2nd Edition




Copyright © 2006 LearningExpress, LLC. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: ASVAB success.—2nd ed. p. cm. ISBN 1-57685-543-0 1. Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery—Study guides. 2. United States—Armed Forces— Examinations. I. LearningExpress (Organization) II. Title. U408.5.A847 2006 355.00973—dc22 2006040833 Printed in the United States of America 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Second Edition ISBN 1-57685-543-0 For information on LearningExpress, other LearningExpress products, or bulk sales, please write to us at: LearningExpress 55 Broadway 8th Floor New York, NY 10006 Or visit us at:



Preparing for the ASVAB Lesson 1 About the ASVAB Lesson 2 The LearningExpress Test Preparation System Lesson 3 Multiple-Choice Test Strategies

1 3 11 27 33 37 47 71 81 89 93 103 113 123 131 133 143 157

SECTION 2 Math for the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge Subtests Lesson 4 Basic Arithmetic Functions Lesson 5 Fractions, Decimals, Percents, and Averages Lesson 6 Geometry and Algebra Lesson 7 Word Problems

SECTION 3 Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension Subtest Lesson 8 Reading Comprehension Basics Lesson 9 Structure Lesson 10 Language and Style Lesson 11 Drawing Conclusions SECTION 4 Vocabulary for the Word Knowledge Subtest Lesson 12 Word Parts Lesson 13 Words in Context Lesson 14 Synonyms and Antonyms




Second Edition provides you with the most up-to-date information on the exam. Navy. You will also complete the exclusive nine-step LearningExpress Test Preparation System to minimize test stress and maximize your score. To get you the score you need. To succeed on the ASVAB. the more job choices will be open to you. Now get started and good luck! 1 . but will not study for it. Air Force. but also determines for which military jobs you will qualify. or Coast Guard must take the Armed Services Vocational Battery (ASVAB). Section 1 of ASVAB Success. Finally.S E C T I O N 1 E Preparing for the ASVAB very person who wants to enlist in the Army. you are a giant leap ahead of people who will take the ASVAB. If you are thinking about joining the military and have chosen this book to prepare for the ASVAB exam. you must prepare. That is because your ASVAB score not only determines if you can enlist. Make no mistake: The better you score on the ASVAB. you will learn even more multiple-choice test strategies to give you the score you need for the career you want. Marines.


whether in the military or in some other field Before we go into greater detail about the exam.L E S S O N 1 T ■ About the ASVAB he Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. to help them decide upon career paths for which they might best be suited. is a multiple-aptitude test consisting of eight subtests on various subjects. to gauge what they already know about certain subjects).. 3 . The ASVAB is used for two main purposes: ■ As a military recruiting tool of the U. or ASVAB. and to predict performance in certain academic areas As a guide for high school and post-secondary school students. let’s review the process of joining the military and some of the jobs that are available to you there.e.S. to measure their general learning ability and vocational aptitude. Department of Defense to test potential recruits to determine their developed abilities (i.

pamphlets. All recruiters will have brochures. there are numerous jobs and job types in every branch of the military. videotapes. Your recruiter will talk to you about the benefits of enlisting: the pay. not current difficulties. These jobs are mentioned later in this lesson. you will join the military and begin your Basic Training. have a high school diploma or GED. ■ ■ mental (aptitude) testing—taking the ASVAB medical exam—having a routine physical by nonmilitary doctors administrative procedures—filling out paperwork and discussing your military job options If all three phases are successful.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – Basic Requirements Certain requirements must be met in order to enlist in any branch of the military. In speaking with him or her. have a clean arrest record. Don’t be afraid to bring along a parent or trusted friend to help you ask questions. During your day at MEPS. your recruiter will schedule you for a trip to a MEPS in your area (there is one in almost every state) for a day of written and physical testing. 4 Militar y Occupational Specialties (MOSs) Joining the military does not just make you a soldier. Working with Your Recruiter The recruiter is there to help you. Administrative Administrative Specialist Cartographer Executive Administrative Assistant Finance Specialist Information Systems Operator Intelligence Analyst Personnel Administration Specialist . and all sorts of in-depth questions about your goals. It is important to be truthful with your recruiter about any trouble you have had in the past with drugs or with the law. The MEPS is where applicants for every branch of the military begin the enlistment process. Your score on some sections of the ASVAB can affect whether you are qualified to fill certain positions. you will go through three phases: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ be between 17 and 34 years of age and have a parent or guardian’s permission if you are under the age of 18. citizen. Check with your recruiter. interests. be a U. fringe benefits. You must: ■ Militar y Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) If you show definite interest in enlisting. The recruiter will also ask about you: your education. In fact. some kinds of problems can be overcome. and years of personal experience to offer as resources. and training. postings. You and your recruiter can also start to discuss the kinds of military jobs available. and life experience. experience. and educational opportunities—including financial aid for college. Criminal history checks are conducted on applicants. be drug-free. You can ask about salaries. if they are really in the past. hobbies. Here is a limited list of the many options available. travel. physical and mental health. you will have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want and get a detailed picture of what each branch has to offer. However.S.

Science. Interior Electrician Single Channel Radio Operator Healthcare Animal Care Specialist Behavioral Science Specialist Dental Laboratory Specialist Medical Specialist Practical Nurse Psychological Operations Specialist X-Ray Specialist Machine Operator and Precision Work More Information on the ASVAB Depending on where you take the ASVAB.The ASVAB for Non-Military Types It’s important to remember that taking the ASVAB does not obligate you to join the military. the test is. and Technical Aviation Systems Repairer Light-Wheel Vehicle Mechanic PATRIOT System Repairer UH-60 Helicopter Repairer Do any of these jobs interest you? Keep in mind that if you want to qualify to fill these positions. simply an aptitude test. while 5 Crane Operator Machinist . If you take the ASVAB with no intention of entering the military. for you. Candidates for enlistment taking the ASVAB at a MEPS will take the computer version. you will take either the computer version or the paper-andpencil version. Your results will help you determine if you have the aptitude for certain skills or whether you should seek additional training. Recruiters or guidance counselors can explain your score report and how to use it. and they are offered in recruitment centers and at some high schools. you have to receive a specified minimum score on different sections on the ASVAB. There is no cost for taking the ASVAB. Combat Specialty Media and Public Affairs Ammunition Specialist Combat Engineer Infantryman M1 Armor (tank) Crewmember PATRIOT Missile Crewmember Construction Broadcast Journalist Multimedia Illustrator Transportation and Material Handling Carpentry and Masonry Specialist Electronic and Electrical Equipment Repair Fabric Repair Specialist Motor Transport Operator Watercraft Operator Vehicle and Machinery Mechanic Radio Repairer Engineering. Now it’s time to review the ASVAB in greater detail so you know exactly what you will face on test day and what you will have to study to get the score you need.

only the format. catalysts. and Electronics Information— depend on your knowing about the subject from your high school courses or other reading. followed by its answer. The content of the test is the same on both versions. you will find the answers using only the information given in the paragraph. Part 1: General Science The General Science subtest of the ASVAB consists of 25 questions that are designed to measure your ability 1. The one section that does not depend on previous knowledge is the Paragraph Comprehension section. The answer is d. anatomy and physiology. c. meteorology. The Eight ASVAB Subtests Following is a more detailed description of each of the eight subtests in the ASVAB. Arithmetic Reasoning. Mechanical Comprehension. apply. NUMBER OF ITEMS AND TESTING TIME FOR THE ASVAB Subtest General Science (GS) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) Word Knowledge (WK) Paragraph Comprehension (PC) Auto and Shop Information (AS) Mathematics Knowledge (MK) Mechanical Comprehension (MC) Electronics Information (EI) Total Number of Questions 25 30 25 15 25 35 25 20 200 Items Time (Minutes) 11 36 11 13 11 24 19 9 134 Minutes Most sections of the ASVAB—General Science. 6 . the mechanics of scoring. b. colloids. to recognize. chemistry Earth and space science—astronomy. and the number of questions asked are slightly different. reducers. zoology. Substances that speed up reaction time without undergoing changes themselves are called a. atomic structure. d. Word Knowledge. geology. buffers. For these questions. fluids and gases. oceanography Here is a sample General Science question. energy. and analyze basic scientific principles in the areas of: ■ ■ ■ Life science—botany. ecology Physical Science—force and motion. Auto and Shop Information.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – candidates for enlistment taking the ASVAB at a reserve center or Mobile Examination Team (MET) site will take the paper-and-pencil version. Mathematics Knowledge.

d. 80 The answer is c. No prior knowledge of the subject is required— all the information you will need to answer the questions will be found in the passage. and adverbs. b. with no context Words in the context of a short sentence 7 . 48 c. or tone. Part 4: Paragraph Comprehension ■ ■ ■ ■ Operations with whole numbers Operations with fractions and decimals or money Ratio and proportion Interest and percentage Measurement of perimeters. determine the author’s purpose. identify reworded facts. The questions are designed to measure your reasoning skills and understanding of: ■ Here is a sample Word Knowledge question. followed by its answer. minute. areas. The questions are designed to test your ability to obtain the following kinds of information from written material: ■ ■ Part 3: Word Knowledge The Word Knowledge subtest consists of 25 questions that ask you to choose the correct definition of verbs. followed by its answer. Rudimentary most nearly means a. nouns. If 12 men are needed to run four machines. 60 d. c. how many men are needed to run 20 machines? a. and determine the sequence of events Implicit. or critical comprehension— your ability to draw conclusions. identify the main idea of a paragraph. The Paragraph Comprehension subtest is 15 questions based on several short passages written on a variety of topics. inferential. adjectives.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – Part 2: Arithmetic Reasoning The Arithmetic Reasoning subtest consists of 30 word problems describing everyday life situations. The answer is d. and identify style and technique ■ Definitions presented alone. 1. political. 1. mood. promotional. These questions come in two forms: ■ Literal comprehension—your ability to identify stated facts. basic. and time and temperature Here is a sample Arithmetic Reasoning question. volumes. 20 b.

followed by its answer. decimals. The emphasis is on your ability to recognize and apply basic mathematical principles. multiples. 1. 8 The Mechanical Comprehension subtest consists of 25 questions. signed numbers Algebraic operations and equations—solving or determining equations. 33 b. unit conversion Probability—the likelihood of the outcomes of certain events ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Automotive components Automotive systems Automotive tools Automotive troubleshooting and repair Shop tools Building materials Building and construction procedures Here is a sample Mathematics Knowledge question. How much water is each tree likely to be given? a. as well as force and fluid dynamics. on an oasis in the Sahara Desert. area. 66 c. rounding. drilling b. followed by its answer. and levers. 132 The answer is d. In certain areas.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – Here is a sample Paragraph Comprehension question. reducing fractions. twisting d. on general mechanics and physical principles. the amount of water necessary for each date palm has been carefully determined. water on alternate days c. 1. perimeter. volume. water only if it is a young tree The answer is c. pulleys. A chisel is used for a. roots and radicals. order of operations. properties of polygons and circles. followed by its answer. If 50% of x = 66. and procedures. converting a sentence to an equation Geometry and measurement—coordinates and slope. then x equals? a. The questions cover the following topics: ■ ■ Number theory—factors. percentages. Problems involving . 99 d. many of them illustrated. cutting c. water is so scarce that every attempt is made to conserve it. principles. angle measurement. primes. grinding The answer is b. simplifying algebraic expressions. exponents. exactly the amount required d. The questions cover simple machines. 1. including gears. number properties. General shop practices are also included. integers Numeration—fractional parts. reciprocals. factoring. no water at all b. Part 7: Mechanical Comprehension Here is a sample Auto and Shop Information question. and conversions. For instance. The questions cover: ■ ■ ■ ■ The Auto and Shop Information subtest includes 25 questions on automotive repair and building construction. Part 5: Auto and Shop Information Part 6: Mathematics Knowledge The Mathematics Knowledge subtest consists of 35 questions designed to measure your understanding of mathematical concepts.

Now that we have reviewed the subtests of the ASVAB. cams. and grounding 9 . compression Properties of materials—weight. acceleration. symbols. density Structural support—center of gravity. belts. 1. a motor d. Paragraph Comprehension. Word Knowledge. That is why it is critically important to pass each of these subtests. alternating current d. These questions are designed to measure basic knowledge and principles of electrical and electronic systems including: ■ ■ ■ ■ Electrical tools. In case you are wondering. Mechanical Comprehension. An elevator uses which of the following mechanical devices? a. velocity. axles Mechanical motion—friction. centrifugal force Fluid dynamics—hydraulic forces. followed by its answer. and materials Electrical circuits Electricity and electronic systems Electrical current: voltage. absorption. Simply put. wedges. The Electronics Information subtest consists of 20 questions on electrical and electronic systems. Only your scores on the Arithmetic Reasoning. Even if you have a passing AFQT score and are able to enlist.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – basic properties of materials are also included. additional charge b. direction. Auto and Shop Information. In electrical terms. chains Simple machines—levers. a pulley c. the other four subtests—General Science. wheels. linkages. what does the abbreviation AC stand for? a. if your AFQT score is not above a passing level. The questions may consist of knowledge. ampere current The answer is c. weight distribution Here is a sample Mechanical Comprehension question. and analysis questions covering: ■ Here is a sample Electronics Information question. 1. you will not be able to enlist. alternating coil c. followed by its answer. all of the above The answer is d. expansion/contraction. cranks. devices. to ensure that you can enlist. sometimes referred to as the ASVAB Core. pistons. only four of these subtests are used to determine whether you can enlist in the military. a cable b. it is time to address the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT). strength. resistance. and Mathematics Knowledge subtests count toward your AFQT score. pulleys. Part 8: Electronics Information The Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) Although eight subtests comprise the entire ASVAB. screws. conductivity. you should aim to do your best on these other subtests to improve your chances of obtaining the job you want. and Electronics Information help determine for which jobs you are suited. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Basic compound machines—gears. application.

including lines. and 4 of this book provide you with targeted information and strategies to improve your basic reading. you will learn to: Find important facts while reading Locate main ideas Sort out fact from opinion Understand tools used by writers such as language choice and structure Finally. multiplication. rectangles. and word problems Gain a working knowledge of basic geometry. subtraction. and circles Refresh your knowledge of math terms ■ ■ Use root words to discover word meanings Define and use common word prefixes and suffixes Figure out unfamiliar words using context Also. 10 . On the other hand. angles. While studying the math lessons. be sure to complete the practice questions found in each lesson. 3. you will: ■ ■ In the reading comprehension lessons. so you can determine which areas you have mastered and which still need more work. decimals. triangles. percents. and vocabulary skills to get a top score on ASVAB subtests. the vocabulary lessons will help you: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Review basic operations such as addition. the lessons found in Sections 2. math. and division Get ready to tackle fractions. squares.– ABOUT THE ASVAB – How This Book Can Help You The lessons in the rest of Section 1 offer you tips and strategies for doing your best on any test you take.

Before we cover all the ways you can succeed on this exam. let’s review some of the pitfalls that can keep you from your top score: being unfamiliar with the format and content of the exam having high levels of test anxiety leaving your preparation to the last minute not preparing at all not knowing crucial test-taking skills. The LearningExpress Test Preparation System. or shivering through the exam because the room is cold 11 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ . Your future depends on passing the exam. and when to guess not being in the mental and physical shape required to complete the exam arriving late at the exam site. having to work on an empty stomach. how to use the process of elimination. developed exclusively for LearningExpress by leading test experts. such as how to pace yourself through the exam.L E S S O N 2 T ■ The LearningExpress Test Preparation System aking the ASVAB demands a lot of preparation if you want to achieve a passing score. gives you the discipline and attitude required to achieve winning results.

and so on. it lowers your test anxiety. you can do just one or two steps per day for the next several days. or you won’t be getting the full benefit of the system. you can complete the whole LearningExpress Test Preparation System in one sitting. you will have taken all the needed steps to achieve a high score on the ASVAB. Each of the following steps includes both reading about the step and one activity. It’s important that you do the activities along with the reading. For these reasons. know- It’s important for you to remember that your score on the ASVAB does not determine the kind of person you are or even whether or not you will make a good serviceperson. Otherwise. Step 1: Learn About the Exam Step 2: Combat Test Anxiety Step 3: Create a Study Plan Step 4: Learn to Manage Your Time Step 5: Practice the Process of Elimination Step 6: Understand When to Guess Step 7: Prepare for Peak Performance Step 8: Make Final Test-Day Preparations Step 9: Ace the Exam! Total 50 minutes 20 minutes 30 minutes 10 minutes 20 minutes 20 minutes 10 minutes 10 minutes 10 minutes 3 hours We estimate the entire system in this chapter will take approximately three hours. ing what is being tested helps you prepare and focus your study time. because you can anticipate the kinds of questions asked. you will learn everything you need to know to ensure that you are in charge of your preparation and your performance on the exam. you are in control. The LearningExpress Test Preparation System puts you in control. 12 . First. “About the ASVAB” Knowing what to expect on test day accomplishes several things. It’s up to you—remember. By completing this chapter. An exam like this can’t test whether you can follow orders. In nine easy-to-follow steps. Those kinds of things are hard to measure. which lead you through everything you need to know and do to prepare for this or any exam. while a test is easy to evaluate. If you prefer. Anyway? Step 1: Learn about the Exam Time to complete: 50 minutes Activity: Read Lesson 1. whether you can become part of a unit that works together to accomplish a task.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – What is the reason for all of these test-taking pitfalls? Control. The LearningExpress Test Preparation System works through nine easy steps. the first step in the LearningExpress Test Preparation System is finding out everything you can about the ASVAB. Each step tells you approximately how much time that step will take you to complete. Also. Why Do You Have to Take This Exam.

Test Stress Questionnaire In general. don’t expect to read through and master these techniques in one sitting. write the number that most accurately describes your experience. 0 = Never _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 1 = Once or twice 2 = Sometimes 3 = Often I have gotten so nervous before an exam that I simply put down the books and didn’t study for it. and you should practice the stress management techniques listed in this step of the LearningExpress Test Preparation System to try to lower your test anxiety to more manageable levels. Test Content and Format Step 2: Combat Test Anxiety Time to complete: 20 minutes Activity: Take the Test Stress Questionnaire Knowing what is being tested and the types of questions asked is the first step toward gaining control of the exam. depending on your score. your test anxiety may be enough to impair your performance. which gives you an overview of the ASVAB.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – However. your level of test anxiety is nothing to worry about. 13 . I have had trouble filling in the little circles because my hands were shaking too hard. you may want to work with a tutor or academic counselor to combat your anxiety. The following questions will provide an informal diagnosis of your level of test anxiety. the next steps in the LearningExpress Test Preparation System will show you what to do with it. In the blank before each statement. If you scored: ■ Below 3. I have experienced dizziness and disorientation while taking an exam. and that’s why you are here—using the LearningExpress Test Preparation System to achieve control over the exam. your chances of getting into the military still depend on your getting a good score on the subtests of the ASVAB. but also keeps you from preparing. you will learn stress management techniques that will help you succeed on your exam. I have failed an exam because I was too nervous to complete it. ■ ■ Above 6. Between 3 and 6. In addition to practicing the stress management techniques listed in this step. If you haven’t done so. you have to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to test success: test anxiety. Once you have your information. I have simply not showed up for an exam because I was scared. In this step. Test anxiety not only impairs your performance on the exam itself. it’s probably just enough to keep you driven to do your best. your level of test anxiety is a concern. Your Test Stress Score Here are the steps you should take. you only need to worry about test anxiety if it is extreme enough to impair your performance. stop here and read Lesson 1 of this book. Next. Total: Add up the numbers in the blanks. However. I have experienced physical symptoms such as vomiting and severe headaches because I was nervous about an exam.

This time. start telling them your self-confidence messages. Don’t listen to the negative messages. “I am prepared. You should have them memorized by now. Breathe deeply. Don’t be shy. Visualizing success can help make it happen—and it reminds you of why you are going to this effort to prepare for the exam. Find an easy question. Stand in front of the mirror and say to your reflection. It is important to understand that a little test anxiety is a good thing. walking through the park. Every time someone starts telling you how hard the exam is or how it’s almost impossible to get a high score. Hold it for a count of one. so you know which ones work best for you. and believe them. we suggest the following: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Get prepared. or whatever. Visualize a relaxing place. then let it out on a count of five. Repeat your selfconfidence messages. Being in good physical shape can actually help you do well on the exam. Many people find these movements very relaxing. you will believe it. Visualize. Practice self-confidence. so that they will come naturally to you on test day. and answer it. Imagine putting on your new uniform and beginning your first day of Basic Training.” Say it once a day. A positive attitude is a great way to combat test anxiety. visualize yourself moving smoothly and quickly through the test. Now close your eyes and imagine you are actually there. Finishing even one question helps boost 14 . so much the better. In fact. Rotate your shoulders. If you practice in advance. Stress Management during the Test If anxiety threatens to overwhelm you during the exam. Ignore negative messages. Everyone gets nervous before a big exam— and if that nervousness motivates you to prepare thoroughly and stay focused on your goal. Find an easy question. Move your body. Take a deep breath while you count to five. you will find that you only need a few seconds of this exercise to experience a significant increase in your sense of well-being. this one works best if you have practiced it ahead of time. Like most visualization techniques. some test anxiety gives you a little extra edge—just the kind of edge you need to do well. Physical activity helps relieve stress and focus your mind. They work best if you practice them in the weeks before the test. go swimming—and do it regularly. I am going to ace this test. Stop here and answer the questions to find out whether or not your level of test anxiety is enough to provide you an edge. Repeat several times. there are still things you can do to manage the stress level: ■ ■ ■ Repeat your self-confidence messages. Stress Management before the Test Stress Management on Test Day There are several ways you can lower your test anxiety on test day. The Test Anxiety Edge ■ Exercise. Say them silently to yourself.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – You will need to practice them as you practice the exams in this book. I know I can do it. Try rolling your head in a circle. ■ ■ To keep your stress level at a reasonable minimum. There’s nothing like knowing what to expect and being prepared for it to put you in control of test anxiety. This book will help you prepare and get the score you need. Shake your hands from the wrist. Think of the place where you are most relaxed: lying on the beach in the sun. Visualize completing the test. Go for a run. lift weights. I am full of self-confidence. On page 13 is the Test Stress Questionnaire. If you hear it often enough. answering every question correctly and finishing early.

You can’t review everything you need to know for the exam in one night. TIME PREPARATION Days 1–4 Use these first days to learn about the exam and work through the LearningExpress Test Preparation System. Be honest about how much time you have to study. do not attempt these techniques for the first time on test day. These may work for you. Complete all practice questions. Too many people don’t plan ahead and instead spend hours the day before the exam staring at lessons and sample questions. I lost it there for a minute.” Put down your pencil.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – ■ your sense of accomplishment and selfconfidence. close your eyes. Remember. Days 13–19 Review Section 3: Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension Subtest. On the following pages you will find three sample schedules. accept what has happened. Then you are ready to go back to work. This method only raises your level of test anxiety. and don’t give up if you fall behind schedule. and does not substitute for careful preparation and practice. So don’t wait until the last minute and cram. Step 3: Create a Study Plan Time to complete: 30 minutes Activity: Construct and follow a study schedule Maybe the most important thing you can do to get control of yourself and your exam is to make a study plan. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 8. 9. Take a mental break. If something unforeseen delays your studying. Complete all practice questions. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day. and do some deep breathing for a few seconds. Take control of your preparation time by planning ahead and making a study schedule. It’s normal. so you shouldn’t worry about it. 5. My brain is taking a break. but don’t be afraid to construct your own or to adapt them to your schedule. Thirty minutes daily is more effective than three hours on Saturday. If you have less than a month. based on the amount of time you may have before you take the ASVAB. you have plenty of time to prepare. 6. “Hey. turn to Schedule B. Day 12 Review the answers to the practice questions. Be sure you are prepared and committed to starting the studying process. Days 5–11 Review Section 2: Math for the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge Subtests. Day 20 Review the answers to the practice questions. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 4. and 7. make up for it when you have time. You have to set aside time every day for study and practice. Schedule A: The One-Month Plan If you have at least a month before you take the ASVAB. and 11. 10. but don’t waste it. Say to yourself. Even more important than making a plan is making a commitment. Instead. 15 . Everyone loses concentration once in a while during a test. Try them while studying or taking the practice tests in this book.

Day 5 Review the answers to the practice questions. TIME PREPARATION Day 1 Use the first day to learn about the exam and work through the LearningExpress Test Preparation System. Days 2–4 Review Section 2: Math for the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge Subtests. Schedule B: The Two-Week Plan If you have at least two weeks before you take the exam. Days 28–29 Think about which skills are your weakest. 10. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 8. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 12. and 11. and 14. review the answers to the practice questions. If you have less than two weeks. Day before the exam Relax. Day 27 Once again. 13. and 14. Do something unrelated to the exam. turn to Schedule C. Day before the exam Relax.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Days 21–26 Review Section 4: Vocabulary for the Word Knowledge Subtest. 6. and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Complete all practice questions. Complete all practice questions. 5. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 4. Day 9 Review the answers to the practice questions. Do something unrelated to the exam. Return to those lessons and review them more thoroughly. Day 13 Once again. 9. Go back and study the tips and strategies in Lessons 12. Complete all practice questions. and 7. review the answers to the practice questions. Be sure you are prepared and committed to starting the studying process. Days 6–8 Review Section 3: Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension Subtest. and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Complete all practice questions. 16 . use this schedule to help make the most of your time. 13. Days 10–12 Review Section 4: Vocabulary for the Word Knowledge Subtest.

use a watch or clock to keep track of time. Days 5–6 Think about which skills are your weakest. Do something unrelated to the exam. 5. Day before the exam Use the first part of your last study day to review areas that are still giving you trouble. 17 . you will take control of your time on the exam. Step 4: Learn to Manage Your Time ■ Time to complete: 10 minutes to read. You should answer as many questions as you can rather than spending time answering one difficult question. If you don’t know the answer. Don’t waste time on one question. Complete all practice questions. Pace yourself. ■ ■ make sure you know exactly what you are required to do. TIME PREPARATION Day 1 Spend some time learning about the exam and working through the LearningExpress Test Preparation System. Keep moving. Complete all practice questions. skip the question and move on. Complete all practice questions. and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Day 3 Review Section 3: Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension Subtest. Return to those lessons and review them more thoroughly. ■ Follow directions. By the evening. Whether you are taking the computer-based ASVAB or paper-based ASVAB. Day 4 Review Section 4: Vocabulary for the Word Knowledge Subtest. don’t spend a lot of time reviewing the directions in detail. you should stop studying and relax. Though you should keep moving. rushing won’t help. use this schedule to help make the most of your limited time. and you are still far from finishing the exam. Don’t rush. By doing this you will avoid a situation where there are only minutes left. However. so try to keep calm and work methodically and quickly. First. You will have to commit fully to preparing as best you can. and you will be ready to use them on test day. Day 2 Review Section 2: Math for the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge Subtests. All questions have the same point value. On test day. many hours of practice! Activity: Practice these strategies as you take the sample tests in this book Steps 4. and 6 of the LearningExpress Test Preparation System put you in charge of your exam by showing you test-taking strategies that work. Practice these strategies as you take the sample tests in this book.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Schedule C: The One-Week Plan If you have only one week before you take the exam. You may be able to return to it later. Only careless errors and lost points come from rushing.

Supposes you are facing an Electronics Information question that goes like this: Which of the following has the least electrical resistence? a. Standard test-taking wisdom dictates that you should always read all the answer choices before choosing your answer. even if the right answer seems obvious. Ed is 29. Using the Process of Elimination Use the process of elimination to answer the following questions. your next most important tool for taking control of your exam is using the process of elimination wisely. a bus operator backing a bus out of the way of another bus in the bus lot c.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Step 5: Practice Process of Elimination Time to complete: 20 minutes Activity: Complete worksheet on Using the Process of Elimination After time management. juvenile delinquency. rubber d. 10 c. a truck driver idling the engine while waiting to be directed to a loading dock b. The difference between Ed’s age and Meghan’s age is twice the difference between Ilsa’s age and Meghan’s age. d. domestickated d. How old is Ilsa? a. a taxi driver driving his or her personal car to the grocery store d. Which of the following words is spelled correctly? a. a limousine driver taking the limousine home after dropping off the last passenger of the evening 18 . all forms of respiratory disease. 24 3. This helps you find the right answer by eliminating incorrect answer choices. 1. Smoking tobacco has been linked to a. silver Always use the process of elimination on a question like this. “All drivers of commercial vehicles must carry a valid commercial driver’s license whenever operating a commercial vehicle. increased risk of stroke and heart attack. outragous c. incorrigible b. understandible 2. increasing mortality rates over the past ten years. 4 b. which of the following people need NOT carry a commercial driver’s license? a. iron c. wood b. 19 d. 4. Ilsa is as old as Meghan will be in five years. b. c.” According to this sentence.

d. idling counts as “operating.” Choice c strikes you as a less likely. as well as some suggestions as to how you might have used the process of elimination to find them. Is the truck driver in choice a “operating a commercial vehicle”? Yes. “Good answer. Is 24 two times 5? No. 29. then you were correct to choose a. So you start with choice a. make a mental note. so you could eliminate that one. Eliminate this one since you already found a choice (c) that is more reasonable. Choice d is also a possibility. The best way to eliminate other answers is to try plugging them in to the information given in the problem.Using the Process of Elimination (continued) Answers Here are the answers. “Good answer” or “Well. . wood has a fairly high resistence to electricity. if Ilsa is 10. too. for choice b. Sometimes the answer that jumps out isn’t right after all. so you need to use some intuition to compensate for what you don’t remember. 1. For instance. a. The difference between Ed’s age. I might use this one.” depending on how attractive this answer looks to you. You could eliminate choice c in the same way and be left with choice d. 2. and Meghan’s age. the bus operator in choice b is operating a commercial vehicle. for the purpose of this exercise. the question doesn’t say the operator has to be on the street. Choice c looks attractive until you think a little about what you know—aren’t fewer people smoking these days. a. Then choice b is wrong. c. You should have eliminated choice a immediately. you might keep this choice as a possibility.” so he needs to have a commercial driver’s license. is 24. Note the word not in the question. rather than more? So how could smoking be responsible for a higher mortality rate? (If you didn’t know that mortality rate means the rate at which people die. How you used the process of elimination here depends on which words you recognized as spelled incorrectly. and go through the answers one by one. However. maybe. Ilsa can’t be four years old if Meghan is going to be Ilsa’s age in five years. This one is pretty easy to eliminate. but you would still be able to eliminate two answers and have only two to choose from. and understandable. then Meghan must be 5. that you are a little rusty on property electronics information. 3. the cab driver in choice c is not operating a commercial vehicle. You could eliminate choice b simply because of the presence of the word all. If you knew that the correct spellings were outrageous. Let’s assume. 4. Make a mental note. Such absolutes hardly ever appear in correct answer choices. 19 Choice b seems reasonable. but his or her own private car. The difference in their ages is 5. a. 5. The limo driver in choice d is operating a commercial vehicle. Rubber has a fairly high resistence. make a mental note that answer choice a is incorrect. Proceed through the answer choices in order.) Choice d is not logical. leaving you with the correct choice. even if it doesn’t have passenger in it. domesticated. Likewise.

you are better prepared to make an educated guess. However. More often. The more complicated answer to the question “Should I guess?” depends on you—your personality and your “guessing intuition. you will have to know that choice b. proper diet. using the process of elimination helped you narrow your choices down to only two. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by guessing. Exercise.” Ask yourself. Step 7: Prepare for Peak Performance Time to complete: 10 minutes to read. as you did in the previous example. 20 . Sometimes. even if you have lousy intuition. in which a fraction of your incorrect answers is subtracted from your right answers—but the ASVAB doesn’t work like that. If you take the ASVAB on paper. is correct. you are ready to take control of one of the big questions in test taking: Should I guess? The first and main answer is. it’s good to have a system for marking good. Try using these elimination skills on the questions in the Using the Process of Elimination worksheet. and rest will ensure that your body works with. Some exams have a guessing penalty. We are recommending this one: X = bad ✔ = good ? = maybe If you don’t like these marks. complete the Your Guessing Ability worksheet that follows. The number of questions you answer correctly yields your raw score. yes. your mind on exam day as well as during your preparation. The answer explanations for this worksheet show one possible way you might use the process to arrive at the right answer. But you may want to have a sense of how good your intuition is before you go into the exam. you have to take control of your physical and mental state. so you won’t have to worry about it just before the exam. The process of elimination is your tool for the next step: knowing when to guess. Just make sure you do it long before test day. and maybe answers. even though you don’t know the right answer. Then you are in a stronger position to guess. the process of elimination allows you to get down to only two possible correct answers. Even when you think you are absolutely clueless about a question. since Electronics Information is a knowledge-based subtest. rather than against. “Am I a good guesser?” To find out if you are a good guesser.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Now. The questions are not sample ASVAB questions. weeks to complete Activity: Complete the Physical Preparation Checklist To do your very best on an exam. as you will see in Step 6. The best thing would be to overcome your anxieties and mark an answer. iron. devise your own system. you can often use process of elimination to discard at least one answer choice. Frankly. If so. you find it simply by getting rid of the wrong ones. they are just designed to show you how the process of elimination works. bad. Step 6: Understand When to Guess Time to complete: 20 minutes Activity: Complete worksheet on Your Guessing Ability Armed with the process of elimination. you are still safe in guessing every time if there is no guessing penalty.

