Tier 2 Words for the SBAC ELA Items

Here are 68 Tier 2 words that are likely to be found on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) ELA exams for 6th - 11th grades. These words may show up in the reading passages, but you are more likely to encounter them in the test questions and possible answers.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. assume
    take to be the case or to be true
    The Fed’s forecasts assume that a tightening labour market will soon translate into higher inflation.Economist (Dec 16, 2015)
  2. identify
    recognize as being
    But they say their guidelines are intentionally broad so schools have an easier time identifying behavior that can lead to fights and online bullying.Washington Times (Jan 13, 2016)
  3. conclude
    decide by reasoning
    Still, candy makers have concluded that widespread changes in farming are essential to keeping up with rising long-term global demand.Wall Street Journal (Jan 14, 2016)
  4. alternative
    one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen
    If you can't eliminate them completely, find alternatives that contain less sugar, but be sure to skip any artificial sweeteners.US News (Jan 13, 2016)
  5. consist
    be composed of
    Eventually, their centaur-style robot will consist of a quadruped locomotion platform and a pair of arms.Reuters (Jan 11, 2016)
  6. contribute
    be conducive to
    But the persistence of very low interest rates contributes to that systemic risk and to the possibility of economic instability.Wall Street Journal (Jan 13, 2016)
  7. definite
    precise; explicit and clearly defined
    They say that can be a lengthy process, and there is no definite timetable for when that part of the investigation might be completed.Washington Times (Jan 11, 2016)
  8. distinct
    constituting a separate entity or part
    In evolutionary terms, the totoaba is quite distinct: it is the only species in its genus and the largest fish in the family of Sciaenidae.The Guardian (Jan 11, 2016)
  9. evident
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    The ideological and political divide among the nine justices was evident throughout Monday's argument.Los Angeles Times (Jan 11, 2016)
  10. expand
    become larger in size or volume or quantity
    That was just three years after the venue was expanded to accommodate the Chargers and attract Super Bowls.Washington Times (Jan 12, 2016)
  11. indicate
    give evidence of
    The sand sheets indicate large tsunamis had hit frequently — in geologic time.US News (Jan 13, 2016)
  12. individual
    being or characteristic of a single thing or person
    The worlds start with training and qualifying on Thursday, followed by the two-day individual competition, and will be concluded by the team event on Sunday.US News (Jan 13, 2016)
  13. initial
    occurring at the beginning
    After initial setbacks, reforms of the energy sector and education seem to be progressing.Economist (Jan 9, 2016)
  14. intense
    possessing a distinctive feature to a heightened degree
    Both Hotez and Vasilakis recommend intense surveillance to stop the disease from spreading within the US, and that a vaccine should be developed.The Guardian (Jan 13, 2016)
  15. major
    of greater importance or stature or rank
    The second major area of presidential power is foreign policy.US News (Jan 14, 2016)
  16. method
    a way of doing something, especially a systematic way
    Using an extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the companies made the United States the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas.New York Times (Jan 13, 2016)
  17. publish
    put into print
    Transcripts of the conversations were published Wednesday in Mexico City’s Milenio newspaper, and confirmed by Mexican officials as authentic.Wall Street Journal (Jan 14, 2016)
  18. structure
    a complex entity made of many parts
    During this time we go from a fertilised egg to a structure called a blastocyst, containing 200-300 cells.BBC (Jan 13, 2016)
  19. emphasize
    stress or single out as important
    He declared his love for our state and emphasized the need for us all - including legislators - to work together for the good of Louisiana.Washington Times (Jan 13, 2016)
  20. illustrate
    make clear or understandable by giving an example
    While the new data illustrate that Google’s cars aren’t perfect, the number of disengagements has been steadily decreasing over time.Time (Jan 13, 2016)
  21. exaggerate
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    “But you kept saying—” “Yeah, I might have exaggerated a little, just to make the trip sound more interesting, you know?"Uglies
  22. approximate
    not quite exact or correct
    In this image, red outlines show the approximate locations of active burning, and fields generally appear brown.The Guardian (Dec 23, 2015)
