Question Type 9 Method Sheet

Type 9 – Find the next letter in this series

In this question type you are asked to insert the next letter or letters into the series.

Printing the alphabet in a way something like this can be very helpful.

Notice that we have added the next five letters to the start and end of the alphabet; we have added these letters in RED for ease of use. Sometimes the series can go past the start or end of the alphabet and this may be important and is something that you should be aware of from the start of this exercise.

Look at this example and then we can work our way through the question until we get the answer: -

Find the next letter in this series.

Y        A        C        E        ( ? )

We can use our printed version of the alphabet to help us.

For ease of learning we have coloured the letters used in the question in GREEN.
We have now drawn arrows from one letter to the next letter in the series because this will help us to see any pattern that there is in the series. As this is a very simple series we can see that the next letter and our answer will G as we skip one letter each time. Notice that the series starts with “Y” and moves forward.

Look at this second example and then we can work our way through the question until we get the answer: -

Find the next letter in this series.

Y        C        E        I        ( ? )

We can use our printed version of the alphabet to help us.

For ease of learning we have coloured the letters used in the question in GREEN.
We have now drawn arrows from one letter to the next letter in the series because this will help us to see any pattern that there is in the series. Drawing arrows both above and below the alphabet makes things easier to understand. In this series we can see that we skip three letters and then skip one letter so our answer will be K. Notice that the series starts with “Y” and moves forward.

Look at this third example and then we can work our way through the question until we get the answer: -

Find the next letter in this series.

J        M        K        N        ( ? )

We can use our printed version of the alphabet to help us.

For ease of learning we have coloured the letters used in the question in GREEN.
We have now drawn arrows from one letter to the next letter in the series because this will help us to see any pattern that there is in the series. Drawing arrows both above and below the alphabet makes things easier to understand.
For ease of learning we have labelled the arrows A, B, C and D.
Arrow A moves forwards from
J skipping two letters to give M.
Arrow B moves backwards from
M skipping one letter to give K.
Arrow C moves forwards from
K skipping two letters to give N.
Arrow D moves backwards from
N skipping one letter to give L which is our answer.

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR!!!!

Make sure that you use the alphabet that may be provided, if one is not provided it is a good idea to write out the alphabet and add the extra letters at the start and end of the alphabet.
Drawing on the alphabet will help you to spot the series.
Draw above and below the alphabet if necessary.
Check to see if the series is going forwards, backwards or a mixture of both directions.
Add VWXYZ at the start of the alphabet and ABCDE at the end of the alphabet as this will help you if the series goes past the start or end of the alphabet.
Check the series and ensure that you have counted properly between letters.
This question type is similar to other types that involve counting letters forwards, backwards or a mixture of both directions. (Type 3 and type 14 require similar skills.)
Make sure that you work systemically.
Avoid guessing the answer.

NB When you are completing a Verbal Reasoning test in Multiple-Choice format the correct answer will always be one of the choices that you are given on your answer sheet. If your answer does not match one of the answers that you are given then your answer is wrong.

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