1713. use that knowledge to help you eliminate incorrrect answers. c. Rather. If you overdo it. A half hour of vigorous activity—enough to raise a sweat—at least five times per week should be your aim. Use caffeine only in moderation for at least two weeks before the exam. Australia. Exercise helps reduce stress and increases the oxygen supply throughout your body. b. d. this is an assessment of your ability to guess when you don’t have much information. John Jay. b. Connecticut. Costa Rica. James Wilson. If you are pressed for time. William Cushing. d.S. c. is to cut out the junk. Read each question carefully. candy. India. Brazil. Alaska. including your brain. There is never a good time to crash diet. 1830. and perhaps the most difficult thing to do. The state with the highest per capita personal income in 1980 was a. And if you are already keeping fit—or trying to get that way—don’t let the pressure of preparing for an exam discourage your progress. You can incorporate your workouts into your study schedule. 1874. the stem d. 1. the time during which you are preparing for an exam is an excellent time to start one. d. b. b. 21 . 1901. the leaves c. If you have any knowledge at all of the subject of the question. three times per week should be the minimum. Which of the following is the poisonous portion of a daffodil? a. instead what your body needs for peak performance is a Your Guessing Ability The following are five difficult questions. The third Chief Justice of the U. moderation is the key. Texas. Chips. c. d. Diet The first. New York. and fast food will not improve your performance. choose an activity you like and get out there and do it. 4. September 7 is Independence Day in a. 5. so you will be at peak performance on exam day. 3. you will only exhaust yourself. American author Gertrude Stein was born in a. the flowers 2. Supreme Court was a. the bulb b. John Blair. You are not supposed to know the answers. c.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Exercise If you don’t already have an exercise routine. just as if you did expect to answer it. Remember. Most importantly.

So keep a separate guessing score for each exam. even if you don’t always get it. a. Circle the numbers of questions you guess on as you make your guess. b. If you are not a morning person and your exam will be given in the morning. Make sure you do get that much sleep. you might eat plenty of carbohydrates. 3. Enjoy a big plate of spaghetti. If you answered two or three correctly. are especially good brain foods. The Results 4. on a test with four answer choices. along with protein and carbohydrates. you should get at least one question correct. Extra sleep will just make you feel groggy. how many questions did you guess? How many did you get right? If the number you got right is at least one-fourth of the number of questions you guessed on. rice and beans. c. but you might feel more comfortable if you guessed selectively. Keep in mind. you would have eliminated choice d and therefore improved your odds of guessing right from one in four to one in three. go back afterward. you may have actually known the answer to one question. when you can eliminate a wrong answer or at least have a good feeling about one of the answer choices. In that case. You have to start this process 22 . 5. 1. or your own favorite carbohydrate. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. or. for at least a week before the exam. If the number you got right is significantly lower than one-fourth of the number you guessed on. that this is only a small sample. maybe better— and you should always go ahead and guess on the real exam. Remember.m.Your Guessing Ability (continued) Answers Check your answers against the following correct answers. In addition. According to probability. The night before the exam. such as fish and beans. though. and try to remember at which questions you guessed the answers. You should continue to keep track of your guessing ability as you work through the sample questions in this book. 2. balanced diet. If you got none right. but you knew that John Jay was the first. How did you do? If you are lucky. the way athletes do before a contest. you are at least an average guesser. your chance of getting a correct answer is one in four. if you don’t have time during the practice tests. you should reset your internal clock. you may be a really terrific guesser. frankly. For example. Rest You probably know how much sleep you need every night to be at your best. be safe guessing anyway. Moderation is important here. you may be a really bad guesser. so that your body doesn’t think you are taking an exam at 3 a. you would. your guessing may have been more successful if you were able to use the process of elimination on any of the questions. a. too. Maybe you didn’t know who the third Chief Justice was (question 3). Foods that are high in lecithin (an amino acid). c. though.

Use the Physical Preparation Checklist below to help track your progress.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – well before the exam: Get up half an hour earlier each morning. you will just toss and turn if you go to bed early without waking up early that same day. Don’t try it the other way around. you are trying for at least half an hour of exercise three days per week (preferably five days per week) and a balanced diet. How long you will have to do this depends on how late you are used to waking up. and then go to bed half an hour earlier that night. which minimizes junk food intake. 7 days before the exam Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 6 days before the exam Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 5 days before the exam Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 4 days before the exam Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 23 3 days before the exam Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 2 days before the exam minutes Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: 1 day before the exam minutes Exercise: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Snacks: for minutes for minutes ______ for ______ minutes ______ for ______ minutes for for for minutes . write down 1) what physical exercise you engaged in and for how long and 2) what you ate for each meal. The next morning. and so on. Remember. get up another half an hour earlier. Physical Preparation Checklist For the week before the exam.

time to complete will vary Activity: Complete Final Preparations Checklist If you remember some of the test-taking pitfalls from the beginning of this chapter.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Step 8: Make Final Test-Day Preparations Time to complete: 10 minutes to read. they included arriving late to the exam site and being cold as you complete the test. you will learn how to take control over these external factors. you have already prepared your mind and body to take the exam. Time it will take to get to the exam site: No Things to lay out the night before Clothes I will wear Sweater/jacket Watch Photo ID No. Remember. make a trial run. In this part of the LearningExpress Test Preparation System. Final Preparations Checklist Getting to the Exam Site Location of exam site: Date: Departure time: Do I know how to get to the exam site? Yes If no. 2 pencils ________________ ________________ 24 . so now it’s time to focus on these equally important details.

In other words. lay out your clothes and the materials you have to bring with you. Don’t do doughnuts or other sweet foods. You made a study plan and followed through. When you are done with the exam. Plan on arriving at least 30–45 minutes early so you can orient yourself. armed with the test-taking strategies you practiced until they became automatic. either. You are ready to succeed. A cup of coffee doesn’t count. mental. including weather and traffic. use the bathroom. Plan on dressing in layers. And look forward to your future in the military! The night before the exam. Go in there and ace the exam. You know when and where to show up and what to bring with you. and emotional state. whether you are driving yourself or taking public transportation. and make sure you awaken that early every day for a week before the exam. you are better prepared than most of the other people taking the ASVAB with you. and your performance on the exam. On the Final Preparations Checklist on page 24 make a note of the amount of time it will take you to get to the exam site. you won’t have any control over the temperature of the examination room. Have a sweater or jacket you can take off if it’s warm. so plan a celebration. or eggs with toast. and calm down. or have a nice dinner for two—whatever your heart desires. Give yourself something to look forward to. you only have one more task. you will have earned a reward. plus test-taking time Activity: Take the ASVAB and do your best! Now that you have almost completed the LearningExpress Test Preparation System. Then calculate how early you need to wake up that morning. Use the Final Preparations Checklist to help you gather everything you will need. your environment. Step 9: Ace the Exam! Time to complete: 10 minutes. A sugar high will leave you with a sugar low in the middle of the 25 . Call up your friends and plan a party. So do it. you should leave ample time for any possible travel delays. Imagine it is test day. Don’t Skip Breakfast Even if you don’t usually eat breakfast. preferably on the same day of the week at the same time of day. You practiced your test-taking strategies while working through this book. A mix of protein and carbohydrates is best: Cereal (low sugar) with milk and just a little sugar. Go into the exam full of confidence. You are in control of yourself. do so on exam morning.– THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Find Out Where the Exam Is and Make a Trial Run Do you know how to get to the exam site? Do you know how long it will take to get there? If not. Gather Your Materials exam. You are ready. make a trial run. Remember. will give your body what it needs on test day. You are in control of your physical.


you will learn how to deal with the multiple-choice format and with questions requiring recall or recognition of material. multiple-choice tests are easier and quicker to grade. multiple-choice questions are considered to be objective questions because they are factbased. Generally speaking. while others ask you only to recognize information by separating it from similar choices. In addition.L E S S O N 3 I Multiple-Choice Test Strategies n this lesson. All multiple-choice test questions are geared toward testing your knowledge of a subject or toward measuring your skills at performing some task. they do not allow for the opinion or interpretation of the test taker. Others have you deduce answers based on ideas presented in the test itself. 27 . Some test questions require you to recall specific items of information. and they do not penalize test takers who know the information but have poorly developed writing skills or problems with expressive language.

Old Hickory. which are stems. they are a. which often present a challenge to you. You have to know that the meaning of flammable is easily burned. c. Distracters Stems Stems contain the core information on which the question is based. In the next sample. d. All of the options offer that choice. The word in the following sentence that means the same or almost the same as flammable is a. which is the name of a ship. c. Mississippi. Many options require that you simply recognize a correct choice among several others. and d. 3. Distracters are often written to force you to be very careful in your selections. fireproof. it wouldn’t be enough to know that flammable has something to do with fire. both Old Ironsides. c. you might be tempted to choose one of them. Superior. b. In question 2.– MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST STRATEGIES – Parts of a Multiple-Choice Question You may remember taking tests that contained questions like this one: 1. Ronald Reagan came to be known as a. The largest of the Great Lakes is a. and distracters. d. if you didn’t know that Reagan was known as The Great Communicator. Old Ironsides. d. and d. The wise test taker will eliminate the clearly impossible options first. easily burned. Speaker of the House. c. To answer this question. The Great Communicator. options. In question 2. the question is trying to test the accuracy of your knowledge by offering two or more options that are similar. which is an office that cannot be held by a sit- 28 . As president. for instance. Huron. the distracters are a. b. The answer is b. the stems of the questions may be as long as a paragraph and could contain a lot of information that you must sift through before you can choose an answer. Options Options are the answer choices offered to you. burning. b. and in question 3. Since Reagan was one of our oldest presidents while in office. Sometimes stem questions are phrased as situations. 2. The question contains the three elements of most multiple-choice questions. or a fragment of a sentence that serves to frame the question. In some tests. Stem: “The largest of the Great Lakes is” Options: All answer choices Distracters: Incorrect answer choices The answer is b. and Speaker of the House. Distracters are the incorrect answers. fire resistant. Situation questions set a scene or provide facts from which you base your answers to a series of questions. In question 2. answer c. a math example. you could be distracted by the two choices that refer to age. Stems can also be simply a word. b. Erie.

and the distant but confusing sound similarities between secession and the medical shorthand C-section (for cesarean section) could trap the unwary test taker. and the correct word their. or you would have to be able to recognize the correct answer in comparison to the other choices. Generally. but incorrect. should be eliminated. Reading Questions 4. a. a. chanel b. From the following group. between Old Hickory and The Great Communicator. chanle d. a meeting b. Then. chanell 6. and 6 is b. a surgical birth d. the similarity between procession and secession. reading comprehension tests start with a passage on a particular subject. Choose the word or phrase that means the same or almost the same as the word secession. making an inference or conclusion based on information in the passage that is not directly stated 29 . Choose the correct word for the following sentence: I went to ______ house for lunch. recognizing the definition of a vocabulary word in the passage 2. there d. Note distracters c and d in question 4. you would have to rely on your memory for the definition of secession. options. Recognition and Recall Questions As noted before. Many multiple-choice questions are designed to confuse you by offering options that sound like the stem word or have associations with the stem word.– MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST STRATEGIES – ting president. you would eliminate it. followed by as few as two or as many as ten questions based on the content of that passage. In questions 4–6. noting a specific fact or detail in the passage 4. In this instance. their c. the spelling of the word channel. a parade 5. The correct answers are: 4 is b. These kinds of multiple-choice questions typically measure reading comprehension—you will see them mostly in the Paragraph Comprehension subtest. 5 is b. circle the word that is correctly spelled. a. they’re b. multiple-choice questions require you to recall or recognize specific information that is surrounded by other similar. the’re Some multiple-choice questions are geared toward measuring your ability to take information directly from the text and to answer questions based on that text. If you remembered that Old Hickory was the term used to describe President Andrew Jackson. and then the correct choice would be obvious. These other options are written in such a way that they confuse many test takers. the act of breaking away from a political body c. identifying the main idea of the passage 3. channel c. These questions usually are aimed at four skills: 1. you would have to make a choice.

b. (Vocabulary) 8. How to Write an Administrative Journal. Reprimanded means scolded. c. 7. firefighters will blame others for mistakes. Broken Windows: Only the First Step. According to the passage. Question type 9. a. a. b. thinking. firefighters are sloppy administrators. showing that a minor violation or breach of discipline can lead to major violations.– MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST STRATEGIES – Read the following passage and the four questions that follow. The passage applies the broken window theory to firehouse discipline. According to this theory. b. soon all the windows in that building will be broken. rewarded. a small violation. leads others to commit similar or greater violations. The best title for this passage would be a. c. Thus. discipline is important for the efficiency of the firehouse. For example. A management crisis could erupt literally overnight. The passage is about the “broken window” theory. showing that even small infractions have to be dealt with to avoid worse problems later. The passage suggests that a. In other words. The Importance of Housewatch. The theory contends that if a broken window in an abandoned building is not replaced quickly. d. There could be a management crisis. c. Question type Answers 7. d. fired. (Inference) 10. Question type 10. Firefighters would lose morale. and this firefighter is not reprimanded. Identify each type of question from the previous list. See the third sentence of the passage. (Detail) 30 . if one firefighter begins to disregard proper housewatch procedure by neglecting to maintain the housewatch administrative journal. “If he can get away with it. praised. may actually ruin the efficiency of the entire firehouse. Thus. In this passage. The efficiency of the firehouse could be destroyed. if disrespect to a superior is tolerated. scolded. The building would soon be vandalized. which of the following could be the result of broken windows? a. others will be tempted to be disrespectful as well. discipline starts with small infractions. after all the windows have been broken. why can’t I?” So what starts out as a small violation that may not seem to warrant disciplinary action. d. a. the word reprimanded means a. d. The “broken window” theory was originally developed to explain how minor acts of vandalism or disrespect can quickly escalate to crimes and attitudes that break down the entire social fabric of an area or unit. others will follow suit by committing similar violations of procedure. A Guide to Window Repair. violations increase exponentially. the building is likely to be further vandalized. c. b. Question type 8. if condoned. d. risking the lives of the people the firehouse serves. (Main idea) 9. It is an idea that can easily be applied to any situation in society.

120. it may not be true in all circumstances. He earns $20 per hour. They’re only numbers after all. Read all the options carefully. the way you analyze the questions and consider the possible answers is very similar. They include: 1. c. 31 . d. b. For example. Don’t lose points by skipping those early questions and risk running out of time. This will usually mean that you have to choose between two similar choices. 60. A city worker is paid time-and-a-half per hour in overtime pay. . Strategies for Answering Math Questions Math Questions Math questions on the ASVAB assess how you apply basic math skills to workplace situations. 5. Underline or circle the most important information in the stem. or all. You will find distracters that are accurate and may sound right but do not apply to the question. they are word problems. All of the following are true EXCEPT . b. Key words in the stem often direct you to the correct answer. Carefully read each question. What is the reciprocal of 3 8 ? a. Beware of the absolute. 3 8 8 . 2. you can move right on. 1. ■ ■ ■ ■ Don’t panic because it’s math. In other words. not in your head.” All roses? 6. Watch for tricky wording such as. The worker makes $20 1 2 $30 per hour in overtime. 31 28 8 31 8 21 31 8 7 Some questions are introduced by stems in which the numerical information is embedded. Immediately eliminate all clearly incorrect distracters. Read the stem carefully. If you immediately see an answer that matches. Beware of lookalike options. 3. Work through the problem. Some questions are mostly numerical in format: Even though you are dealing with numbers and not words in math questions. Many tests are arranged so that the questions move from easy to more difficult. how much does he make in overtime pay? a. Do all calculations on paper. easily confused options. Now multiply the hourly overtime wage by the number of overtime hours: 30 4 120. b. An answer may sound perfectly correct and the general principal may be correct. whose reciprocal is 31 . Don’t be confused by distracting answer choices. If he works four hours more than his contracted work week. 1 2. . Understand exactly what is being asked.00 c. Read carefully for words like always. and silly options.00 Answers 8 7 31 1. Always circle or underline the key words in the question. Do the easiest questions first.00 d. 80. none.– MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST STRATEGIES – Strategies for Answer Reading Questions A successful test taker will approach multiple-choice questions with several good strategies. 400. 2. think about the statement “All roses are red. never. however.00 b. 4.

When You Have Time Left Over Managing Your Time It’s important to manage your time so that you don’t get stuck on any one question. and Word Knowledge portions of the ASVAB. Double-check your answers. always underline or circle key words in the instructions that cue you to what the question requires. Put a dot in the margin of the test or circle the questions so that you can locate the question quickly and easily if you are in a hurry. Don’t Linger Too Long on Any One Question Answer the questions that you know the answers to for certain right away. If you change an answer. If you don’t take your time and write carefully. You don’t win by being first over the finish line. It’s always helpful to know what you will encounter on the test. If you are unsure about a question. Paragraph Comprehension. Use the tips you learned about guessing to help you answer questions about which you are still uncertain. Follow the directions to the letter. The rest of the lessons in this book will help improve your skills for the Arithmetic Reasoning. Time and a half in question 2 1 3 means 1 2 or 2 . The following section will help you pace yourself so that you increase your chances for getting all the points you can get in the time you are allowed. and excel on the ASVAB. Make sure each answer you have chosen is entered on the correct spot on the answer sheet. The number 1 can look like 7. Mathematics Knowledge. so that you can prepare to spend more time on those sections. Read or Listen to Directions Carefully If you have followed the strategies and conscientiously maintained control over your timing. Remember. Reciprocal in question 1 means the inverse of the fractional number. Make sure that you did not skip any questions and that you have answers for any questions you may have left blank the first time through the test. this is not a race. take. and 6 like 0 when you are in a hurry. There are two reasons that you should preview a test carefully before you start working: ■ You want to locate weak spots on the test. you may find that you have time left over after finishing the test. Be careful when you write your calculations. Do not throw down your pen and sigh with relief that the test is over—at least not yet. make sure you change it completely. Take some time to translate words from English into math. Here are some suggestions for making the best possible use of any time left over: ■ If you are allowed. Don’t linger too long over questions you can’t answer right away. There should be no surprises when you get to any section of the test. 3 like 8. Preview the Test ■ Don’t leave anything out. put a dot in the margin next to that question so that you can find it easily when you want to come back to it later. ■ You want to be familiar with the content and format of the whole test so that you have a good overall picture of what topics are stressed and how questions are presented. . you risk choosing a wrong answer or wasting time recalculating an answer to find something that fits from your choice of answers. Translate numbers from math into English.– MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST STRATEGIES – ■ ■ ■ Skip unfamiliar or difficult questions on the first pass through the test. 32 The strategies in this lesson should help you prepare for.

that’s a good way to make mistakes. Mathematics Knowledge tests knowledge of math concepts. stop to think about what it means and make notes or draw a picture to represent that chunk. etc. you probably should do your work in fractions. and procedures. and calculate. Arithmetic Reasoning is mostly composed of math word problems. Both subtests cover the subjects you might have studied in school. This section of the book reviews concepts you will need for both Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. principles.S E C T I O N 2 T ■ ■ ■ ■ Math for the Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge Subtests he Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge subtests of the ASVAB cover math skills. When you get to the actual question. If they are fractions. you need to know basic terminology (like sum and perimeter). As you read each chunk. formulas (such as the area of a square). Math Strategies Don’t work in your head! Use your test book or scratch paper to take notes. if they are decimals. This will keep you more focused as you solve the problem. Although you might think that you can solve math questions more quickly in your head. Read a math question in chunks rather than straight through from beginning to end. circle it. Write out each step. draw pictures. you should probably work in decimals. 33 . Glance at the answer choices for clues. You don’t have to do a lot of calculation in the Mathematics Knowledge subtest. and computation rules.

s = 2. Let’s substitute the nice numbers into all 4 answers: 34 . Test takers get a false sense of security when they get an answer that matches one of the multiple-choice answers. (Multiply: 1 × 5) Skip hard questions and return to them later. the choice that matches your answer is the right one. The first technique. d = $25. 3. making the problem too abstract for you. Check your work after you get an answer. try one of the backdoor approaches explained in the next section. if it makes sense.98 + $8. nice numbers. 4. This helps avoid the careless mistake of answering the wrong question. Mark them in your test book so you can find them quickly.– MATH FOR THE ARITHMETIC REASONING AND MATHEMATICS KNOWLEDGE SUBTESTS – ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Make a plan of attack to help you solve the problem. If the answer choices are all numbers.97 is a little less than $15. If a question stumps you. is useful when there are unknowns (like x) in the text of the word problem. Then solve it. For example: ■ $5. If more than one answer matches. (Add: $6 + $9) ■ . These are particularly useful for solving word problems. So our answer is 8. ■ Plug your answer back into the problem to make sure the problem holds together. The two techniques that follow are time-saving ways to solve perplexing multiple-choice word problems with a straightforward approach. Here are some good ways to check your work if you have time: ■ Ask yourself if your answer is reasonable. If the price of shirts was s shirts for d dollars. To solve this problem. presents a quick way to substitute numeric answer choices back into the problem to see which one works. reread the circled question to make sure you have answered it. working backward. c. substitute the same nice numbers into all the answer choices. If the answer choices contain unknowns. A nice number is easy to calculate with and makes sense in the problem. Now reread it with the numbers in place: Judi went shopping with $100 in her pocket. what is the maximum number of shirts Judi could buy with the money in her pocket? a.0342 is close to 5. do the problem again with different nice numbers. like x. what is the maximum number of shirts Judi could buy with the money in her pocket? Since 2 shirts cost $25. plug in nice numbers for the unknowns. When you get your answer. let’s try these nice numbers: p = $100. The second technique. You will only have to check the answer choices that have already matched. d. and 8 shirts cost $100. The choice that matches your answer is the right one. ps d pd s ds p Backdoor Approaches for Answering Tough Questions Many word problems are actually easier to solve by backdoor approaches. When a question contains unknowns.9876 × 5. Read the question with the nice numbers in place. Approximate when appropriate. psd b. Example: Judi went shopping with p dollars in her pocket. that means that 4 shirts cost $50. ■ Do the question a second time. Nice Numbers 1. 2. but use a different method. If the price of shirts was 2 shirts for $25.

Begin again or look for your mistake. Look at all the answer choices and begin with the one in the middle of the range. which left 10 jellybeans. The answer is b because it is the only one that matches our answer of 8.250 2 25 × 2 1 100 = 2 Example: Juan ate 1 of the jellybeans. The problem states that there were 10 jellybeans left. 90 d. You are asked to find a simple number. that means he ate 20 3 1 ( 3 × 60 = 20). or 4 45 of them ( 3 × 60 = 45). 100 × 2 × 25 = 5. if the answers are 14. not a sum. 35 . 120 Starting with the middle answer. Plug in one of the remaining choices. or ratio. Because this result of 10 jellybeans remaining agrees with the problem. and 25. That leaves 15 jelly4 beans (60 – 45 = 15). Determine if you need a bigger or smaller answer. 80 c. Maria then ate 3 of the 60 jellybeans. d. That indicates that we started with too big a number.000 b. That leaves 10 jellybeans 4 (40 – 30 = 10). c. This approach works only when: ■ ■ All of the answer choices are numbers. 2. let’s try 60: Since Juan ate 1 of them. 8. If your choice doesn’t work.– MATH FOR THE ARITHMETIC REASONING AND MATHEMATICS KNOWLEDGE SUBTESTS – a. If none of the answers work. How many jellybeans were there to begin with? a. So. 90 and 120 are incorrect! With only two choices left. 60 b. The next lower answer is only a little smaller than 90 and may not be small enough. 20. begin by plugging 14 into the problem. difference. or 30 of 4 them ( 3 × 40 = 30). For example. let’s use common sense to decide which one to try. leaving 60 of them (90 – 30 = 3 60). that means he ate 30 3 ( 1 × 90 = 30). 2. you may have made a careless error. eliminate it. Thus. Here’s What to Do 1. The process is faster than you think because you will probably only have to substitute one or two answers to find the right one. let’s assume there were 90 jellybeans to begin with: Since Juan ate 1 of them. Working Backward You can frequently solve a word problem by plugging the answer choices back into the text of the problem to see which one fits all the facts stated in the problem. and we wound up with 15 of them. Maria then ate 3 of 3 4 the remaining jellybeans. Maria then ate 3 of the 40 jellybeans. 3. 4. leaving 40 of them (60 – 20 = 40). product. the correct answer is a. 100 × 2 25 = 8 100 × 25 = 1.

5. (See integer) numbers along the number line. The product of two numbers means the numbers are multiplied together. Integers include the whole numbers and their opposites. Example: 2 is the denominator in 1 . like . 1. . . –1. like . fractions. like . 1. The number 1 is not considered prime. however. . 1 . . –1. –3. The difference of two numbers means subtract one number from the other. –2. 10 is not divisible by 3. 36 . add. 1. except for the number 2. 4. like . 0. . . (See multiple of ) Even Integer Integer integers that are divisible by 2. . . 7. All whole numbers are positive. . –18. . the quotient is 2. like . 0.6. (See divisible by) Negative Number a number that is less than zero. –5. . a number is divisible by a second number if that second number divides evenly into the original number. – 3 . 17. Example: 10 is divisible by 5 (10 ÷ 5 = 2. Product Quotient Real Number multiply. –3. 11. .6. The sum of two numbers means the numbers are added together. 2 integers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves. All prime numbers are odd.4329. (See whole number) Multiple of a number is a multiple of a second number if that second number can be multiplied by an integer to get the original number. –5. . 10 is not a multiple of 3. However. . . . –1. a number that is greater than zero. all the numbers you can think of. . 1 . . 4. 3. .Glossary of Terms Denominator Difference Divisible by the bottom number in a fraction. like . 42. the answer you get when you divide. . Example: 10 divided by 5 is 2. –4. 2. 2. like . . –23. with a remainder of 1. –2. numbers you can count on your fingers. . . . . and decimals. (See integer) Remainder Sum Whole Number the number left over after division. . Real numbers 2 include the integers. 2 subtract. 2. 0. . like . . 3. 4 Numerator Odd Integer Positive Number Prime Number the top part of a fraction. . 2 integers that are not divisible by 2. Example: 1 is the numerator of 1 . . . Example: 11 divided by 2 is 5. 2. 3. 2.63. . with no remainder). 3. 3. Example: 10 is a multiple of 5 (10 = 5 × 2).

L E S S O N 4 Adding Whole Numbers Basic Arithmetic Functions When we add numbers. of the two groups. follow these simple rules: 1. 37 . Arrange the numbers according to place value. For example. Now you have a total of 9 cans of soup. suppose you want to add two or more larger groups. The problem. The stocker adds 56 more cans. The total is often called the sum. Example: At the store where you buy your soup. written out. we are combining two or more groups to find the total. 3. Now. The number 9 is the sum (total). Line up the numbers in a straight column. suppose you have 5 cans of soup in your kitchen cupboard. there are 132 cans on the shelves. Make sure your answers are in the correct columns. 2. To add larger numbers correctly. would look like this: 132 56. Start the addition at the right with the ones column. Add each column. You want to know how many cans there are in all. and you buy 4 more.

Add each column. 22 + 513 5. 238 76 314 Copy the numbers into columns and add. Add the tens column. if your ones column adds up to 14. 5. 16 9 78 27 38 . Add the other columns in the same way: 11 When you add a column of numbers. Now you must carry the 1 to the tens column.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – To find the answer. 4. 7. 3. If the sum is 10 or more. 567 2. Example: 238 76 1. the sum may be 10 or more. Line up the numbers to be added in a straight column: 238 76 2. If the sum is 10 or more.004 3. Add the numbers in the ones place: 6 8 14 3. follow the three steps: 1. Make sure your answers are in the correct columns: 132 1 hundred 3 tens 2 ones +56 5 tens 6 ones 188 1 hundred 8 tens 8 ones Copy the numbers into columns and add.412 Carrying 40 30 1. carry the number in the tens place to the top of the next column: 1 238 76 4 4. Add the numbers in the ones place. starting with the number you carried: 1 4. Line up the numbers in a straight column. 24 12 1. you have a total of 1 ten and 4 ones. For example. 1.547 3 7 11 5. Line up the numbers to be added in a straight column. Add the tens column. 2. follow these simple rules: 1. Add the other columns in the same way. To carry. 1. write the number in the tens place at the top of the next column.790 831 104 3. 10. 132 1 hundred 3 tens 2 ones +56 5 tens 6 ones 2. starting with the number you carried. Start the addition at the right with the ones column: 1 hundred 3 tens 2 ones + 5 tens 6 ones 1 8 8 3.526 6. 499 8.

992 17. 19 2. 2. Line up the numbers in a column. 3. as usual. Make sure your answers are in the correct columns: 98 9 tens and 8 ones 75 7 tens and 5 ones 23 2 tens and 3 ones Copy the numbers into columns and subtract. 2. 235 Borrowing When we take 4 away from 9. follow these simple rules: 1. 79 When you subtract two numbers.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – 9. the ones place. Start the subtraction at the right with the ones column.465 10. 156 16. Arrange the numbers according to place value: 98 9 tens and 8 ones 75 7 tens and 5 ones 2. follow these simple rules: 1. Line up the columns by place value.600 86 782 5 62 3. 1. Continue subtracting from right to left. you are finding the difference between them. To borrow. Here are some questions answered by subtraction: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 15. 367 11. Optional: Check the result by adding. Example: 98 75 Sometimes the top number in a column is larger than the bottom number. 3.667 18. Line up the numbers in a column. how much must be added to 4? To subtract.005 112 Subtracting 14. 351 12. as usual: 52 = 5 tens and 2 ones 36 = 3 tens and 6 ones . 48 17 39 44 61 2. how many are left? What is the difference between 4 and 9? What is 9 minus 4? How much more is 9 than 4? To get 9. Example: 52 36 1. borrow from the tens place. 3. 13. Borrowing is also known as regrouping. Start with the right column. Start the subtraction at the right with the ones column: 9 tens and 8 ones 7 tens and 5 ones 2 3 39 1. Line up the columns by place value. If you cannot subtract the bottom number from the top number.808 20. Then you must borrow from the next column. 4. Arrange the numbers according to place value. Write the new numbers at the top of each column. Make sure your answers are in the correct columns.553 42 1.