  23. complicate
    make more complex, intricate, or richer
    When a synthetic creature can be loaded with the organic, emotional information of a person, it complicates the issue of what is or isn't human.Los Angeles Times (Jan 11, 2016)
  24. modify
    cause to change; make different
    The drought prompted the coffee federation to modify export standards in October as nearly half the country's growing regions are affected by drought.Reuters (Dec 30, 2015)
  25. tradition
    an inherited pattern of thought or action
    Our traditions and values form the bedrock on which future generations stand.We Were Liars
  26. transmit
    send from one person or place to another
    That data is then transmitted to the robot which maneuvers accordingly.Reuters (Jan 13, 2016)
  27. restrict
    place limits on
    The plan, modeled after restrictions in Congress, would restrict a lawmaker’s outside income to 15 percent of the legislative salary, currently $79,500.Washington Times (Jan 13, 2016)
  28. negative
    characterized by denial or opposition or resistance
    Drivers who accumulate too many negative reviews will get a warning and could be suspended if they fail to scrub up.Reuters (Jan 11, 2016)
  29. convert
    change the nature, purpose, or function of something
    A metal that poses health risks, mercury can be converted into a gas during industrial activities as well as such natural events as volcanic eruptions.Reuters (Jan 13, 2016)
  30. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    The technology analyzes huge amounts of data to precisely calculate what it will cost hospitals to provide tests, surgeries and other services.Washington Times (Jan 11, 2016)
  31. consequent
    following or accompanying as a result
    Like many cities in the Midwest, St Louis suffered from the decline of manufacturing and the consequent flight of residents to the suburbs.Economist (Dec 16, 2015)
  32. impact
    a forceful consequence; a strong effect
    Abu Dhabi, one of the Persian Gulf’s main oil exporters, is currently coping with the impact of low oil prices.Wall Street Journal (Jan 13, 2016)
  33. potential
    existing in possibility
    The Dodgers’ potential deal with Sierra was first reported by Yahoo Sports.Los Angeles Times (Jan 12, 2016)
  34. precise
    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
    The system uses precise 3-D measurements and imaging to compare the vehicles and buildings in the area of the crash.Washington Times (Jan 8, 2016)
  35. specify
    define clearly
    Authorities said they had recovered some money but did not specify how much.Reuters (Jan 10, 2016)
  36. technique
    a practical method or art applied to some particular task
    There they learn the ancient technique of grafting new plants onto old ones to speed growth.Wall Street Journal (Jan 14, 2016)
  37. compensate
    make amends for
    The rare victories would more than compensate for the frequent losses.Slate (Jan 13, 2016)
  38. arbitrary
    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
    Critics of the federal government say it often oversteps its authority and exercises arbitrary power over land use without sufficient accountability.Reuters (Jan 3, 2016)
  39. random
    lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
    This illustrates an overlooked fact about lottery drawings: the numbers that win lotteries are 100 percent random.Washington Post (Jan 12, 2016)
  40. suffice
    be adequate, either in quality or quantity
    Convinced that the status quo is no longer viable, the board has determined that nothing short of a corporate, cultural and managerial overhaul will suffice.Washington Post (Sep 4, 2015)
  41. verify
    confirm the truth of
    They put her through a rigorous and insulting process designed to verify that she was in fact the creator of the work.The Guardian (Dec 31, 2015)
  42. perspective
    a way of regarding situations or topics
    But the main thrust of this book is written from and about a historian's perspective.Los Angeles Times (Jan 3, 2016)
  43. pertinent
    having precise or logical relevance to the matter at hand
    You can also share images, videos and files that are pertinent to your business as well as plain text messages.New York Times (Aug 12, 2015)
  44. evaluate
    estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
    The first step in evaluating an answer choice, therefore, is to ask whether the answer choice actually describes something that occurs in the argument.US News (Jan 11, 2016)
  45. feasible
    capable of being done with means at hand
    Creating reusable rockets is important for lowering the cost of space travel, which could make space tourism and a trip to Mars more feasible.MSNBC (Dec 22, 2015)
  46. passive
    lacking in energy or will
