11-Plus Exam Illustrations - Verbal Reasoning Quiz - VR - Reconstruct the Word (Questions)

Reconstruct The Word questions are almost identical to the Inserting Small Words to Make Long Ones questions we looked at in a previous article. The only difference is that seemingly random letters have been removed from long words, rather than three-letter words.

The techniques for solving these questions are just the same as in the Inserting Small Words to Make Long Ones questions. Nevertheless, we’ll go through some examples as many children do struggle with these types of question.

How Are Reconstruct The Word Questions Posed In The Exam?

Just like Inserting Small Words to Make Long Ones, candidates are asked to look at sentences which contain a word in capitals with three consecutive letters removed from it. This time, these three letters do not form a word and could be almost any combination of letters. The candidate must then identify the three letters which have been taken.

The method used to solve these is identical to the one shown in the Inserting Small Words to Make Long Ones article, but let’s recap:

Example Question One


Find the three letters that have been removed from the word in capitals below. If the missing letters are put back into the word, the sentence will make sense.


The D Day landings could never have taken place without the PARACISTS.

Possible answers:
a) HUE
b) CHU
c) HUT
d) SHU
e) MIK


As before, look for an answer by reading the sentence and finding its meaning. The word created must make sense in context. Encourage your child to use their imagination – what is being described in the scene?

The sentence should conjure up images of World War II and the attacks on the German-held beaches of northern France (a good general knowledge comes in handy for some Verbal Reasoning questions).

If the answer doesn’t immediately come to mind, then we must use the techniques we learnt earlier.

Take the first possible answer – HUE. Put it in front of the given letters (PARACISTS) and see whether it creates a word and whether that word makes sense in context. If not, try putting the letters after the ‘P’. Keep going until you have tried all combinations with that group of letters. Then try the second set in each possible position. The results will, of course, look like this:

HUEPARACISTS
PHUEARACISTS
PAHUERACISTS
PARHUEACISTS
PARAHUECISTS
PARACHUEISTS
PARACIHUESTS
PARACISHUETS
PARACISTHUES
PARACISTSHUE

None of the ‘words’ make sense, however, they do point us in the right direction.

PARACHUEISTS does sound remarkably like PARACHUTISTS, and that word would make sense in the sentence. Hopefully, a child would spot this and then try using one of the other letter strings to make the word ‘parachutists’. This would save them having to use this very long-winded method for all the possible combinations. Saving time can prove vital when it comes to exams.

The answer is ‘CHU as this creates the word ‘PARACHUTISTS. In this example, not many other words (if any) can be created from the combination PARACISTS. If smaller words are used, then make sure your child is aware that the sentence they create must make sense.

Example Question Two


Find the three letters that have been removed from the word in capitals below. If the missing letters are put back into the word, the sentence will make sense.

I had to AST the car seat so I could reach the pedals

Possible answers:
a) SER
b) DJU
c) FEN
d) GRO
e) PAH


Get your child to read the sentence to see whether the correct answer leaps out at them. If it does not, then it’s back to the technique of trying all the options one by one:

Using ‘SER’ we can get the answers:

SERAST
ASERST
ASSERT
ASTSER

‘Assert’ is obviously a word, but it makes no sense in the given sentence. Careless candidates may opt for the first real word they come across but, unless the sentence makes sense, that would be a mistake. Encourage your child to read out the sentence in their head to see whether or not the answer is valid:

‘I had to assert the car seat so I could reach the pedals’ does not work at all. So, discard it and move on to the next set of letters, ‘DJU’.

DJUAST
ADJUST
ASDJUT
ASTDJU

We have the word ‘adjust’ and that is the correct answer as it makes sense in context.

Sample Tests

Reconstruct The Word questions should now pose no problem for your child, especially if they have already tried the quizzes we linked to in our Inserting Small Words to Make Long Ones article. As we have discovered, the technique used to solve them is just the same.

If you think your child could do with a little more practise, then we’ve got four quizzes on Reconstruct The Word at the Education Quizzes website. If they are still struggling, then go over the technique we’ve shown you again. The more they are exposed to these types of question, the easier they will become.

You’ll find the quizzes in our Eleven Plus Verbal Reasoning section or, alternatively, you can follow these links.

Missing Word 1

Missing Word 2

Missing Word 3

Missing Word 4

The more your child is exposed to these types of question, the easier they will become. Good luck!