Context clues can help you discover the meaning of a word when you look at the text preceding and following the word in question. In the sentence, “Sandra’s demure nature made her popular with parents, teachers, and authority figures of all types,” it may be concluded that demure means modest, reserved, or well-behaved. This can be assumed based on the fact that adults (such as parents and teachers) enjoyed her presence―and adults are typically fond of children and teenagers who are quiet, obedient, and reserved.
If you do not understand the meaning of a word within a sentence, look at the surrounding sentence to see if you can determine overall meaning by its context.
There are other everyday ways to study for the Word Knowledge section of the ASVAB test.
Reading material that is just a touch more advanced than what you usually would (say an interesting section of the local newspaper instead of a fashion magazine) can help expose you to words you haven’t previously encountered.
If you hear a word you don’t know on TV or in conversation, write it down and look it up later.
Try and sneak the word into a sentence when you’re speaking. Even if you start laughing when you say it, you’ll remember it.
Crossword puzzles and other vocabulary games are another great way to study, and they can be especially fun and convenient if you have a smartphone or another electronic device.
Use either electronic or physical flashcards to help you practice word knowledge and definitions.
Practice identifying roots, prefixes, and suffixes in words you read or hear in everyday conversation. This will allow you to more readily identify these parts of words in your test.
No matter which study method you choose, don’t give up! Having a good grasp of word knowledge is important not only for the ASVAB but for life in general. The hours you spend studying for this section of the test will benefit you for years to come, so make the most of it.