ASVAB AFQT Word Knowledge Subtest: Practice with Suffixes

By Rod Powers

What’s the best way to improve your knowledge of suffixes for the Word Knowledge subtest of the ASVAB AFQT? Practice, practice, and more practice. And you can start with the following vocabulary exercise.

Practice exercise

The following chart contains eight vocabulary words with suffixes tacked on their back ends. Separate the suffix from the word (and write it down), jot down what the word probably means, and then check your answers either in the dictionary or under “Answers and explanations.”

asvab-suffix

Answers and explanations

  1. Postage is a noun that refers to the charge for sending a letter or other matter by mail. Its suffix is -age, which means action or process.

    The suffix -age also appears in passage, pilgrimage, and voyage.

  2. Annoyance is a noun that means nuisance or a person or thing that annoys. Its suffix, -ance, means state or quality of.

    You see it –ance words like defiance, brilliance, and compliance.

  3. Disciplinarian is a noun that means a person who enforces or advocates discipline, and its suffix is -arian, which means a person who does something.

    This suffix appears in vegetarian, librarian, and egalitarian.

  4. Wisdom is a noun that means scholarly knowledge or learning, or the state of being wise. Its suffix is -dom, which means condition of, state, or realm.

    The suffix -dom also shows up in words like boredom, freedom, and kingdom.

  5. Clemency is a noun that means a disposition to show compassion or forgiveness, leniency, or mercy. Its suffix is -ency, which means condition or quality.

    You find -ency in dependency, efficiency, and complacency.

  6. Artful is an adjective that means crafty, cunning, skillful, or clever. Its suffix, -ful, means full of.

    You see -ful in words like helpful, cheerful, and thankful as well.

  7. Celestial is an adjective that means pertaining to the sky or to the universe beyond the atmosphere. Its suffix is -ial, which means relating to.

    The suffix -ial also makes an appearance in words like editorial, martial, and racial.

  8. Zanily is an adverb that means comically or clownishly, and its suffix is -ily, which means in a certain manner.

    You see -ily in sloppily, steadily, and breezily.