You want to find out how many sticks of gum you have total. Each pack has 5 sticks. Suppose you had 3 packs of gum. There are 6 blocks in the rows across. borrow from the tens place.) Write the new numbers at the top of each column: 4 12 4 tens and 12 ones Multiplying Whole Numbers Multiplication is the short method of adding a number to itself several times. 3. you must borrow from the 5 in the tens place. 52 36 5 tens and 2 ones 3 tens and 6 ones Notice that you are taking 1 ten (10 ones) and adding it to the ones place. Now you have 12 ones: 2 10 12. If you cannot subtract the bottom number from the top number. There are 4 blocks in the up-and-down rows. We use multiplication to put together equal groups. 37 20. You have 3 groups of 5. But a shorter way is multiply 3 times 5. 61 21. you will get a total of 8. This means that 8 is the product of 4 times 2.623 28 14 88 5 15 Sometimes it is helpful to view equal groups in rows or columns.) For example.381 24. 19. (Since you cannot subtract 6 from 2. The result of multiplying one number by another is called the product.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – 2. In multiplication. Optional: Check the result by adding: 16 36 52. If you add 4 twos together. read 4 times 2 means 2 2 2 2. G U M G U M G U M 3 Practice. the two numbers multiplied are called factors.884 4 6 = 24 4 40 . you will get a total of 24. 193 22. A shorter way is to multiply. 465 23. the ones place. 6 277 497 13. 1. You have also taken one ten away from the tens place: 5 1 4. You could add 5 5 5. (The sign for multiplication is . If you add all the blocks in the figure below. So 4 2 8. Continue subtracting from right to left: 4 12 52 36 16 4. 22. Start with the right column. 4 2.

2 2 4). 1. If necessary.000. when one of the factors is zero. This is true no matter how large the number: 1 0 = 0 and 1. In other words.000 0 0. 1 2 2. 1 3 3. ■ Multiplying by One-Digit Numbers To multiply whole numbers: You may have already noticed that the order of the numbers (factors) doesn’t change the result: 7 2 14 and 2 7 14. and so forth). Begin multiplying in the ones place. The next row will give you the result of all the numbers multiplied by 2 (2 1 2. Line up the numbers by place value. Add any numbers that were carried. Memorize the multiplication table before you read the preceding math chapters. 3. ■ 41 . 7 groups of 2 equals 2 groups of 7. In multiplication. The second row across will give you the result of all the numbers multiplied by 1 (1 1 1. 2. the product is zero: 7 0 0 and 0 7 0. Continue multiplying from right to left. 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 3 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 4 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 5 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 6 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 7 7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70 77 84 8 8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80 88 96 9 9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90 99 108 10 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 11 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 110 121 132 12 12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120 132 144 Here are a few more tips to help you learn multiplication.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – Multiplication Table It is important that you commit to memory all the multiplication facts up to 12. Use the multiplication table to help you. carry to the next column.

63 26. (To multiply with three [or more] digit numbers. 800 2 7 3 8 6 9 34 26 204 2. you can put a zero in the ones place as a place holder. (2 34 68): 34 26 204 680 Note that the 8 is aligned with the 2 in the multiplier and that the zero serves as a place holder so that you align the numbers correctly. Add the columns.) Write this product (result) in the tens place under the first product. If necessary carry to the next column. Multiply as usual by the number in the ones place: (6 34 204) 2 27 6 162 Multiply. 530 30. (6 7 42.) 3. Continue multiplying from right to left.) 4 The following will help you learn to multiply with two (or more) digit numbers. 25. Add any numbers that were carried. If you want. (For larger numbers continue to line up the numbers according to place value. 79 27. 109 29. Line up the numbers by place value: 27 6 2. multiply the third product in the hundreds place.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – Example: 6 27 Multiplying by Numbers with Two or More Digits 1. 1. Write this product (result) in the tens place under the first product. Multiply as usual by the number in the ones place. 3. 48 28. 2. Add the columns: 34 26 204 680 884 42 . There are three steps. (6 2 12 and 12 4 16): 4 1. Begin multiplying in the ones place. Multiply by the number in the tens place. Carry 4 tens to the tens place. Multiply by the number in the tens place. Example: 34 26 27 6 2 3.

To do this. 1. Bring down. You can use the multiplication table as a guide. Write your answer on top. subtraction. You want to divide them equally among 3 people. 456 35. When you divide any number by itself. The result is called the quotient. you will use addition.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – Multiply. 40 (dividend) 5 (divisor) 8 (quotient) 45 Another way to write out this problem would be: 53 22 141 8 5 40 One more way to write this problem would be: More to Remember about Division 40 5 =8 Dividing Whole Numbers Division means dividing an amount into equal groups. 9 When you divide 12 equally into 3 groups. you have 4 in each group. In these steps. 98 33. 2. Here are the steps to division: 1. Estimate and divide. 85 34. you need to use division. 7. Memorize them as you did multiplication. the result is 1: 8 8 1 When you divide any number by 1. and multiplication. the result is zero: 0 8 0 Dividing by One-Digit Numbers 12 3 4 There are several steps to division. 31. 5. Write the problem correctly. Read it in reverse. Multiply and write your answer below. 128 11 32 The Language of Division The quantity to be divided is called the dividend. Division is the opposite of multiplication: 12 3 4 and 4 3 12 Example: 216 You need practice to learn basic division facts. the result is the number itself: 8 1 8 When zero is divided by another number. The sign means divided by. You want 3 groups out of a total of 12. Subtract. 4. Repeat the steps if necessary. Write the problem correctly: 9 216 43 . The number of equal parts is called the divisor. Division Is the Opposite of Multiplication You learned earlier that subtraction is the opposite of addition. 6. 3. 612 36. 77 32. Suppose you have 12 cookies.

or Three-Digit Numbers The steps for dividing by two. Subtract (21 18 3): 2 9 216 . 37 6 3 4 9 5 4 2 9 216 18 5. the answer is written above the hundreds place. Write your answer on top: Remainders 2 9 216 Notice that your answer is written above the tens place. Multiply your answer (the quotient) by the divisor. so try 2. You will still have 3 groups of 4. 44 . 2.18 36 7. you are dividing by a larger number in the first step. (If you are able to divide evenly into the hundreds place. 188 41. This number is called a remainder. Think about how many times 9 will go into 21. This means that you have a certain number of equal groups with one or more left over.18 3 6. 3. Is your answer the dividend (the number you divided into)? Then your work is correct. Add any remainder. However. 2. So you must divide 9 into 21. Divide. Multiply (9 below: 2 18) and write your answer Sometimes the quotient (answer) will not be exact. Nine times 3 27 is too large. You can show that there is a remainder by writing an R and the number left over beside the answer. Estimate and divide: You cannot divide 9 into 2. 13 ÷ 3 = 4 R1 Checking Your Work To check your work in division: 1.511 42. 256 39.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – 2. Bring down (6): 2 9 216 . But now you will have one cookie remaining.18 36 -36 0 Dividing by Two. 65 38. You will have a number left over. You want to divide them into 3 groups.929 24 9 216 .or three-digit numbers are the same. Let’s say you have 13 cookies instead of 12.) 4. 37. 5. Repeat the steps if necessary (36 ÷ 9 = 4): 40.

13 44. 1. 40 15. 40.207 47. 855 4.180 30. 872 29. 47 21. 20. 62 R2 41. 188 23. 931 17.464 36. 43. 4. 13 38. 126 26.000 48.920 11.000 48.168 35. 20 45 . 4. 11. 4.739 25. 579 2.200 31. 18.794 3. 3. 24.989 7.662 18.463 13. 52 9.825 34. 233 R13 47. 325 44.273 10.000 25 127 96 18 20 550 Answers 1. 577 8. 381 45. 6 R1 40. 11. 1. 847 32. 13.– BASIC ARITHMETIC FUNCTIONS – Divide. 1. 639 5. 2. 64 39.136 33. 1. 484 12. 3. 144 28.566 6. 2. 123 19. 3 45. 31 14. 9 20. 3.941 46. 8. 112 16. 105 22. 325 R4 43. 553 27. 20 R21 46. 7. 884 24.048 37.377 R3 42.


multiply. Decimals. The pizza below shows this: Three of the eight pieces (the pieces you ate) are shaded. 47 . they ask you to add. or compare fractions. Typically. Example: Let’s say that a pizza was cut into eight equal slices and you ate three of them. or they may be word problems. divide. Percents. and Averages Problems involving fractions may be straightforward calculation questions. The fraction 3 8 tells you what part of the pizza you ate.L E S S O N 5 Fractions Working with Fractions Fractions. subtract. A fraction is a part of something.

In fact. you could say that you have half a dollar. say 2 3 . your answer is correct. A fraction written to the right of a whole number: 3 1 . or 1 of a dollar. follow these steps: 6 1. If you get back the number you started with. say 123 . into a mixed number. AND AVERAGES – THREE KINDS OF FRACTIONS Proper fraction The top number is less than the bottom number: 1 2 4 8 2 . with smaller numbers. 4. if you have 50¢ in your pocket.– FRACTIONS. The top number is greater than or equal to the bottom number: 3 5 14 12 2 . 50¢ is 15000 of a dollar. 9 . follow these steps: 4 1. 3. that is. 12 The value of an improper fraction is 1 or more. Multiply the whole number (2) by the bottom number (4): 2×4=8 Add the result (8) to the top number (3): 8 + 3 = 11 11 Put the total (11) over the bottom number (4): 4 Check: Reverse the process by changing the improper fraction into a mixed number. 13 The value of a proper fraction is less than 1. To change an improper fraction. Divide the bottom number (2) into the top number (13) to get the whole 2 13 12 number portion (6) of the mixed number: 1 2. Check: Change the mixed number back into an improper fraction (see steps below). 3 . PERCENTS. Write the remainder of the division (1) over the old bottom number (2): 61 2 3. To change a mixed number. 24 3 2 3 4 4 The value of a mixed number is more than 1: It is the sum of the whole number plus the fraction. Changing Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions It’s easier to multiply and divide fractions when you’re working with improper fractions rather than mixed numbers. Improper fraction Mixed number Changing Improper Fractions into Mixed or Whole Numbers It’s easier to add and subtract fractions that are mixed numbers rather than improper fractions. Reducing 2 a fraction does not change its value. 4 2 . 48 . 9 . 12 3 . 3 . DECIMALS. Reducing Fractions Reducing a fraction means writing it in lowest terms. 2. For instance. into an improper fraction.

Follow these steps to raise 2 to 24ths: 3 1. Repeat the first three steps until you can’t find a number that divides evenly into both numbers of the fraction. PERCENTS.– FRACTIONS. Find a whole number that divides evenly into both numbers that make up the fraction. Do the same thing to the bottom number. We could do it in two steps: step: 284÷ 88 = 1 . Multiply the answer (8) by the old top number (2): 3. AND AVERAGES – Follow these steps to reduce a fraction: 1. DECIMALS. and replace the top of the fraction with the quotient (the answer you got when you divided). For example 43000 reduces to 430 when you cross out two . Check: Reduce the new fraction to see if you get back the original one: 3 24 =8 2 × 8 = 16 16 24 16 ÷ 8 24 ÷ 8 2 3 = 49 . reduce your answer. don’t panic if your answer isn’t listed. 1. Divide the old bottom number (3) into the new one (24): 2. ÷ 3 8 4 24 4 2 2 = 6 . let’s reduce 284 . 3. cross out the same number of zeroes in 0 both numbers to begin the reducing process. This is actually the opposite of reducing a fraction. Reduce these fractions to lowest terms. For example. Or we could do it in a single Shortcut: When the top and bottom numbers both end in zeroes. 4. 3 12 14 35 27 72 = = = Raising Fractions to Higher Terms Before you can add and subtract fractions.0 zeroes in both numbers. 2. Divide that number into the top of the fraction. Try to reduce it and then compare it to the choices. then 6 2 2 1 = 3 . On a multiple-choice test. Put the answer (16) over the new bottom number (24): 4. 2. you have to know how to raise a fraction to higher terms. 3. Whenever you do arithmetic with fractions.

Raise each fraction to 15ths: 3 × 5 = 15 2 10 3 = 15 + 4 = 12 5 15 ___________ 22 15 3. 3 Change the sum to a mixed number: 1 4 . DECIMALS. then reduce: 1 1 . just add the top numbers together and write the total over the bottom number. AND AVERAGES – Raise these fractions to higher terms. Here are a few tips for finding the LCD. multiply all the bottom numbers together. Add the whole numbers: 4. it is called the least common denominator (LCD). the smallest number that all the bottom numbers evenly divide into: ■ ■ ■ See if all the bottom numbers divide evenly into the biggest bottom number. you will have to raise some or all of the fractions to higher terms so that they all have the same bottom number. When all else fails. 5. say 2 3 + 1 4 : 5 5 1. 4. Example: 2 3 + 4 5 1. Look at a multiplication table of the largest bottom number until you find a number that all the other bottom numbers evenly divide into. called the common denominator. Multiply the bottom numbers: 2. Examples: 2 9 5 8 +4= 9 +7= 8 6 9 12 8 Reduce the sum: 2 . Change the improper fraction into a mixed number: 3. All of the original bottom numbers divide evenly into the common denominator. 6. 8 2 There are a few extra steps to add mixed numbers with the same bottom numbers. Find the LCD. Add as usual: 50 . 5 12 2 9 2 5 = x 24 = = x 27 x 500 Adding Fractions If the fractions have the same bottom numbers. Add the results of steps 2 and 3: 3 5 7 5 +4= 5 = 12 5 7 5 2+1=3 12 + 3 = 42 5 5 Finding the Least Common Denominator If the fractions you want to add don’t have the same bottom number. PERCENTS. Add the fractions: 2.– FRACTIONS. If it is the smallest number that they all divide evenly into.

Subtract the whole number parts of the two mixed numbers: 6. 5 5 making it 6. just subtract the top numbers and write the difference over the bottom number. or LCD. 7. Example: 4 9 –3= 9 4–3 9 = 1 9 If the fractions you want to subtract don’t have the same bottom number. So you borrow 1 from the 7. Add the numbers from Step 1: 3. Add the results of steps 1 and 2: 3 5 – 2 5 = 1 5 4–1 = 3 1 5 + 3 = 31 5 Sometimes there is an extra step where you borrow when subtracting mixed numbers with the same bottom numbers. If you forgot how to find the LCD. You can’t subtract the fractions the way they are because 4 is bigger than 3 . Raise each fraction to 12ths because 12 is the LCD. Example: 5 6 – 3 4 5 10 6 = 12 – 3 = 192 4 _________ 1 12 1. Subtract the whole numbers: 3. Subtract as usual: Subtracting mixed numbers with the same bottom number is similar to adding mixed numbers. just read the section on adding fractions with different bottom numbers. 4 1 + 2 3 + 1 = 3 4 6 Subtracting Fractions If the fractions have the same bottom numbers. Example: 4 3 – 1 2 5 5 1. DECIMALS. you will have to raise some or all of the fractions to higher terms. Now you have a different version of the original problem: 4. the smallest number that 6 and 4 both divide into evenly: 2. and change that 1 to 5 because 5 is the bottom number: 5 2. so that they all have the same bottom number. 8. 3 4 7 8 +1= 6 +2+3= 3 4 9. Subtract the fractional parts of the two mixed numbers: 5.– FRACTIONS. Add the results of the last two steps together: 51 73 = 65 + 5 5 65 + 5 8 5 3 5 3 5 = 68 5 =4 5 = 44 5 68 – 24 5 5 – 4 5 6–2 =4 4+ 4 5 . AND AVERAGES – Try these addition problems. Subtract the fractions: 2. PERCENTS. say 7 3 – 2 4 : 5 5 1.

47 120 Multiplying Fractions Multiplying fractions is actually easier than adding them. 4 1 – 2 3 = 3 4 Now let’s put what you have learned about adding and subtracting fractions to work in some real-life problems. AND AVERAGES – Try these subtraction problems. How many miles did he drive from the warehouse to the delivery location? a. do that division before multiplying. Manuel drove 3 1 miles to work. PERCENTS.357 140 miles. 15 172 d. Examples: 2 3 1 2 ×5= 7 ×3× 5 2×5 10 3 × 7 = 21 7 1×3×7 4 = 2×5×4 = 21 40 Sometimes you can cancel before multiplying. you will still get the right answer. DECIMALS. 13. All you do is multiply the top numbers and then multiply the bottom numbers. 52 . When he arrived at the delivery location. 3 2 How many miles did he travel in total? a. Canceling is a shortcut that makes the multiplication go faster because you’re multiplying with smaller numbers. When he left there. Then he drove 3 2 miles back to work for a meeting. 11. he drove 2 miles 2 4 to the dry cleaners. 42 130 b. Then he drove 4 3 miles to the store. a truck driver noted that the mileage gauge registered 4. Before leaving the warehouse.– FRACTIONS. It’s very similar to reducing: If there is a number that divides evenly into a top number and bottom number.400 110 miles. 16 152 c. but you will have to reduce it. 42 170 c. If you forget to cancel. he drove 3 1 miles home. Finally. 15 152 14. 4 5 7 8 –2= 3 –1–1= 4 2 12. 17 152 b. 43 170 d. the mileage gauge then registered 4. 10.

18. Cancel the 5 and the 20 by dividing 5 into both of them: 5 ÷ 5 = 1 and 20 ÷ 5 = 4. 16. Multiply across the new top numbers and the new bottom numbers: 1 × 3 = 3 .– FRACTIONS. 2 1 × 6 = 2 20. 2×4 8 Try these multiplication problems. Cross out the 6 and the 9. 3 3 × 4 2 = 4 5 53 . Cross out the 5 and the 20. Convert 5 1 to an improper fraction: 2 7 42 = 3 51 = 2 14 11 3 2 1 (4 × 3 + 2) 3 (5 × 2 + 1) 2 77 3 = = 14 3 11 2 3. 1 5 2 3 3 4 ×2= 3 ×4×3= 7 5 ×8= 9 To multiply a fraction by a whole number. 4 1 × 2 = 3 5 19. Example: 4 2 × 5 1 3 2 1. Example: 5 × 2 = 5 × 2 = 130 3 1 3 (Optional: Convert 130 to a mixed number: 3 1 ) 3 To multiply with mixed numbers. Cancel and multiply the fractions: 4. 15. 17. Optional: Convert the improper fraction to a mixed number: = 77 3 = 25 2 3 Now try these multiplication problems with mixed numbers and whole numbers. Convert 4 2 to an improper fraction: 3 2. 2. it’s easier to change them to improper fractions before multiplying. AND AVERAGES – Example: 5 6 × 9 20 1. 3. Cancel the 6 and the 9 by dividing 3 into both of them: 6 ÷ 3 = 2 and 9 ÷ 3 = 3. PERCENTS. DECIMALS. first rewrite the whole number as a fraction with a bottom number of 1.

Mr. she gets overtime pay of 1 1 times her regular hourly wage for the extra hours. $210 Dividing Fractions To divide one fraction by a second fraction. 54 . $154 c. invert the second fraction (that is. Stone stopped to make a phone call. how many hours did he work? 4 a. 25 d. 3. Multiply the first fraction by the new second fraction: 1 × 5 = 2 3 1×5 2×3 = 5 6 To divide a fraction by a whole number. How much did she earn for working 11 hours in one 2 day? a.– FRACTIONS. After driving 2 of the 15 miles to work. 7 1 2 c. Then follow the division steps above. If Henry worked 3 of a 40-hour week. PERCENTS. $77 b. How many miles had he 3 driven when he made his call? a. flip the top and bottom numbers) and then multiply.00 an hour. and then divide as usual. 10 c. AND AVERAGES – Here are a few more real-life problems to test your skills. 30 23. Example: 1 ÷ 2 3 5 1. Example: 3 ÷ 2 = 3 ÷ 2 = 3 × 1 = 5 5 1 5 2 3×1 5×2 = 3 10 When the division problem has a mixed number. When she works more than 8 hours a day. $175 d. Change the division sign (÷) to a multiplication sign (×). 12 22. 10 d. first change the whole number to a fraction by putting it over 1. Invert the second fraction ( 3 ): 5 5 3 2. DECIMALS. convert it to an improper fraction. Technician Chin makes $14. 5 b. 7 1 2 b. 21.

3 5 ÷3= 27. DECIMALS. Convert 2 3 to an improper fraction: 4 2. 24. If four friends evenly split 6 1 pounds of candy. 8 13 15 8 11 2 1 153 29. 28.75 d.– FRACTIONS.00 b. 8 30. $10. d. Flip 1 to 6 change ÷ to ×. 4 c. Divide 11 4 23 = 4 11 4 11 4 2 2×4+3 4 = 6 1 11 4 by 1 : 6 ÷ × 1 6 6 1 3 = = 11 4 × 3. b. how many pounds of candy does each friend get? 2 a.75 for working 3 1 hours. $10. $12. c. cancel and multiply: 6 1 Here are a few division problems to try. 2 3 ÷ 1 = 4 2 26.00 55 . What was her hourly wage? 2 a.50 c. 2 b. PERCENTS. 6 d. 3 3 ÷ 2 1 = 4 3 Let’s wrap this up with some real-life problems. Goldbaum earned $36. $10. Ms. How many 2 1 -pound chunks of cheese can be cut from a single 20-pound piece of cheese? 2 a. 1 3 11 × 3 2×1 = 33 2 ÷2= 3 25. AND AVERAGES – Example: 2 3 ÷ 4 1 6 1.

53). 15 is the same as 15.000.00: Bring the decimal point up into the answer: 3.– FRACTIONS. Thus. the number 6 will keep repeating: 2 ÷ 3 = . The quotient (result of the division) is the answer: Some fractions may require you to add many decimal zeros in order for the division to come out evenly. Because there are 100 cents in one dollar. If there are digits only to the right of the decimal point (like . when you convert a fraction like 2 to a decimal. AND AVERAGES – Decimals A decimal is a special kind of fraction. you can keep adding decimal zeros to the top number for3 ever because the division will never come out evenly. 00 28 20 20 0 . 2 This is called a repeating decimal and it can be written as .170 6.17 is the same as all of these: 6.6666666666 etc.02 = 2 hundredths = 12 00 3 . As you divide 3 into 2. A whole number (like 15) is understood to have a decimal point at its right (15.35 is a decimal that represents 10 dollars and 35 cents.67. In fact.35). DECIMALS.75 3. . PERCENTS. Divide the bottom number (4) into 3. or $.666 or as .66 3 .0.1 = 1 tenth = 110 . Changing Fractions to Decimals To change a fraction to a decimal. For example.000 When you add zeros after the rightmost decimal place. When you divide. 15. You can approximate it as . You use decimals every day when you deal with money—$10.1700 6. and so on. 1¢ is 11 of a dollar.01. the number is called a decimal. 6.0004 = 4 ten-thousandths = 4 10. 00 Each decimal digit to the right of the decimal point has a name: Examples: . and so on.6667. bring the decimal point up into your answer. the number is called a mixed decimal. 15.667. 56 .00 . you don’t change the value of the decimal. Example: Change 3 to a decimal.75 ↑ 4 3.00.003 = 3 thousandths = 1. Add a decimal point and two zeros to the top number (3): 2. The decimal point separates the dollars from the cents.000 . 4 1. . divide the bottom number into the top number after you put a decimal point and a few zeros on the right of the top number.).17000000000000000 If there are digits on both sides of the decimal point (like 10.

To compare . 1. .1 is larger than .000 + . line them up so their decimal points are aligned. 123. Adding and Subtracting Decimals To add or subtract decimals. Reduce by dividing 2 into the top and bottom numbers: Change these decimals or mixed decimals to fractions. Since 10 is larger than 8.038 = 1.230 57.08 and .000 as the bottom number: 3. 1.000 18 ÷ 2 1. 1. PERCENTS. DECIMALS. 31. Write 18 as the top of the fraction: 2. tack zeros onto the end of the shorter decimals.192 57 .23 + 57 + .48 = 33. if a number doesn’t have a decimal point. 3. AND AVERAGES – Changing Decimals to Fractions To change a decimal to a fraction. if possible. then put one at the right end of the number.– FRACTIONS.038 = 1. just compare 10 to 8. Example: 1.23 – . Remember.018 1.038 58.10 2. Tack one zero at the end of . 3.10 to .1. Then reduce the fraction. Three places to the right of the decimal means thousandths.005 = 32. You may want to tack on zeros at the end of shorter decimals so you can keep all your digits lined up evenly. Line up the numbers like this: 2. Subtract.038 1.268 Example: 1.08. . Then all you have to do is compare the numbers as if the decimal points weren’t there: Example: Compare . write the digits of the decimal as the top number of a fraction and write the decimal’s name as the bottom number of the fraction. Example: .230 – . Add. so write 1. Line up the numbers like this: 2.000 ÷ 2 = 9 500 Because decimals are easier to compare when they have the same number of digits after the decimal point.08.1: .456 = Comparing Decimals 18 18 1.

45 c. DECIMALS. 8. He then walked 1. Multiply 2157 times 24: 2157 × 24 8628 4314 51768 58 .05 39.456 – 122 = 38. .6 miles around the park to make sure everything was all right. 73.075 = 35. AND AVERAGES – Try these addition and subtraction problems. 10. The average number of customers at a diner fell from 486. 3.– FRACTIONS.5 per week.905 + . By how many customers per week did the average fall? a.4 per week to 402.7 × 2.573 = 37. Then count the total number of decimal digits (the digits to the right of the decimal point) in the numbers you are multiplying. He got back into the car. 123.7 miles to the state park. .4 1. 8. 83.02 + 3. Example: 215.48 – 2. Count off that number of digits in your answer beginning at the right side and put the decimal point to the left of those digits. 34. ignore the decimal points and just multiply the numbers. 10 d.005 + 8 + . drove 2. PERCENTS.9 b.3 = 36.75 miles to check on a broken light and then drove 2 miles back to the ranger station. 83. 83 c.05 b. How many miles did he drive in total? a.9 Multiplying Decimals To multiply decimals.1 d. A park ranger drove 3.

$14. $518.68 If your answer doesn’t have enough digits. DECIMALS.25 b. $543.75 44. $14.50 d. You need five decimal digits in your answer.006 1. Nuts cost $3.– FRACTIONS.5 hours.4 = 42. Put the decimal point at the front of the number (which is five digits in from the right): . he worked 37. . How much money did he earn that week? a.05 × .50 c.6 = 41. Joe earns $14. Last week. Approximately how much will 4. Example: .0184 = 43. $12. $536.03 × .50 per pound. AND AVERAGES – 2. count off two places from the right in 51768.88 59 . Because there is a total of two decimal digits in 215. 40. placing the decimal point to the left of the last two digits: 517.50 per hour. so tack on three zeros: 00018 3.88 c. PERCENTS.50 d. tack zeros on to the left of the answer.4.00 b. $12. Multiply 3 times 6: 3 × 6 = 18 2.053 × 6.25 pounds of nuts cost? a.1 × . 38.00018 You can practice multiplying decimals with these. . $518.7 and 2.

06. Divide using the new numbers: 20. 2. PERCENTS. Move the decimal point to the very right of the number you are dividing by.3 6 121.a whole number. if you are dividing a whole number by a decimal. Then divide as you would normally divide whole numbers.06 1. if the answer doesn’t come out evenly when you do the division.21. Example: . set up the division. 8 . 1. Then move the decimal point the same number of places to the right in the number you are dividing into. you have to tack on zeros to the right of the last decimal digit in the number you are dividing into: ■ ■ ■ if there are not enough digits for you to move the decimal point to the right.218 1. DECIMALS.– FRACTIONS. first change the problem to one in which you are dividing by a whole number.032 ↑256 .256. ↑8 . . AND AVERAGES – Dividing Decimals To divide a decimal by . 8 ↑256 . 60 . 0 25 24 16 16 0 There is an extra step to perform before you can divide any number by a decimal. move the decimal point two places to the right in both numbers and move the decimal point straight up into the answer: .06. Then you will have to tack on the decimal point as well as some zeros. Example: 8 .8 12 01 00 18 18 0 Under certain conditions. Because there are two decimal digits in . and immediately bring the decimal point straight up into the answer. counting the number of places you are moving it. In other words.


Try your skills on these division problems. 45. 7 9.8 = 46. .0004 .0512 = 47. .5 28.6 = 48. .14 196 = 49. If James Worthington drove his truck 92.4 miles in 2.1 hours, what was his average speed in miles per hour? a. 41 b. 44 c. 90.3 d. 94.5 50. Mary Sanders walked a total of 18.6 miles in 4 days. On average, how many miles did she walk each day? a. 4.15 b. 4.60 c. 4.65 d. 22.60

A percent is a special kind of fraction or part of something. The bottom number (the denominator) is always 100. For example, 17% is the same as 11070 . Literally, the word percent means per 100 parts. The root cent means 100: A century is 100 years; there are 100 cents in a dollar, etc. Thus, 17% means 17 parts out of 100. Because fractions can also be expressed as decimals, 17% is also equivalent to .17, which is 17 hundredths. You come into contact with percents every day. Sales tax, interest, and discounts are just a few common examples. If your fraction skills need work, you may want to review that section again before reading further.
Changing a Decimal to a Percent and Vice Versa

To change a decimal to a percent, move the decimal point two places to the right and tack on a percent sign (%) at the end. If the decimal point moves to the very right of the number, you don’t have to write the decimal point. If there aren’t enough places to move the decimal point, add zeros on the right before moving the decimal point. To change a percent to a decimal, drop off the percent sign and move the decimal point two places to the left. If there aren’t enough places to move the decimal point, add zeros on the left before moving the decimal point.



Try changing these decimals to percents. 51. .45 = 52. .008 = 53. .16 2 = 3 Now, change these percents to decimals. 54. 12% = 55. 87 1 % = 2 56. 250% =
Changing a Fraction to a Percent and Vice Versa
1 To change a fraction to a percent, there are two techniques. Each is illustrated by changing the fraction 4 to a percent:

Technique 1:

Multiply the fraction by 100%. Multiply 1 by 100%: 4
1 4


100% 1


= 25%.

Technique 2:

Divide the fraction’s bottom number into the top number; then move the decimal point two places to the right and tack on a percent sign (%). Divide 4 into 1 and move the decimal point two places to the right: .25 4 1.00 .25 = 25%

To change a percent to a fraction, remove the percent sign and write the number over 100. Then reduce if possible. Example: Change 4% to a fraction. 1. Remove the % and write the fraction 4 over 100: 2. Reduce:
4 100 4÷4 100 ÷ 4


1 25

Here’s a more complicated example: Change 16 2 % to a fraction. 3 1. Remove the % and write the fraction 16 2 over 100: 3 problem: 16 2 ÷ 100 3 3. Change the mixed number (16 2 ) to an improper fraction ( 530 ): 3 4. Flip the second fraction ( 100 ) and multiply: 1

16 2 3 100

2. Since a fraction means “top number divided by bottom number,” rewrite the fraction as a division
50 3
50 3

÷ ×

100 1
1 100

1 =6


Try changing these fractions to percents. 57. 58. 59.
1 8

= = =

13 25 7 12

Now change these percents to fractions. 60. 95% = 61. 37 1 % = 2 62. 125% = Sometimes it is more convenient to work with a percentage as a fraction or a decimal. Rather than always calculating the equivalent fraction or decimal, consider memorizing the equivalence table below. Not only will this increase your efficiency on the math test, but it will also be practical for real-life situations.
1 4 1 2 3 4 1 10 1 5 2 5 3 5 4 5 1 3 2 3

.25 .50 .75 .10 .20 .40 .60 .80 .333 .666

25% 50% 75% 10% 20% 40% 60% 80% 33 3 % 66 3 %
2 1

– –


The % is the number that is in front of the % or percent in the question. 64 . What is 30% of 40? 30 is the % and 40 is the of number: Cross-multiply and solve for is: = 13000 is × 100 = 40 × 30 is × 100 = 1. let’s use the fact that the cross-products are equal.200 12 × 100 = 1.– FRACTIONS. 12 is 30% of 40. Remembering that product means multiply. PERCENTS. here’s how to create the cross-products for the percent shortcut: part whole = % 100 part × 100 = whole × % Here’s how to use the shortcut with cross-products: ■ Find a percent of a whole. The of is the number that usually follows the word of in the question. The cross-products are the products of the numbers diagonally across from each other. AND AVERAGES – Percent Word Problems Word problems involving percents come in three main varieties: ■ ■ ■ Find a percent of a whole. Or you may think of the shortcut formula as: part whole = % 100 part × 100 = whole × % To solve each of the three varieties. Example: 12 is 30% of what number? While each variety has its own approach.200 is 40 Thus. DECIMALS. Example: 12 is what percent of 40? Find the whole when the percent of it is given. there is a single shortcut formula you can use to solve each of these: is of = % 100 The is is the number that usually follows or is just before the word is in the question. Example: What is 30% of 40? Find what percent one number is of another number.

