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CliffsTestPrep Nursing School Entrance Exam
By Fred N. Grayson
John Wiley & SonsISBN: 0-7645-5986-9
Chapter OneVerbal Review
The ability tested in the verbal review portion of any of the nursing tests is your command of the language-in other words, your vocabulary. Of course, by this point in your life you might think that you have learned all of the words that you will ever learn or that it will be impossible to improve your vocabulary. On the contrary! If you are diligent and put your mind to it, you can improve your vocabulary in several ways. Here are three that will definitely help:
* Read, read, read. Pick up a newspaper, a magazine, or a novel and make note of words you do not understand. Make a list or put them on note cards. First, try to figure out the meaning of the words by looking at the context in which they are used. Make an educated guess. If you are still not sure, look up the meaning of the words and write the words and their meanings in a notebook or on note cards. Then try to make up your own sentences using the words.
* Learn a new word every day or every other day. You can get into the habit of looking up a new word in the dictionary every day. Write the word and its definition on a piece of paper. Then write a sentence using the word. This will help you visualize it. Don't pick words that are too technical or specialized (such as medical/scientific terms or proper names). Try using this new word in conversation.
* Words are made up, generally, of prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Many prefixes and roots have a Latin or Greek origin. If you can familiarize yourself with some of these, you will find that you can arrive at the meaning of some words by breaking them down. The following section will offer you some common prefixes, roots, and suffixes to help you tackle words you are unfamiliar with in the Word Knowledge section.
In order to break down words you do not understand or to help you recognize why a word means what it means, you should become familiar with prefixes. Prefixes are parts of words that come at the beginning of a word and that can affect its meaning.
As an example, look at the word synonym. This word is made up of the prefix syn plus the root nym. If you knew that the prefix syn means with/together or same and the root nym means name or word, then you could conclude that the word synonym means same word. And that's what it means!
Look at another example. The word circumvent is made up of the prefix circum plus the root vent. If you knew that the prefix circum means around and the root vent means go or come, then you could conclude the word circumvent means go around.
What follows is a list of common prefixes that you often will find at the beginning of certain words. Following the prefix, you will find the meaning of the prefix and a word using the prefix (with a rough definition in parentheses following the word). Try including a word of your own in the space provided for each prefix. If you cannot come up with your own word, refer to a dictionary for help.
Along with prefixes, roots are central to the meanings of words. If you familiarize yourself with some common roots, then you may be able to better recognize certain words or at least get a general feel for several words. By studying the following list of roots, you will be better equipped to breakdown many words and make sense of them!
Following you will find a root, its meaning, a word using the root, and a space in which you can write another word that uses the same root.
Suffixes come at the end of words and usually change the part of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, and so on) of words, which also subtly changes the meaning. Becoming familiar with suffixes may help you get a sense of the meaning the word is conveying, even if you are not sure of what the definition of the word is exactly.
Look at a word with different suffixes to see how the part of speech or the meaning can change. For example, the word sedate means to calm or relax. The following sentences contain words that are made up of the root word sedate but have different suffixes attached:
* The doctor prescribed a sedative [something that sedates] to calm her nerves.
* The speech was delivered sedately [in a sedate manner].
* The dog was under sedation [in a state of sedation] for the long trip.
* Many office workers live a sedentary [relating to nonactive] lifestyle.
As you can see, in each of the sentences, the word sedate means generally the same thing, but the part of speech changes. However, you can get a sense of how the word changes if you know what the suffixes mean.
What follows is a list of common suffixes that you may encounter at the ends of certain words. Try applying theses suffixes at the ends of words you know (or words from the preceding lists) to see how the part of speech or the meaning of the word changes.
Now, using the information that you have just learned, try to apply these concepts to the different test sections. Keep in mind that all of the following sections-Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, and Spelling-are all vocabulary related. Answer all of the practice questions and then check your answers at the end of this section.
What is a synonym? Very simply, it's a word that has the same meaning as another word. In most of the nursing entrance exams, a test of synonyms is a test of vocabulary. How well do you understand words and what they mean? Almost any kind of standardized test will present some form of vocabulary test. Try these sample problems. Select the word that most nearly means the same as the capitalized word.
B. Graphic (graph = written or drawn) means described in vivid detail or clearly drawn out, so detailed would most closely mean graphic.
C. Indispensable literally means not dispensable (able to be thrown away). So if something is indispensable, it is necessary; you cannot do away with it.
Now practice with the following questions. Remember that the word may not be an exact meaning, but one that is most nearly like the other word.
Synonym Practice Questions
A. make up
B. throw away
C. go through
D. walk around
A. relating to the sun
B. relating to the moon
C. relating to sound
D. relating to the earth
A. to take in
B. to make fun of
C. to rob of
D. to ignore
A. to talk about
B. to see the future
C. to fall down
D. to speak against
C. in order
D. out of order
A. a shy person
B. a shallow waterway
C. the guilty party
D. the most qualified person
B. not intelligent
A. remain the same
B. follow a downward course
C. follow an upward course
D. go around
A. to bring something to an end
B. to act as a judge
C. to act as mediator
D. to laugh at something
Antonym tests are vocabulary tests, but unlike a synonym, an antonym is a word of opposite meaning. Some of the more common antonym pairs would be hot/cold, sit/stand, far/near, and up/down. Look at these examples.
1. Happy is the opposite of
C. The opposite of happy is sad.
2. Passive is the opposite of
C. Passive means not reacting; the opposite is active.
Antonym Practice Questions
For each of the following practice questions, select that answer that most nearly means the opposite of the given word.
1. Recall is the opposite of
2. Civil is the opposite of
3. Decay is the opposite of
4. Devoid is the opposite of
5. Prelude is the opposite of
6. Ooze is the opposite of
7. Tradition is the opposite of
8. Permit is the opposite of
9. Somber is the opposite of
10. Indispensable is the opposite of
An analogy is usually a comparison of two proportions or relations. In standard usage-and for many of the nursing exams-you will encounter several types of analogies.
Excerpted from CliffsTestPrep Nursing School Entrance Exam by Fred N. Grayson Excerpted by permission.
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