OLSAT® Question Type:Word/Letter Matrix

In this post, we start with an overview of "Word/Letter Matrix" question types. We also provide a sample question, accompanied by tips and strategies that every student can use to perform successfully on "Word/Letter Matrix" questions during the official OLSAT® exam.

Word/Letter Matrix: What To Expect?

These questions provide students with a matrix of letters or words. Students must perceive the pattern or relationship among these words in order to supply a missing letter or word.

The amount of Word/Letter Matrix questions on the test depends on the age of the student and the test level.For example, 4th and 5th grade students taking the OLSAT®Level E (for admission into 5th and 6th grade) are asked approximately four of these types of questions.

Word/Letter Matrix: Sample Question

Correct Answer: C

The key to this question is determining the relationship between the words. In the top row, each word, moving from left to right, has an additional letter. The base word is on. To get the next word, we’ve added a letter— an s— to the beginning, so we wind up with son. Then, we add another letter to the end of son to get song. When we move to the bottom row, we know that as we move from left to right, we will start with a base word. From the base word, we add a letter at the beginning to get the second word, and we add an additional letter to the end to get the third word. The word that would complete this scenario is man. Students might be tempted to choose answer B, san; however, we know that the answer option has to correspond with the third word in the row.

Word/Letter Matrix:Tips and Strategies

These questions are challenging and require students to pay attention to the way letters are arranged in each of the words in the matrix. Advise your student to write on the test if this is helpful, such as circling or underlining similarities and patterns between words.

When your student misses a question, also have him explain how he selected the answer so he can begin to recognize mistakes he is making in his reasoning. When he answers a question correctly, have him explain how he arrived at the correct answer in order to reinforce the logical thought process.

The best way to prepare for these questions is simply to practice, practice, practice. Your student has likely not encountered this type of question in the past, so familiarizing him with the correct approach and helping him build confidence is key.

What's Next?

Learn more about other verbal reasoning question types on the OLSAT, including Aural Reasoning, Verbal Analogies, Verbal Classifications, Logical Selection, Inference and Arithmetic Reasoning.

Also try some sample questions and see critical teaching tips that cover other areas of the OLSAT, including the sections on verbal comprehension, pictoral reasoning, figural reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

If you think you need more information and guidance about the OLSAT, check out our in-depth article on the test, as well as our posts on the verbal and non-verbal section.

Also, learn everything you need to know about other tests that measure a child’s potential to learn in school, like the NNAT or the COGAT.