200 = 40 × % 1.– FRACTIONS.200 = 40 × 30 12 of Thus 12 is 30% of 40. AND AVERAGES – ■ Find what percent one number is of another number. and the of number is the original amount. the selling price is decreased by 25%. PERCENTS. The is number is the actual increase or decrease. $20. because the increase amount of $5 is now based on a lower original price of only $15: Thus. the selling price is increased by 33%. don’t be fooled into thinking that the percent increase is also 25%! It’s actually more. The of number is the original amount. Calculate the decrease. 12 is what percent of 40? 12 is the is number and 40 is the of number: 12 = 1% 00 40 Cross-multiply and solve for %: 12 × 100 = 40 × % 1. Set up the equation and solve for of by cross-multiplying: $20 – $15 = $5 = 1% 00 5 × 100 = 20 × % 500 = 20 × % 500 = 20 × 25 = 1% 00 5 × 100 = 15 × % 500 = 15 × % 500 = 15 × 33 1 3 5 15 5 20 4. DECIMALS. Example: If a merchant puts his $20 hats on sale for $15. 65 . 3. 12 is 30% of what number? 12 is the is number and 30 is the %: Cross-multiply and solve for the of number: ■ = 13000 12 × 100 = of × 30 1. You can use the same technique to find the percent increase or decrease. Find the whole when the percent of it is given.200 = 40 × 30 Thus. by what percent does he decrease the selling price? 1.200 = of × 30 1. 12 is 30% of 40. If the merchant later raises the price of the hats from $15 back to $20. Thus. the is number: 2.

37 1 % of 100 = 2 66. 12 is what % of 4? Find the whole when the percent of it is given. PERCENTS. How many employees were absent that day? a. DECIMALS.– FRACTIONS. 120 d. 200% of what number is 20? Now try your percent skills on some real-life problems. Last Monday. 18. 70. 112 c. 112 d. 1% of 25 = 64. how many men are employed there? a. 28 c. 37 1 % of what number is 3? 2 72. 67. 4 is what % of 12? 69. 126 74. Forty percent of Vero’s postal service employees are women.2% of 50 = 65. AND AVERAGES – Find a percent of a whole. 32 b. 73. 20% of 140 staff members were absent. 63. 14 b. 125% of 60 = Find what percent one number is of another number. 160 66 . If there are 80 women in Vero’s postal service. 10 is what % of 20? 68. 15% of what number is 15? 71.

PERCENTS. If they are equally spaced. 20. 67 . For example. and 32 is just a little more than 20. and 40. In this case. then the average is the number in the middle. 10. $40 d. and 20? Solution: Add the three numbers together and divide by 3: Shortcut 6 + 10 + 20 3 = 12 Here’s a neat shortcut for some average problems. 10. $20 c. $12 b. what was the original price of the shoes before the sale? a. 20. add up the number of items being averaged and divide by the number of items. say 10. AND AVERAGES – 75. Of the 840 shirts sold at a retail store last month. 20% 76. DECIMALS. If there is an even number of such numbers.5% b. What percent of the shirts were short sleeved? a. the average is halfway between 20 and 30. ■ ■ ■ Look at the numbers being averaged. $50 Averages An average. the average of 10. 2% c. . 15. If Jason saved $10 by purchasing one pair of shoes during the sale.– FRACTIONS. or 25. To calculate an average. and 25. the average is halfway between the two middle numbers. the average grade on a test. is a number that typifies a group of numbers. or 15 in this case. also called an arithmetic mean. the average number of hours you work per week. 20. 30. you can probably estimate the average without going to the trouble of actually computing it. then there is no middle number. which is the middle number. 42 had short sleeves. If the numbers are almost evenly spaced. In this case. Example: What is the average of 6. You come into contact with averages on a regular basis: your bowling average. 5% d. a measure of central tendency. like 5. Sam’s Shoe Store put all of its merchandise on sale for 20% off.

1. There are 10 females and 20 males in a history class. 186. 33 2 21. 12. 22 1 2 c. 8. . 200 7. 14. 184. 9. c. 16. If the females achieved an average score of 85 and the males achieved an average score of 95. b. 18 b. 184 d. AND AVERAGES – Try these average questions. 185 78. and 188. 182 b. Conroy averaged 30 miles an hour for the two hours he drove in town and 60 miles an hour for the two hours he drove on the highway. PERCENTS. 11 12 7 55 24 or 2 24 71 4 2 15 68 or 1 11 15 or 16 1 2 19. 77. 10 5. 6 6. DECIMALS. 10. a. 45 d. What was his average speed in miles per hour? a. 15. Bob’s bowling scores for the last five games were 180. What was his average bowling score? a. 2. 1 4 2 5 3 8 1 8 19 12 or 1 172 13. 18. 2 15 8 35 2 3 26 15 4. 15 20. 92 d. 182. 91 2 3 c.– FRACTIONS. 90 2 3 b. 17.) a. 60 79. what was the class average? (Hint: Don’t fall for the trap of taking the average of 85 and 95. 92 2 3 Answers Fractions 11. there are more scores of 95 being averaged than 85. 3. 183 c.

2. 52% 59. 0. 0. c. 64. 37 1 or 37.4 46.8% 53. c. 1. 128 47. 62. 27. 5 1. 1. b. 1 5 45 28 28.305 36. c. 1. 61.12 or 1 17 28 55. 1 2 Percents 51. 76. 123 14500 or 123 15275 . 44.5 57. c. 29. b.907 37. d.5 2 66. 16. 0.– FRACTIONS. 5 1 2 26.0 34. DECIMALS. 10 73. 69 .5% or 12 1 % 2 58. 9. AND AVERAGES – 22. 78. 0.456 38. 33 1 % 3 69. 40.2 48. 45.3392 42. 63. 0. b. PERCENTS. 58. 0. b. c. c.25 25. d. 12.1 65. 24. 19 20 3 8 5 1 4 or 1 4 1 4 or . 23. 57. d. 8 72.000 3 12 25 or 1 200 6 33. 45% 52.33% or 58 1 % 3 60. 75 67. 100 71.875 56. 32. 74. Decimals 31. Averages 77. 8. 39.67% or 16 2 % 3 54. 79. 300% 70. 0.400 49. 30. 4 35. 75. d. d. 50% 68. 50. b. b.03 41.70104 43. d.


The arithmetic involved is pretty simple. rectangles.L E S S O N 6 Geometr y Geometry and Algebra Typically. angles. 71 . squares. there are very few geometry problems on the math sections. so all you really need are a few definitions and formulas. You may be asked to find the area or perimeter of a particular shape or the size of an angle. The problems that are included tend to cover the basics: lines. and circles. triangles.

14. The diameter is twice the length of the radius. (See circle. the line below may be referred to as line l or as AB. Area = πr2 Circumference = 2πr (π = 3. like this: • A line segment from the center to any point on a circle.Glossary of Geometry Terms Angle two rays with a common endpoint called a vertex. It is referred to by a letter at the end of it or by two points on it. There are four types of angles: Acute: less than 90° Obtuse: more than 90° Right: 90° Straight: 180° set of all points that are the same distance from the center. l||m Perimeter distance around a figure. (See right angle) Point has a location but no size or dimension. The perimeter of a circle is called its circumference. (See circle) a line through the center of a circle. radius) extends endlessly in both directions. Thus. Circle radius Circumference Diameter Line l Parallel lines A B l m two lines in the same plane that do not intersect. The radius is half the diameter. diameter) Radius 72 . such as a triangle or a rectangle. Perimeter = sum of length of all sides Perpendicular lines two lines in the same plane that intersect to form four right angles. r = radius) distance around a circle. (See circle. It is referred to by a letter close to it.

height base Practice Problems in Geometry Try these sample problems. how many feet of fencing are needed to completely surround the field? a. Find the perimeter of a triangle with sides of length 3. It cannot be determined. 80 b. 20 d. What is the area in inches of a triangle with base 10" and height 8"? a.Glossary of Geometry Terms (continued) Rectangle four-sided figure with a right angle and both pairs of opposite sides parallel (which implies that all four sides are right angles and that opposite sides are equal in length). 4. 128 c. 73 . a. 12 units d. 40 c. Area = length × width Perimeter = 2 × length + 2 × width rectangle with four equal sides (See rectangle). 64 d. and 5 units. 60 units b. 20 units c. Area = (side)2 Perimeter = 4 × side Square Triangle three-sided figure. Area = 1 (base × height) 2 Perimeter = sum of the lengths of all three sides Angles: The sum of the three angles of a triangle is always 180°. 1. 256 b. If the area of a square field measures 256 square feet. 9 units 3. 10 2.

5 c.4 b. but this one uses only variables. 31. 4. are letters of the alphabet that are used to represent numbers. multiply the rate of travel (speed) by the amount of time traveled: d = r × t. 74 . they typically cover the material you learned in pre-algebra or in the first few months of your high school algebra course. what is the width of the rectangle? a. 5 5. you could express the problem as x + 3 = 5. The length of a rectangle is twice its width. and that’s why they’re called variables. The variable x represents the number you are trying to find. r stands for rate. Popular topics for algebra questions include: ■ ■ ■ solving equations positive and negative numbers algebraic expressions What Is Algebra? Algebra is a way to express and solve problems using numbers and symbols.) a. However.– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – 4. A circular opening has a diameter of 8 1 inches. 8 d. 376. 15 d. they vary. If you roll the hoop along a straight path through 6 complete revolutions. If the perimeter of the rectangle is 30 units. the variables may take on different values. 62. For example. What is the radius in inches of a circular disk that will 2 exactly fit into the opening? a.14 for π. 188. called unknowns or variables. 30 b. when they do. To find the distance traveled. 20 c. Here’s another example. The variable d stands for distance.4 d. 17 b. Using algebra. when added to 3. These symbols. In other words. 8. gives you a total of 5. say you are asked to find out what number. The radius of a hoop is 10".8 c.8 Algebra Algebra questions do not appear on every test. approximately how far will it roll.25 6. in inches? (Use a value of 3. In algebra. and t stands for time.

Thus. whatever you do to one side. you must also do to the other side to maintain the balance. multiply both sides by 4: Finally. That’s called solving the equation. Sometimes you can solve an equation by inspection. with both sides equally balanced. if you were to add 2 to the left side. Thus. In arithmetic. x = 5 because 2 × 5 = 10. and division. Essentially. Looking at the equation. or x + y = 7. we might say 3 + 4 = 7. x = 3 because 3 + 5 = 8. Begin by subtracting 1 from both sides of the equation: n 1 = 3 –1 –1 _____________ 4 n 4 2 2 2 = 2 4 Next. as with the above examples. Therefore. In the second example. you can see that n has been increased by 2 and then divided by 4 and ultimately added to 1. Other equations may be more complicated and require a step-by-step solution: n 4 2 +1=3 The general approach is to consider an equation like a balance scale. Here’s how each operation translates to algebra: ALGEBRAIC OPERATIONS The sum of two numbers The difference of two numbers The product of two numbers The quotient of two numbers x+y x–y x × y or x • y or xy x y Equations An equation is a mathematical sentence stating that two quantities are equal. Its value will then be on the other side. we would talk about two numbers whose values we don’t know that add up to 7. in the first example. Let’s apply this balance concept to our complicated equation above. we must somehow rearrange it so the n is isolated on one side of the equation. subtraction. For example: 2x = 10 x+5=8 The idea is to find a replacement for the unknown that will make the sentence true. we will undo these operations to isolate n. you would also have to add 2 to the right side. Remembering that we want to solve it for n. while in algebra. multiplication. subtract 2 from both sides: This isolates n and solves the equation: 4 = 2 n 2 = 8 –2 –2 _____________ 4 n n = 6 75 .– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – Operations Algebra uses the same operations as arithmetic: addition.

–5 is less than –2. are best shown as points along the number line: −5 −4 −3 −2 −1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 Numbers to the left of 0 are negative and those to the right are positive. For example. 1 x = 7 4 Positive and Negative Numbers Positive and negative numbers. very cold temperatures are recorded as negative numbers. x + 5 = 12 8. You come into contact with negative numbers more often than you might think. 3x + 6 = 18 9. 76 . Zero is neither negative nor positive. for example. Notice that when you are on the negative side of the number line. also known as signed numbers.– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – Notice that each operation in the original equation was undone by using the inverse operation. numbers with bigger values are actually smaller. check your work by plugging the answer back into the original equation to make sure it balances. Observe what happens when we plug 6 in for n: 6+2 4 8 4 +1 +1 2+1 3 = = = = 3 3 3 3 Solve each equation for x: 7. That is. addition was undone by subtraction. and division was undone by multiplication. it is assumed to be positive. each operation can be undone by its inverse: ALGEBRAIC INVERSES OPERATION INVERSE Addition Subtraction Multiplication Division Subtraction Addition Division Multiplication After you solve an equation. If a number is written without a sign. In general.

If both numbers have different signs. the sum is zero. it is negative. otherwise. is greater than another number. The answer has the same sign as the larger number. to indicate that one number. otherwise. 3 – 5 = 3 + (–5) = –2 –3 – 5 = –3 + (–5) = –8 –3 – (–5) = –3 + 5 = 2 MULTIPLICATION Multiply the numbers together. the answer is positive. If both numbers have the same sign. 15 ÷ 3 = –15 ÷ (–3) = 15 ÷ (–3) = –15 ÷ 3 = 0÷3= 5 5 –5 –5 0 77 . (<): –2 < 4 Arithmetic with Positive and Negative Numbers The table below illustrates the rules for doing arithmetic with signed numbers. say –2. the numbers get larger. If both numbers are the same but have opposite signs. subtract the smaller number from the larger. DIVISION 3×5= –3 × (–5) = –3 × 5 = 3 × (–5) = 3×0= 15 15 –15 –15 0 Divide the numbers. The answer has the same sign as the numbers being added. If both numbers have the same sign. it is negative. to say that –2 is less than 4. SUBTRACTION 3+5= –3 + (–5) = –3 + 5 = 3 + (–5) = 3 + (–3) = 8 –8 2 –2 0 Change the sign of the number to be subtracted and then add as above.– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – As you move to the right along the number line. RULE ADDITION EXAMPLE If both numbers have the same sign. the answer is zero. the answer is positive. the answer is zero. Mathematically. it is enclosed in parentheses to avoid confusion. If one number is zero. say 4. If the top number is zero. we use the less than sign. just add them. Notice that when a negative number follows an operation (as it does in the second example below). the greater than sign (>) is used: 4 > –2 On the other hand.

Solve for x. The correct answer is 14. addition subtraction Even when signed numbers appear in an equation. do you know what to do first to calculate 2 + 3 × 4? You are right if you said. unknowns. 1. Subtract 2 from both sides: 2. } 1. the step-by-step solution works exactly as it does for positive numbers. Divide both sides by –14: –14x + 2 = –5 –2 –2 ____________ –14x = –7 –14x ÷ –14 = –7 ÷ –14 x=1 2 Now try these problems with signed numbers. 6. The correct sequence of operations is: parentheses exponents multiplication If you remember this saying. If you add first. if x = 5 and y = 4. You just have to remember the arithmetic rules for negative numbers.– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – When more than one arithmetic operation appears. For example. you will get the wrong answer of 20. you will know the order division of operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. 2. –3x + 6 = –18 12. like: 3x – 2y. you must know the correct sequence in which to perform the operations. For example.” To evaluate an algebraic expression. 3. 4. 10. and arithmetic operations. 1 – 3 × (–4) = x 11. multiply first. For example. let’s solve 14x + 2 = 5. replace each variable with its value. 5. we would evaluate 3x – 2y as follows: 3(5) – 2(4) = 15 – 8 = 7 78 . This one may be translated as. x –4 + 3 = –7 Algebraic Expressions An algebraic expression is a group of numbers. “3 times some number minus 2 times another number.

d. d. The volume of a cylinder is given by the formula V=πr2h. where r is the radius of the base and h is the height of the cylinder. 3mn – 4m + 2n. b. 3. 28 10.– GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA – Evaluate these expressions. If x = 3. m = 3 and n = –3 15.) 17. 36π 17. 7 8. 40 13. c. x = 5. 5 14. a = 2 and b = –1 14. 4a + 3b. 4 9. what is the value of 3x – x? Answers Geometry Algebra 1. 8 12. –45 15. c. 16 16. What is the volume of a cylinder with a base radius of 3 and height of 4? (Leave π in your answer. 4. 6. 13. 6 79 . y = –4. 2. d. 13 11. –2x – 1 y + 4z. and z = 6 2 16. 5. 7.


L E S S O N 7 A Word Problems word problem tells a story. require several steps. To represent that chunk. rather than straight through. Your job is to translate that word problem into a math problem to solve. fractions. including simple arithmetic. however. draw a picture. Most word problems. percentages—even algebra and geometry. decimals. Here are some steps to help you solve word problems: 1. It may present a situation with numbers and/or unknown information (also called a variable). Read a word problem in chunks. draw a diagram. Many of the math problems on the ASVAB are word problems. This chapter will give you some helpful hints to use when you try to solve word problems. As you read each chunk. A word problem can include any kind of math. Repeat this process with 81 . stop to think about what it means. Steps to Solving Word Problems Some simple word problems can be solved by common sense. or write an equation. You may even want to underline important information in each chunk. take notes.

Then think about how you’re going to use it to solve the problem. Think of the key word as a word to look for in a word problem that will signal to you what operation to use to set up the equation and solve the problem. try working the problem backward. The unknown is a way of saying that you don’t know that part of the equation. sometimes you can translate it word for word from English statements into mathematical statements. Figure out what information you already have. This will help you avoid the careless mistake of answering the wrong question. 4. Following are some translation tips: ■ ■ ■ Ask yourself if the answer is reasonable: Does it make sense? Plug your answer back into the problem: Does it hold together? Work the problem a second time. 3. you probably won’t have to read it again to answer it. don’t assume your answer is correct just because it matches one of the answers given. you will write out an equation. 2. An equation is a number sentence that shows two parts that are equal: 45 12 57 is a number sentence and an equation. using a different method if you can. Often. For many problems. For example. key words in the problem hint at the mathematical operation to be performed and how to translate that story into math. Check your work after you get an answer. In a multiple-choice test. The gloves cost $12. If a question stumps you. The equation looks like this: 45 x 57. 82 . The most common mistakes are often included in the answer choices.– WORD PROBLEMS – each chunk. Here are a few suggestions: ■ Translating Word Problems The hardest part of any word problem is translating the story into math. suppose you went shopping and bought a sweater for $45. You do remember that you spent $57 in all. You use the letter x to represent the price of the gloves. Sometimes this unknown amount is represented by a letter. Reading a word problem in sections makes the problem easier to understand. When you read a problem. but you can’t remember how much they cost. Also. You also bought a pair of gloves. The amount of the gloves is the unknown. When you solve the problem. Reread the question to make sure you’ve answered the right question after you get your answer. you learn that x 12. An equation may involve an unknown amount. Make a plan of attack. You should always check your work if you have time.

The total of three numbers is 25. or older than. run. and also how far. altogether MATH The sum of two numbers is 10. walk.– WORD PROBLEMS – EQUALS ENGLISH Key words: is.200 miles r 5 miles per hour 83 . car. has MATH Judi has 5 books. climb. MULTIPLICATION ENGLISH J R X M B A Y 2J 2 3 17 5 Key words: of. ADDITION ENGLISH J B H 5 18 7 Key words: sum. Judi is 2 years older than Tony. times MATH 1 2 Half of the boys The product of two numbers is 12. how long ENGLISH MATH How far did the plane travel in 4 hours if it averaged 300 miles per hour? Ben walked 20 miles in 4 hours. The base is 3" greater than the height. product. left over MATH Jay is 2 years younger than Brett. Karen has $5 more than Sam. boat. R apples remained. What was his average speed? D D 20 300 r 4 4 1. The difference between two numbers is 17. swim. How much do Joan and Tom have altogether? SUBTRACTION ENGLISH X K J A B J Y 5 2 B 3 T 10 S T C H ? 25 Key words: difference.20 MATH 22 miles per gallon 15 drops per teaspoon Distance Formula: distance rate time 22 miles/gallon 15 drops/teaspoon Key words are movement words like: plane. more. After Carol ate 3 apples. total. less or younger than. are. There are 7 hats. 20% of Matthew’s baseball caps DIVISION ENGLISH Key word: per B B M 12 A . greater. train. Mike has 5 less cats than twice the number Jan has. Bob is 18 years old. remain.

You must use three operations: addition. If you want to find out how many pages she read on Saturday. But the question asks. she read 35 pages. On Saturday. If she reads 231 more (105 231 336). you must take three steps. On Friday. and multiplication. The book has a total of 336 pages. Find out how many pages are left. On Friday. you will use addition to find out how many pages she has already read: 35 70 105. she read 35 pages. Step 1: 2 35 70 Step 2: 35 70 105 Step 3: 366 105 231 Answer: Carla has 231 pages left to read. she read 70 pages. she read 35 pages. Carla read 2 times 35 pages the next day. Check Your Work Check your work by plugging your answer back into the original problem. On Friday. she read twice the number of pages she read on Friday. Solution You know how many pages Carla read on Friday: 35. she read twice the number of pages she read on Friday. The word twice (meaning two times more) hints at multiplication. Carla is reading a novel that has a total of 336 pages. F instead of Friday. On Saturday. subtraction. She has 231 pages left to read. you will use multiplication: 2 35 70. So to answer this question. See if the whole thing makes sense: Carla is reading a novel that has a total of 336 pages. 105 b. On Saturday. she will have read all 336 pages. and S instead of Saturday. “How many pages does she have left to read?” The word left indicates that you will use subtraction: 366 105 231. Next. 266 d. 84 .– WORD PROBLEMS – Solving Word Problems Using the Translation Table What we know: ■ ■ ■ Now let’s try to solve the following problem using our translation rules. 231 c. Carla is reading a novel that has a total of 336 pages. How many more pages does she have left to read? a. Notice how we underlined key phrases and we used letters to represent words: t for total. The question itself: How many more pages does she have left to read? Plan of attack: ■ ■ Find the number of pages she has already read. Example Carla read 35 pages one day. How many more pages does she have left to read? t = 336 F = 35 S = 2 35 ? = left The words more and left hint at both addition and subtraction. Carla has already read 105 pages (25 70). 301 Here’s how we marked up the question.

42. Wallace should write on his budget request? a. $1. How many minutes will it take him to type a report containing 760 words? a. 42 d.5 4. $72. $71. a tape backup system for $249.68 c. He wants to purchase 4 mb of RAM. Joan went shopping with $100 and returned home with only $18. The length of a table plus 5 of its length is 36 inches. b. $81. How long is the table.5 c. $72. An outside wall is 5 8 inches thick. 1 8 1 4 1 2 7 1 inch inch inch d. $1. 45 6. which will cost $100. and an additional tape for $25. Mr.049 d.– WORD PROBLEMS – Practice Word Problems Practice using the translation table to help you solve problems that require you to work with basic arithmetic. Answers are at the end of the chapter. How thick is the siding? a. 40 3.58 d. How much money did she spend? a. 1 inch 85 . 30 b. What is the total amount Mr. 8. Each friend brought three guests. How many people came to the party. $974 c. Wallace is writing a budget request to upgrade his personal computer system.074 Fractions 5. 3 b. and 8 inch of wall sheathing. excluding Mark? a. 8 b. in inches? a.68 2. 9. Mark invited ten friends to a party. 10 c. c. 9 d. The remaining thickness is siding. 30 d. $724 b.58 b. The wall 1 3 consists of 2 inch of drywall and 3 4 inches of 5 insulation. The office secretary can type 80 words per minute on his word processor. 1. 40 c. two new software programs at $350 each.

in miles? a. 9 b. what was her score? a.65.25. 28 4 c. If the stack measures 55. $4. $2. If she walks 1 for 2 4 hours. At a price of $. 26 d. 6 c. 28 4 b. how many boxes does he have? a. $7. Ursula can walk 3 2 miles per hour. 5 4 b. If one pair of socks costs $1. $4. $21.25 d. Finally.00 c. How many miles did Bart travel in all? a. Roland has a stack of small boxes. he walked the remaining 5 miles to her house. A certain test is scored by adding 1 point for each 1 correct answer and subtracting 4 of a point for each incorrect answer.30 c. $8. She gave the clerk a $20 bill.80 b.50 11.00 c. which of the following comes closest to the cost of a turkey 1 weighing 9 4 pounds? a. 10 3 c.40 d. and $6.5 centimeters high and each box is 9. and Jeff left the store with 18 pairs of socks.70 13. $7.– WORD PROBLEMS – 7. 11 4 d. How much change did she receive? a. Selma bought four items at the grocery store that cost $1.98. $15. $18.82 per pound. all the same size.20 86 . 12 9. 7 8 d.25 centimeters high. 8 12. He took a bus for 3 of the distance to her house. 22 4 8. how far will she walk. 7 d. $22. you get one pair of socks free.60 d.30 b. $4. $3. 5 b. 6 4 c.78. If Jan answered 31 questions correctly and 9 questions incorrectly. if you purchase five pairs of socks. $6. At a certain discount store.29. 20.75 b. 18 7 1 3 1 1 1 1 3 Decimals 10. how much did he spend? a. Bart took a taxi 4 of the distance to Mandy’s 1 house.

If the price of a bottle of maple syrup is reduced from $4 to $3. If Mona has an unpaid balance of $220.– WORD PROBLEMS – Percents 14. 37% b. 3 % c. Fifteen percent of the 3. 573 b.247 d. $24. A credit card company charges 12 4 % interest on the unpaid balance. 1. 3. What percent of his matches did he lose. 63% 87 . rounded to the nearest percent? a.820 employees at TechnoCorps were hired this year. $26. 1% d.4 c. $14.75 b. Gilbert won 12 out of the 19 tennis matches he played in.00 d.95 1 1 1 16.805 17. by what percent is the price reduced? a. 39% c. how much interest will she be charged for one month? a. 25% 15.910 c. $2. 59% d. 4 % b. 3. How many of TechnoCorps employees were NOT hired this year? a.

6. a. 13. 2. a. 4. c. d. 11. 9. 88 . b. 3. 5. d. c. a. 17. 16. d. d. 8. d. b. a. d.– WORD PROBLEMS – Answers 1. 15. d. 10. 12. c. a. 7. 14.

You should also complete all the practice exercises. Memos. policies. The Paragraph Comprehension subtest of the ASVAB contains multiple-choice questions based on brief passages. 89 . Understanding written materials is critical for taking the ASVAB—after all. reports—these are all things you will be expected to understand if you enlist in the armed services. If you do not consider yourself a strong reader. so that you can increase your score on this important subtest. you can’t understand the questions if you don’t read well—but it is also critical for any military job.S E C T I O N 3 R Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension Subtest eading is a vital skill. procedures. take plenty of time to review the strategies in the following lessons. That is why the ASVAB attempts to measure how well applicants understand what they read. These questions test your ability to understand what you read.


Active Reading
Good readers are active readers. They see reading as an involved process. That’s why they understand so much of what they read. To be an active reader you should: 1. Write when you read. Writing while you read can really help you absorb information better. Try to: ■ underline key words and ideas to help important information stand out so that you can remember it later and summarize it. ■ circle and look up unfamiliar words and phrases—you need to know what all the words in a sentence mean in order to completely understand what you are reading. ■ list any questions and comments you might have. As you read, you are bound to have questions. You’re likely to have reactions to the reading as well. Writing your questions and thoughts makes you think about what you read, and that means you will better understand the material. 2. Pay close attention when you read. Take note of the details in sentences and passages to find clues that help you better understand the writer’s ideas. Making observations and finding these clues are essential because your observations are what lead you to logical inferences about what you read. Inferences are conclusions based on reason, fact, or evidence. If you misunderstand what you read, it is often because you haven’t looked closely enough at the text.

Types of Reading Comprehension Questions
You have probably encountered reading comprehension questions before, where you were given a passage to read and then required to answer relevant multiplechoice questions about it. This kind of question has an advantage for you as a test taker: You don’t have to know anything about the topic of the passage because you’re being tested only on the information the passage provides. The disadvantage is that you have to know where and how to find that information quickly in an unfamiliar text. This makes it easy to select one of the wrong answer choices, especially since they’re designed to mislead you. The best way to do well on this passage/question format is to be very familiar with the kinds of questions that are typically asked on the test. Questions most frequently ask you to: 1. 2. 3. 4. identify a specific fact or detail in the passage uncover the main idea of the passage make an inference based on the passage define a vocabulary word from the passage

The following list of important words will greatly help you to answer reading comprehension questions. These words will allow you to become a better, more active reader.



Reading Comprehension Glossar y
Argument a discussion aimed at proving something to be true; a claim supported by reasons or evidence Basic Information Cause Chronology Compare Conclusion Connotation Context Contrast Effect Emotional Fact Formality General Imply Indifferent Logical Main Idea Narrator Objective Observant Observation Opinion Point of View Rank Reason core facts or data, essential knowledge or ideas a person or thing that makes something happen or creates an effect the order in which things happen to examine in order to find similarities between two or more items belief or opinion based on reasoning the suggested or implied meaning of a word; its emotional impact the words and ideas surrounding a word that help give it its meaning to show the differences between two or more items a change created by an action or cause drawn from the emotions; based on strong mental feelings something known for certain to be true the quality of being proper, ceremonious broad, wide, nonspecific; applying to most or all to hint or suggest without stating directly uncaring, showing no interest according to reason; based on evidence or good common sense the thought that holds a passage together the person who tells the story unaffected by the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the writer paying careful attention something seen or noticed something believed to be true, but that cannot be proven to be true the person or position through which you see things position or value in relation to others in a group a motive or grounds for something; good sense or judgment



Sentence Structure the size and parts of a sentence Specific Style particular, exact the way of doing something, such as writing or speaking; the manner in which something is done Subject Subjective Tone Topic Sentence Transitions whom or what the passage is about based on the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the writer the mood or attitude conveyed by words or speech the sentence that states the main idea words and phrases that link ideas and how the ideas relate to each other


when. Reading Comprehension Basics his lesson will help you learn how to become an active reader. What does the passage tell you? What happens? To whom? When? Where? How? Why? 93 . By the end of this lesson (and with a little practice). you should be able to: uncover the basic facts in a passage find the main idea of a passage decipher what words mean without a dictionary recognize the difference between fact and opinion Grasping the Basic Information The first thing you need to do when you read anything is to grasp the basic information. This includes the who. 4. 2. where. what. how.L E S S O N 8 T 1. 3. and why. You will master a few basic skills to build a strong reading foundation.

