ASVAB AFQT Word Knowledge Subtest—Practice with Prefixes

By Rod Powers

A prefix is a group of letters added before a word or base to alter the base’s meaning and form a new word. On the Word Knowledge subtest of the ASVAB AFQT, you’ll need to be good at parsing prefixes; the following vocabulary exercise will give you an idea of how much extra prep you’ll need before test day.

Practice exercise

The following chart has eight vocabulary words that have prefixes attached. Tap into your existing vocabulary to figure out what each word means based on its prefix. On a piece of paper, copy down the eight words. Then write the prefix in the column beside the word, and write what you think the word means. When you’re done, compare your answers with those under “Answers and explanations.”

asvab-vocab

Answers and explanations

  1. Apolitical‘s prefix is a-, which means not or without. Apolitical is an adjective that means not involved or interested in politics.

    Other words with the prefix a- are atheist, asexual, and apathy.

  2. Predetermined, which is a verb that means established or decided in advance, uses pre- as its prefix.

    Pre- means before, and you see it in the words prefix, pregame, and prevent.

  3. Devalue is a verb that means to reduce the worth or importance of something. Its prefix, de-, means off, down, or away from.

    You see de- in words such as defrost, demotivate, and devolve.

  4. Coaxial is an adjective that means having a common axis (like a coaxial cable). Its prefix, co-, means with.

    Co- is also seen in words like cooperate, co-locate, and coworker.

  5. Extraordinary is an adjective that means very unusual or remarkable. Its prefix is extra-, and it means outside or beyond.

    Extra- is also part of the words extracurricular, extraterrestrial, and extrajudicial.

  6. Miniature is a noun that means a representation or image of something on a reduced or small scale. (It’s also an adjective that refers to something that’s represented on a small or reduced scale.) As a prefix, mini- means small.

    You also see mini- in words like minivan, minimal, and miniseries.

  7. Undesirable is an adjective that means not wanted due to harmfulness or unpleasantness. The prefix, un-, means not or against.

    Un- also appears in words such as unnecessary, unhappy, and unfazed.

  8. Forerunner is a noun that refers to a person or thing that precedes someone or something else. The prefix in this word is fore-, and it means before.

    You also see it in words like foreman, foresee, and forego.