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.
Counsel (n) — advice. I wish somebody would provide me with a counsel on the matter.
Permanently (adv) — forever, for good. My father seemed to be permanently busy with his business.
Integrity (n) — honesty, sticking to your principles. If you try to be everyone’s friend you will lose your personal integrity.
Inevitably (adv) — something that can’t be avoided; certain to take place. With my knowledge of the subject I will fail the exam inevitably.
Bluntness (n) — straightforward honesty, usually in an impolite manner. I like the way he treats everyone with bluntness — at least he is not a hypocrite like most people at the office.
Sincerity (n) — quality of being sincere — genuine, what you really think. Most girls here won’t appreciate your sincerity, they are used to be flattered by men.
Undertake (v) — to attempt or start something. The task we undertook is not an easy one but eventually we will finish it.
Apparently (adv) — easy to spot, evidently. Apparently I am the only guest in the house right now — it is very quiet and no other people can be seen.
Hypothesis (n) — an idea suggested to explain something.
Resemble (v) — be similar to. The writers later works resemble the best examples of this art from his era.
MRI — Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a medical examination.
Tweak (v) — to make small alteration of something to make it more efficient. I wish they tweaked our curriculum a bit — I’m sure we could squeeze in a subject or two in it!
Perception (n) — the ability to perceive, the way a person sees things and events. Nancy always has her own perception of school programme.
Sustained (adj) — stable, continuous.
Burst (n) — sudden explosion or a huge amount of something. She reacted to my suggestion with a burst of laughter.
Uptight (adj) — tense or nervous. Don’t be so uptight, your interview is going to be just fine!
Ambitious (adj) — with strong desire of success or other achievement. The hall outside of the interview room was full of young ambitious specialists.
Hoarder (n) — a person who accumulates various things, unable to let go of them, hoping that he will get to use them later.
Prosaic (adj) — simple, without imagination. Prosaic matters like earning his own living didn’t concern him.
Bulge (v) — to stand out, to protrude.
Bizarre (adj) — strange or unusual in an interesting way. Ted’s bizarre jokes can put you off if you don’t know him well enough.
Menagerie (n) — a collection. A huge menagerie of World War Two weaponry.
Mouldy (adj) — covered with mould — tiny fungi that grow on things if the humidity is too high. Bread gets mouldy in a matter of days if it isn’t properly kept.
Stockpile (v) — to collect in order to amass a large quantity of something. My father was paranoid about the war so he kept stockpiling food and bottled water.
Redundant (adj) — unnecessary, over the top. The redundant employees are going to be let go next week.
Benign (adj) — favourable, kind. Geoff’s benign character made him an all-round pleasant person.
Clutter (n) — a heap of object without any order. A clutter of books and magazines were on top of the table.
Reflect (n) — to think over, to contemplate. She reflected on her life for a while.
Coax (v) — to persuade gently into something one isn’t willing to do. I won’t be coaxed to join their party!
Cajole (v) — see Coax. Cajole might also involve making a promise to the person in order to make them do what you want.
Jettison (v) — get rid of, throw away. Your old writing table ought to have been jettisoned long time ago!
Charity (n) — an organisation that raises money for some good cause (e.g. to buy clothes and food for an orphanage).
Dispiriting (adj) — upsetting, depressing. The burned down house was a dispiriting sight.
Unperturbed (adj) — not bothered by something. No matter how loud I shouted at the dog, it remained unperturbed by my commands.
Sift (v) — to filter through in order to remove bigger or coarser pieces. You ought to sift rice through before washing it.
Flotsam and jetsam (n) — unnecessary pieces, leftovers.
Overstatement (n) — exaggeration. Saying that he is the smartest student in the class would be an overstatement.
Vow to (v) — to swear to do something. I’d never vow to serve my country because I know I couldn’t possibly kill a man even if I had to.
Austerity (n) — state of being austere — stern, strict and without luxuries or excess. The austerity of post-war times drove many men into depression.
Residue (n) — remaining substance. After you wash the dished you have to rinse them to make sure you get all the soap residue off.
Potty (adj) — insignificant; foolish or crazy. A potty old lady shouted at us to get off her lawn.
Discarded (adj) — thrown away; considered to be useless. The discarded clothes could still be used by someone.
Border on (v) — to balance on, to be close to. Her immense intelligence borders on insanity.
Severe (adj) — harsh or rigorous; very serious. The ambulance delivered to man who had severe wounds.
Superstition (n) — irrational belief that comes from ignorance or fear of unknown. Old people usually stick to superstitions when making important decisions.
To learn by rote — to learn something mechanically, without trying to understand it.
