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CUNY/Compass Reading Examination Strategies - Vocabulary in Context

Vocabulary in context
Vocabulary questions are centered around key words that appear on the passage. Because words tend to have more than one meaning, it is important to determine the meaning of the word by reading through context, which requires you to read either the entire passage or the sentences before and after the key or unfamiliar word. Knowledge of word parts—prefixes and suffices—can be extremely helpful in determining the correct meaning of words.

To find the correct meaning do the following:

  1. Find the sentence with the key or unfamiliar word.

  2. Re-read the sentences surrounding the key or unfamiliar word.

  3. Use each of the choices in the sentence to see which word best fits the context.

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