NAEP Test Words

Words included in the 2009 and 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests of fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade vocabulary. Read about the test here.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. create
    bring into existence
    An interactive map showing the location of bombs dropped on London during the Blitz in World War II has been created.
  2. spread
    distribute or disperse widely
    Nor would Ebola virus spread easily through orangutan populations.BBC (Dec 7, 2012)
  3. underestimate
    make too low an approximation of
    However, as is so often the case, people underestimate how rapidly technology moves on.Scientific American (Nov 20, 2012)
  4. breakthrough
    the act of making an important discovery
    In 2008, HP scientists announced an incredible breakthrough in fashioning a circuit that had eluded others for over three decades.Forbes (Nov 29, 2012)
  5. cleared
    rid of objects or obstructions such as e.g. trees and brush
    The half-dozen trees that came down have been cleared.
  6. clenched
    closed or squeezed together tightly
    I clenched my teeth as my small hands gripped the mirror shard tighter.Nature (Dec 5, 2012)
  7. gaze
    a long fixed look
    He gazed up at a tree house he built — now being used by the protesters — turned around and walked quietly back toward his home.
  8. model
    a representation of something, often on a smaller scale
    “Venice needs a new model of moving forward.”
  9. outrage
    a disgraceful event
    Measured in tone and outraged in its argument, it is an emotionally stirring, at times crushingly depressing cinematic call to witness.
  10. pose
    assume a bearing as for artistic purposes
    The actor strikes familiar poses, the famous cigarette jauntily thrusting.
  11. puzzled
    filled with bewilderment
    The thing that puzzled Price the most: Getting better had only made him worse.Seattle Times (Nov 11, 2012)
  12. sparkle
    reflect brightly
    Floors were going to sparkle, and greeters would welcome customers at the entrance.Slate (Oct 5, 2012)
  13. staggering
    so surprisingly impressive as to stun or overwhelm
    Not long ago, I chronicled their staggering decline in season-ticket sales -- 62 percent over those same 10 years.Seattle Times (Nov 28, 2012)
  14. striking
    having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
    Scientists have observed a striking decline in Northeast winters.
  15. suggest
    make a proposal; declare a plan for something
    He suggested that at heart, skiers and snowboarders are optimists.
  16. barren
    an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation
    Six years later, the barren, brown view has sprung back to life.Scientific American (Nov 20, 2012)
  17. detect
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    They were making little test strips that would change color based on the amount of caffeine detected.
  18. eerie
    suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious
    By early Monday, an eerie quiet had fallen over the agency.
  19. flourish
    grow vigorously
    Organised crime is reported to flourish and kidnappings and violence are commonplace.
  20. prestigious
    having an illustrious reputation; respected
    The Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, the most prestigious British award, followed 10 years later.
  21. anecdote
    short account of an incident
    Beyond tips, Tomsky has packed his book with outrageous anecdotes about guests.Seattle Times (Nov 19, 2012)
  22. edible
    suitable for use as food
    She often brought home “mistakes,” confections lacking the trademark swirl, or misunderstood orders, edible but wrong.
  23. grimace
    contort the face to indicate a certain mental state
    He caught it, but grimaced in pain and was unable to get up.
  24. icon
    a visual representation produced on a surface
    Public Enemy: Still ticked off after all these years, the hip-hop icons have been waging war on apathy since the ‘80s.
  25. motivate
    give an incentive for action
    Her supporters say the impeachment charges are politically motivated.
  26. replicate
    reproduce or make an exact copy of
    But say you want to replicate America’s most famous tree in your living room.BusinessWeek (Dec 5, 2012)
  27. speciality
    a distinguishing trait
    As well as the notorious staples of sausage rolls and pasties, outlets sell regional specialities.
  28. concoct
    devise or invent
    Wireless providers have concocted a particularly dizzying array of hurdles to get on their Web sites.New York Times (Jun 22, 2012)
  29. embedded
    inserted as an integral part of a surrounding whole
    Code is embedded in our phones, ATMs, voting machines, buildings, social interactions, culture.Slate (Nov 30, 2012)
  30. laden
    filled with a great quantity
    In the clubhouse, a table is laden with flowers and sympathy notes offering "strength and support in these hard times".
  31. permeate
    spread or diffuse through
    In rural areas, cigarette smoke permeates buses, shops and even doctors' offices.Nature (Sep 26, 2012)
  32. responsible
    being the agent or cause
    Scientists are responsible for providing the hard data.Scientific American (Dec 6, 2012)
  33. solace
    comfort offered to one who is disappointed or miserable
    “Some of my patients take solace in knowing that the pesticide levels are below safety thresholds,” Dr. Bravata said.
  34. tolerate
    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    These teachers, professionally trained to deal with cheeky people, tolerated my impertinent frisking.
  35. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
    TV still makes up the vast majority of advertising media budgets, by far.Forbes (Dec 7, 2012)
  36. wistful
    showing pensive sadness
    “Lots of good memories here,” a wistful Francis said, before turning back and smiling.
  37. urbane
    showing a high degree of refinement
    On air his urbane tenor speaking voice conveys a cool omniscience and authority that seem ageless.New York Times (Jun 23, 2012)
  38. capitalize
    draw advantages from
    Any transaction will need to move quickly in order to capitalize on consumer interest. 
  39. prospective
    of or concerned with or related to the future
    But who exactly will end up buying in Andermatt is on the minds of the marketers, as well as a few prospective buyers.
  40. prosper
    make steady progress
    Every company in the world has tightened it's belt and many are prospering, why?
  41. reimburse
    pay back for some expense incurred
    Insurance companies do not currently reimburse private advocates' fees.
  42. articulate
    express or state clearly
    Having articulated our business model in 20 minutes, we can now look back on the experience.
  43. proactive
    causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond
    Shariat said men should be particularly proactive about their health care.
  44. self-possessed
    in full control of your faculties
    But Mrs. Arlington, usually cold as ice and perfectly self-possessed, had quite lost her nerve.Standish, Burt L.
  45. delusion
    a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea
    People with schizophrenia can at times have delusions that they are responsible for crimes they did not commit.New York Times (Jun 1, 2012)

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