Police say time gap that the thieves disconnected the security system. There is also a definition for the word appraise. 3. Here are some questions you could ask to find the facts: 1. and artwork. Alison. The thieves entered the house at 13 Elm Avenue around noon. 8. 2. White is an art appraiser. and artwork. but the idea is always the same: You need to find the basic information. look for the basic facts and think about the who. Mr. Alison. jewelry. were not home. but no alarms went off at the noon–3:45 = precinct. what. 4. The following is a short paragraph that could be from a local newspaper article. The thieves picked a good target! appraise: to estimate the value or quality of 94 . Being observant while you read will help you find this information. The thieves stole all of the Whites’s furniture. The house had an expensive security system linked to the local police station. Police say that the thieves disconnected the security system. What happened? When did it happen? Where did it happen? How did it happen? Who discovered the theft? When was the theft discovered? What was stolen? How much is the stolen property worth? Here’s how this passage might look after an active reading. but no alarms went off at the precinct. The robbery wasn’t discovered until Mrs. Jason White was robbed. Jason White was robbed. The basic facts have been underlined. White and his wife. Mrs. 5. office equipment.6 million. The thieves stole all of the Whites’s furniture. when where who what happened— robbery how what was taken Yesterday the house of Mr. where.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – The questions you ask yourself will change from reading to reading. The house had an expensive security system linked to the local police station. Read it carefully and actively.6 million. why. and Mrs. There are notes in the margins. and Mrs. She values the stolen discovery property at $1. Reading actively should help you find the basic information in this passage. She values the stolen property at $1. 6. office equipment. The robbery wasn’t discovered until Mrs. when. The thieves entered the house at 13 Elm Avenue around noon. White is an art appraiser. Yesterday the house of Mr. White and his wife.m. White came home at 3:45 p. 7. and how. were not home. Mrs. As you read. Mr.m. White came home at 3:45 p. between robbery & jewelry.

Express Mail will get your package there overnight. transport it around the country in days or hours. you can check your answers at the end of the lesson. What happened? The White’s house was robbed. When did it happen? Yesterday 3. Postal Service? 2. How much is the stolen property worth? $1. The why of the passage. How long does Priority Mail take? Practice 1 6. Ask yourself questions as you read. it has important information that you will need to understand and remember. So in this case. When you are done. How long did it take mail to arrive in the past? 3. Now trucks. You could ask more questions and there is no rule to tell you how many questions you should ask yourself. how else is mail moved today? 4. Mail used to take months to arrive. The U. It was delivered by horse or by foot.6 million This is the basic information in the paragraph. How did it happen? The thieves disconnected the security system. Are you reading a magazine article for pleasure about an athlete? Then just a handful of questions should do. read the passage below carefully and actively. 5. and write questions and comments in the margins. Who discovered the theft? Mrs. ask yourself more questions. 2. Remember to be an active reader. What was stolen? Their furniture. trains. and planes Finding the Main Idea The main idea is the thought that holds the passage together. Questions 1. Urgent mail can move even faster. How long does Express Mail take? In the following practice exercise. Where did it happen? 13 Elm Avenue 4. Can urgent mail be sent in less than three days? 5. and artwork 8. underline key words and ideas. Then answer the questions that follow. if it’s a chapter in a history book. jewelry. When was the theft discovered? At 3:45 in the afternoon 7. Asnwers are found on page 101. Other than trucks and planes. What word is used to describe the current U.S. A good reader asks himself. 95 . Priority Mail is guaranteed to go anywhere in the United States in three days or less. office equipment. What you need to know depends on what kind of text you’re reading.S. But.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – Here are the answers to the questions: 1. Postal Service is more efficient than ever. First-class mail arrives in three days or less. “Why did the author write this? What idea does he or she want me to understand?” Asking yourself these questions will help lead you to the main idea of a passage. White 6. or a passage on the ASVAB. Circle and look up unfamiliar words.

“What is the main idea of this passage?” For the passage above. None of these answers covers all of the ideas in the paragraph. Each sentence offers proof for that idea. then. Mail used to take months to arrive. Reading tests often ask. To see the difference. you might answer. It also holds the whole passage together. The main idea. d. Look back at the paragraph about the postal service. and planes transport it around the country in days or hours. Now trucks. but there is an important difference. All of the other sentences in the passage must support that idea. Priority Mail is guaranteed to go anywhere in the United States in three days or less. Express Mail will get your package there overnight. In a way. Express Mail is a good way to send urgent mail. says something about the subject. Topic Sentences The topic sentence is a claim about the subject. It is the general idea that covers all of the specific ideas in the paragraph. Only choice b is general enough to cover the whole paragraph. Postal Service is more efficient than ever. But the main idea does more than that. A topic sentence clearly states the main idea. b. on the other hand. The U. The passage is about the post office. Urgent mail can move even faster. It was delivered by horse or by foot. the idea should be general and it should hold together the whole paragraph. Mail used to take months to arrive. c. Remember. but a. The subject is who or what the passage is about. That main idea is stated in the first sentence. Instead. Main Idea (general) Supporting Idea (specific) Supporting Idea (specific) Supporting Idea (specific) The main idea is both a claim about the subject and the general idea that binds all of the ideas in the passage. They usually give specific examples or explanations. and d are too specific to be the main idea. and the rest of the sentences support that idea. Now answer the following question: Which sentence best summarizes the main idea of the passage? a. 96 . Mail service today is very effective.” But you would be making a common mistake. the post office is the subject of the passage. All four options make a claim about mail services. All of the other sentences support the idea that mail service is very effective. “the post office. take another look at the passage about the postal system. and it must be general enough to cover all of the ideas in the passage. trains. The main idea of a passage.S. once again. The subject is the post office. c. but the post office is not the main idea.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – The Difference between Subject and Main Idea People often confuse the subject with the main idea. First-class mail arrives in three days or less. the main idea is like a net over the passage. The writer’s motive is to show that the post office is better than ever. Read the passage carefully and look for the idea that makes a claim about the subject. It is usually a claim that needs support or proof. First-class mail usually takes three days or less. makes a claim about its subject.

Regular doctor check-ups will no longer be covered. Defining Words in Context As you read. you will want to know what substantially means. often test your ability to find the meaning of words based on the context of the passage. You should be able to figure out what substantially means now. Supporting sentences often begin with signal words that tell you they are about to introduce specific examples. Here’s the same sentence in a paragraph. Read it carefully and then underline the sentence that best states the topic sentence. like the one on the ASVAB. Now he’s a police officer. But what if you don’t have a dictionary? How can you understand what you’re reading if you don’t know what the words mean? You can often figure out what a word means if you look at its context—the words and ideas surrounding a word that help supply its meaning. Some lucky people have always known what they want to do with their lives. You can try crossing out sentences that begin with these words. How much will your benefits be cut? This is an important question. That’s what the other supporting sentences in the postal service paragraph do. The new policy will substantially cut employee benefits. Reading comprehension tests. You can check your answer at the end of the lesson. Finding Meaning in Context Introducing Specific Examples Readers need to see that the claim made in the topic sentence is true. psychiatric coverage will be cut from six visits to two. Today she’s a pediatrician. For example. and the topic sentences should be easier to find. Then you will have fewer sentences to choose from. In addition.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – Practice 2 Look at the following paragraph. Can you fully understand the sentence without knowing what substantially means? As an employee. 97 . introducing specific examples. Erik always played cops and robbers when he was a boy. then you can look up those words. or words you cannot define. Now she owns her own clothing store. if you don’t understand one key word. You might have a dictionary. Sometimes you might have trouble finding the main idea. to figure out what the word means. for example in particular for instance furthermore some in addition others Sometimes you can’t understand an entire sentence. Sentences that begin with these words and phrases are usually not topic sentences but rather supporting sentences. Lauren always pretended to be a doctor as a little girl. Kara always played store. Is substantially a little or a lot? There are not enough clues in this sentence. you will often see unfamiliar words. Employees will lose their dental coverage. or group of sentences. Here are some words and phrases that often introduce specific examples. look at the following sentence. you need more context. The new policy will substantially cut employee benefits. They show readers that the postal service is more efficient than ever.

– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – Substantially means a. d. 1. a lot. Write a sentence or two for each word. Other times they tell you what they think is true—they are telling you opinions. What a stupid blunder! A blunder is a. boring. to throw away. routine teem to be full of. to be present in large numbers The Difference between Fact and Opinion Sometimes people tell you what they know is true— they are telling you facts. b. The sentences should show the reader what the words mean. d. a disorder. I accidentally told Nell about her surprise party. to copy. c. a difference. 2. an aspect. a similarity. Both dental care and regular check-ups will no longer be covered and psychiatric care will be cut by two-thirds. I only glimpsed the man’s face before he disappeared around the corner. Your knowledge of related words can also help you define words in context. word: glimpse meaning: to catch a quick view of context: I’m not sure what he looked like. a little. to read. Our successful salespeople share one personality trait: honesty. Example: Practice 3 Read the following sentences carefully. To retain means a. Retain the yellow copy for your records. but not too much. You may have also noticed that substantially is similar to the word substance. a mistake. 1. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. d. 98 . a get-together. an idea. It is not light. These are serious cutbacks. Something that has substance is weighty or solid. a lot. Then circle the correct meanings. word: meaning: context: 2. b. d. c. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. 3. to keep. word: meaning: context: mundane dull. b. A trait is a. Use context to determine what the italicized words mean. Please return the pink copy. c. a jerk. b. Practice 4 Provide context for the words below. small. c. The paragraph describes a big cut in coverage. The answer is choice d. just barely.

After all. The first paragraph about Margarita is much better because it’s not just an opinion. Every sentence is arguable. but you can’t argue about a fact. You could write a topic sentence about your friend Margarita: Margarita is a good friend. on the other hand. The summer Olympics are held every two years. that’s mostly what you read about. 1. The topic sentence states an opinion and the rest of the sentences support that opinion. Now. Margarita is a bad friend. What’s important is that they support their opinions. but opinions are still what people think or feel. and the sentences show what the author thinks is true. Margarita is a good friend. you can check your answers at the end of the lesson. 2. is: ■ ■ ■ something believed to have happened something believed to be true something believed to exist The key difference between fact and opinion is the difference between knowing and believing. She even baked me a birthday cake. and that claim is often an opinion. and it’s also an opinion. Practice 5 Read the following claims carefully. opinions are debatable while facts are not. An opinion supported by facts is a reasonable opinion.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – A fact is: ■ ■ ■ something known for certain to have happened something known for certain to be true something known for certain to exist This is another good topic sentence. 99 . Then they offer facts to support their opinion. Opinions are often based on facts. A good writer will now show readers that this is a reasonable opinion. It’s an opinion supported by facts. They are not what people know. Using Facts to Support Opinions People can have opinions about almost anything. In other words. Are they fact or opinion? Write an F in the blank if the claim is a fact and an O in the blank if the claim is an opinion. here is a writer who doesn’t support his opinion well. It’s also another opinion. I don’t think that her jokes are funny. Margarita. For my last birthday. The Olympics are fun to watch. It is something you could argue about. An opinion. she is always willing to listen to me talk about it. not what is known to be true. she has stupid ideas about politics. In fact. it includes only what the author thinks about Margarita. Writers make a claim about their subject. How? By offering supporting facts. The second paragraph is all opinion. They offer facts about Margarita. When you are done. Think about your own opinions. It makes a claim about its subject. She always asks me how I am. If I have a problem. And. she organized a surprise party for me and invited all my friends. This makes it an effective paragraph. This is a good topic sentence. someone could make an opposite claim: Margarita is a bad friend. The second paragraph doesn’t include specific facts to show why Margarita is a bad friend. You can argue about an opinion. and she doesn’t seem to care about me at all.

Today they are built. and enjoyed all over the world. The 1996 Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. which made it less prone to toppling over. This bicycle had equal-sized wheels. Lawson. and the main idea of a passage. He also used foot-operated cranks similar to pedals so his bicycle could be ridden at a quick pace. 5. was nothing like our bicycles today.J. who or what the passage is about. Review Practice Now you can put all the skills you just learned together by reading the following longer passage. It didn’t look much like a modern bicycle. He made the front wheel many times larger than the back wheel. bicycles didn’t exist. where. In 1839. Many main ideas are opinions. You know that the main idea makes a claim about the subject and is general enough to hold the passage together. invented in Germany in 1818. In addition. and how will help you gather important information from what you are reading. Georgia. though. what. Although this bicycle was much lighter and less tiring to ride. Ten years later. Finally. and lightened the wheels by using wire spokes. why. Macmillan’s machine had tires with iron rims to keep them from getting worn down. You know that asking who. You also know how to look for clues in the words and sentences around unfamiliar words. You can also tell the difference between the subject. Since then. an English inventor. Bicycles Today. numerous innovations and improvements in design have made the bicycle one of the most popular means of recreation and transportation around the world. a Scottish blacksmith. With these improvements. and ridden mostly for entertainment. bicycles are so common that it’s hard to believe they haven’t always been around. H. The Olympics should be held every year. it was still clumsy. Lawson also attached a chain to the pedals to drive the rear wheel. Invented by another Englishman. however. which is often expressed in a topic sentence. revolutionized bicycle design. you know how to decipher what words mean from the context. put a gear on the pedals to make the bicycle more efficient. the bicycle became extremely popular and useful for transportation. extremely top-heavy. Good writers use facts to support their opinions. used. the French Michaux brothers took the evolution of the bicycle a step further by inventing an improved crank mechanism. 100 . The long jump is the most exciting Olympic event. because its back wheel was substantially larger than its front wheel. and the first bicycle. While an opinion is something believed to be true. Read the following passage and answer the questions. It wasn’t until 1874 that the first truly modern bicycle appeared on the scene.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – 3. 4. In 1861. Review So far you know how to get the basic information from a passage. It was made of wood and did not even have pedals. you learned that a fact is something known to be true. Kirkpatrick Macmillan. The other sentences in the passage all support the main idea. James Starley. But two hundred years ago. the “safety bicycle” would look familiar to today’s cyclists. when. dramatically improved upon the original bicycle design.

A Ride through the History of Bicycles c. James Starley. 2. Answers Practice 1 1. a new way of doing something. bicycles are so common that it’s hard to believe they haven’t always been around. b. so c can’t be correct either. d. 3. c. overnight Practice 2 You should have underlined the last sentence: “Some lucky people have always known what they want to do with their lives. make the ride less tiring. three days or less 6. Cycle Your Way to Fitness d. Macmillan added iron rims to the tires of his bicycle to a. 4. 101 . numerous innovations and improvements in design have made the bicycle one of the most popular means of recreation and transportation around the world. b. Bicycles Are Better b. they all support the main idea. It wasn’t until 1874 that the first truly modern bicycle appeared on the scene. c. The passage says that the salespeople have this trait in common. d. a repair. c. months 3. d. c. The main idea of this passage is best expressed in which sentence? a. d. The first person to use a gear system on bicycles was a. so b can’t be the answer. c. 6. You would want to keep a copy for your records. The Michaux brothers. Practice 3 1. aspect. d. Today.” This sentence is a good topic sentence. make the tires last longer. however. c. used. The only word that makes sense in the sentence is a. Honesty isn’t a problem. a design.– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – 1. add weight to the bicycle. and enjoyed all over the world. Which of the following would be the best title for this passage? a. Today they are built. It states the idea that holds the whole passage together. Thus. Macmillan’s bike could be ridden quickly. yes 5. An innovation is a. 5. b. Macmillan was a great inventor. Which sentence best expresses the main idea of the second paragraph? a. the topic sentence is at the end of the paragraph. Kirkpatrick Macmillan. efficient 2. Since then. The Popularity of Bicycles 3. Macmillan’s bike didn’t look much like our modern bikes. a blunder is a mistake. H. b. This time. Lawson. 2. Thus. The first six sentences are specific examples of that idea. make the ride less bumpy. Macmillan made important changes in bicycle design. a. d.J. The writer wasn’t supposed to tell Nell about the surprise birthday party. a clever person. trains 4. b.

– READING COMPREHENSION BASICS – Practice 4 Answers will vary. 3. Practice 5 1. Many people enjoy watching the Olympics.” Clearly.” 102 . If you highlighted the various innovations. O. put a gear on the pedals. paragraph 3 states. F 2. This is a matter of opinion. The essay describes the history of the bicycle. 5. “Starley . An innovation is a new way of doing something. But there are others who do not think it is fun. Each bicycle designer devised a new way of building a bicycle. O. 4. c. 2. Review Practice 1. Then you can find the sentence with the key words. 4. 3. from its invention in 1818 to its modern design. iron rims—the second sentence—to find the correct answer. 6. Since the question is asking for a specific fact about Macmillan’s design. which describes the first bicycle—“it was made of wood and did not even have pedals. Macmillan may have been a great inventor. this is clearly something arguable. b. which describe the various changes made to bicycle design. bicycles have changed dramatically. 2. Each paragraph describes the innovations that led to the modern design of the bicycle. This is clearly something arguable. People have different opinions about which event they like best. O. We left the picnic basket open. This is the only sentence general enough to encompass all of the ideas in the passage. Again. I do the same thing every day. b. The rest of the paragraph provides specific examples of the improvements he made in bicycle design. and this design has made it popular around the world. When we got back. Other clues can be found in the following paragraphs. a. then all you have to do is scan the highlighted parts of the passage. you should know to look in the second paragraph. There are many events at the Olympics. If not. Here are some examples: 1. F 5. but this paragraph only describes his innovations in bicycle design. My job is very mundane. . d. it was teeming with ants. The first sentence in this paragraph expresses this main idea in a clear topic sentence. The first clue is in the third sentence. . d.

Most writers organize their ideas in four patterns that help them effectively express their ideas: Time Order Order of Importance Compare and Contrast Cause and Effect Reading will become easier for you as you learn to recognize these four patterns. They decide which ideas go where. and they must choose how to move from one idea to another.L E S S O N 9 U ■ ■ ■ ■ Structure nderstanding structure—how writers organize their ideas—will help you to comprehend what you read better. 103 . Writers must decide how to arrange their sentences and ideas.

etc. Choose the ones that best fit into the paragraph. Mr. Transitions allow writers to move from one idea to another. next. when as soon as yesterday then a moment later right away I went to work early to get some extra filing done. he asked me to set up a conference call. The writer used transitions to help you follow the order of events. transitions are important tools to help readers follow ideas in the paragraph. Finally. he asked me to type a letter. I got there. Time Order and Transitions These transitions signal the chronology in a paragraph: first third. Notice the transitions to begin. Knowing the order of events is often important. Write them in the blanks of the paragraph. For example. These words also help readers understand the relationship between ideas. Check your answers at the end of this lesson. Time order is also called chronological order—the order in which things happen. stories begin with what happened first. Carlos Feliciano and Yelena Grishov were the winners. Afterward. The rest of the story follows the order in which the events occurred.– STRUCTURE – Time Order There are many ways to tell a story. They also show readers the relationship between ideas. They keep the events in chronological order. To begin. Newspaper and magazine articles are usually arranged this way—so are meeting minutes and directions. it was already 11:00. Practice 1 The following is a list of transitions. Smith ended the event with another surprise: He announced a 2% raise for all employees. He and his wife are expecting their first child. transitions may show that one event came before another. Smith gave the final award for Best New Idea. my boss walked in. and finally in the paragraph. now when before during meanwhile immediately at last finally before long as soon as second next then soon after while in the meantime suddenly eventually later shortly after a while Much of what you read is in time order. afterward. look at the following paragraph. Vice President Jane Wu offered a toast. Next Mr. Transitions are one clue to look for to help you figure out the order of events in a passage. Often. That’s how they work in this passage. This award went to Karen Hunt. For example. Smith made an announcement. Jennifer Steele received this award. then. The second award was for Most Dedicated Employee. though. 104 . Then Mr. Thus. It resembles something you might see in a company newsletter: Our employee awards dinner was a success. President Mike Smith announced the award for Perfect Attendance. This paragraph describes what happened from start to finish. second. I looked at my watch. the phone started ringing.

Readers want to know the most important facts right away: “Student protesters shut down the campus at UCLA today” or “City officials approved a tax cut. Finally. Some writers organize ideas the opposite way. Read it actively. what’s the third-most important tip the writer offers? The answer. then they would continue to the least important idea. you’ll have plenty of time to solve them. the second most important tip should come right after the first. all of your paperwork will be in one place. starting with the least important idea creates suspense. Or they could do the reverse and start with the least important idea and build up to the idea that is most important. Third. Then rank them according to how you would present them. Writers usually choose their structure according to their purpose. how would you organize them? First. Practice 2 Following is a list of reasons for reading more often. read the directions. There are many ways to make tax time easier. If you were to put these reasons in a paragraph. In an argument. Then it offers three tax-time tips. of course is the last tip. Most Important to Least Important The passage begins with a clear topic sentence. meaning that the ideas are organized from most to least important.” Least Important to Most Important Sometimes passages begin with the most important idea. Instead. but rather it’s the idea that is the most. The writer gives the most important tip first.” Writers choose this order so that readers will remember what they read first. Here’s a passage organized from the most important to the least important idea. this order makes use of what is called the snowball effect. If you run into problems. important. the first idea listed isn’t the one that happened first. Start filling out the forms as soon as they arrive in the mail. the writer’s ideas build and build. They get more and more important. 105 . This act can keep you from redoing the form because you did it wrong the first time. Ideas can be organized by rank. This order offers writers three advantages. and bank statements in a neat folder. “The most important thing you can do is keep good records. The most important thing you can do is keep good records. Readers will be waiting to learn that final important idea. the end is usually where the last point has the most impact. Keep all of your pay stubs. It can also keep you from making mistakes.– STRUCTURE – Order of Importance Another way to present ideas is in order of importance. The second thing you can do is start early. They don’t start with the most important idea. Thus. readers are left with a strong conclusion. rank the reasons in order of importance. You should “read the directions. When you’re ready to prepare your tax form.” Finally. First.” What is the second-most important thing you can do to make tax time easier? The writer started with the most important thing. receipts. they end with it. If writers start with the most important idea. Using this method. Second. or least. Like a snowball rolling down a hill. Each idea builds on the ones that come before it. The second best thing to do is “start early. Once you understand this structure you will see which ideas are most important in what you read. And that structure affects how you understand what you read. You can often expect to see this structure in an argument. This often happens in newspaper articles.

You’ll also clean up after your boss. Likewise. and tidy up the office. readers build up to the most important idea. Or they may want to save their best ideas for last. Now that you’ve organized the ideas about reading. 5. 2. You keep track of her schedule. What do they have in common? What sets them apart? Read the following passage carefully to see how the technique of compare and contrast works. 3. too. they often compare the items. 4. you’ll find yourself protecting your boss from dangers like angry callers and clients. For example. Order of Importance to You 1. you’ll file papers. put things back into drawers. How Comparing and Contrasting Works ■ You will broaden your vocabulary. Children must ask for permission before they go out. 4. 5. In which order did you present your ideas? Most important to least important. Children grow more independent each year. you can give someone an idea how the coffee looks and tastes. You will learn new information and ideas. When people compare and contrast. Your boss will grow more dependent on you as the years pass. you can see how two or more things measure up side by side. That will show how things are similar. they contrast them to emphasize the differences between the items. You will increase your reading speed. Add a topic sentence and transitions to the sentences listed. But there is one big difference. they show how two things are similar or different. When you read. When they want to explain similarities. This helps others to judge the things that are being compared. Your boss is dependent on you. Similarly. Order of Presentation 1. 106 . 2. Then they’ll be sure to catch their readers’ attention. 3. Writers use comparison and contrast for the same reason. That way. You will develop a better understanding of yourself and others. Some writers want to hit their readers with what’s most important at the beginning. when they want to show how things are different. A parent protects his or her children from danger. your boss will come to you for permission. Likewise.– STRUCTURE – Five Reasons to Read More Often: ■ ■ ■ ■ Compare and Contrast People spend a lot of time thinking about similarities and differences. or least important to most important? Either structure will work well with these ideas. put them into a paragraph. You will improve your reading comprehension. Being an assistant is a lot like being a parent. Just as a parent tucks toys away at the end of the day. A child is dependent upon her parent. by comparing a cup of coffee to mud. “Can I have a meeting on Tuesday at 3:30?” your boss might ask.

ask yourself why the author is comparing those items. underline the transitions. Assistants protect their bosses like parents protect their children. 3. List three ways the two items are alike. 4. The writer lists four similarities between parents and assistants: 1. Bosses ask permission from their assistants to do certain things just as children ask permission from their parents. much like WORDS THAT HELP YOU CONTRAST but however yet conversely on the contrary on the other hand nevertheless Practice 3 Compare and contrast the two items below. Remember. You can check your answers at the end of the lesson. 107 . Assistants clean up after their bosses like parents clean up after children. 3. likewise. Others told you that the writer was contrasting (showing a difference). So when you come across compare and contrast passages. Bosses depend upon assistants like children depend upon their parents. Did you notice the transitions in the paragraph about assistants and parents? Some transitions told you that the writer was comparing (showing a similarity). Following is a more complete list of transitional words and phrases. 2. Meanwhile. also. That’s one of the values of this structure. 3. bosses grow more and more dependent upon their assistants. Then list three ways they are different. You should have underlined like. There are several transitions that show comparison and contrast. Read the passage again. Item A: movies Item B: live theater Comparisons (similarities) 1. What does the writer want you to get from the comparison? This comparison makes readers see assistants in a new way. Contrasts (differences) 1. writers always have a motive. One similarity is listed to get you started. Then the writer points out one difference between assistants and parents. Both provide entertainment 2. just as. and but. As you read it this time. similarly. just like much as.– STRUCTURE – Two things are being compared and contrasted here: a parent and an assistant. 2. Transitions in Comparison and Contrast WORDS THAT HELP YOU COMPARE similarly likewise like also in the same way in a like manner just as. Children grow less and less dependent upon their parents.

Watch for these transitions as you read. a passage could explain the cause for increased electricity costs and the effect these rising costs have on small businesses. they will have to leave the building. Or they might explain what they think will happen because of a certain event (effect). In addition. writers offer their opinions about why something happened (cause). certain things are standard in a cause and effect passage. However. Read them carefully. A passage may also be limited to discussing only a cause (for example. WORDS THAT SHOW CAUSE because (of) since created (by) caused (by) WORDS THAT SHOW EFFECT since so therefore consequently hence as a result Opinions about Cause and Effect Sometimes. increased electricity costs) or only an effect (small businesses struggle to pay high electricity bills). Just as certain transitions tell readers whether two things are similar or different. Many reading passages incorporate cause and effect. Paragraph A A no-smoking policy would be disastrous. Finally we will be able to cut the cost of healthcare coverage due to cigarette-related health problems and save employees money. For example. longtime smokers may quit work. We would be able to breathe smoke-free air. they will have to take longer breaks. As a reader. They consider how a nosmoking policy would affect an office. Then answer the questions that follow. Over one-third of our employees smoke half a pack a day. They will also have to take fewer breaks. Paragraph B A no-smoking policy would be a great benefit to all of us. If they can’t smoke in the office. You can check your answers at the end of the lesson. Are the writer’s ideas logical? Does the writer support the conclusions offered? 1. Hence. What effects does Paragraph A say the no-smoking policy will have? 108 . an effect is what happens after something takes place. many of these employees will be irritable. or in what order events occur. This irritability will surely affect their coworkers. other words tell readers whether things are causes or effects.– STRUCTURE – Cause and Effect A cause is something that takes place that makes something else happen. It all depends on the writer’s choice. Furthermore. And their breaks will be farther apart. smokers may find it easier to quit since they can’t smoke as often during the day. Keep reading to learn more. rather than adhere to this strict policy. cigarette odor and smoke would no longer bother sensitive clients. Is the cause likely to have that result? Does the author’s argument make sense? Practice 4 Following are two paragraphs. This means longer stretches of time between cigarettes. This will interrupt their work. As a result. On the other hand. Furthermore. Transitions for Cause and Effect As a reader you will also have to decide which opinions make more sense to you. you need to consider how reasonable those opinions are.

time order b. ruinous. What could The Right Stuff do? On Sunday. The ad claimed that The Right Stuff had Wilbur in-stock and on-sale starting Sunday. order of importance c. What is the main idea of this paragraph? Read the following passage carefully and actively. I went to work early to get some extra filing done. First. What started the trouble for The Right Stuff? By now. What effects does Paragraph B say the no-smoking policy will have? 3.O. d. compare and contrast d. cause and effect 2. Instead. Review Practice 4. big. he asked me to set up a conference call. The Right Stuff called the warehouse. One option is below. Could you see how each cause led to an effect? Could you see how each effect then caused another effect? Answers Practice 1 There are several ways to fill in the blanks. try to decipher their meaning from context. but customers were mad. Then answer the questions that follow. b. A moment later. Don’t look up any unfamiliar words yet. it was a disaster. When I looked at my watch. the phone started ringing. the popular stuffed dog. Fatal means a. They learned the toys were on back order. minor. Then The Right Stuff ran an ad in the newspaper. But by Friday. c. employees had to tell customers that there were no Wilbur dolls. 109 . This new understanding should help you to determine more easily what a passage is conveying. It ordered a large shipment of Wilbur. it was already 11:00. Right away he asked me to type a letter. Yesterday. It sold stuffed animals. you should have a good idea about the way writers organize their ideas. Notice how much more fluid the paragraph is with transitions. It closed after it made a promise it couldn’t keep. Which two organizing strategies does this writer use? a. The sale was supposed to boost the store’s business. There are many fatal mistakes businesses can make.– STRUCTURE – 2. Don’t forget to use skills you learned in Lesson 8 also.U. Two months later. 3. The Right Stuff permanently closed its doors. obvious. my boss walked in. the Wilburs hadn’t arrived. coupons. The Right Stuff was a toy store. The Right Stuff had only been open a few weeks. What passage do you think sounds most reasonable? Why? 1. As soon as I got there. They offered I. Check your answers to see how you did. They wouldn’t even ship until the next Thursday. Use what you have learned in this lesson to answer the following questions. Then.

You will improve your reading comprehension. You will increase your reading speed. This will make them irritable. You will broaden your vocabulary. 3. you will learn new information and ideas. You will learn new information and ideas. Movies are prerecorded. Here is one possibility. you will improve your reading comprehension. Furthermore. You will increase your reading speed. Comparisons (similarities) 1. 2. In addition. Contrasts (differences) 1. You will begin to understand more of what you read. The way your paragraph turns out depends on how you decided to order the ideas. Movies require electricity to be displayed. First of all. you will broaden your vocabulary. you will increase both your vocabulary and your reading speed. 3. Least to Most Important There are many benefits to reading more often. you will develop a better understanding of yourself and others. You will learn new information and ideas. by reading more. reading more will give you a better understanding of yourself and others. 2. 5. 3. ■ Smokers will have to take fewer breaks. you will increase your reading speed. You will broaden your vocabulary.– STRUCTURE – Practice 2 There are many ways to organize these ideas. Most importantly. while live theater is performed usually only once or twice per day. Movies can be shown several times per a day. theater is live. 110 . 5. You will understand more of what you read. Both provide entertainment. Here is one example: Order of Importance 1. First and foremost. 2. ■ Smokers’ irritability will affect their coworkers. Third. theater does not necessarily require electricity. 4. 3. Both use actors. Second. 2. You will develop a better understanding of yourself and others. The topic sentence is in boldface type and the transitions are underlined. This will interrupt their work. Practice 4 1. Furthermore. you will improve your reading comprehension. Order of Presentation 1. Most to Least Important There are many benefits to reading more often. You will develop a better understanding of yourself and others. You will improve your reading comprehension. You will be able to read more in less time. The main idea is stated in the first sentence in each paragraph. You will also learn new information and ideas. Paragraph A says that the no-smoking policy will have the following effects: ■ Smokers will take longer breaks. Both can be comedy or drama. ■ Long-time smokers may quit work. Practice 3 Answers will vary. 4. The following are two sample paragraphs ordered from most to least important and from least to most important.

