WetGrass, yes there's technique involved. DD is a strong reader and finished Yr 4 already on a level 5C for reading.
However, some of the words she's come across in the VR tests supplied by her tutor like 'ebb' and 'censure' she didn't have a clue what they meant? I don't know many 10 year olds who would (or a lot of adults, either).
But, her tutor has taught her little tricks and techniques on how to figure out her best guess if she doesn't know the actual word. And, then there's all the word codes and sequential patterns, which again he has taught her tricks to decipher.