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Standardized tests, taken in middle school and high school, call for a strong command

of the English vocabulary for maximum success. The sentence completion exercises

evaluate your understanding, as do the vocabulary-in-text questions of the Critical

Reading passages. Your ability to analyze the reading passages successfully will also

improve by working on these words, since you won’t be stopping as your read when

running into unfamiliar terminology. A stronger vocabulary will also help you analyze

sentences and paragraphs more effectively.

This book contains words that often appear on standardized tests such as the CRCT

and PARCC tests you will take in middle school and the SAT and ACT that you will take

in high school. Each word on the list is accompanied by the definition and either a

phrase or sentence within which the word is used. These words are not difficult; they

are just unfamiliar to you. To help you, this book contains strategies and mnemonic

devices for each word, enabling you to remember them forever. Often the grammar and

spelling in these strategies is intentionally incorrect in order to create the desired effect:

your long-term retention of each word’s meaning. Humorous, wacky connections

between the words and your memory actually give students success, so read and

remember and have a laugh along the way. The exciting part of this book is that you

will be familiar with 400+ words by the time you leave Arnold Magnet Academy.
                WOD List for the1st Nine Weeks
Week 1:--Starts the 2nd Week of School (August 12th)

1. abound, (uh-BOWND) v. to be or grow in a large number or amount; teem:
   adj. abundant

       Example: Rabbits abound in these woods.

   Strategy: Abound has nothing to do with bound or bind. It’s derived from the prefix ab –
            meaning away, and the Latin root undulare to flow. If something is abundant it is

2. compensate, (KOM-pin-sait) v. to make up for, or offset; pay

       Example: Job benefits compensate for lower wages.

   Strategy: Compensate comes for the Latin word for weight, thus to put things back into
             balance. However we compensate or are compensated, things remain in balance.
             What compensation can you expect for studying these words and analogies?

3. metaphor, (MET-uh-for) n. an implied comparison between two things, used
   to describe on of them, as in “drowning in work.”
       Example: Mark drew a metaphor between his forearm muscles and tow
                massive pythons.
    Strategy: Think of a recent song you’ve had in your head; try to see if the lines have a
              metaphor in them or if the song acts as a metaphor for something in your life.

4. persecute, (PER-she-cute) v. to subject to harassment, punishment, or ill-

       Example: Early Christians were persecuted because their beliefs were
                different than what was already established.

   Strategy: Many people associate persecute with punishment, but the word has a nuance
             that implies the treatment is ongoing, unjust, or extreme. For a mnemonic
             connection, one can combine execution and personal to yield pers + ecution =
             persecution – singled out for punishment or suffering.

5. tensile, (tense-ile) adj. relating to tension or capability of being stretched:
   tensile pressure:
       Example: Engineers are so impressed with the high tensile strength of a
                spider’s web that they are attempting to replicate it.
   Strategy: Tensile come from the word tension and pertains to the degree of tension that
             something can take before it snaps or breaks. Physics classes could have a field
             day with this word, testing things to discern the breaking point.
Week #2
     6. abridge, (uh-BRIJ) v. to shorten while retaining content; an abridged
        dictionary. 2. To restrict: abridged privileges.

              Example: If you read an abridged version of the novel, you will miss some
                       things that are included on the test.
          Strategy: Abridge comes from the Italian word breve, which is a short musical note. From
                    that word, besides abridge, we get abbreviate, brevity, and brief.

     7. competent, (KOM-peh-tent) adj. capable or qualified; adequate: n.
              Example: The line in the recommendation stated that she is a steady,
                       competent student.
              Strategy: Notice the word compete in competent. If you are competent at a certain skill
                        you are capable of successfully competing with others in that endeavor.

     8. mendicant, (MEN-dih-kent) n. a beggar: mendicancy

              Example: Men that can’t find jobs often become mendicants.

          Strategy: Think of a girl named Mandy, as in the sentence, “Mandy can’t afford to travel with
                    us anymore: she’s become a mendicant who begs for her meals.”

     9. persist, (per-SIST) v. to continue a task or course of action: The cold
        weather persisted for weeks; n. persistence, persistency, adj. persistent
              Example: Her persistence made her a good salesperson.
          Strategy: Persist comes from a long line of words for the Latin to stand: sistere. If you
                    persist in standing, you’ll be standing a long, long time. If you “take a stand”, you
                   are persisting in the way it is.

     10. tentative, (TEN-tah-tiv) adj. 1. not yet definite; provisional; 2.hesitant or

              Example: 1. a tentative solution to the problem. 2. The newcomer gave a
                       tentative grin as he was introduced.

          Strategy: See the tent in tentative. Someone who is living in a tent is not definite about
                    living in that location, so they are tentative about establishing permanent living
      Week #3

11.     abrogate, (AB-ro-gait) v. to abolish, repeal, or set aside: adj. abrogative
                Example: Congress abrogated the treaty.
        Strategy: Did you hear about the new product Ab Rogaine? Apparently, if you take it, it
                  abrogates the flab from your abs, and you become that slip person you’ve
                  always dreaded of.