■ Healthcare coverage would cost less. The trouble was started by the ad. The problem began with the ad. The main clue is that The Right Stuff closed down just two months after the incident. 4. or ruinous (b). The main idea of this paragraph is stated in the first sentence: “There are many fatal mistakes businesses can make.” The rest of the passage gives a specific example of such mistakes. Fatal means bringing about misfortune. Paragraph B says the no-smoking policy will have the following effects: ■ Everyone will be able to breathe smokefree air. Answers will vary Review Practice 3. 1. It said that the dogs were in stock. ■ Employees will save money. The first event in this chain reaction was ordering the Wilbur dogs. 111 .– STRUCTURE – 2. ■ Cigarette odor and smoke would no longer bother sensitive clients. 2. The writer uses a and d—time order and cause and effect. 3. but that didn’t cause the problem.


Sometimes. below. behind. People can look at an object from many different points of view. and you will have to use these clues to understand what the author is trying to convey. How you see the object depends on your point of view. What readers learn from a text depends on who is telling it to them. Point of view is the person or position through which you see things. This lesson will show how understanding the language and style of a paragraph can improve your reading comprehension skills. Who will tell the readers the writer’s ideas? Who will narrate the story? 113 . point of view is important in writing. Thus. beside. You can look at it from above. the main idea won’t be stated directly. and so on.C H A P T E R 10 T Point of View Language and Style he language and style a writer uses gives readers even more clues about the text. In writing. It’s the voice through which the writer shares his or her ideas. the point of view is like a filter.

Then check your answers at the end of the lesson. she. The second-person point of view singles you (as the reader) out as an individual and makes you feel a part of what you are reading.” There is no direct reference to the writer (first person. feelings. With the third-person point of view. ideas often carry more weight if they are objective (unaffected by the thoughts. 3. someone else is speaking to the reader. and experiences of the speaker or writer). The first person point of view is subjective (based on the thoughts. The relationship between reader and writer is personal and creates a feeling of confidentiality because the writer is talking directly to the reader. Rather. or they. By using the pronouns. Example: I knew I was going to be late. feelings. The writer uses the pronouns he. and experiences of the speaker or writer). The point of view helps a writer create a particular effect because each point of view works differently. writers use the pronoun you. the writer or narrator shares his feelings or ideas with the reader. Example: He knew he was going to be late. A writer chooses the point of view depending upon the particular topic and purpose of the passage. each creates a different relationship between a reader and writer. there’s no direct personto-person contact (me to you).– LANGUAGE AND STYLE – Three Points of View Third-Person Point of View There are three points of view writers can use. you). therefore. or us. but there was no way to get in touch with your boss. They decided it would be best for them not to join the others. Second-Person Point of View Practice 1 Change the point of view from third person to first person. The babysitter was annoyed by the last-minute cancellation. 2. Subjective versus Objective In the second-person point of view. The writer addresses the reader directly and makes the reader feel involved in the action. The writer uses the pronouns I or we and thus shares his or her own feelings. But there was no way to get in touch with his boss. and third person points of view. People enjoy meals at nice restaurants. He or she isn’t personally involved. First-Person Point of View The third-person point of view offers readers the voice of an “outsider. our. his or her ideas are likely to be more fair to everyone. I. it. However. 114 . This point of view creates a closeness between the reader and writer. we. but there was no way to get in touch with my boss. second person. I/we) or the reader (second person. my. The third-person point of view creates a distance between the reader and the writer (or narrator). mine. Example: You knew you were going to be late. and ideas with readers. They are the first person. 1. An objective person is outside of the action. The first-person point of view is a personal one. experiences.

For example. they suggest their ideas instead.– LANGUAGE AND STYLE – Example: Subjective: I don’t like the biweekly pay period. It’s unfair to make employees wait two weeks to get paid. She always asked if she had a question. It’s not denotation (how the word is defined in a dictionary). She is an able typist. She is familiar with several word processing programs. She proofread it carefully. Thin also suggests that your aunt is too skinny. but sometimes. For example. look at the following paragraph. Instead. but it’s often less effective in an argument. That’s why it’s important for readers to be observant. Slim is a positive word. It suggests that your aunt is healthy. Use your powers of observation to uncover the writer’s message. You’ve already learned many of these strategies. rather they leave clues to tell the reader what the writer is saying. that means something else. You also know to look for the point of view. Jane was always on time. The first-person. that means one thing. however. They don’t explicitly state their ideas. Slim has a different connotation (a word’s suggested meaning) than thin. but she’s capable and reliable. Jane Rosenberg is a great office assistant. Noticing word choice is especially important when the main idea of a reading passage isn’t clear. If you say your aunt is thin. Jane usually completed her work on time. the words that authors choose to describe things can tell readers a lot. or subjective. 115 . and things C. ■ ■ particular words phrases the writer uses how those words and phrases are arranged in sentences word patterns or sentence patterns that are repeated important details about people. Jane Rosenberg. They decide what to say and how to say it. point of view can create a wonderful closeness between writer and reader. Therefore. look at slim and thin. Why should I have to wait two weeks to get paid? Objective: The biweekly pay period is a problem. Jane Rosenberg is a bad worker. Being observant means looking closely at what you read. you know to look for the way writers arrange ideas. The Importance of Word Choice Word Choice You already know that being observant is an important part of reading. For example. Hire her right away! Jane Rosenberg is an average employee. It’s also helpful to look for: ■ ■ Even words that mean almost the same thing can make a different impression on a reader. B. but slim suggests more grace and class than thin. The subjective passage doesn’t sound like a thoughtful argument. Thin and slim then have different connotations. She also knows some legal terms and procedures. Thin. Slim and thin have almost the same definition in the dictionary. which was helpful. so you can see the writer’s strategies. places. This letter regards my former office assistant. It’s a letter of recommendation. Don’t even think about hiring her. does not. They choose to use particular points of view and particular words for a reason. Some authors choose to clearly state their ideas. it sounds like a complaint. This will help you understand the text. Writers make a lot of decisions. Think about what message this letter sends to its reader: A. She doesn’t do outstanding work. There’s no topic sentence. It’s about what the word makes you think or feel when you read it. If you say she is slim. Most people would say that the second passage makes a better argument.

That was a tremendous help. The writer doesn’t say. In addition. she’ll ask because she wants to be sure she has it right. She can probably do a few basic things in each program. without emotion. “I’m happy to recommend” or “my wonderful office assistant. If she’s unsure. 116 . Able is a pretty neutral word. When you are done. The writer says that Jane knows “some legal terms and procedures. Jane Rosenberg. The writer calls Jane an “able” typist. it suggests that Jane types well enough. Jane is good about meeting deadlines but not great. The writer doesn’t feel strongly about Jane.” The writer says that Jane “always asked if she had a question. At the same time. She may not always get work done on time. but she’s no expert. fill in the chart on the next page. Furthermore. She doesn’t want to suggest that Jane is a great employee. but not a lot. Practice 2 Now it’s your turn. and I knew she would check with me if she had any questions. Read the letter carefully.” The sentence is flat. Jane knows a little about the programs but isn’t an expert. She’s not sloppy. What do you see? What can you conclude from what you notice? Once you fill in the chart. I could always count on Jane to be on time. Jane won’t assume things. She’s better than someone who knows nothing. she is an outstanding typist and has also mastered several word processing programs. The words she uses suggest that Jane is averOBSERVATION age. but she would have trouble doing complex projects. I am pleased to recommend my former office assistant. The writer says Jane “was always on time.” Jane’s knowledge of legal terms and procedures is limited. answer the question that follows.– LANGUAGE AND STYLE – Clearly. she doesn’t want to suggest that Jane would be a bad hire. The writer says that Jane proofreads her work carefully. CONCLUSION The first sentence is neutral.” Jane is a reliable employee. Following is another letter about Jane. you can understand the writer’s message. but that she could do a lot better. She’s probably not a very fast typist. Then. The writer uses “usually” in the second sentence. I also knew she would proofread it very carefully. the writer does not think that Jane is an outstanding employee. Jane makes sure she does quality work. Nor is she saying that Jane is a bad employee. I could always count on Jane to get her work done on time. she knows legal terms and procedures inside and out. check your answers at the end of the lesson. The writer says that Jane is “familiar with” several word processing programs. How can you come to this conclusion? By looking carefully at the words the writer has chosen. She knows a little.




Look at your observations and conclusions. What message is this writer sending? A. B. Jane is a great office assistant. Hire her right away. Jane is an average employee. She doesn’t do outstanding work, but she is capable and reliable. Jane is a bad worker. Don’t even think about hiring her.

Understanding style is important to reading success. Writers use different structures to organize their ideas. They also use different styles to express those ideas. Being aware of style helps you see what writers are trying to convey. Style is also important for another reason. It’s often what makes readers like or dislike certain writers or types of writing. You may not change your taste




after this lesson, but you will probably be able to appreciate and understand many different kinds of writers and styles. Style consists of three elements:
■ ■ ■

1. Charles is a bank teller. 2. Charles is a bank teller at Pennview Savings. 3. Charles is a bank teller at Pennview Savings, the first bank in this city. 1. Let’s meet after work on the corner. 2. Let’s meet after work on the corner of 58th and Broadway. 3. Let’s meet at 6:15 p.m., on the corner of 58th and Broadway.

sentence structure level of detail and description level of formality

Sentence Structure

Sentences can vary greatly. They can be short and simple. They can also be long and complex, with lots of ideas packed together. Writers can use mostly one kind of sentence, or they can use a variety of sentence sizes, known as sentence structure. Sometimes sentences will all sound the same. Other times sentences will vary in word order and structure.

Practice 3
Change the style of the following sentences. Add specific description and detail. When you are done, check your answers at the end of the lesson. 1. He ate a huge breakfast this morning. Descriptive Version:

Level of Detail and Description

The level of description and detail has a large effect on the reader. Some writers are quite descriptive. Others offer only a few details. Here are two things to consider: 1. How specific is the writer? Does he write, “dog” (general) or “Labrador retriever” (specific)? Does she write “some” (general) or “three and a half pounds” (specific)? 2. How much description does the writer provide? Does he write, “Mr. Zee is my manager” (nondescriptive)? Or does he offer some description: “Mr. Zee, my manager, is a tall man with piercing eyes and a mustache”? Or does he go even further: “Mr. Zee, my manager, is six-foot-ten with eyes that pierce like knives and a mustache like Charlie Chaplin” (very descriptive)? Notice the increasing level of detail in the following examples. The first sentence is very general. The second sentence adds some detail. The third sentence gets even more specific.

2. Please dress up for the party. Descriptive Version:

3. The new gym has lots of equipment. Descriptive Version:



Level of Formality

Writers must decide how formal or informal they should be when they write. They decide the level of formality based on their audience and their purpose. Writers can use slang (which is informal), proper language, or anything in between. They can address readers by their first names (casual) or by their title (formal). For example, the following sentences use two different levels of formality. Let’s get together after work on Thursday. We invite you to join us for a social gathering at the close of business on Thursday. Notice the drastic difference in style. The first sentence, likely directed at a friend, is casual and informal. The second sentence, on the other hand, is formal. Yet, both sentences send the same message; they just do it in different styles.

So far you have learned that style is one thing writers use to express their ideas. Style consists of three elements: sentence structure, level of description and detail, and level of formality. Some writers use a very formal style while others are more casual. Remember, style depends on the writer’s audience and purpose.

Review Practice
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. When you are done, check your answers at the end of the lesson. Our company plans to merge with A+ systems, but the merger will have dire consequences for employees. First, the merger will force many of us to relocate. Second, many of us will be transferred to new departments. But most importantly, a merger means that hundreds of us will lose our jobs. 1. Which sentence states the main idea of this passage? a. The merger would be great for the company. b. The merger wouldn’t change things too much. c. The merger would be bad for employees. d. The merger will benefit employees. 2. Which structure does this writer use to organize his ideas? a. time order b. cause and effect c. order of importance d. both b and c 3. Which point of view does the writer use in this passage? a. first person b. second person c. third person d. fourth person

Practice 4
Rank the following sentences from 1 to 3 (1 is the most formal and 3 is the least formal). When you are done, check your answers at the end of the lesson. 1. Sales have improved. These figures show that sales have increased. Sales are up! You’re doing great work, O’Brien. Nice job, O’Brien. Your performance is above our expectations, O’Brien.



expected. I/We decided it would be best for me/us not to join the others. Answers Practice 1 The changed pronouns are italicized below. You also understand how authors use style to create meaning. Based on the high praise that Jane received. an employer. 1. The writer “could always count on Jane” to be on time. Jane is a dependable worker. The writer says she could “always” count on Jane to get work done “on time. How would you describe the writer’s tone or message? a. an outside consultant. and the types of sentences they choose influence your understanding of a passage. 2.” The writer says she “knew” Jane would proofread “carefully. She says that Jane knows legal terms and procedures “inside and out. Jane is never late. b. objective b. c. c. Jane knows those programs inside and out.” The writer was happy with Jane’s work. 3. She says that Jane has “mastered” several word processing programs. an employee.– LANGUAGE AND STYLE – 4. you can conclude that the writer is a. she will most likely be a great employee. Jane is always careful about her work. 2.” She calls Jane an “outstanding” typist. She can create all kinds of documents with them. 6. d. Based on the point of view. Practice 2 1. a business journalist. She meets deadlines. I was annoyed by the last-minute cancellation. minimal. 5. Jane types quickly and correctly. positive c. tranquil. disastrous. OBSERVATION CONCLUSION The first sentence is positive. Jane really knows legal terms and procedures. 120 . Now you know how authors write— you see how the words they use. a. The writer “is pleased” to recommend Jane. the point of view from which they write. b. I/We enjoy meals at nice restaurants. indifferent You should be able to apply what you have learned to all that you read. d. The word dire means a. subjective d.

1. twenty stationary bikes. The writer describes the effects of the merger (which is the cause) on the employees. d. The consequences are all serious. They are all very negative. Cedric ate two scrambled eggs. c. 6. The other sentences in the paragraph support that idea. Practice 4 1. us. 3. c. Here are some examples. twenty-five treadmills. 3. Thus. 2. b. Thus. The brand new gym has seven Stairmasters. but the focus of the paragraph is the negative results. and an Olympic-sized pool. 2. It states that the merger will be bad for employees. you can conclude that the author is an employee. The first sentence in the passage is the topic sentence. there is no such thing as a fourth-person point of view. The first-person point of view is based on the feelings and opinions of the narrator. 121 . 4. Also. 3. Personal experiences are subjective. 2. and we. Please wear an evening gown or tuxedo for Thursday’s holiday party. 1 1. dire can’t mean minimal. a. She lists these effects in order of importance. three sets of Nautilus equipment. and four pieces of buttered toast for breakfast this morning.– LANGUAGE AND STYLE – Practice 3 Review Practice Answers will vary. c. 1. 3 2. 5. She saves the most important effect for last. 2. These effects may be expected (b). The writer uses the first-person pronouns our. The writer uses the first-person point of view. four racquetball courts. three slices of bacon.


You know how to look carefully at the text to find clues that will help you figure out the main idea. you already know about the importance of word choice and style. Now it’s time to put your new knowledge to work. Then you can read between the lines to see what the author means. You also need to look for words and phrases that point to this main idea. To find an implied main idea. 123 . You will have to look carefully for clues. you will look at passages that don’t have a clear main idea. You must ask yourself which idea is supported by all of the sentences in the paragraph. there is not necessarily any topic sentence. you have studied how writers use structure and language to convey meaning to readers. In this lesson. But.C H A P T E R 11 S Drawing Conclusions o far. Choices that are too specific and do not include all of the ideas in the paragraph obviously cannot be the main idea of the paragraph. so finding the main idea can be a challenge. you have to find an idea that is general enough to cover the whole paragraph. Finding an Implied Main Idea When the main idea is implied (hinted at).

A good way to solidify what you have learned about reading comprehension questions is for you to write similar test questions. After reading the passage on the next page. Perhaps you also noticed something else while studying the passage. An outsider might have a different opinion of Mr. Mr. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. Wilson. or others. 124 . When you draw inferences. How did you figure out the main idea? List some of the clues you found. b. and vocabulary. Inference questions can be the most difficult to answer because they require you to draw meaning from the text when that meaning is implied rather than directly stated. Wilson. You need to base your conclusions on evidence—facts. 1. He marches straight to my desk and demands his reports. and other information—not on random guesses.– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – Practice Passage 1 Inference Inferences are conclusions that we draw based on the clues the writer has given us. d. my boss. He spends the day looking over my shoulder and barking orders. main idea. Wilson. Wilson. and so on) that suggest a certain conclusion. What point of view does the writer use? She uses the first person. 2. you must look for the clues (word choice. You have to read between the lines in order to make a judgment about what an author was implying in the passage. Notice how the writer describes Mr. A good way to test whether you have drawn an acceptable inference is to ask yourself what evidence you have to support your conclusion. her view is subjective. c. Mr. Questions that ask you about the meaning of a vocabulary word in the passage and those that ask what the passage suggests or implies are different from detail or main idea questions. Thus. write one question for each of the following four question types that you will find on the Paragraph Comprehension portion of the ASVAB: fact or detail. It’s a pleasure to work for Mr. You need to be sure that your inference is logical and based on something suggested or implied in the passage—not by an opinion that you. At 9:00 every morning. They probably helped you determine the implied main idea. Pay close attention to language. or point of view. Her description is based on her personal experience and feelings. hold. If you can’t find any. details. inference. you probably have the wrong answer. invades the office. Mr. attitude. Wilson is bossy and unfair. Mr. There are a lot of clues in this practice passage. Wilson is a good manager. And he blames every mistake—even if it’s his fault—on me. Wilson is always on time. Look for clues that suggest the main idea. Which sentence states the main idea of the passage? a. Practice Passage 2 Read the following paragraph actively. Then answer the questions that follow. details.

The teachers are divided: Some are in favor of the uniforms. we usually take diametrically opposite positions on most issues. and we went (thankfully) to our separate classes.” Just this week. with bits and pieces of a dozen different possible outfits on the bed. The dress style would be sort of loose and liberal.” you can count on Andy to say. Boys would wear white or blue button-down shirts. along with a navy blue blazer or cardigan sweater. like a typical teenager. he’s my twin! That’s right. and a blazer. More than that. The vote for or against uniforms took place later that day. “Kurt Cobain never wore a school uniform.– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – For or Against?—That Is the Question Andy is the most unreasonable. The principal has asked the students to express their opinion by voting on the issue before the final is made decision. subhuman life-form in the entire galaxy. I won’t feel like me!” To which I replied. gray. unable to decide what to wear. I want to be able to wear clothes made of natural. or white. blue or gray pants. a white or blue shirt. The fact is. The results of the vote and the principal’s decision will be announced next week. or dangling from the lamps. sewn or assembled in countries that do not pollute the environment or exploit child labor. I certainly would welcome not seeing kids showing off designer-labeled clothes. I think a dress code is a good idea. “night. Girls would wear white or blue blouses or sweaters. I also wouldn’t mind not seeing guys with oversized jeans and shirts so huge they would fit a sumo wrestler. the better. School is tough enough without worrying about looking cool every single day. Andy is appalled at my opinion. undyed fibers. Fortunately. “When I am feeling political. the bell rang ending the argument. I love him like a brother. others are opposed. pigheaded.” “Is that so? Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is automatically stupid. blue or gray pants or skirts. the less I have to decide in the morning. and I’m pretty sure I know how Andy voted. The principal has the final word on the dress code. but the clothes would be uniform in color. Uniforms! Can you imagine? Oh. Big deal! They went to high school about a million years ago! I feel sorry for you. Every student would be required to wear a uniform. there are other mornings when my room looks like a cyclone had hit it. He says he can’t believe that I would be willing to give up my all-American teenage birthright by dressing like—well. Of course. I wonder what it will be? I know how I voted. I sort of have to because he is my brother. And that’s the stupidest thing of all!” I said. “So your personal heroes didn’t wear school uniforms. Though we may look alike. Andy was now on his soapbox. Then he said. “day. If I have to wear a uniform. Socks or tights could be black. a school tie. “You’re just mimicking what you hear that new music teacher saying. Jay-Z wouldn’t have been caught dead in a school uniform!” he declared. How would you vote—for or against? 125 . I can’t tell you how many mornings I look into my closet and just stare. and a navy blue blazer or cardigan sweater. Andy and Amy (that’s me) have the same curly hair and dark eyes and equally stubborn temperaments. the big buzz in school was all about the PTA’s proposal to adopt a school dress code. If I say. brother dear. and he makes me so angry I could scream! Of course. The reason is simple. And. blue. on the floor. they won’t be military-style uniforms.” That really made him angry. a tie. I had no idea that your ego is so fragile that it would be completely destroyed by gray or blue pants.

He was afraid of heights. Chandra asked. 4. Taking a deep breath. In fact. You have to understand that I have an important exam this week and can’t spend all my free time cleaning. Inference Question: Dennis was scared. She knew her neat-freak roommate. d. b. So. d. “Then you should hire a maid to do it for you!” shouted Chandra. you can conclude that he is afraid of heights. 2. d. I haven’t gotten to them yet. Chandra stepped into the kitchen. He looked up again.” Anne replied. The repetition of “twenty feet” is another clue. You see what he thinks and feels. She waited. Here is an excerpt from a short story. But that only made it sound worse. b. “What are those filthy things still doing in the sink?” “Uh. c. Twenty feet! He felt dizzy and hot. The writer could have said. you say that every time I leave any kind of mess.” Anne replied. Practice Passage 3 a. 3. The author shows you how Dennis feels. c. Chandra yelled. Pointing angrily at them. Vocabulary question: a. Through these details. b. Some clues are action clues—what people said and did. His knees were weak. Read the passage carefully. look at the following passage. “Dennis was scared. Chandra.– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – Questions 1. Detail Question: a. Main Idea Question: a. This helps show how Dennis felt. “How many times have I told you that I like to have my house clean at all times?” “Well. they sound a little panicky. c.” Instead the writer suggests this information cause. “It’s only twenty feet!” he said aloud. He tried to think of something else. A moment later. She waited in the kitchen near the dirty dishes in the sink. quickly. c. Anne tensed when she heard the front door open. The water was twenty feet below. They suggest things in many ways. Her face dropped immediately when she saw the dishes piled high in the sink. would look there first. word choice. He looked down. no matter how small. so is the sentence structure. Anne thought about what she would say to her. 126 . She tried to remain calm. He tried to reassure himself. Notice that the sentences are short and choppy. For example. and style. they use suggestion to get their ideas across. b. Clues can also come in the form of details. d. Implied Information Often writers have thoughts that they don’t want to say directly. Then answer the questions that follow.

Anne was more worried about her exam. remember that they are not angry with you. You have to read between the lines to identify them. b. a curse. Why didn’t Anne do the dishes? a. Which of the following best expresses the writer’s views about irate patients? a. Use your sense of logic to answer questions and think about what the clues mean. c. 4. The word irate as it is used in the passage most nearly means a. d. and style. b. because she isn’t a maid d. d. because she had a bad day c. Why is Anne upset with Chandra? a. Why does Chandra get mad? a. cheerful. irregular. An imprecation is most likely a. d. 1. because Chandra never cleans up d. b. Dealing with irritable patients is a great challenge for healthcare workers. Irate patients should be made to wait for treatment. making it much more difficult to give them proper treatment. because she just returned home b. d. because Chandra pays less rent than Anne b. because Chandra wants to hire a maid c. you will only increase their hostility. She knew Chandra was not the perfect roommate. The passage suggests that healthcare workers a. Managing irate patients is the key to a successful career. It is critical that you do not lose your patience when confronted by such a patient. word choice. easily lose control of their emotions. a joke. If you respond to these patients as irritably as they act with 127 .– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – Anne could only walk out of the room in response. Such patients may be irrational and may not realize what they are saying. c. Often. because Anne didn’t greet her at the door b. but right now. because Anne is lazy 2. 3. c. because she had to study 3. ill tempered. 1. lazy. When handling irate patients. Irate patients are always miserable. Some irate patients just want attention. The best thing to do is to remain calm. these patients will purposely try to anger you to get some reaction out of you. a medication. an object. because Chandra expects Anne to clean up even small messes immediately Writers often suggest ideas and other information. If you react to this behavior with anger. b. and ignore any imprecations patients may hurl your way. they are simply projecting their anger at something else onto you. because she wanted to start a fight c. c. they win by getting your attention. Review Practice you. are better off not talking to their patients. Look for clues in the action. What do people say and do? Look for more clues in details. may provide inadequate treatment if they become angry at patients. must be careful when dealing with irate patients because the patients may sue the hospital. but you both lose because the patient is less likely to get proper care. because Anne didn’t do the dishes d. Then check your answers at the end of the lesson. Read the passage and answer the questions. 2.

Main idea question: Which of the following is the best statement of Andy’s position on the issue presented in the story? a. 3rd Ed. c. Wilson spends the day “barking orders. c. Wilson is bossy and unfair. Practice 2 Here is one question of each type based on the passage. The main idea is that Mr. logical conclusions drawn from her own observation and personal experience. 2. Your questions may be different. 4. they don’t like each other. d. the writer uses the word “invades. you should know what you need to pass the Paragraph Comprehension subtest. Mr. (LearningExpress) 501 Reading Comprehension Questions. First. they always take the opposite view on issues. b. He just demands that things get done. the last sentence shows you that Wilson is unfair—his mistakes get blamed on someone else. an emotional response to what she has been told by people in authority. not liking anything her brother likes. horrified by Answers Practice 1 1. Wearing school uniforms means one less decision every morning. School clothing should reflect parents’ values. As it is used in these sentences. b. c. It suggests that he isn’t wanted. try these additional resources: ■ ■ Reading Comprehension Success in 20 Minutes a Day. Teenagers should never follow the latest fashion trends. b. There are lots of clues in the passage. Inference question: Amy’s position on school uniforms is most likely based on a. Detail question: Amy and Andy fight because a. c. Second. 3rd Ed. Furthermore. d. her preference for designer-labeled clothes. 1. d. 128 . like a typical teenager. Wilson is trying to take over something that isn’t his. but these will give you an idea of the kinds of questions that could be asked. what does appalled at mean? a. they are twins.” He doesn’t ask. He doesn’t consider feelings. in denial c. (LearningExpress) 2.” This word suggests that Mr. How one dresses should be an expression of one’s personality. neither one is able to convince the other to change his or her point of view. He says he can’t believe that I would be willing to give up my allAmerican teenage birthright by dressing like—well. If you still want more practice. angry b. 3. supportive of d. Vocabulary question: Read the following sentences from the story: Andy is appalled at my opinion.– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – By now.

This is an inference question.” It should be clear that choice b cannot be the answer because it includes an absolute: “Irate patients are always miserable. the passage explains that irate patients are not “angry at you. choice b is incorrect.” and irate is used as a synonym for irritable. If you didn’t know what an imprecation is. may be a challenge in their own way. Chandra is a neat freak and expects Anne to clean up messes immediately. as is suggested when the writer says. as the phrase “the passage suggests” might have told you. lazy. 3. Choice c is also incorrect because the purpose of the passage is to ensure that patients receive “proper treatment” and that irate patients are not discriminated against because of their behavior. 2. Likewise. 2. nor choice d. It should be clear that choice b. an object. the passage does not provide any facts or details to support choice a. Irate means ill-tempered. . but we have no indication of what these patients are like at other times. irregular. the passage does suggest ignoring patients’ insults.” Choice c is not correct. Besides. This is a vocabulary question. d. And while it may be true that some healthcare workers may lose control of their emotions. is a likely answer. there is no discussion of career advancement in the passage. you both lose because the patient is less likely to get proper care. Anne says that she has an important exam this week. If you react to this behavior with anger. choice c is not likely either. this passage refers to patients who may be irate in the hospital. a. or choice d. 4. The idea that angry healthcare workers might give inadequate treatment is implied by the passage as a whole. so neither choice a. since an irate patient is not likely to be making jokes. but it does not recommend not talking to patients—it simply recommends not talking angrily. b. but an absolute like always is wrong. 129 .” Watch out for key words like easily that may distort the meaning of the passage. The writer seems to believe that some irate patients just want attention. choice d cannot be correct because. and miserable and irate are not exactly the same thing. which describes the patients in the first sentence. but they aren’t likely to rouse healthcare workers to anger. Anne is upset because Chandra is not reasonable in her expectations of cleanliness. Finally. c. Thus. which implies that she has to study. a medication. cheerful. 3.– DRAWING CONCLUSIONS – Practice 3 1. the context should reveal that it’s something you can ignore.” Patients that are choice a. d. although it may be true. there is no mention of lawsuits anywhere in this passage. is not the answer. Review Practice 1. Furthermore. dealing with happy patients is normally not “a great challenge. “Often these patients will purposely try to anger you to get some reaction out of you. even if Anne is preparing for an important exam. the last sentence in particular makes this inference possible: “If you react to this behavior with anger . “irate patients should be made to wait for treatment” is not a logical answer. The other choices are not implied in the story. In addition. Chandra expects Anne to keep the apartment spotless no matter what. d. they win by getting your attention. c.” Perhaps some of the patients are often miserable. because while it may be true that some irate patients have sued hospitals in the past. which seems to be an attempt to prevent angry reactions to irate patients. Furthermore. . that they “easily lose control.


You will get some more practice in this section. You already have had some practice identifying the meanings of words by examining their context in Section 3: Reading Comprehension for the Paragraph Comprehension subtest. These lessons will help you improve and develop your vocabulary skills. The Word Knowledge portion of the ASVAB is basically a vocabulary test. and suffixes. The good news is that vocabulary skills can be developed with practice. Combined with the Paragraph Comprehension score. Your ability to understand your training materials depends in part on your reading comprehension and vocabulary skills There are two different kinds of questions on the Word Knowledge subtest: Synonyms: Identifying words that mean the same as the given words. Without a broad vocabulary. teaching you how to break down words into parts you recognize so that you can decipher their meanings.S E C T I O N 4 E ■ ■ Vocabulary for the Word Knowledge Subtest ffective communication skills—including vocabulary and spelling—are essential to everything you do. you 131 . including word roots. your ability to learn is limited. Word Knowledge helps make up your Verbal Equivalent score—it’s one of the all-important subtests that determine whether you will be allowed to enlist. and you will also learn about synonyms and word parts. Context: Determining the meaning of a word or phrase by noting how it is used in a sentence or paragraph. Remember. prefixes. A good vocabulary increases your ability to understand reading material and express yourself in both speaking and writing.

