Rule Out Wrong Answers on the ASVAB Word Knowledge Subtest

By Angie Papple Johnston

One of the most successful strategies on the ASVAB Word Knowledge subtest is to rule out answers that are likely to be wrong before settling on the one you think is right.

For example, when two answer choices mean almost the same thing, or when some choices don’t match the prefix, suffix, or root word, you can cross them off as possibilities.

Practice questions

1. Inhabit most nearly means

A. vacate.

B. reside.

C. depart.

D. leave.

2. Deform most nearly means

A. cure.

B. heal.

C. contort.

D. tragedy.

Answers and explanations

1. The correct answer choice is B.

Choices (A), (C), and (D) are all very similar in meaning, leaving only Choice (B), reside, as the clear front-runner.

On the ASVAB, your choices aren’t likely to be this obvious, but you may be able to rule out two choices and give yourself a 50-50 chance of finding the correct answer.

2. The correct answer choice is C.

Choices (A) and (B) are essentially the same, so you can eliminate those two. Now look at the prefix, de-. This means “away from.” The root word form means “shape.” That means Choice (C), contort, is the right answer for this question.