Vocabulary Practice for the Examination

The vocabulary practice exercise on this part of the page is in the same format as the vocabulary section of the test.

Complete the practice exercises below, paying careful attention to all of the the words in options A to D.

All of the words in the answer options are from past exams, so you should learn these words if you do not already know them.

Vocabulary Exam Practice Exercise 1

Instructions: Place the best answer in the gap provided in each sentence.

1. Grain is commonly used as ____________ for animals.

A. commodity

B. fodder

C. implements

D. fumigation

2. The cruel man was ____________ his dog with a wooden stick.

A. lashing

B. coaxing

C. cultivating

D. irrigating

3. Elderly people are often ____________ to broken bones.

A. sprout

B. vicious

C. stout

D. prone

4. I bought these jeans at a ___________ price.

A. contrition

B. bargain

C. weary

D. dingy

5. What a(n) ____________ painting. Where did you buy it?

A. superficial

B. facetious

C. gorgeous

D. ostensible

6. He will spend 20 years in prison for his involvement in ____________ activities.

A. illicit

B. prudent

C. genial

D. witty

7. The ____________ child displayed a total lack of respect for his parents.

A. wistful

B. impudent

C. superfluous

D. earnest

8. After a year overseas, Bill ____________ for his family back home.

A. emulated

B. deplored

C. yearned

D. budged

9. Our lack of money is a(n) ____________ towards finishing the project.

A. token

B. subsistence

C. blandishment

D. stumbling block

10. The pigeons were sitting on the ____________ of the building.

A. lurk

B. ledge

C. lark

D. lunatic

Vocabulary Practice 1 – Answers

1. The correct answer is B.

2. The correct answer is A.

3. The correct answer is D.

4. The correct answer is B.

5. The correct answer is C.

6. The correct answer is A.

7. The correct answer is B.

8. The correct answer is C.

9. The correct answer is D.

10. The correct answer is B.

 Free Vocabulary Exercise 2

Instructions: Read each of the sentences and try to understand the meaning of each word in the context of the sentence. 

1) Gold and silver are precious commodities that are readily exchanged in the marketplace.

2) After careful deliberation of all the advantages and disadvantages, Mary finally decided to attend college.

3) The lawyer spoke with equivocation, saying that the product was not dangerous, nor was it safe.

4) Chris really floundered during his first few weeks on the job since his boss did not provide any instructions or assistance.

5) The neighborhood grocery store is handy because it’s very close to our house.

6) His constant interruptions were a hindrance to the completion of the job.

7) Completion of this form is mandatory. It must be filled in by every applicant.

8) He is so phlegmatic. I’ve never seen him get nervous under pressure.

9) His propensity to overeat is obvious because he is so overweight.

10) We rummaged through the attic looking for old photographs.

Vocabulary Exercise 2 – Answers

Here are some possible synonyms for the highlighted words above.

1) Possible synonyms for commodities are assets or property.

2) Deliberation means consideration or careful thought.

3) Equivocation means that there is ambiguity or something is not clear.

4) A synonym for floundered is struggled.

5) Handy means convenient or nearby.

6) Possible synonyms for hindrance are obstacle or impediment.

7) Mandatory means obligatory or compulsory.

8) A synonym for phlegmatic is calm.

9) Propensity means inclination or tendency.

10) A possible definition for rummaged is searched.

Free Vocabulary Exercise 3

Instructions:  Now read each of the sentences below and try to understand the highlighted word or idiom according to the context of the sentence. You may need to find the meaning of the highlighted word in the dictionary if the context is not clear to you.

She found that her problems were insuperable, and therefore she was unable to find a solution to them.

The parents had to castigate their children for their poor behavior.

The accountant for the company absconded with one million dollars, and no one knows where he is now.

Failing to tell the entire truth is tantamount to lying.

She has faced may vicissitudes in her personal life, from the loss of her job to a divorce.

You created the problem yourself, so now you have to face the music.

This document is so confusing that I can’t make heads or tails out of it.

The thief was caught red-handed with the stolen money in his bag.

I am busy on Sunday, so going to the movies with you is out of the question.

The bus is seldom on schedule; in fact, it normally arrives 10 to 15 minutes late.

Importance of Vocabulary Skills for the Test

Vocabulary on the English exams can be best described as being at the native proficiency level.

This means that you will be required to learn words that a highly-educated native speaker would use in his or her daily academic vocabulary.

In the experience of our members of teaching staff, this means that you will be required to learn some words that are not familiar even to native speakers of English.

You can therefore understand that difficulty with vocabulary is what causes many students to fail the examination.

Our Vocabulary Materials

Our members of staff have compiled a word list of the most frequently occurring vocabulary on past Michigan exams.

We have also compiled a list of idioms that have commonly appeared in past exams.

The word list is included in our workbook download.