What’s the best Wordle starting word? We used maths to find out.

Ever wondered what the best starting word for Wordle is? Well, our co-founder Justin might have figured it out! How? Using his maths brain and a spreadsheet.

Reading time: < 1 minute
Share

Ever wondered what the best starting word for Wordle is? Well, our co-founder Justin might have figured it out! How? Using his maths brain and a spreadsheet.

If you’re one of the 300,000 people playing the daily word game Wordle, chances are you’ve given some real thought to the best word to start with. For some, it’s about picking a word with as many vowels as possible. Others focus on common letters, or common word features. Then there’s those who stick with the same word every day and those who change it up regularly.

Regardless of your strategy, we all have the same goal — to see 5 green squares in a row before the 6 guesses are up.

So what is the best word to start with? 

Our co-founder Justin couldn’t help but try to figure this out, so he combined his maths skills with some Excel wizardry to find the five letter word we’ve all been looking for.

After working through nearly 6,000 five letter words he’s narrowed it down to one….

Drumroll!

AROSE

What makes it the best starting word? Justin computed the number of times each letter appeared in his 6,000 word sample and used this information to assign “points” to each letter and consequently each word. The word with the most points was “arose”. You can check out the steps Justin took below.

Happy Wordle-ing!

How Justin figured out the best Wordle start word:

  1. Download a list of all common 5-letter words in English (top 5,757 words)
  2. Split those words into individual letters using the “=mid()” function
  3. For each letter in the alphabet, count the number of times it comes up using the “=countif()” function.
  4. Compute the percentage of each letter’s occurrence using a division and the “sum()” function
  5. For each letter in each word, assign a number of “points” given by the percentage occurrence of that letter, using a “vlookup()” function
  6. Set the “points” to zero for any letter that was repeated (since it appeared already in the word), using a “=countif() function inside an “=if()” function
  7. Total the resulting points for each word. The word with the most points is the “best” word to try! You’re most likely to find matching letters with the actual word, getting valuable clues from your first move!

 

See how the Maths Pathway model can dramatically improve learning in your classroom.

Book demo

How does Maths Pathway work?

Maths Pathway combines evidence-based practices in a holistic model that supports teachers to deliver differentiated teaching and achieve greater student growth in the classroom.

Email this page to a friend

We won't share you or your friend's details with anyone.