Words from Mars

The most challenging type of word is one that doesn’t look or sound like any other English word and that contains no obvious root or prefix to help you guess its meaning. Some such words are modern non-English words that English speakers have adopted (either “as is” or with a slightly different spelling). Others are words from ancient languages but the words are still in use today. Here are three examples of the kinds of test-worthy words whose meanings you couldn’t guess:

Note: Words in tougher questions might contain deceiving roots. Whenever you’re uncertain about which of two answer choices is better, consider the possibility that an unfamiliar word means just the opposite of what many test-takers might think.
  • IOTA (n): a very small quantity; speck
  • BURGEON (v): to begin to grow, develop, or blossom, especially suddenly
  • INVEIGLE (v): to lure or entice by inducements

To be ready for oddball words on your , there’s no way around studying lists of advanced vocabulary words. But if you don’t have time, take solace: On the , you won’t find nearly as many of these odd words as you will words that contain roots and prefixes to help you make reasoned guesses about definitions.

  • Remember: The is designed primarily as a reasoning test, not as a trivia quiz.

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