to create the second the word in the pair
- Letter selection e.g. out of 5 letters the second word in the pair is made up of letters in certain positions
Now the above come up often and regularly but that you still have to identify what that rule is and you do that by systematically. By focusing only on finding the rule, the above rule types won’t really matter too much.
Once you find out what the rule is you have to apply it to the first word in the third pair to then create the answer.
The Complete the Word Pairs question type focuses in on the following skills:
- Knowledge of the English language – not definitions but words
- Observation and identification of changes / differences to words in each pair or set
- Being able to break down words and look solely at the letters
- Creating a rule based on your observations
- Being able to recognise a consistent pattern or rule across 2 different pairs confidently
- Cross-referencing the rule
- Analysing and working systematically under time pressure
- Identification of change based on order, position or specific letter
- Trial and error where needed
Although you need to have an awareness of the English language you can still get to the right answer by focussing on getting the right. You do this by quickly analysing, reviewing and creating rules based on the information given to you.
A rule is basically you saying that because this change has happened in Pairs 1 and 2, it must happen to Pair 3.
The key part here really is figuring out what that relationship or rule could be. Remember the rule can be anything but it has to work for the first and second pairs – they are there to help you to figure out the rule so take full advantage of that by doing the following:
- Identify what the difference is between the words in each pair
- Identify the order, position or change in letters that has occurred from the first word to the second word for pair 1
- Now see what has happened to pair 2 is it a similar change?
- Apply it to the third pair
What does the Complete the Word Pairs question type look like?
As you can see from the Gaggle example below the Complete the Word Pairs question type is in the following format:
- General example with instructions
- Three pairs of words
- 2 pairs with both words complete
- Third pair with first word complete and second word incomplete (this is the one you have to answer)
- 1 mark per question
- Multiple choice options on the answer sheet
How do I answer this question?
As with all verbal reasoning question types you can usually boil them down to a simple, repeatable process that can be applied across all questions. This process gives you a basic structure to practice and become familiar with. It also helps to create an approach that makes sure to look at different ways you could possibly answer the question.
So lets get into the process that you can start working on before getting into an example:
- Always read the question especially when you information given to you to help you work out how to answer it
- Look at Word Pair 1, read Word 1 in Pair 1 and then read Word 2 in Pair 1
- To know what has changed from Word 1 to Word 2 ask – has a letter been removed?
- If a letter has been removed ask – which letter and which position?
- Has a letter been added?
- If a letter has been added, which letter and at what position?
- Have the letters been re-arranged?
- If they have been re-arranged what was the original position for the letters and what is the new position?
- Has a letter been changed based on the order of the alphabet for example first word is CHECK, second word is DECK. C to D is 1 move forward in the alphabet?
- Are multiple changes happening for example a letter is removed and another letter is changed based on the move forward or backward in the alphabet?
- Now you should have an idea of what change has occurred – this is your rule!
- Check Pair 2 and see if your rule applies
- If the rule works when applied to Pair 2 now go to Pair 3 and apply the rule
The process above is very lengthy but remember it aims to look at the question from different angles so it can be applied to as many questions as possibly. It is also a good base to start from and with practice you will get quicker at it. So let us apply it to an example:
(BLOAT, COAT) (FLOAT, GOAT) (SLING, ?)
Lets have a look at this question starting by reading each pair of words from left to right.
- Pair 1 : (BLOAT, COAT)
- Pair 2 : (FLOAT, GOAT)
- Pair 3 : (SLING, ? )
We can see we have 3 pairs of words, Pair 3 is missing a second word. We need to work out what the rule is by looking at Pairs 1 and 2 and then applying the rule to Pair 3 to get the answer.
REMEMBER : Always look at the multiple option answers sheet, it may give a hint (4 options) of what the answer could be
Now we have read the question, recognised the pairs and the pair which needs to be answered lets ask our questions and start with Pair 1.
Going from Pair 1 Word 1 to Pair 1 Word 2:
- Has a letter been removed? Yes, 2 letters have been removed, they are B and L. Going from BLOAT to COAT
- The position of these letters are Position 1 and Position 2
- Has a letter been added? Yes, the second word is COAT – the letter that has been added is C at Position 1, replacing B
- Have the letters been re-arranged? No
- Do any letters stay the same? Yes letters in Positions 2,3 and 4 are the same in Word 2 as they are in Positions 3,4 and 5 in Word 1
- What link does C have to B? Well C is 1 letter after B in the alphabet – so there is a +1 move forward in the alphabet
- There does seem to be multiple things happening
Now that we have an idea of what is happening lets create a set of rules we can apply moving forward and test:
- The first and second letters have to be removed from Word 1
- To get the first letter in Word 2 you need to move the first letter in Word 1 forward 1 letter in the alphabet
- Letters in Positions 3, 4 and 5 in Word 1 remain and are in Positions 2, 3 and 4 in Word 2
As you can tell we now have a very clear and specific set of rules. So to make sure we are on the right lines we can test them on Word Pair 2 – so lets do that:
Word Pair 2 : (FLOAT, GOAT)
- Remove the first and second letters of Word 1 leaving us with : OAT
- Get the first letter in Word 2 by moving the first letter in Word 1 by one position in the alphabet. F moved forward 1 letter is G : GOAT
- The letters in Positions 3, 4 and 5 in Word 1 were OAT – now they are in Positions 2, 3 and 4 in Word 2 leaving us with : GOAT
We can now confirm that the rule works by testing it on the second pair.
Finally lets find the answer to Pair 3 by applying the rule: (SLING, ?)
- Remove the first and second letters of Pair 3 Word 1 leaving us with : ING
- Get the first letter in Pair 3 Word 2 by moving the first letter in Word 1 by one position in the alphabet. S moved forward 1 letter is T : TING
- The letters in Positions 3, 4 and 5 in Word 1 were ING – now they are in Positions 2, 3 and 4 in Word 2 leaving us with : TING
Our answer is : TING
Double check that the answer is available on the multiple choice sheet and circle it / mark it as your answer!