    At a relatively early age, I felt the urgency to be a protagonist, rather than a passive recipient, in my own life.The Guardian (Dec 31, 2015)
  47. simultaneous
    occurring or operating at the same time
    Attendees also will be connected to simultaneous conferences taking place in other parts of the world using technology from Skype.Washington Times (Oct 7, 2015)
  48. component
    one of the individual parts making up a larger entity
    Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over two decades.National Geographic (Jan 13, 2016)
  49. formulate
    come up with after a mental effort
    "While formulating this law, we referred to the laws of other countries, including the United States," he said, pointing to the U.S.Reuters (Dec 23, 2015)
  50. magnitude
    relative importance
    And news outlets including National Geographic often use the factoid to introduce the magnitude of the microbiome, the world of microbes that call us home.National Geographic (Jan 13, 2016)
  51. manipulate
    control in a fraudulent manner
    Ms. Rousseff is accused of manipulating the numbers of her government’s budget to illegally disguise its poor fiscal performance.Wall Street Journal (Dec 13, 2015)
  52. ultimate
    furthest or highest in degree or order; utmost or extreme
    “Most of us think that winning the lottery is the ultimate fulfillment.Time (Jan 12, 2016)
  53. criterion
    the ideal in terms of which something can be judged
    There should be two main criteria for granting home loans: ability to repay a loan and ability and willingness to take care of a property.Washington Post (Jan 6, 2016)
  54. hypothesis
    a tentative insight that is not yet verified or tested
    While the data has yet to be formally analyzed, early observations back the hypothesis that the sharks like being around one another.New York Times (Jan 11, 2016)
  55. fluctuate
    move or sway in a rising and falling or wavelike pattern
    That means Jimbo’s blood sugar can fluctuate wildly depending on the time of day.Washington Times (Dec 13, 2015)
  56. innovation
    the act of starting something for the first time
    And some auto industry executives are open about their need to partner with firms that are on the front lines of innovation.Washington Post (Jan 11, 2016)
  57. respective
    considered individually
    But both Nigeria and China are the most populous countries and biggest economies in their respective continents, making them ripe for comparison.BBC (Nov 30, 2015)
  58. subsequent
    following in time or order
    They said an explosion occurred and subsequent fire that could be seen for miles.Washington Times (Dec 18, 2015)
  59. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
    He later evolved into a beloved and even benevolent grandfather who motivated players 40 years his junior into champions.New York Times (Jan 2, 2016)
  60. malign
    speak unfavorably about
    Twitter, long maligned for being less cooperative than other companies such as Facebook, updated its policies last week to explicitly prohibit “hateful conduct.”Reuters (Jan 8, 2016)
  61. abstraction
    the process of formulating general concepts
    Abstraction involves the hiding of unnecessary details, so that the important work can be done at the proper level.Slate (Dec 21, 2015)
  62. coherent
    marked by an orderly and consistent relation of parts
    This approach works well in Mr. Sullivan’s writing, which ties together a lot of different strands into a coherent narrative.New York Times (Oct 1, 2015)
  63. emanate
    proceed or issue forth, as from a source
    And then, suddenly, the sparks emanating from the cauldron were extinguished.Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
  64. impervious
    not admitting of passage or capable of being affected
    This means their illness is impervious to the two strongest first-line antibiotics typically used.US News (Nov 11, 2015)
  65. succumb
    give in, as to overwhelming force, influence, or pressure
    Given that cloned animals share the same genes, they have even higher risks of succumbing when diseases strike.The Guardian (Dec 5, 2015)
  66. transitory
    lasting a very short time
    In short, are these economic problems transitory, or are we glimpsing the beginnings of a grimmer future?New York Times (May 15, 2015)
  67. empirical
    derived from experiment and observation rather than theory
    Replication allows us to ensure empirical findings are reliable and refines our understanding of when a finding occurs.Time (Aug 27, 2015)
  68. entity
    that which is perceived to have its own distinct existence
    Better yet, the General Assembly should merge the two entities into one transportation planning organization.Washington Post (Dec 10, 2015)
Created on January 19, 2016 (updated January 19, 2016)

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