The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech (see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.
And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.
Fame (n) — if one has fame, they are well-known and easily recognizable. Many film actors admitted to regret their fame as it stood in the way of their privacy.
Masterpiece (n) — a thing such as a work of art that is of extremely high quality. The movie we went to yesterday is a real masterpiece.
Span (v) — to be, to exist for a period of time. William the Conqueror’s rule spanned over 50 years.
Shroud (v) — to cover something by covering it. The peak of the mountain was shrouded by thick layer of clouds.
Landmark (n) — a notable feature of a particular place or territory. The Eiffel Tower is Paris’ most notable landmark.
Doodling (g) — The process of drawing simple shapes (such as circles) mindlessly, without paying attention to it. Doodling is believed to help some people concentrate.
Unconscious (adj) — not awake or not realising, not knowing. The man seemed to be unconscious – he did not respond to the questions.
Boost (v) — to give strength or power, to increase. Doing more practice tests will help to boost your final score.
Dull (adj) — dim, boring or unremarkable. The content of the last book I’ve read was rather dull.
Daydreaming (g) — Thinking about past events or something you want to happen as opposed to what is happening now; not paying attention. I was caught daydreaming during my final exam.
Tedious (adj) — boring and exhausting, especially because of its repetitive nature. My boss somehow manages to come up with the most tedious tasks for me.
Distraction (b) — Something that takes one’s attention away. Bob’s visit to the office was a big distraction for the whole office and as a result we failed to meet our deadlines.
Crops (n) — The harvest of various cultures such has grain or rice. Crops can be difficult to care for in suboptimal weather conditions.
Soil (n) — The ground surface, usually in relation to various plants grown in it. The soil in our country requires mineral fertilizer to produce good harvest.
Underway (adv) — in progress, happening now. The construction of the new school is currently underway.
Drought (n) — a period with no rains. Droughts are rare in this part of the country.
Yield (n) — (here) the volume of harvest. This year’s yield of rice is the biggest one so far.
Exploit (v) — Make use of something in a way that helps you. Sometimes the word is used negatively.
Fertilizer (n) — a substance used to make the soil more rich and accommodating for plants. The soil here is so good you hardly have to use any fertilizer!
Subject (v) — to make an aim of something. Animals are subjected to many horrible experiments every day.
Indignant (adj) — Upset and irritated by something, usually not just or fair. After the politician’s speech the only reaction was indignant looks from the crowd.
Appal (v) — to someone feel shocked and disgust. Nancy’s racist comment appalled everyone in classroom.
Pecking order (phr) — a situation when one informal group is stronger or has more privileges than the other. The pecking order of an office.
Embellish (v) — to make something look more important or impressive than it really is. He had to embellish the truth to make his story more appealing to listeners.
Hindrance (n) — something that gets in the way, slows you down or otherwise proves to make things difficult. Government regulations can sometimes be a real hindrance to private businesses.
Ball game (phr) — a different situation. Getting into university wasn’t that difficult. Keeping up with its intense curriculum was a completely different ball game.
Bold (adj) — brave, resolute. Fortune favours the brave.
Arrogant (adj) — if a person is arrogant, they feel proud and more important because they believe they are better than other people. That rich arrogant kid from school really gets on my nerves!
Perpetuate (v) — cause something to keep going, continue. Copying your friends homework is not going to solve the problem, it will only perpetuate it.
Entitled (adj) — an entitled person feels they deserve something just because who they are, without having to work for it. Stop being so entitled – you can’t expect your parents to grant all of your wishes!
Desperate(adj) — seriously bad, with no hope of success. Eugene is getting increasingly desperate in his attempts to find a job.
Prospects (n) — chance or possibility of something in the future. He has very good career prospects because he studied quite hard and landed a nice internship with a major company.
Refrain (v) — make a choice not to do something. Please refrain from smoking in the restaurant.
Humble (adj) — lacking pride; thinking of oneself as not important. Linda is very humble despite being the best student in her class.
Mitigate (v) — reduce the negative impact of something. Our company faces the need to mitigate the damages caused by recent financial crisis.
Fossil fuels — oil and gas. Fossils are decomposed remains of dead animals. Humanity should reconsider its reliance on fossil fuels for energy.
Upsurge (n) — a sudden and considerable increase. There was an upsurge of demand for TVs that couldn’t be explained.
Measurable (adj) — considerable, big enough to me meaningful. The amount of money we get from renting out our apartment is measurable.
Foresee (v) — to predict, to see something happening before it does so. We failed to foresee some of the consequences.
Herald (v) — to be a sign of something good to come. The increase in salaries heralded the end of stagnation period in economy.
Eclipse (v) — to make irrelevant by being better. Marks success at school was eclipsed by his sister’s victory in junior Olympics.
Resilient (adj) — unyielding, strong and determined. John is a resilient entrepreneur and he will not give up in the face of several successive failures.
Avert (v) — to prevent something (usually smth. bad). Lucinda managed to avert her parents seemingly imminent divorce.
Incentive (n) — an encouragement, a reason to do or keep doing something. Government is coming up with various incentives for young people not to leave the country.
Blistering (adj) — extremely hot. We kept on marching under the blistering sun of Kenya.
Incredulity (n) — state or feeling of not believing something, or unwillingness to believe. He glanced at us with incredulity.
Proximity (n) — state of being next to or very close to something. Proximity of shops, schools and other infrastructure is an important factor when shopping for a new apartment.
Lunge (v) — to move forward with force.
Scoff (v) — to look or think about something with disrespect or consider something unworthy. People often scoff at low-income jobs such as McDonalds.
Pillar (n) — tall cylindric object used for decorations or as means of support. Beautiful marble pillars adorned the front entrance to the gallery.
Awareness (n) — state of knowing or understanding something. Spatial awareness.
Imagery (n) — words, images and other devices to describe certain ideas. Imagery of wealth is often used to encourage people to spend more money
Notion (n) — An idea or a belief. I think your notion of success is different from mine.
Uncharted (adj) — unknown, undiscovered. Nowadays there are hardly any uncharted territories.
Jeopardize (v) — to put something in danger, to expose to risk. Your disregard for safety rules jeopardizes the success of the operation.
Dire (adj) — serious, very bad; extreme. Even in these dire conditions we should remain human.
Exhilaration (n) — strong feeling of happiness or excitement. The president’s arrival to our little town caused exhilaration among the populace.