Odd One Out


Odd one out is a good thinking skills exercise. Through this activity, the child finds the one that is different, thereby making the child think about similarities and differences. These exercises are good for understanding relationships. Thinking about similarities and differences make them understand the concepts better. There is a better understanding of the topic. The thinking skills used in solving these puzzles would be used by the children when they study text books.

It is important to note that many competitive examinations have questions of odd one out to measure thinking ability of those who take the tests.

Classification and sorting are important thinking activities. You can sort objects according to their size, colour, shape etc. You can classify animals as insects, fish, wild animals, domestic animals etc. You can also classify them according to their eating habits- omnivores, carnivores and herbivores. This kind of activities promotes association of ideas: linking what has been learnt and what has been stored in the memory with the images seen. This activity also improves the recall ability of the brain.

When children do the odd one out activities, many skills are learnt. Therefore, this is an important tool of learning.

In this exercise, out of the four words or images displayed, the child has to identify the one which doesn’t fit with the others.

This activity is useful for improving thinking skills and visual perception.

Tips for parents:

Your child would be able understand a topic better if you can give “Find the odd one out “exercises to them. Most of the textbooks have these types of exercises. You can create such exercises for your child in all subjects.

Search the net for more exercises of this type. You can search for exercises for each subject.

Example: Find the odd one out exercises in maths primary level etc. You can download free many ‘Find the odd one out’ exercises.

The odd one out exercises need not always be written exercises. You can ask questions to your child. Examples:

  1. What are the similarities between a car and a plane?
  2. Tell me the similarities and differences between a tiger and an elephant.
  3. Which is different? 3, 5, 8, 9 (only one of the numbers is an even number)
  4. Which is different? punished, went, made, think, objected (‘think’ not being in the past tense, makes it odd) It is not difficult to make questions of these types.

The children may give unexpected answers. She/ he may have a reason for choosing the answer. Be prepared for unexpected answers from your child! They may think differently! Encourage such thinking as long as there is logic in their answers.

Examples of unexpected answers: For the question, What are the similarities between a car and a plane? The child may answer – both are man-made. This may not be the answer you are expecting. In fact, very few children will answer like this. For the question, tell the similarities between a tiger and an elephant, you child may say, both these animals can be found in a circus. Again, this may not be the answer you are expecting. To the question, which is different 3,5,8,9 your child may stun you by saying 8. The logic would be only the number 8 is a closed figure! Now consider the question, which is different- punished, went, made, think, objected? , you are looking for think. This is the only word which is used in the present tense. The child may give ‘objected’ as the answer because objected is the only word which starts with a vowel! When the child thinks differently congratulate her/him.

  1. You can buy, A Modern Approach to Verbal Reasoning (Fully Solved) by Dr.R.S Aggarwal. Publishers S.Chand.

    This is a comprehensive book for those preparing for competitive exams. The standard of this book is very high. This book is suggested because it can give you many ideas to teach your children. It helps you to prepare useful questions. This can be a good resource, if used with imagination. Many ideas can be had on testing the child. You have to modify the questions to suit your child’s level and aptitude.

  2. The internet also provides enough material for the parents to prepare suitable questions.