“How is this word used in the sentence I read or heard?” Try asking yourself this sequence of questions with each unfamiliar word you encounter. There are three ways we learn vocabulary: ■ ■ ■ If not. Ask yourself. 1. so these methods will help you improve your guessing power when you encounter unknown words on the Word Knowledge subtest. then ask 3. “Does this word sound like anything I’ve ever heard?” 132 . you will find that you already know some of the words.– VOCABULARY FOR THE WORD KNOWLEDGE SUBTEST – are not penalized for guessing on the ASVAB. “Does any part of the word look familiar?” If not. from the sound of words from the structure of words from the context. and you can use your new knowledge to figure out the others. ask 2. As you learn more about how vocabulary works. how the word is used Learning words is therefore a three-step process.

or suffix that can guide you in determining the meaning of an unfamiliar word. you would figure it is a treatment that uses water. Therefore. prefix. you may recognize it from a word you know. you know that a fire hydrant stores water. English words share so many traits because they descend from a long line of intermingled Indo-European languages. you may know that the root hydro suggests water. For example. If you don’t know the part by itself. you associate the root hydro to water and deduce the meaning of hydrotherapy. 2. Many English words come from Greek and Latin. By association. The best way to improve your vocabulary is to learn word parts. Roots. you link the known meaning to that of an unfamiliar word.C H A P T E R 12 T Word Parts he value of learning word parts is that they act as a kind of access key that gives you clues about other words in the same family as the word you know. 133 . the point of learning to recognize word parts is that they give you access to whole groups of words when you know a few language families. prefixes. For example. You may already know a given root. Using word parts to increase vocabulary works in two ways: 1. and suffixes are word elements that share characteristics. then. Therefore. if you came across the word hydrotherapy. Again.

believability creed. influx gregarious (greg = crowd. pod = foot. audience. facsimile. gno = to know): unrecognizable diagnosis. dict = say): the act or state of disagreeing contrary. auditorium belligerent (bell = war): warlike bellicose. benediction biodegradable (bio = life): able to be broken down by living things bionic. soliloquy mediocre (med = middle): of medium quality. spec = see): highly visible spectacle. biology. reduction. xenophobia antagonize (agon = struggle. inspection. When you combine your knowledge of roots with your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes—the small parts of words that go at the beginning or end of words to change their meanings—you have the tools for deciphering the meanings of many words from their structure. antebellum benevolent (ben = good): kind benefactor. derogatory. ped also means child): a barrier or hindrance pedestal. interdict. mediator 134 . evidence. Definitions and Roots The value of learning roots is that they give you clues about unfamiliar words that share the roots of words you do know. superfluous. flu = to flow): to rise and fall fluid. credit. contribution. neither good nor bad median. contest): to struggle against protagonist. Generally roots of English words are derived from ancient Greek and Latin words. cognitive inducement (duc = to lead): leading to an action induction. recognize. introduction. knowing some of the most commonly used roots gives you access to the meaning of many words at once. credulous. agonize assimilate (simul = copy): to fit in similar. Because so many English words have their source in certain recurring root words. benign. agony. chronicle conspicuous (spic. precise. dictionary. arrogant loquacious (loq = speak): talkative eloquent. provident fidelity (fid = faith): faithfulness fiduciary.– WORD PARTS – Roots Roots are the pieces of words that carry direct meaning. agoraphobic (phobe = fear): fear of open spaces phobia. infidel. simile. visible. interfere interrogate (rog = to ask): to question surrogate. reference. pedestrian. intermediate. Following are the definitions and roots of some words. infidelity fluctuate (flux. incredible demographic (demo = people): having to do with the measurement of populations democracy. cognition. simulate attribute (trib = to give): a special quality tributary. along with other words that share their roots. beneficiary. dictation credence (cred = believe): belief. introspection contradiction (contra = against. refer. herd): sociable egregious impediment (ped. demagogue evident (vid = see): obvious video. fluidity. tribunal audible (aud = hear): able to be heard audition. clear cut incision. contrast. chronometer. reduce inference (fer = bear or carry): guess or surmise transfer. antibiotic chronic (chron = time): occurring over time chronological. claustrophobia. scissors incognito (cog. spectator. dictate. pediment incisive (cis = to cut): penetrating.

135 . 9. veritable. succeed protracted (tract = draw. dejected. procedure. His help those less fortunate than himself. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. of the is her clear-eyed 6. commission. 2. vital Practice 1 Fill in the blanks with words from the previous list. Philadelphia. veracious. It doesn’t pay to those who are in authority. bibliophile precedent (ced = go): a prior ruling or experience intercede. suburban. contain. projectile remittance (mit. empathy. 1. sophistry. 8. tac. His remarks were the heart of the subject. Public works projects in the 1930s set a for social legislation for the next 60 years. the 10. tenable urbane (urb = city): polished. synonym. attraction. sympathy. and cut right to the opinions of arose from his deep desire to 3. tactile. caption. subtracted recapitulate (cap = head): to review in detail capital. distracted. captain. nym = name): in name only nominate. tactical. Over the years. anonymous pathos (path = feeling): feeling of sympathy or pity pathetic. One of her best wisdom. pull): dragged out tractor. nomenclature. permission sophisticated (soph = wisdom): having style or knowledge sophomore. It was the principal’s duty to students and find out who was responsible for the vandalism. apathy philanthropy (phil = love): giving generously to worthy causes philosophy. tig = touch): touching slightly tangent. 7. mis = to send): to pay or send back submit. 4. aver vivacious (viv = life): lively in manner vivid. By wearing a wig and glasses. After the game. Shana believed she was going .– WORD PARTS – nominal (nom. the commentators continued to the key plays for those who had been unable to watch it. The store demanded the required payment to clear the debt. sophisticated urban. urbanite verify (ver = truth): to establish as truth verity. decapitate rejected (ject = to throw or send): sent back subject. people from many countries have come to into American life. philosopher tangential (tang. 5. interjected. stubborn tenacity. contiguous tenacious (ten = hold): unwilling to let go.

Which word stems from a root that relates to hearing? 3. Then you may be able to figure out how a word’s meaning may have been affected by a prefix. 1. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. Definitions and Prefixes Following are some words with their prefixes and meanings. The point of working with prefixes is not to memorize a batch of disconnected word parts but to become familiar with the most common examples. a prefix may only remotely suggest meaning. Which word stems from a root that means to cut or kill? 4. feelings against antiwar. re (back or again) + vert = revert (turn back) He reverted to speaking Spanish with his grandmother. Which word stems from a root that suggests speaking? 10. Or. antibiotic. antebellum. Which word stems from a root that means good? 2. the Latin root vert means to turn. intro (inside) + vert = introvert (an inwardly directed person) She was an introvert who generally shied away from company. For example. di (two) + vert = divert (turn aside) He wanted to divert attention from the spectacle. Which word stems from a root than means a fear? 6. Which word stems from a root that means belief ? it an opposite. especially ancestors antenatal. anteroom antipathy (anti = against): hatred. for example. ex (out of. Which word stems from a root that means to bear or carry? 5. Which word stems from a root that means crowd? 7. in (opposite) + vert = invert (turn over) He inverted the saucer over the cup. Which word stems from a root that suggests touching? 8.– WORD PARTS – Practice 2 Answer the following with words from the previous list. as well as other words that use the prefix. away from) + vert = extrovert (an outgoing individual) He was an extrovert who was the life of every party. They are often seen in different forms and may fundamentally change the meaning of a root word—making 136 . Look at what happens when you add different prefixes in front of that root: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 9. Which word stems from a root that means see? con (with or together) + vert = convert (transform—think turn together) She wanted to convert the old barn into a studio. antecedents (ante = before): something that comes before. antidote Prefixes Prefixes are word parts at the beginning of a root word that change or add to the word’s meaning in some way.

the word trivial comes from the place where. evil malady. contrary decimate (dec = ten): to destroy or kill a large portion of something decimal. For instance. eugenic. convivial. occasional intermediate. 1. malignant precursor (pre = before): a form that precedes a current model premeditate. congregate controversy (contr = against): public dispute contrast. decibel demote (de = down. eulogy exorbitant (ex = out of. But beware. retrograde subordinate (sub = under): lower in rank subterranean. intermission malevolent (mal = bad): cruel. malice. the connection between the meaning of the prefix and the meaning of the word is much less obvious. triangle. Practice 3 Complete each of the following sentences with a word from the previous list. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. opposite): not readable illegal. path = feelings). 2. together): agreement on a course of action congress. The Civil War both the land and the population of the South. in some cases. preview prognosis (pro = before): opinion about the future state of something provide. transatlantic trivial (tri = three): unimportant tripod. disqualified euphemism (eu = good. out of orbit) exhume. illegitimate. opposite of): not having selfish interest in (not the same as uninterested) disappointed. prevent. away from): excessive (literally. substrate. Today we use trivial to refer to small items of information that are relatively unimportant. in ancient times. malefactor. deflate disinterested (dis = not. circumference consensus (con = with. interlude.– WORD PARTS – circumvent (circum. symphony. the three main caravan routes met and people exchanged gossip and bits of information. subscription synthesis (syn. spect = to look or see). professional. produce retrospect (retro = back. triennial Note that some words translate very neatly into their components: ■ ■ Antipathy literally means feelings against (anti = against. The manager threatened to clerk if he came late one more time. The union leaders finally reached a(n) over the salary package. 3. again): hindsight retroactive. extort. premature. illicit intermittent (inter = between): occurring from time to time. transportation. away from): to lower in grade or position decline. circulate. the 137 . sym = with or together): the combination of many things into one synthetic. exhale. disabled. Retrospect literally means looking back (retro = back. export illegible (il = not. circ = around): to get around circumscribe. well): a more pleasant term for something distasteful euphonious. symbiotic transcend (trans = across): to go beyond transfer.

take the word devote. An intermittent action does not happen once. adding a suffix often changes the function of the word in a sentence without fundamentally changing the word’s meaning. you have little or no feeling at all.– WORD PARTS – 4. it takes the -tion suffix and becomes devotion: His devotion to his family was well known. 9. Many people focus on the things in life and ignore the more important matters. it takes the -ed suffix: He is a devoted family man. 9. For example. As an adverb modifying a verb. The boy always found a way to authority and get his own way. 10. meaning to dedicate time to the care of someone or something. Using too many to avoid distasteful subjects weakens our ability to express ourselves clearly. 10. and things). 6. . 8. Most people would want to pay an exorbitant sum for a theater ticket. A disinterested person is bored with her work. Suffixes You may remember from elementary school English classes that words are divided into something called parts of speech—primarily nouns (people. 2. ■ ■ ■ As a verb. Suffixes are word endings that often change the word’s part of speech. 138 . Suffixes change the way the word works in a sentence. places. A retrospective exhibition shows only recent works by an artist. it appears as it is: I will devote my time to my family. 3. 7. One’s children are one’s antecedents. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. and adjectives and adverbs (words which describe other words). 8. it takes the -ly suffix: He devotedly served his family for many years. Because the signature was knew who wrote the letter. the president of the club offers her _______________ on the coming year. If you have antipathy toward someone. You can think of a suffix as the hat a word wears for a particular job in the sentence. A malevolent character in a movie is usually the hero. no one 6. We use euphemisms when we want to soften the meaning of what we say. 1. The photography exhibition showed the between images and color. 5. As an adjective modifying a noun. As a noun. ■ Practice 4 Mark the following statements as true or false according to the meaning of the underlined word. Thus. Every January. The bicycle is a precursor to a motorcycle. 7. 5. 4. verbs (action or existence words). To circumvent an issue is to address it directly. The choice had to be made by a(n) person who would not benefit from the outcome.

materialism futility. Other words that contain those suffixes SUFFIX MEANING are listed. EXAMPLES YOUR EXAMPLE Noun Endings -tion -ment -ian -ist -ism -ity -ology -escence -y. convalescence mimicry. glorious sensitive. plagiarize decimate. As you look at the words. divisive guileless.– WORD PARTS – The table that follows shows commonly used suffixes. bigotry: narrow-minded intolerance We must guard against bigotry wherever it exists. -ry act or state of quality of one who is or does. agrarian: having to do with agriculture or farming The farmer loved his agrarian life. patrician feminist. flammable nostalgic. tolerate beautify. philanthropist barbarism. electrify Definitions and Suffixes Following are some words with their suffixes and meanings. impediment tactician. think about words you already know that contain the same suffix. reckless Verb Endings -ize -ate -ify to bring about to make to make colonize. servile religious. The words contain boldfaced suffixes that identify the word’s part of speech. psychology adolescence. you can add at least one other word you already know that uses the same suffix. fatalistic senile. trickery Adjective Endings -able -ic -ile -ious -ive -less capable of causing. In the last column. civility biology. 139 . making pertaining to having the quality of having the nature of without perishable. relating to one who state or doctrine of state of being study of state of state of retraction. contraction deportment. They are divided into the parts of speech they suggest for the words.

puerile: childish The father’s actions were puerile. his fiveyear-old was more mature. If there is a copious amount of something. cryptic: mysterious. relentless: unstoppable He was relentless in his search for knowledge. obsolescence: the state of being outdated The new designs were already headed for obsolescence. 10. venerate: to respect or worship He venerated his parents and protected their interests. 8. furtive: underhanded and sly He had a furtive manner. 3.– WORD PARTS – consummate: to make complete The deal was consummated after long negotiations. Agrarian life is found in the city. hidden Her cryptic comment was unclear to everyone. satirize: to use humor to expose folly in institutions or people Comedians like to satirize politicians. 9. A furtive glance is sly and secretive. deferment: delay He wanted a deferment on paying his student loans. etymology: study of word origins The scholar was an authority on the etymology of words. rectify: to correct He wanted to rectify the misunderstanding. parity: equality He wanted parity with the other employees. laudable: praiseworthy He had laudable intentions to do good in his community. mutation: a change in form The scientist found a significant mutation in the gene. 4. pragmatism: faith in the practical approach His pragmatism helped him run a successful business. The protagonist is usually the most important person in a play. 1. Etymology is the study of insect life. 140 . People venerate things they do not respect. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. A relentless search is over quickly. A deferment allows immediate action. 2. 6. protagonist: one who is the central figure in a drama The protagonist was played by a great actor. Practice 5 Mark the following statements as true or false according to the meanings of the underlined words. A mutation can be a change of form. copious: plentiful She received copious praise for her excellent work. Obsolescence adds value to merchandise. you are likely to run out of it quickly. 7. provocative: inciting to action The actions of a few demonstrators were provocative. 5.

you . If you satirize something. contradict 3. assimilate 7. to prefixes. you must . gregarious 7. incisive 4. but you have also learned how to identify unfamiliar words by identifying parts of the word that you already know. If you are a relentless person. to suffixes. euphemisms 7. If you venerate something. 4. 9. 1. remittance 5. agoraphobia 6.– WORD PARTS – Practice 6 Complete the following sentences. incisive 2. 10. 7. decimated 4. You have not only learned new words. If you consummate arrangements for a trip. credence 9. audible 3. If your motives are laudable. circumvent 8. 3. you . contradict 10. true 3. false 2. recapitulate 9. you are being . demote 2. synthesis 9. 5. precedent 8. If you behave in a puerile manner. you . inference 5. you . consensus 3. 2. If you want parity at work. philanthropy 4. prognosis Practice 4 1. trivial 10. benevolent 2. tangential 8. By now you should be familiar with many word parts. disinterested 6. from roots. they are . If you request a deferment. you are . 141 1. interrogate Practice 2 1. Answers Practice 1 1. you want . false . evident Practice 3 8. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. attributes 6. If you want to rectify a situation. illegible 5. 6. If you behave in a furtive way. incognito 10. you want .

praiseworthy 6. finalize them 142 . false 5. false 6. true 3. false 6. false 5. false 1. make fun of it 7. true 7. sly and sneaky 9. false 2. equal treatment 10.– WORD PARTS – 4. a postponement 3. false 7. false 8. false 9. correct it 4. true Practice 5 Practice 6 1. true 10. childish 8. false 10. false 8. don’t give up 5. true 9. false 4. respect it 2.

A vocabulary question that gives you a sentence around the vocabulary word is usually easier to answer than one with little or no context. Remember. 143 . Most people use context to help them determine the meaning of an unknown word.C H A P T E R 13 S Words in Context ince you have already learned about context in Lesson 8 of the Reading Comprehension section. If nothing else. The surrounding text can help you as you look for synonyms in the sentences. The best way to take meaning from context is to look for key words in sentences or paragraphs that convey the meaning of the text. The process of elimination will often leave you with the correct answer. context is the surrounding text in which a word is used. the context will give you a means to eliminate wrong answer choices that clearly don’t fit. this lesson is mostly practice questions similar to those on the ASVAB.

animated b. as if it had been closed up for a long time in an old trunk. a. denial c. a. and so she was by everyone. redundant c. conscientious c. secretive c. fulcrum d. examine b. irrelevancy 9. reward b. a. Julia was blamed for the town’s bad fortune. because she was so . pardon 3. regarded b. a. problem Jim had was too many 6. lucrative d. consequence d. musty d. cause 7. emotional d. rescue d. solitude b. The main parking tickets. nadir 144 . a. a. neglected d. artistic 5. We were tired when we reached the . a. His suit had a(n) odor. considerable 4. disaster b. 1. aged b. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. a. The of not turning in your homework is after-school detention. transfer c. Every day.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – Practice 1 Choose the word that best fills the blank in the following sentences. Travis fell and broke his ankle. the teacher reminded him that his description was . When Tasia described the blackbird as black. loneliness d. a. forewarned 10. request d. association c. expressive b. shunned c. dried-up c. summit c. considerate b. demanding people. search c. so he longed most of all for . circumference b. inconsequential d. a. decrepit 8. typical 2. but the spectacular view of the valley below was worth the hike. The brand new sports car cost a(n) amount of money. he had to deal with crowds of noisy. We knew nothing about Betty. While trying to his pet iguana from a tree.

commonplace c. surge b. Jorge is because he is the only one on staff who knows how to use this computer program. spiteful c. sympathetic 12. unnecessary d. current b. creative 17. favorably b. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. meddlesome d. shamelessly d. It’s easy to take care of my cousin’s dog Sparky. a. a. irrelevant d. prudent c. receptive c. a. a. elitist b. candidly Practice 2 Choose the word that best fills the blank in the following sentences. accessible b. eloquent d. indispensable d. she was on a to find the perfect hotel.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 11. a. lucrative b. stoic d. cadence 15. revered 18. Lola had been traveling for weeks. adversely c. dedicated c. a. prestigious c. aloof d. 1. My computer was state-of-the-art when I bought it five years ago. ambiguous 13. and it has affected our working relationship. Her nature meant that she never showed emotion even when terrible things kept happening to her. a. a. quest c. docile 145 . a. upsetting b. he’s a and obedient pet. delectable b. but now it is . frustrated b. discovery d. ingenious 16. irrational c. outmoded 14. Selling ice-cold lemonade during a heat wave can be very . The teacher put the crayons on the bottom shelf to make them to the young children. I do not like your negative attitude. Roland developed an plan to earn extra money to buy the car he had always wanted.

endeavor 10. torrid c. a. disperses 6.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 2. she was always worrying about something. a. ironic c. condoned 11. your directions were . enraged b. I will vote in favor of the new city ordinance because it many of the points we discussed earlier this year. consoling c. a. perplexity d. priceless b. quenchable c. explicit d. suspicious d. Make sure that drinking water is otherwise. tepid b. a. Rachel a plan to become a millionaire by age thirty. 7. encompasses b. a. releases c. precedence b. illogical c. decreased d. Juana was known as a person. both parents and students seemed . shrewd 8. conformity c. fretful d. loquacious b. a. devised b. a. a. preferential 9. indifferent d. I had no trouble finding your house. apathetic c. Jessica needs an A in her class. reminisces d. evasive 4. embodied 3. The famous celebrity expected treatment wherever she went. irate b. so studying for exams takes over watching television. a. Whitney fell asleep during the movie because it had a(n) plot. vital 146 . obscure when she discovered 5. My mother was I broke her favorite vase. conformed c. impure d. arduous c. valid b. a. monotonous b. exorbitant d. Though the principal had expected an uproar when he canceled the senior class trip. you could get sick. ample d. potable .

warily b. presumed d. Jeffrey was visibly nervous and spoke about his upcoming appointment with his lawyer. duplicate Practice 3 Choose the word that best fills the blank in the following sentences. resolved 13. ventilated c. a. measurably d. pungent b. Barney to go back to school to study dog grooming. narrowly 147 . surmised c. a. a. prominent c. agitated 15. relied b. Your drawing is a fair of my family as the infamous Doppler gang. a. a. Jose rose to a sales position when he helped the company double its profits. average b. luxuriously c. Jade was so hungry after her workout that she gobbled up the fruit salad. prudent d. desolation d. council c. a. audibly 17. The 5:00 whistle announces the end of the workday at the largest toothpaste factory in town. approvingly b. attraction c. reflex d. a. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. objective 2. mishap b. dynamically b. generously d. symbolically d.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 12. dissented b. careened d. his bike down the hill and splashed into a duck pond. significantly c. A small occurred when my car door nicked the fender of a neighboring motor scooter. beneficially 18. degeneration 14. voraciously c. virtuous c. portrayal b. frugal 16. a. My sister decided to change her diet when the sour milk on her cereal gave off a odor. When Marty let go of the handlebars. 1. a. fraudulent d.

eloquent 6. belittled b. pretentious d. diverged c. obligation d. exemplified d. objective 5. a. facilitate 11. The painter was a(n) artist who was hardly known outside his native city. One of Angelo’s antique lemon juicers. a. arrogant b. a. The hail crop was lost. commended the corn until the entire 8. treatise 13. integrity 7. substance b. integrate d. confound b. pacify c. achievable c. Sandy’s excellent bobsledding skills during the competition what we all hoped to master. generosity c. restorative d.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 3. rebuked d. admonitions d. seclusion d. confluence c. relapse b. idioms 9. When Wayne learned that he had won the contest. a. brevity d. a. eccentricities b. a. a. grandiose c. he developed an attitude. wanton b. varied 12. admissive c. eminent d. median is collecting after our long 10. infamous b. disappointments c. Do you have the apply for this job? a. The motel offered a drive in the Grand Canyon. requisite papers to 148 . obscure 4. stubborn c. Margot brought large garbage bags to our cleanup along Route 66. enlightened d. and we all had to listen to him crow about his accomplishments. Andrew showed disregard for his pickup when he neglected to replenish the oil after the warning light came on. assumption b. a. punitive b. prevailed b. a. a. Denise showed great when she refused to discuss what was on the final exam in her economics class. pummeled c. The of sunshine and warm weather made for a happy vacation at the beach. respite c.

1. the sun never rises. perpendicularly c. customary b. relinquish d. brief c. constricted d. a. please be sure to give a description of the main character. erring b. glamorous b. principled b. prestigious 18. massive 16. offending 149 . essentially 4. performing surgery with ease. but she actually found it quite . a. evoked 2. When you write your paper about The Catcher in the Rye. radical c. Viola thought that comparing fingerprints would be exciting work. After an hour of heavy rain. Her business sense meant that she always made the best and most profitable decisions. a. consummate d. prohibit yourself: You must pass that Practice 4 Choose the word that best fills the blank in the following sentences. tedious c. comprehensive d. Layna became the veterinarian. subjective 15. Anthony tended his neighbors’ goldfish while they were on vacation. a. blinding b. animated d. dynamic d. terminally b. perpetual d. abated b. germinated c. a. ample 3. In some countries during the winter months. determined c. a. she soon came to talk more than any of us. Don’t exam to graduate. After years of experience. acute b. superficial c. a. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. Although Maria was when we first met her. the storm and we were able to get back out on the golf course. a. shrewd d.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 14. there is darkness. depreciate c. voluntary 17. assiduously d. a. reticent c. delude b.

a. consoled c. squeamish c. recitative b. prudent 11. a. stunned 6. paradox c. desultory c. luminescent d. The old man was . provoke b. intimidated b. wistful b. differentiated 7. a. operate b. irreparable 14. queasy d. so we all applied ourselves to it with enthusiasm. matrix b. she preferred to save it than spend it. The two cats could be only by the number of rings on their tails. cumulous 150 . a. incandescent b. a. a. disconnected d. The drive was dangerous because of the rain. recalcitrant 13. heave his younger sister 10. hydroplane c. redundant c. alienated d. reconnoiter 9. vector d. feasible c. The many colors in the swarm of butterflies seemed to create a(n) cloud. he refused to leave his home. expository d. a. vortex . on each slick. incorrigible d. they were exactly alike. wet curve I was afraid we would into a ditch. submerge d. and the dishes dirty. divided c. My friend me by hugging me and making sure I was okay. mice and cockroaches were everywhere. and 12. spoil d. licentious 8. The room was .– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 5. a. a. even when told the volcano was about to erupt. iridescent c. repatriated d. squalid b. the bed unmade. implacable b. Eduardo liked to and make her upset. a. separated b. The project seemed . Yelena was always with her money. upgrade c. The tiny boat spun into the we were sure that all hope was lost. otherwise.

transpose 17. caustic Practice 5 Choose the word that best fills the blank in the following sentences. Enrique was his long vacation. a. so the school board demanded a(n) . my daughter is to talk about virtually all personal topics—she simply sits and stares at me. induct c. a. after I 7. Now that she is a teenager. nauseous b. without being told. it fits . The pairs contain words that are easily confused and commonly misused. The United States is a. annulment 19. I will be profoundly . what the other felt. I turned green and became rode the Super Loops ten times. a. eager b. a. good b. amiable c. discomforted 151 . a. Mike and Jamal had a perfect . a. The judge set a huge amount for bail to that the man would return to court. ensure b. stability b. abolition b. 1. She looks fabulous in that dress. I always relied on the manager to a new project when productivity was low. discomfited b. equilibrium c. retraction d. invalidation c. administered b. unanimous c. each seeming to know. ministered 2. composed b. symmetry 16. a. I expected the so-called bully to be mean. rapport d. a. oppose b. If I lose all of my savings. well 6.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 15. comprised of 50 states. nauseated 5. reticent 18. synchronous b. acerbic b. but he was actually quite . anxious first aid to the child with to see his kids after 3. a. Janelle the broken arm. instigate d. a. The New York Times printed an erroneous report about New York City student scores on standardized tests. vitriolic d. insure 4. indentured d. For each sentence you will have a pair of words to choose from. a.

This book is an Mayan culture. b. healthful diet. The context clue is “we knew nothing. d. a. compulsive b. a. I have a guilty . credulous 9. allowed 12. d. proceed b. precede with the plan we made 17. c. b. a.” Secretive means having the habit of keeping secrets. possible 15. counsel b. adopt 11. 152 . exhaustive b. continuously b. healthy b. you should seek the of a qualified attorney. council 18. Considerable means large. The mail carrier neighbor’s mail in my box. a.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 8. credible b. but parking tickets are usually not a disaster. feasible b. it was not for Latania to attend her high school reunion. A vitamin a day is part of a a. Her students appreciate Professor Diamond’s grading system. Because she lived across the globe. it seemed time to him into the hall of fame. 19. a. Rescue in this context implies freeing from danger. The other choices do not make sense. 5. 4. adapt b. We will earlier this month. Dogs to the cold weather when their fur grows thick. All of the police officers were witnesses because they actually saw the accident. aloud b. The word problem in this context means a source of distress. judicious 20. After his amazing career. a. Before buying a house. 3. Choice a is a great source of distress. a. You would expect a brand new sports car to cost a lot of money. When I cheat on my diet by eating chocolate cake. 16. homework is a. exhausting study of the Answers Practice 1 14. Summit means the highest point. judicial b. conscious b. 2. induct 13. deduct b. where the hikers would have a view. a. compulsory . a. a. conscience 10. Choices b and c do not make sense. continually puts my 1. In most classes. He spoke ________ so everyone could hear. a.

17. Portrayal means representation or portrait. Irate means upset or angry. A musty odor is one that is stale or moldy. a. A consequence is the result of something. Adversely means acting against or in a contrary direction. a. 11. b. b. c. Precedence means priority of importance— i. Solitude. b. Arrogant means exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance in an overbearing manner. demanding people every day would want association (choice b). 14. a. b.. 10. Pungent implies a sharp. a. 15. The other choices are not descriptive of an odor. and cleverness in conception. Outmoded means no longer in style or no longer usable. d. Stoic means not affected by emotion. c. 9. a. but that never happened. Encompasses in this context means includes. 7. Choice d makes no sense. clever. d. b. (The principal had expected an uproar. 10. The context clue in this sentence is Jeffrey’s nervousness. honesty. b. To pummel means to pound or beat. or watchful prudence. Accessible means capable of being reached. a. (Antique lemon juicers are not a commonplace item.e. unlike loneliness (choice c). 8. Resolved means having reached a firm decision about something. 2. c.) 4. Ingenious means marked by originality. 7. 153 . To be shunned is to be avoided deliberately. c. 4. a. b. d. a. 13. 1. Facilitate means to make easier or to help bring about. 5. d. It is repetitive to describe a blackbird as black. d. Preferential means special. resourcefulness. 2. being within reach. Voraciously means ravenously. b. b. Mishap means an unfortunate accident. can be a desirable thing. a. 10. 13. 12. Explicit means clearly defined. 18. c. 18. a. c. or biting quality. Redundant means repetitive. Potable means fit for drinking. d. Exemplify means to be an instance of or serve as an example. usually as a punishment. Respite means an interval of rest and relief. Monotonous means having a tedious sameness. 5. 11. Audibly means the manner of being heard. Obscure means unknown. 11. Careen means to rush headlong or carelessly. to lurch or swerve while in motion. You would expect someone to be irate if a favorite possession were destroyed. 15. 17. especially of an odor.) 9. An eccentricity is something that deviates from the norm. To be indispensable is to be essential or necessary. It’s doubtful that a person who dealt with crowds of noisy. 8. a. c. Devised means to form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or principles. d. Fretful means worried. 9. Apathetic means having little or no concern. Warily means in a manner marked by keen caution. 16. 6. Wanton means being without check or limitation. Integrity means firm adherence to a code of moral values. 8. 12. 3. a. studying is more important to Jessica than watching television. d. 3. d. cunning. stinging. 16. Prominent means important or leading. to plan to obtain or bring about. Lucrative means profitable. 7. 14. d. A quest is a search or pursuit of something. a. 6. Practice 3 Practice 2 1. c.– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 6. Docile means easily led or managed. a. a.

– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 12. Practice 4 14. a. rainbow colors. 2. Something squalid has a dirty or wretched appearance. Reticent means inclined to be silent or uncommunicative. The other adjectives. can properly be applied to a person but not to a place. although somewhat related. Shrewd means clever. Although the sentence is talking about a bully. to deceive. d. 9. Console means to comfort. c. 16. Assiduously means in a careful manner or with unremitting attention. a. If you say 154 . c. 5. This is the term usually applied to disavowing something erroneous or libelous printed in a newspaper. but neither necessarily includes color as a necessary property. Instigate means to cause or start. 3. Choices a and b are somewhat close. b. Confluence means a coming or flowing together. To differentiate between two things is to establish the distinction between them. 1. To minister means to aid or give service to people (intransitive verb). 6. nauseating. 15. b. a. b. but then talked more than anyone else. a. b. 19. choice d. 13. 10. 13. sickening. The other choices are somewhat similar in meaning but do not normally apply to newspaper errors. or worried. c. To be reticent is to be disinclined to speak out. To have rapport is to have mutual trust and emotional affinity. 18. make no sense. Tedious means tiresome or boring. b. To be recalcitrant is to be stubbornly resistant. The other choices. To retract something is to take it back or disavow it. or gathering at one point. c. Something that is iridescent displays lustrous. a. assure means to promise or cause someone to count on. c. though somewhat related. Prudent means cautious. Comprehensive means covering completely or broadly. 12. c. d. Requisite means essential or necessary. b. The other choices do not make sense. d. Cumulous (choice d) is a scientific name for a type of cloud. When a car goes out of control and skims along the surface of a wet road. 14. 17. refers to a large or bulky mass. 4. 2. Anxious implies a more negative feeling: an extreme uneasiness of mind.) means extremely skilled and experienced. d. The other three choices would not apply to projects that are 18.) 16. To administer means to give something remedially (transitive verb). b. Ensure means to make a future occurrence certain or reliable. possible (note that they all begin with prefixes generally meaning “not”). a. Abated means to decrease in force or intensity. b. A vortex is a whirlpool and so fits the sentence. insure means protecting the worth of goods. d. To be feasible is to be practicable and so the word best fits this sentence. 15. Delude means to mislead the mind. Eager implies enthusiastic or impatient desire or interest. 8. Consummate (adj. Practice 5 1. d. Amiable means friendly. The other words do not necessarily imply trust. Maria was silent at first. c. a. 3. 7. 17. 11. 4. Provoke means to cause anger. c. meeting. The other choices make no sense in this context. Nauseated means to feel nausea or the condition of feeling sick. Perpetual means unending. reserved. the key word but indicates that the quality he has is not expected. (Massive. it is called hydroplaning. b. Nauseous means causing nausea.