Convey (v) — to take or carry across. I couldn’t convey the meaning to my students effectively no matter how hard I tried.
Evaluate (v) — to calculate worth, effectiveness of something.
Mundane (adj) — dull, everyday, usual. The mundane landscape of arid desert.
Revelation (n) — a sudden realisation; exposure of something previously kept secret. It didn’t come as revelation to anyone that Jill was cheating on her husband.
Workshop (n) — (here) — group of people who came together to share their experience in a field. There is going to be a sculpting workshop at the gallery next Tuesday.
Flexible (adj) — able to change, bend without breaking. Flexible working hours is what I really need to feel comfortable with my day job.
Spontaneous (adj) — happening on the spot rather than planned. Spontaneous decisions can lead to unexpected consequences.
Immerse (v) — to involve into something deeply. Immersing into the book is important to enjoy it fully.
Self-indulgent (adj) — following one’s own desires.
Pertain to (v) — to have relation or reference to. Laws that pertain to immigration policies.
Frantic (adj) — worried and hurried; unorganised. So he was late for his night shift, running around the room frantically searching for his cellphone.
Twitchy (adj) — similar to frantic. Being nervous about something.
Controversial (adj) — with two or more opinions, causing disagreement. The controversial issue of gender equality.
Relentless (adj) — (here) fast-paced, quick and unceasing. The rate at which we had to learn at the university was relentless.
Contemplation (n) — process of thinking something over carefully and at length. My contemplation was interrupted by a stranger who approached me to ask for a cigarette.
Stimuli (n) — Latin, plural of stimulae — something that makes you want to do something. Money is the most effective stimulae of today.
Cursory (adj) — quick and superficial (not thorough). Don’t worry about the inspection, it will only be cursory.
Superficial (adj) — happening on the surface and not inside; not real. Her superficial intelligence was hiding ignorance and arrogance.
Malleable (adj) — easy to alter, changeable. Young mind are the most malleable of all.
Malign (adj) — having bad intentions, evil.
Circadian (adj) — relating to biological rhythms that relate to 24-hour cycle.
Skim (v) — (here) to read superficially without paying much attention to details. Skim reading is a very useful technique for CAE Reading and Use of English part.
Immersion (n) — involvement in something, such as a book or a movie.
Sobering (adj) — disillusioning, returning to reality. That last failure has had a really sobering effect on me.
Rewire (v) — to change something fundamentally, at a deeper level.
Anguish (n) — pain or misery, torment. The anguish of losing your best friend is hard to explain.
Deprive of (v) — take away by force. Deprived of right to protect ourselves legally, we had to find other means of dealing with the situation.
Pathway (n) — route or way to something.
Neglect (v) — to deny due care, to ignore. If you neglect your duties as a parent you children will eventually start loathing you.
Shallow (adj) — the opposite of deep. Similar to superficial — lacking substance.
External (adj) — located on the outside. You should use an external microphone for you videos to improve the quality of sound.
Uniform (adj) — not changing in form, quality, number etc.
Susceptible to (adj) — easily affected by. If you are taking certain medicine then you are more susceptible to the intoxicating effects of alcohol.
Collaboration (n) — joint work such as a project that is done by two or more people, companies etc.
Impaired (adj) — with reduced strength, weakened. When you are drunk your judgement is severely impaired.
Disgust (v) — feeling of aversion, strong dislike to something. People with poor understanding of political system disgust me.
Subtle (adj) — not immediately visible, slight. The subtle details of the show is what makes it so enjoyable.
Reluctant (adj) — unwilling. It is natural to feel reluctant to work or study, but it has to be done nonetheless.
Taste bud (n) — the part of your tongue that is responsible for “feeling” the taste of food you eat.
Insatiable (adj) — unable to be satiated — give enough food or whatever the person is desiring. The insatiable hunger for reading.
Masquerade as (v) — to pretend to be something else. Burglars masquerading as policemen got into their house.
Adage (n) — a proverb. As a famous adage goes, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.
Signature dish (n) — a dish the cook or the restaurant is most famous for.
Inherent, innate (adj) — given or existing from birth.
Aversion (n) — similar to disgust.
Shortcut (n) — a shorter route; a way to achieve something quicker that usual. We took a shortcut through the woods but got lost.
Wolf down (v) — to eat something quickly and carelessly. I was too hungry to mind my manners so I simply wolfed down the food without help of a fork.
Sighted (adj) — able to see. Sighted people will never understand the complexities of being blind.
Cue (n) — a hint. I don’t need any cues to pass the exam.
Diminished (adj) — reduced, lowered.
Capacity (n) — ability to contain. Any battery’s capacity diminishes with time