12.     compile, (kum-PILE) v. to gather together into a unit, work, or book; n.
        compilation, adj. compiled
                Example: She had to compile the data from the experiments.
        Strategy: Look at the word pile in compile. We compile our papers into piles to get

13.     methodical, (meh-THOD-ih-kull) adj. done, arranged, or acting in an
        orderly, systematic way
                Example: Because there were so many orders to fill, David had to
                         come up with a methodical procedure to save time.
        Strategy: You could have little problem connecting the word method with methodical.
                  You have a method to doing something.

14.     perspicacious, (per-spih-KAY-shuss) adj. keenly perceptive or
                Example: Mary made the perspicacious comment that let the team
                         to the discovery of the cure.
        Strategy: Connect this word to perspective +ouss (full of) or full of perspective.

15.     tenure, (TEN-yer) n. the fact, right, or period of holding or possessing
                Example: The dropping of the atomic bomb occurred during his
                         tenure as president.
        Strategy: Tenure can be connected with ten years; it takes ten years for a professor to
                  get tenured; her position is secure with tenure.
Week #4

16.   abscond, (ab-SKOND) v. to leave suddenly and secretly, esp. to avoid capture
              Example: He absconded with the money he had stolen
      Strategy: The prefix abs- mans away. The word originates from Latin: abscondere – to hide
                away, secretly. Connect abscond with escape or with a sentence like – The ex-con
                absconded with the money, but was caught and found himself back in jail.

17.   complacent, (kum-PLAY-sent) adj. pleased with oneself or with things as they

              Example: If we are complacent, or competitors will overtake us.

      Strategy: On the surface, complacent can seem to mean something good, with a definition of
                being pleased with ones self; however, that’s the problem, as soon as someone is
                satisfied, he or she ceases to put forth effort. With that in mind, we should always be a
                little hungry, or a little stressed, in order to find what it takes to improve.

18.   methodology, (meh-thod-AHH-luh-jee) n. principles or rules used for a specific
      activity or branch of knowledge.

              Example: Scientists use a special methodology when performing

      Strategy: The easiest thing to do with this word is chop off the last five letters, yielding method.
                You could get confused if you already know that the suffix –ology means the study of.
                Methodology is not the study of efficient methods, but it is connected to science – the
                rules governing a scientific procedure.

19.   perspective, (per-SPEC-tive) n. aa visual or mental view of a scene or subject;
      point of view

              Example: I want to get your perspective on this issue.

      Strategy: Perspicacious connects with the word perspective, which involves possessing
                insight or wisdom. Perception is another good word to connect with perspective and
                perspicacious. From these –atious and –acious words, we can deduce that the
                suffixes mean to be full of. Perspicacious= full of perspective.

20.   terminate, (TER-mih-nate) v. to put an end to; bring a stop to; come to an end;
      adj. terminal

              Example: We terminated our membership at the health club.

      Strategy: Many will associate this word with the movie The Terminator. Just think of what his job
                is; it’s almost as if the definition is his job description. The Terminator terminates.
Week #5

21.   absolve, (ab-Zolv) v. to free or release from blame, guilt, responsibility, or
      obligation; n. absolution

              Example: He as absolved of his duty.

      Strategy: The prefix abs- means away. The word originates from Latin: absolvere – to set free.
                Make an effort to absolve someone of the conduct that has offended you in the recent

22.   complementary, (kom-plih-MENT-uh-ree) adj. making complete, full, or whole

              Example: With their complementary talents, Danielle and Christina made
                       a great team.

      Strategy: We think of complements or praise with the word complementary, but we should also
                consider how one thing complements another: how jelly complements peanut butter,
                Robin complements Batman, or lyrics complement a melody. DON’T confuse
                complementary with complimentary which means given away freely or conveying
                admiration or praise.

23.   meticulous, (meh-TIK-you-luss) adj. attentive to every small detail; painstaking

              Example: The detectives conducted a meticulous search for evidence.

      Strategy: Inventory how meticulous you are. List 5-10 expectations others place on you, whether
                through your job, your school, your friends, or family. Then rate how meticulously you
                fulfill those responsibilities.

24.   pertinent, (PER-tih-nent) adj. or, concerning, or connected to a subject: all the
      pertinent evidence. v. pertain

              Example: My father was only interested in the pertinent facts regarding
                       my lateness last night.

      Strategy: Connect pertinent to pertain. If something is pertinent, it pertains to that issue.

25.   terminology, (ter-min-OL-uh-gee) n. the specialized language used in a
      particular field or subject

              Example: My accountant, Max, is very knowledgeable in the
                       terminology of economics.

      Strategy: Develop a terminology for modern slang: focusing on the term in terminology is the
                key to remember this word.
Week #6

26.   abstain, (ab-STAIN) v. to choose to hold oneself back voluntarily from
      something: abstention; n. abstinence
              Example: If you abstain from any kind of illegal drug use.
      Strategy: Abridge comes from the Latin word abstinere, which is to hold or keep away from-, so
                it is related to abstain; perhaps an abridgement (cutting back on, or lessening the
                amount of) relates to the sense of abstaining from considering the entire thing.

