ASVAB Practice: Word Knowledge Sample Questions

By Rod Powers

You will need to be ready for the Word Knowledge problems on the ASVAB. The format you see below is a good example of what you will find when you go in to take the ASVAB.

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 captain received many accolades for her bravery during the battle.

    • (A)honors

    • (B)criticisms

    • (C)presents

    • (D)promotions

  2. Covert most nearly means:

    • (A)tiresome

    • (B)popular

    • (C)secret

    • (D)unruly

  3. Abhor most nearly means:

    • (A)commence

    • (B)embrace

    • (C)remove

    • (D)dislike

  4. The mandate to report at exactly 9 a.m. the next day was written on my boss’s personal stationery.

    • (A)invitation

    • (B)greeting

    • (C)command

    • (D)permission

  5. The word most opposite in meaning to assortment is

    • (A)variety

    • (B)difference

    • (C)mixture

    • (D)consistency

  6. Credible most nearly means:

    • (A)cynical

    • (B)rehearsed

    • (C)genuine

    • (D)vague

  7. Reprieve most nearly means:

    • (A)on hold

    • (B)complete

    • (C)final

    • (D)justice

  8. Tedious most nearly means:

    • (A)fresh

    • (B)dreary

    • (C)difficult

    • (D)annoying

  9. Jackson’s music was so loud he was oblivious to the honking car behind him.

    • (A)cognizant

    • (B)superfluous

    • (C)ignorant

    • (D)perceptive

  10. The coach knew how to bolster the team’s morale in the final moments.

    • (A)recruit

    • (B)demean

    • (C)allude

    • (D)encourage

Answers and explanations

  1. A. honors

    Accolade is a noun that means praise or high recognition.

  2. C. secret

    Covert is an adjective that describes something not intended for public knowledge.

  3. D. dislike

    Abhor is a verb that means to reject something or disapprove.

  4. C. command

    Mandate is a noun that means an official order or decree.

  5. D. consistency

    Assortment is a noun that means a collection of things that differ.

  6. C. genuine

    Credible is an adjective meaning something believable or convincing.

  7. A. on hold

    Reprieve is a noun that means a temporary relief or break from something.

  8. B. dreary

    Tedious is an adjective meaning something boring or repetitive.

  9. C. ignorant

    Oblivious is an adjective that means unaware.

  10. D. encourage

    Bolster is a verb that means to make more confident through support.