Ace Vocabulary Questions on Your Catholic High School Entrance Exam

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch

Part of Catholic High School Entrance Exams For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Catholic high school(s) you’re applying to want(s) to know how strong your vocabulary is. That’s why the HSPT, COOP, and TACHS all ask vocabulary questions. To answer as many of them correctly as possible, do the following:

  • Start reading a lot and watch for unfamiliar words. When you see them, look up their meanings and make flashcards of the words and their definitions.

  • Memorize common prefixes, roots, and suffixes.

  • Know whether you’re looking for synonyms, antonyms, or analogies.

  • Check the context of the word if it’s given to you. In other words, use what you know about the words that the underlined word is put with to figure out the specific meaning that the test is looking for.

  • Try breaking up a word if you don’t know what it means. For instance, you may not know the meaning of counterpoint, but you know that the prefix counter means “against,” and you probably know that a point is a position or stance. By breaking down the word, you can deduce that counterpoint means “against a stance,” which is pretty close to its actual meaning of “a contrasting but related element or theme.”