27.   complex, (KOM-plex) adj. not simple; having complicated or interconnected
      elements; difficult to understand
              Example: Our effort to protect U.S. airports from terrorism has evolved
                       into quite a complex system.
      Strategy: Complex is a very common word. As an adjective or noun, it can take on multiple
                meanings, besides meaning difficult, it can pertain to a collective group of buildings,
                shelters, and facilities; it can also suggest a condition, often mental.

28.   mettle, (sounds like metal) n. toughness of character; courage
              Example: He showed his mettle during the close games.
      Strategy: Link mettle to metal and the notion of having nerves of steel or an iron will to face
                his fears.

29.   perturb, (PER-turb) v. to cause great disturbance in (the mind); agitate; worry; n.
              Example: The swarming bees perturbed the hikers.
      Strategy: Perturb can be linked to disturb. As verbs, both pertain to annoying someone.

30.   terrestrial, (ter-RESS-tree-ul) adj. or or relating to the earth or land as opposed
      to air or water
              Example: An elephant is a terrestrial animal.
      Strategy: Terrestrial is derived from the root terra- which means earth, as in the words territory,
                terrier, terrarium, terra cotta (baked earth), and terrain.
Week #7
31.   abrasive, (uh-BRAY-sive) adj. causing to wear away or become irritated; n.
              Example: She would make a great drill sergeant with her abrasive way of
                       saying things.
      Strategy: The noun form of abrasive is abrasion, and it is a good idea to learn abrasion in
                with two other wound words, contusion and laceration. Abrasion almost sounds
                like it has razor inside of it, and a razor is used to scrape more than slice, so
               an abrasion is a scrape. A laceration is a slice (add an S to laceration and you have
               slasheration), so a laceration is a deep cut or slice, the result of a slash; contusion
               has the same U sound as bruise, and a contusion is bruising.

32.   comply, (kum-PLY) v. to act in agreement with or obedience to; n. compliance;
      adj. compliant
              Example: He complied with school rules.
      Strategy: Comply, a verb, is compliant as an adjective, and compliant looks like complaint, so
                you can think of the sentence, the boss had not complaint with the worker who was
                compliant to his rules.

33.   peruse, (per-OOZE) v. to read or examine attentively in detail; n. perusal
              Example: Please peruse this contract before signing it.
      Strategy: Peras, one of the earliest known words means completeness, and user, usus, and
                util are the origins of use, so you wind up with to use to completeness. If you
                peruse something, you are examining every minute detail, until you have covered it

34.   pensive, (PEN-siv) adj. deep in a sad, melancholy, or dreamy thoughtfulness
              Example: Thoughts of the deceased wife put him in a pensive mood.
      Strategy: Pensive comes from the French very penser = to think. Strangely enough, pensive is
                related to the pansy because the flower was thought to have a pensive look when it
                was in bloom.

35.   theology, (thee-AHH-luh-gee) n. the study of religion, the relationship between
      God and the universe, or a particular system of belief and doctrine; n. theologian,
       theologist ; adj. theological
              Example: Tanya’s minister is well versed in theology.
      Strategy: Theos was the original Greek word for God, which has no connection to the Latin
                Deus for God. The difficult word, apotheosis, is derived from theology, and it means
                the perfect example, essentially, if you make something an apotheosis, you are
                assigning it divine qualities.
Week #8
36.   abstemious, (ab-STEE-me-us) adj. eating or drinking in moderate amounts;
              Example: The abstemious model worked hart to keep her figure slim and
      Strategy: Abstemious people abstain from luxuries, especially in matters of food and drink.
                Another way to remember it connects abs + steamy or steamy abs; in order to have
                people view your abs as “steamy” or hot, you have to be abstemious in your diet.

37.   complicity, (kum-PLIH-sih-tee) n. participation in wrongdoing, especially in a
              Example: His complicity in the theft proved that Richard was not an
                       upright citizen.
      Strategy: You can see the connection between an accomplice and complicity. Complicity
                mainly involves one’s association in a criminal act – not a positive act.

38.   microcosm, (MIKE-roe-kah-zum) n. a complete, tiny world; small example of a
      larger system
              Example: Santa Barbara is a microcosm of California.
      Strategy: This is a good opportunity to learn the prefixes micro- small and macro- large.

39.   pervade, (per-VAID) v. to spread or be present everywhere; permeate; invade
      n. pervasion; adj. pervasive
              Example: Determination pervaded the team
      Strategy: Connect pervade with invade; if something pervades an area, it covers the entire
                space, or it invades that space and takes it over.

40.   theoretical, (thee-or-EH-tih-kul) adj. proposed as an explanation, rather than
      proved by fact; of or based on theory; hypothetical
              Example: The Catholic Church opposed Galileo’s theoretical model of the
                       solar system.
      Strategy: Theoretical and theory come to us by way of the Greek word for spectator; thus, they
                are related to the word theater. Initially, the word implied to speculate about something
                after having been a spectator, taking in as much as one might about that subject.

Week #9 – Give Nine Weeks Test over WODs #1-40.

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