One of the subtests you will see on the ASVAB is the Word Knowledge test. Check out the following questions to get an idea of what the questions and format will look like on test day.

Sample questions

Word Knowledge

Time: 11 minutes for 35 questions

Directions: The Word Knowledge subtest is the third subtest of the ASVAB. The questions are designed to measure your vocabulary knowledge. You’ll see three types of questions on this subtest. The first type simply asks you to choose a word or words that most nearly mean the same as the underlined word in the question.

The second type includes an underlined word used in a sentence, and you are to choose the word or words that most nearly mean the same as the underlined word, as used in the context of the sentence.

The third type of question asks you to choose the word that has the opposite or nearly opposite meaning as the underlined word. Each question is followed by four possible answers. Decide which answer is correct, and then mark the corresponding space on your answer sheet.

  1. The word most opposite in meaning to abstract is

    • (A)exclusive

    • (B)realistic

    • (C)imaginative

    • (D)far-fetched

  2. The rain hampered the runner’s ability to break the record.

    • (A)facilitated

    • (B)eased

    • (C)forced

    • (D)hindered

  3. Cower most nearly means:

    • (A)attack

    • (B)celebrate

    • (C)cringe

    • (D)sublime

  4. Tangent most nearly means:

    • (A)detour

    • (B)angular

    • (C)focus

    • (D)perfect

  5. Nullify most nearly means:

    • (A)suggest

    • (B)cancel

    • (C)perform

    • (D)promote

  6. Tangible most nearly means:

    • (A)theoretical

    • (B)fragile

    • (C)possessive

    • (D)physical

  7. Absolution most nearly means:

    • (A)condemnation

    • (B)owing a debt

    • (C)assurance

    • (D)forgiveness

  8. Abrogate most nearly means:

    • (A)materialize

    • (B)terminate

    • (C)embark

    • (D)constitute

  9. I wanted to temper the dinner conversation so Grandpa wouldn’t walk out.

    • (A)ignore

    • (B)irritate

    • (C)soothe

    • (D)anger

  10. Plethora most nearly means:

    • (A)scarcity

    • (B)infection

    • (C)unique

    • (D)abundance

Answers and explanations

  1. B. realistic

    Used as an adjective, abstract means conceptual or irregular.

  2. D. hindered

    As used in this sentence, hamper is a verb that means to make more difficult.

  3. C. cringe

    Cower is a verb that means to cringe or move away from something in fear.

  4. A. detour

    Tangent is a noun that means a change or digression from the current topic.

  5. B. cancel

    Nullify is a verb that means to make something invalid.

  6. D. physical

    Tangible is an adjective describing something material or able to be touched.

  7. D. forgiveness

    Absolution is a noun that means a pardon for wrongful deeds.

  8. B. terminate

    Abrogate is a verb that means to formally end an agreement or contract.

  9. C. soothe

    When used as a verb, temper means to alleviate or soften.

  10. D. abundance

    Plethora is a noun meaning a large or excessive amount.