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.
Foolhardy (adj) — Brave but taking unnecessary risks. Back in the days of Columbus crossing the Pacific was thought of as a foolhardy move.
Unforeseen (adj) — unexpected and not wanted. Judy’s parents coming back home earlier than usual was an unforseen circumstance.
Gratitude (n) — feeling of thankfulness to someone who has done you good or a favour. I feel immeasurable gratitude to my parents for so many things.
Stretchers (n) — a piece of medical equipment consisting of two parallel poles with a piece of cloth between them to transport people who are unable to walk. The medics deployed two stretchers to move the wounded.
Generous (adj) — willing to provide money or any other financial help. And now a very generous donation from the Gates family.
Ubiquitous (adj) — if something is u., it can be found anywhere. So-called vape shops are ubiquitous nowadays.
Genuine (adj) — real, true, not fake. This purse is made of genuine leather.
Outskirts (n) — area on the edge of a town or a city. My family lived on the outskirts of Dublin for about eight years.
Deserted (adj) — uninhabited or no longer used. The once booming industrial district is now full of deserted factories.
Eloquence (n) — the skill or ability to speak or write in a clear, easy to understand and efficient language. Eloquence is a must-have skill for any politician.
Bypass (v) — to go around or to skip something. The criminal managed to bypass two security checks in the building.
Distort (v) — to change the shape or essence of something so that it looks unnatural. The voice on the radio came out distorted because of all the static.
Watchdog (n) — someone or something guarding against illegal practices such as theft or suboptimal use. She is a watchdog reporter telling people about corrupt politicians.
Roam (v) —to walk around a place with no certain destination in mind. Roaming the streets of my hometown was my favourite pastime back in the day.
Confine (v) — to limit or restrict something or someone. Don’t feel confined by the main topic of your diploma – you are free to explore other concepts and ideas along the way.
Glacier (n) — a large, slow moving body of ice. Global warming proves increasingly dangerous as it expedites melting of glaciers on the poles.
Submerge (v) — to go or send underwater. The ship was damaged and it gradually submerged underwater.
Deluge (n) — a large amount of water or rain. Continuous summer rains turned our street into a deluge.
Lush (adj) — rich in plants and other vegetation. Lush fields of southern France.
Verdant (adj) — similar to lush, however with more accent on colour green. Verdant areas of our town are more pleasant to live in.
Tusk (n) — a long, pointy bone at the front of an elephant’s head. Elephants are endangered because they are hunted for their tusks.
Seabed (n) — the floor of an ocean or sea. Many fascinating species can be found living very close to ocean seabed.
Vessel (n) — any ship bigger than a boat. Having struck the rocks the vessel started to submerge into the troubled waters of the Pacific.
Pinpoint (v) — to point out or locate something with very high accuracy or precision. At the present we are unable to pinpoint the terrorists’ location.
Litter (v) — to dispose of garbage by throwing it on the ground. Singapore has very high fines for people who litter on the streets.
Scathe (v) — to harm someone either physically or emotionally. I was scathed to learn about my favourite team’s loss in the finals.
Maritime (adj) — relating to sea. Maritime laws are different from those of the land.
Vital (adj) — extremely important, crucial. It is vital that you give me a call first thing in the morning.
Aggregate (n) — a total amount of something. The aggregate of this enterprise is going to be extremely high.
Quarry (v) — here: to dig something. Quarrying this site will prove to be too costly to turn profit.
Legislation (n) — laws and their application. This country has very strict legislation regarding construction works.
Dredge (v) — here: to make a waterway deeper. The building company is currently negotiating to dredge the channel.
Erroneous (adj) — incorrect, containing an error. Their version of the events turned out to be erroneous.
Dress up (phr v) — here: to try make something appear more valuable, attractive or interesting. He had to dress up his story to make it more convincing.
Suppress (v) — here: to stop from developing, to hinder. Nancy’s parents suppressed her desire to do ballet dancing.
Impose (v) — to establish or apply, usually by force. The school rules were imposed upon all its students.
Millenia (n) — (plural) thousands of years. This culture dominated their society for millenia.
Innate (adj) — essential, part of one’s nature. Her innate ability in music.
Proposition (n) — a formal offer, a suggestion. Your proposition will most certainly get rejected – no one is going to accept your terms.
Assertion (n) — a declaration or a statement. Mayor’s assertions caused much unrest among the town’s population.
Unfulfilled (adj) — not finished, not brought into reality. Unfulfilled promises are a sign of weak personal integrity.
Compelling (adj) — persuasive, convincing or demanding attention. Your arguments in today’s discussion were compelling enough to change their opinion.
Teem with — to be full of. This forest is teeming with birds almost all year round.
Transfix (v) — here: to be captivated by, as if physically pierced to. I just stood there transfixed by that girl’s sheer beauty.
Laborious (adj) — involving a lot of work or effort. The laborious process of autumn harvest gathering.
Facilitate (v) — to make something go quicker or easier. This new pill facilitates food digestion.
Sprout (v) — to grow, esp. to grow new parts (e.g. leaves). The old oak in our garden keeps sprouting new branches.
Nocturnal (adj) — relating to night. Bats are nocturnal creatures.
Obscure (adj) — strange, complex and not easy to understand, not well-known. Back in the day we would go to her place and watch old, obscure art house movies.
Vast (adj) — huge in size. This is an untapped market so the opportunities are vast!
Rehearsed (adj) — (about a speech) practised in advance. My rehearsed dialogue with her didn’t work because her very first response was something I didn’t plan for.
Prospective (adj) — relating to the future, due to happen in the future. The company you’re having your internship period with is likely to be your prospective employment place.
Reveal (v) — to make known or visible. It was only after 25 years that the government revealed the facts about the corrupt politician.
Babble (v) — to speak incoherently, to repeat the same thing over and over again without necessity. I approached the girl to ask her out but instead I just babbled nonsense.
Go off on a tangent — to change topic suddenly, abruptly and with no reason. She finds it very difficult to concentrate and always goes off on a tangent.
Evasive (adj) — if someone or something is evasive, it avoids (or attempts to avoid) something and is hard to get or catch. George has been very evasive lately, we’ve been trying hard to talk to him but alas.
Cope with (v) — deal with something, usually undesirable or unpleasant. He is coping with his disease just fine, in fact doctors believe he is on his way to full recovery.
Complacent (adj) — if a person is complacent, they are satisfied and proud of what they are or what they have, while also unaware of their own shortcomings. After winning a regional math competition Matthew has grown complacent.