Well should be used as an adverb to modify verbs (how does it fit?). a. A council is an assembly of people called together for consultation. 6. or appear). Feasible means logical or likely. 8. Judicious is having or exhibiting sound judgment. Adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances. Proceed means to go forward in an orderly way. 15. 155 . credulous means ready to believe. seem. Composed means to make up the parts of. b. 12. Adopt means accepting something created by another or foreign to one’s nature. Possible means capable of happening or existing. 20. or relating to. a. courts of law. precede means to come before. 16. b. Induct means to introduce or initiate. a. 9. 19. 13. Exhausting means tiring. Judicial is of. a. 11. Credible means offering reasonable grounds for being believed. Continually means recurring regularly. b. b. especially on slight or uncertain evidence. a. b. 18. Aloud means able to be heard. Healthful implies a positive contribution to a healthy condition. you are nauseous it means you have unpleasant powers. Healthy implies full of strength and vigor as well as freedom from signs of disease. Comprised means to consist of—it expresses the relation of the larger to the smaller (think of this larger sense by remembering that comprised is a longer word than composes).– WORDS IN CONTEXT – 5. 7. a. Deduct means to take away from a total. b. Counsel means advice or guidance. or beneficial to health. 17. Conscience means a sense of moral goodness. Allowed means permitted. Exhaustive means treating all parts without omission. Discomfort means to deprive of comfort or to distress. Good is an adjective often used with linking verbs (be. b. b. 14. Compulsory means obligatory or required. Compulsive means having the capacity to compel. a. Discomfit means to wholly undo or defeat. a. Continuously means uninterrupted in time. Conscious means alert or aware. 10.


An antonym is a word that means the opposite of the word to which it is being compared.C H A P T E R 14 A Synonyms Synonyms and Antonyms word is a synonym of another word if it has the same or nearly the same meaning as the word to which it is being compared. Sometimes the word will be in context—surrounded by a sentence that helps you guess what the word means. See if a part of a word looks familiar. Usually. the best strategy is to look at the structure of the word and listen for its sound. Questions on the ASVAB often ask you to find the synonym or antonym of a word. Think of other words you know that may have similar key elements. but also the words in the answer choices. Questions that ask for synonyms can be tricky because they require you to recognize the meanings of several words that may be unfamiliar to you—not only the words in the question. and then think about how those words could be related. Other times. you will be provided with only the word and will have to decipher what the word means without help from the context. 157 .

cheerful d. Which word means the same as COURTESY? a. thrilled 4. tranquil d. positive c. Which word means the same as ADEQUATE? a. accountable c. woeful 158 .– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – Practice 1 For each question. conflict b. sufficient b. Which word means the same as DAINTY? a. congruity c. contiguous 6. conflict c. Which word means the same as AFFECT? a. choose the synonym. irresponsible d. Which word means the same as PASSIVE? a. sicken d. adamant b. civility b. stimulation 11. Which word means the same as RECUPERATE? a. persist d. strange c. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. vivid b. scarce c. admirable b. lively d. uninterrupted d. Which word means the same as COMMENDABLE? a. intermittent b. majestic b. emotional c. awful c. available c. robust d. noticeable 13. adaptable 8. Which word means the same as PEACEFUL? a. wild d. remove d. liveliness d. Which word means the same as STRIFE? a. stupendous 3. adequate 10. 1. eager 2. rudeness 7. accomplish b. proficient d. delicate c. agitation b. Which word means the same as ENTHUSIASTIC? a. adjacent c. Which word means the same as CONTINUOUS? a. conviviality d. achieve 12. mend b. worsen 9. Which word means the same as ECSTATIC? a. inconsistent b. Which word means the same as COMPOSURE? a. influence 5. endorse c. poise c. inactive b.

Which word means the same as ERRONEOUS? a. spite c. aware d. immense c. Which word means the same as ABRUPT? a. odorous b.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 14. teach 18. unaware 20. flatter d. Which word means the same as ENLIGHTEN? a. disclose b. Which word means the same as OBLIVIOUS? a. puerile c. entertain c. permit c. visible b. unite Practice 2 For each question. hideous d. slight 15. Which word means the same as GROTESQUE? a. extended d. refute d. demanding b. Which word means the same as WILL? a. confused c. Which word means the same as PUNGENT? a. attentive b. tolerable c. resolve b. 1. conscious d. sharp 5. incorrect 2. Which word means the same as VERIFY? a. disorderly 19. interrupt b. confuse c. confirm c. extreme b. subdue b. corrupt 159 . sanity d. relocate b. Which word means the same as GARBLED? a. Which word means the same as COERCE? a. steady d. Which word means the same as COMPLY? a. idleness 17. typical 3. devoured d. sudden c. comply d. Which word means the same as VAST? a. lucid b. obey 16. digressive b. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. impenetrable d. choose the synonym. deny 6. outrageous 4. frenzied c. Which word means the same as RIGOROUS? a. waste d. force b. unintelligible c. lenient d. sinister c.

Which word means the same as ASTUTE? a. Which word means the same as LIBEL? a. perceptive b. secret b. description b. scornful d. praise c. dispose d. frenzied c. intelligence 17. acquire b. slander 15. hostility b. Which word means the same as NEGLIGIBLE? a. separate 12. watchful c. illegible 18. disrespect d. selfishness b. Which word means the same as DISTINCT? a. concern 8. indifference d. Which word means the same as CONTEMPTUOUS? a. strenuous 19. Which word means the same as ORATION? a. Which word means the same as COLLABORATE? a. nuisance b. independence c. uneasy d. righteous d. fascination c. cooperate b. noble d.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 7. meaningful d. elegant 20. degrade c. entice d. Which word means the same as FLAGRANT? a. glaring 13. Which word means the same as DISPARAGE? a. carry c. abandon 11. address d. Which word means the same as PHILANTHROPY? a. worthless c. inattentive c. nearness d. insecure 10. Which word means the same as TOTE? a. distance b. unique c. tremble d. nonchalant b. disparate b. elaborate 160 . parry 9. coordinate c. stubborn d. respectful b. generosity 16. satisfied b. insignificant b. agreement c. depression c. destiny d. length 14. Which word means the same as VIGILANT? a. delicate c. Which word means the same as PROXIMITY? a. Which word means the same as APATHY? a.

choose the word that has the same or nearly the same meaning as the capitalized word. discover c. misplaced 11. REFINE a. insert b. rural 10. globe d. unnerved d. arrogance c. read c. succumb d. rigid d. obnoxious c. enclosure 5. alter 13. construct c. concede d. sign b. NARRATE a. hinder 161 . condone b. sensitivity b. SPHERE a. heartless 9. SUBSCRIBE a. divide d.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – Practice 3 For each question. sophisticated c. INVENT a. allow 4. measure b. encourage 12. TAILOR a. merge b. URBANE a. slumbering c. BANISH a. change d. decorate c. DORMANT a. exile b. NULLIFY a. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. participate 7. air b. tell b. wise b. WAIVE a. delete c. OPPORTUNITY a. story c. purify 6. negate d. SAGE a. petrify 8. relinquish c. city b. conceited d. provide c. launder d. hidden b. destroy d. apply d. chance d. reference 3. support 2. numb b. spread c. 1.

1. terrified d. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. adventurous d. fool d. thrilling 4. falsify b. to commence the meeting a. curtsy c. conceited d. stumble d. FALTER a. common b. trample 18. cause b. avoid c. condone c. pack b. distinguished c. their perilous journey a. shy b. change b. destroy 15. unassertive 162 . careful c. annul 19. REVOKE a. wealthy 16. affect b. movement d. terminate 6. begin b. disclose d. dangerous b. determine c.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 14. terrific c. devious d. forgetful 17. a humble person a. fair b. exact c. lower d. calm 3. leave c. EVADE a. its inferior quality a. undetermined d. loving d. heavenly c. gruff b. questionable 2. the precise amount a. ETERNAL a. in a curt manner a. remind d. timeless b. STOW a. hidden c. valuable 5. plague Practice 4 Choose the word that means the same or nearly the same as the underlined word. condemn d. noted b. tolerant c. TIMID a. doubtful c. mission 20. COVERT a.

large 11. archaic c. abuse 163 . nimble c. meager b. unequaled c. an ample supply a. skilled 19. humble d. correct b. blissfully c. unparalleled d. the unique individual a. intensify 16. talented 12. divided c. angrily d. portion b. uniform b. broadly 13. the proficient worker a. optional b. rigorous b. required 15. boldly b. masterpiece c. remarkable 14. alter d. warm d. admirable c. inexperienced b. created a replica a. paltry 17. stubborn d. reluctantly c. the prerequisite number of items a. clear-cut 18. obstinately refused a. prompt d. wise c. the agile dancer a. repeatedly b. tolerate c. forget c. traveling d. generous d. to rectify the situation a. alleviate the pain a. proud b. moderate b. adamant d. a jubilant graduate a. scholarly 8. cold 10. ease b. brutally d. advisable d. preferred c. stop d. acted brazenly a. charming b.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 7. a temperate climate a. joyful c. a destitute person a. sufficient d. copy 9. stubbornly 20. harsh c. the unanimous decision a. poor b.

satisfied 10. exclude 4. voracious d. uninhabitable island a. accelerate b. ravenous hunger a. to hoist the flag a. salute d. minimized d. remote d. 1. support b. raise 5. justify 2. righteous d. to sustain a cause a. evaluate c. reverse d. Check your answers at the end of the lesson. expressed 12. to detract from something a. simmering anger a. a fictitious character a. to absolve a person a. imaginary c. evil b. obliterate d. explosive b. expedite the process a. repressed c. organize d. support d. invent c. accuse c. held d. to disrupt an event a. natural b. forgive d. diminishing c. host 6. renovate c. lower b. prominent d. colorful 3. convict b. destroy b. remodel 7. interrupt b. unacknowledged b. to initiate a campaign a. run 9. sabotage d.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – Practice 5 Choose the word that means the same or nearly the same as the underlined word. to be immersed in study a. deserted b. destroy c. break c. unlivable c. trapped b. absorbed c. enriched 13. suppressed anger a. uncivilized 11. demolish b. ungratified c. seething 8. diminish 164 . begin c.

clear has an opposite. crime 18. Also. This is because many words have more than one meaning. clever d. construction c. hate c.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 14. examine d. not a word that means the same. a solemn ceremony a. joyous b. polluted d. rising b. do not be fooled by answer choices that are synonyms. religious d. For each of those meanings. an ingenious invention a. domineering 165 . consent d. to haggle over the price a. understated c. Which word means the opposite of LENIENT? a. dangerous c. decay b. For example. growth d. flowing c. worry d. cynical d. Remember that you are looking for a word that means the opposite. capable b. cheat 15. secure Antonyms Many antonyms seem obvious—good and bad. Practice 6 1. desolate 19. serious c. If an antonym isn’t obvious. Which word means the opposite of UNITY? a. worthwhile b. cowardly c. instinctive b. You can check your answers at the end of the lesson. clear b. transparent. Which word means the opposite of VALIANT? a. impudent b. night and day—but others are not as easily recognizable. tangible 16. a precarious situation a. marriage 17. urban sprawl a. bargain b. admire 3. think about other possible meanings of the word. merciful d. worthy 4. credible c. discord b. neglect 2. the word clear could mean cloudless. unforgettable d. or unmistakable. nervous d. prohibit b. complain c. palpable tension a. a meandering stream a. impractical c. Which word means the opposite of DETEST? a. stimulation c. winding 20.

unbiased d. turbulent c. provide 8. imprudent d. unknown d. agitated 166 . sully 6. prejudiced c.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 5. endure c. adapt c. ordinary b. consume c. initiate b. Which word means the opposite of IMPARTIAL? a. explain b. Which word means the opposite of YIELD? a. unbelievable 7. boisterous 10. Which word means the opposite of TARNISH? a. apologetic c. implausible d. harass d. complete c. Which word means the opposite of JUDICIOUS? a. unrestrained 16. partial b. unclear 14. unimportant b. careless b. ignorant d. necessary b. litigious c. merge b. uneducated b. obscure d. resist d. conventional c. Which word means the opposite of SHALLOW? a. provide 12. comparable d. Which word means the opposite of COMMENCE? a. diligent d. deny b. proficient c. offer c. Which word means the opposite of CREDIBLE? a. absorb b. profound b. flawed d. Which word means the opposite of DEFICIENT? a. provoke 13. shine d. Which word means the opposite of LUCID? a. Which word means the opposite of GRANT? a. Which word means the opposite of CLARIFY? a. Which word means the opposite of ERUDITE? a. simple 11. terminate 9. complete b. polite c. malicious 17. Which word means the opposite of CONSCIENTIOUS? a. allocate d. erudite 15. dismay c.

sloppy c.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 18. discord 6. diminish 8. serious b. INSULT a. diplomatic c. compliment b. massive 20. fail c. incomplete b. congenial 19. solve 3. IRRITATE a. replace c. elusive d. honest b. Which word means the opposite of PROMOTE? a. chaotic d. DECEITFUL a. Which word means the opposite of COMPETENT? a. amateur 5. retain 4. vice d. noise b. DEPLETE a. 1. fact c. VIRTUE a. drain c. dangerous b. create d. incredible 10. misleading d. Which word means the opposite of AMIABLE? a. DILIGENT a. academic 9. diminish d. reality b. add 2. attitude 7. brevity c. resist d. inept d. intense c. recant d. remove b. soothe b. consider c. attend b. DEMOLISH a. safety d. curtail c. divide b. THRIVE a. SERENE a. decrepit 167 . contempt c. severe b. aloof d. concede d. explicate b. stifle Practice 7 Choose the word that means the OPPOSITE or most nearly the opposite of the word in capitals. argument d. permissive c. deceptive c. HARMONY a.

scatter b. ordinary 12. IMPULSIVE a. relaxed 17. meager c. BERATE a. eagerly b. pellucid b. destitute c. withhold b. organize c. GENERATE a. NIMBLE a. judgmental c. 1. elongate b. graceful c. inspect d. dully d. TRANQUIL a. release c. trivial 16. incise 3. electrify c. RETAIN a. composed 18. thoughtless d. dignify 20. replace c. explicit c. ignore 15. copious d. SPRIGHTLY a. rash d. licentious c. massive d. receptive 14. CRITICAL a. libertine d. agitated b. locally 19. compliment 13. NOTABLE a. affluent b. CONVENE a. succumb d. sturdy b. hasty b. cautious Practice 8 Choose the word that means the OPPOSITE or most nearly the opposite of the word in capitals. inimical b. tear b. secure b. SCANT a. destroy d. mandatory c. vocal 168 . PRUDENT a. PROSPEROUS a. cowardly d. demonstrative 2. remit d. oral b. loftily c. sluggish c.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 11. slow d. legal d.

solemn 7. STRINGENT a. alert b. solid b. truth b. gather b. old 12. NOVEL a. unpersuasive d. sleep b. worried d. fleeting d.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 4. primary d. insignificant c. dangerous b. bizarre d. COMMONPLACE a. fable 13. sober c. obese b. slovenly 10. careless 11. KNOWLEDGEABLE a. stimulating b. intemperate d. reckless 16. blessing c. praise d. dissembling b. weakness d. stubborn c. lax c. alarming c. SUCCINCT a. laconic c. WARY a. verbose 8. EXCISE a. FALLACY a. boring d. TIRESOME a. unsettled c. necessary b. leery c. PERMANENT a. ignorant d. suitable d. SUBSEQUENT a. popular c. intelligent b. diverse c. UNIFORM a. indifferent 14. DISPERSE a. staple 17. organize d. mysterious c. bookish b. implied 5. tranquil 9. fluid 6. obtuse d. distinct b. concerned d. incredulous b. previous 15. satisfy 169 . NONCHALANT a. retain c. agree c.

plod b. unbelievable d. certain c. apathetic b. replenished c. PRESSING a. inarticulate d. shabby b. SENSIBLE a. COMPLACENT a.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 18. concerned b. excite d. convinced 8. MIRTH a. unimportant c. politely 7. mildly b. sink 3. complicate b. LEVITATE a. 1. equivocal d. plain Practice 9 Choose the word that means the OPPOSITE or most nearly the opposite of the word in capitals. deter d. expense d. unkindly 6. unenthusiastically c. dismiss c. confuse b. painfully c. insufficient b. composed b. whisper d. happy d. PLAUSIBLE a. unlimited d. undulate c. forcefully d. religious 4. simplify 2. equally d. PACIFY a. atomize 170 . arouse c. AMBIGUOUS a. ORIENT a. serious b. AVIDLY a. severe d. declarative d. SPONTANEOUS a. pleasant c. intimidated c. ELOQUENT a. fluent c. preparation 20. partially b. solemnity c. apologetic c. credible 5. prepared 10. indefinite 9. foolhardy b. MEEKLY a. strong 19. height b.

valor d. active 171 . slow b. relaxed c. DETERRENT a. deformed 3. METHODICAL a. ENTANGLE a. IMPERTINENT a. charitable 15. rigid d. reverence c. modern c. relentless d. replace c. provocative d. bolster c. irk 20. reasonable d. subject d. LATENT a. polite 14. tangible b. delineate b. ancient d. chivalrous d. AWE a. INTREPID a. dormant d. MAR a. tardy c. erratic b. obstacle c. fearful 2. prosper c. hostile d. vague 19. separate 13. deliberate c. proponent d. animated b. 1. absurd b. clarify d. distortion 18. encouragement b. TAUT a. consistent c. contempt b. somber c. RILE a. LUDICROUS a. morose b. SULLEN a.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 11. jovial 17. oppress d. impetuous c. ARCHAIC a. repair Practice 10 Choose the word that means the OPPOSITE or most nearly the opposite of the word in capitals. discomfort 12. appease b. rude c. neutral b. belligerent b. haunted 16. involve b.

compensation b. increase 14. ENDORSE a. excite b. pleased 11.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 4. devotion 16. mildly d. ACCEDE a. excel b. ENTICE a. agitation c. DIVERGENT a. lucky 8. disapprove d. retard c. dizzy d. careful d. hollow c. jealous d. obnoxious 12. express d. prejudiced c. FURTIVELY a. thoughtless 172 . busy d. quickly 9. AMBIVALENCE a. unpromising b. PENSIVE a. repulsive c. nervous b. repel 10. recommend c. AUSPICIOUS a. decisiveness c. tempt c. ORNATE a. silently b. enthusiasm d. malicious 17. announce d. illegible c. TREPIDATION a. openly c. AFFABLE a. scared b. inattentive 7. simple d. OSTENTATIOUS a. attentive 15. eager 5. gorgeous c. simple b. dirty d. condemn b. persuasive b. adopt 13. hardy c. identical c. slow b. humble c. uniformity 6. disagreeable b. IDLE a. hilarious b. incomplete d. child-like d. fearlessness d. FRAIL a. distribution b.

1. Negligible means of little consequence. c. ABHOR a. DISCERNIBLE a. you are unaware of them. 14. d. Proximity means nearness. Continuous means marked by uninterrupted extension in space and time. Vast means very great in size. Grotesque means distorted. 4. 17. surprise c. a. a. If you gain your composure. flawless c. or incorrect. invisible b. Disparage means to lower in rank or degrade. 16. An oration is a speech. a. 12. Flagrant means glaring. b. Philanthropy is a noun that means goodwill toward fellow men. c. b. b. 3. Strife means a struggle or conflict. or hasty. d. If something is distinct it is distinguishable. inspire 17. to confirm. a. Abrupt means sudden. Astute and perceptive both mean having or showing a keen awareness. Will and resolve share the same meaning. To affect means to influence. quick. If something is adequate. Recuperate means to heal. a. A person who is ecstatic is thrilled or exhilarated. Enthusiastic means eager or excited. d. a. 8. scare b. 2. d. To tote means to carry. If you enlighten someone. 15. generosity. 16. a. immense. c. d. it is sufficient. Vigilant means watchful. Passive means not active. Erroneous means inaccurate. a. 8. you have poise. Apathy means a lack of interest or concern. If you are oblivious to your surroundings. c. BLEMISHED a. 7. desire d. humanitarianism. A courtesy implies being courteous or mannerly. 13. or hideous. to mend. absent 20. insignificant. 9. b. indifference. scornful 19. 3. d. d. especially to danger. To verify means to establish the truth or accuracy. 5. an address.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 18. d. To comply is the same as to obey. 12. a. it is demanding. If something is garbled. 11. or separate. 5. 18. d. a. 9. 6. 7. Pungent means caustic or sharp. A dainty person is delicate. b. Commendable is the same as admirable. productive d. 20. 14. b. 10. 4. recognizable c. 6. c. Practice 2 Answers Practice 1 1. To coerce means to dominate by force. d. a. Peaceful and tranquil both mean calm. a. b. c. 2. Libel and slander both refer to defaming someone. it is jumbled or unintelligible. To collaborate means to work jointly with others. 13. A contemptuous person is full of scorn. 18. b. 10. to cooperate. 20. 173 . 19. it is civility. Do not be tempted by choice a—pungent is a word used to describe an odor. 15. b. d. 19. d. paradoxical d. c. 11. you have taught them something. speckled b. If something is rigorous.

not easily persuaded. b. a. 18. Ravenous means voracious. 3. unparalleled means unequaled. stubbornly means unduly determined. To waive and to relinquish both mean to give up. Unanimous means in complete assent or agreement. 7. quality. b. to speed up. b. 6. b. to correct is to remove errors from something. One meaning of subscribe is to support. b. a. d. To banish and to exile both mean to force to leave. 20. Curt means in a rude or gruff manner. To refine and to purify both mean to remove impurities. Disrupt means to interrupt or to disturb. Eternal and timeless both mean without end. d. uniform means unvarying or the same as another or others. To initiate means to begin or cause to begin. a. 15. 14. 5. 17. a. 6. 16. 20. a. 1. Expedite means accelerate the process. d. To be a prerequisite is to be required. Sphere and globe both mean ball or orb. Perilous means hazardous or dangerous. 9. 10. 16. Evade means to avoid. 19. d. 7. 2. 12. d. To be proficient is to be expert or adept at something. 3. c. nimble means quick and light in motion. b. Simmering means barely controlled. To stow and to pack both mean to store away. 1. a copy or duplicate. a. c. c. 12. 19. b. Commence means begin. all-consuming. d. 9. Jubilant means joyful. c. a. To alleviate is to make more bearable. moderate means avoiding extremes of behavior or expression. d. c. c. c. a. Ample means generous or more than adequate. To tailor and to alter both mean to make something fit. a. a. 10. Covert means hidden. 4. Obstinately means refractory or stubborn. b. 2. Dormant and slumbering both mean sleeping. 5. 4. 18. b. 11. Fictitious means imaginary. Falter means to stumble. Sage and wise both mean intelligent. Uninhabitable implies conditions are so terrible that life cannot be sustained there. seething. to free from blame or responsibility. 11. 14. d. To absolve means to exonerate or forgive. a. 3. 174 . Someone who is humble is unassertive. Narrate means to tell. c. a. Practice 4 10. 13. a. 7. to be skilled is to show ability or expertness. 15. b. 6. c. To rectify is to set something right. c. Precise means exact. 9. 8. An opportunity to do something is the same as a chance to do it. or importance. a. 13. b. Unique means being the only one of its kind. To sustain means to support. Practice 5 Inferior is lower in rank. a. 8. Hoist means to raise. b. 4. d. a. Brazenly means marked by contemptuous boldness. A replica is a close reproduction. perceptive. Do not be fooled by choice b—you narrate a story. Revoke means to take back or annul. Agile means marked by ready ability to move with quick and easy grace. Nullify means to negate. d. to ease is to minimize difficulty. Timid means shy or lacking boldness. to be required is to be needed. 8. 2. Temperate means not extreme or excessive. 17. but narrate does not mean story. a. Destitute means lacking possessions and resources. d. Invent means to create or to discover.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – Practice 3 1. Urbane means sophisticated. 5.

inept means incapable or not competent. One meaning of sprawl is haphazard growth of a city. c. 2. 2. shine means to make bright by polishing. or involved in profoundly. b. d. 18. d. Clarify means to make clear. a. vice means a moral failing. 4. c. To meander means to follow a winding course. 9. Ingenious means original or clever. to deny is to refuse to permit. 9. Suppressed means held in. c. 17. Judicious means wise or prudent. Deceitful means deceptive. Commence means to begin. 15. ordinary means usual. Lucid means clear. Serene means calm. a. Deplete means to lessen. 16. tangible presence. tolerant. cautious. a. Impartial means not partial or biased. 14. d. b. Solemn means serious. Harmony means agreement. complete means having all necessary parts. c. b. 17. To demolish means to tear apart. 18.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 11. Diligent means painstaking. Haggle means to bargain. c. a. 7. An insult is a gross indignity. profound is the opposite. fail is the opposite. Virtue means a moral goodness. Competent means having adequate abilities. Detest means to feel hostility toward. choice d is the opposite. To irritate means to annoy. 20. A palpable tension is so intense it almost seems to be a physical. 19. a. to soothe means to calm. and thoughtful. c. uneducated means to lack training or knowledge. Lenient means permissive. a. 7. d. discord means disagreement. To be immersed means to be absorbed. the opposite of friendly is aloof. d. engrossed. Practice 6 1. 3. b. 12. usually outward toward the suburbs. To grant is to permit. a. d. c. 11. dim. c. c. 4. b. Notable means unusual. 15. 20. Yield means to submit. honest is the opposite. 8. Detract means to diminish the importance of something. or indistinct. c. obscure means to make dark. 13. imprudent means not prudent. Conscientious means careful. b. the opposite of detest is admire. cowardly is the opposite. 16. Thrive means to succeed. Erudite means learned or possessing knowledge. 10. b. not expressed outwardly. 19. 175 . 13. domineering means exercising overbearing control. b. Tarnish means to destroy the luster of. to curtail is to cut something short. b. a compliment is an admiring remark. 5. terminate means to end. Amiable means friendly. d. Valiant means acting with bravery or boldness. a. Unity means harmony or compatibility. prejudiced means biased. discord means a lack of harmony. d. to create means to build. 3. 14. d. 5. 8. Precarious means dangerous. a. Deficient means lacking some necessary quality. 6. sloppy is the opposite. 10. or easygoing. careless means not showing care. b. 11. Shallow means having very little depth of feeling. d. resist is the opposite. c. to strongly dislike. d. Credible means believable. repressed. Practice 7 1. add is the opposite. To promote is to advance someone to a higher rank or to advocate something. 12. chaotic is the opposite. 6.

the adjective old means having lived or existed for a long time. b. d. 15. Berate means to scold. 15. b. 176 .– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 12. a. Avidly means characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit. 18. to be unbelievable is to be unlikely. destitute means very poor. to sink means to go under the surface. a. b. 2. To disperse means to scatter. To orient means to adjust to. c. to be lax is to be lacking in rigor or strictness. 7. Scant is meager. a. A fallacy is a false or mistaken idea. 8. Convene means to gather. To be ambiguous is to be equivocal or obscure. 19. To be stringent is to be rigorous or severe. destroy is the opposite. to be certain is to be definite or fixed. 7. d. b. b. b. to release is to let go. to be hasty is to show a lack of thought. careless is the opposite of watchful. or trickery. To be prudent is to exercise good judgment. Meekly means not violent or strong. 9. To be plausible is to be likely. a. forcefully means powerfully. 3. to gather means to collect in one place. 6. a. To be nonchalant means to have an air of easy indifference. b. To retain is to keep or hold. to be diverse is to have variety. 14. Nimble means quick and light in motion. To be wary is to be on guard or watchful. To be tiresome is to be boring. c. 14. 6. to be cautious is to show forethought. d. 5. b. solemnity means seriousness. 13. a. To excise means to remove. 4. To levitate means to rise and float. 18. 20. foolhardy is the opposite. 12. Tranquil means peaceful. 17. copious is abundant. c. Practice 8 1. scatter is the opposite. d. 16. to retain means to keep. b. 4. 3. c. a truth is something which conforms to the facts. Mirth means merriment. 10. to be stimulating is to be exciting. previous means coming before. 20. to be trivial is to be unimportant. The adjective novel means new or not representing something formerly known. compliment is the opposite. d. To be critical is to be important or vital to something. Permanent means everlasting. 8. c. Commonplace means normal or typical. a. 19. d. to be verbose is to be wordy. Sprightly means lively. to excite means to stir up. Knowledgeable means intelligent. 16. mysterious is the opposite. Subsequent means coming after or following. b. 11. Prosperous means rich or affluent. 2. Pressing means urgent. a. c. Generate means to produce. d. c. 17. sluggish means slow or inactive. agitated means disturbed or excited. 13. dully suggests a lack or loss of keenness or zest. ignorant is the opposite. To be impulsive is to be swayed by emotion or to make rash decisions. 5. c. To be uniform is to be consistent or the same as another or others. Practice 9 1. to confuse means to mix-up. to be concerned means to be interested and involved. Complacent means self-satisfied or unconcerned. To be succinct is to be concise. unimportant is the opposite. Sensible means reasonable. c. d. b. fleeting is the opposite. To pacify means to calm. a.

agreeable. to have contempt for something is to consider it worthless. to be inarticulate is to be unable to speak with clarity. which is the opposite of fearful. 16. a. Ambivalence is uncertainty as to which approach to follow. decisiveness is having the power or quality of deciding. 17. simple is the opposite. 12. flawless is the opposite. identical means being the same. An intrepid person approaches a challenge without fear. 11. or devoid of thought. thoughtless means lacking concern for others. c. Practice 10 1. 10. Someone who is impertinent is rude. a. Blemished means having marks or flaws. c. 9. a. erratic means having no fixed course. 15. so the opposite would be invisible. relaxed means not tense. to repair is to restore or fix. jovial means very happy. c. b. disapprove means to express disapproval. 4. the opposite would be fearlessness. desire means to long for or hope for. Auspicious means something taken as a sign promising success. 18. Abhor means to regard with repugnance. to appease is to pacify or satisfy. To be ludicrous is to be absurd. d. 3. 17. Frail means weak. Taut means extremely tight. a. To be in awe of something is to admire it. To mar is to damage or deface. 14. To be eloquent is to be fluent. hardy is the opposite. someone who is polite is courteous. 20. 6. b. 15. a. Sullen means gloomy or dismal. b. d. d. 19. c. To be ostentatious is to be showy and boastful. b. d. d. 5. 13. Ornate means highly decorated. 11. 18. Entangle means to twist together. 16. 10. A deterrent prevents or discourages. Latent means present but not active. to be reasonable is to be rational. Pensive means sadly thoughtful. To rile is to upset. 19. Divergent means differing from a standard. d. b. To be archaic is to be ancient or outdated. careless. separate is the opposite. 20. Affable means pleasant and at ease. the opposite is unpromising. repel means to drive away. d. Accede means to express approval or give consent.– SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS – 9. a. Spontaneous means impulsive or without planning. c. b. 7. One definition of discernible is visible with the eyes. prepared is the opposite. Endorse means to approve. Idle means inactive. 13. a. 12. condemn means to disapprove. 8. Entice means to attract by arousing hope. b. 177 . b. d. d. busy is the opposite. a. Trepidation means fear. c. active is the opposite. a. Furtively means done stealthily or secretively. 14. encouragement inspires or heartens. 2. Methodical means careful or in a planned manner. to be modern is to be up to date. the opposite would be humble.

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