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Synonym Test Online Preparation & Free Practice Questions

Job Aptitude Tests Preparation

What Is a Synonym Test?

The synonym test is a type of a verbal reasoning assessment that assesses your aptitude for identifying multiple words that possess the same meaning. Employers and educational institutions use the synonym test as a way to examine your critical thinking and analysis skills as well as your general knowledge of the English language.

English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to navigate. This applies to native speakers as well! Its difficulty can be attributed to the fact that modern-day English is a conglomeration of multiple different base languages with both Germanic and Romantic roots. Thanks to its diverse background, English houses thousands of words that mean the same as others, making synonym identification rather daunting. This article will provide you with the tips you need in order to adequately prepare for the synonym test!


How to Prepare for a Synonym Test?

One way to passively prepare for the synonym test is to spend time reading recreationally. This exposes you to new vocabulary and new synonyms. However, one way to actively prepare for the synonym test is to study prefixes and suffixes.

A prefix is a word part that is attached to the beginning of a word. On the other hand, a suffix is a word part that is attached to the end of a word. Studying prefixes and suffixes will allow you to break an unidentifiable word apart into pieces that are easier to understand which you can then use to guess the meaning of the new word. For example, we can break the word “prefix” into “pre-” and “-fix.” “Pre-” means before or beginning while “-fix” means to stick or fix. Looking at the word this way, we can see that it literally means “to stick before” a word or word part. When you are taking the test, you can use this same method of breaking words apart to help you answer questions with words you are unsure of. Fun fact: this practice is called breaking a word into morphemes, or its word parts.

There are many avenues you can take to study prefixes and suffixes, such as utilizing online flashcards and videos. However, for the practice in this article, you can reference the below table of common prefixes and suffixes in the English language to aid in your preparation for the synonym test:


Prefix Meaning Suffix Meaning
un- Not, opposite of -ly Characteristic of
re- Again, back -er, -or Person connected with
In-, im-, ir, ill- Not, opposite of -ion, -tion, -ation, -ition Act, process
dis- Not, opposite of -ible, -able Can be done
En-, em- Cause to -al, -ial Having characteristics of
non- Not, opposite of -y Characterized by
In-, im- In or into -ness State of, condition of
over- Too much, above -ity, -ty State of
mis- wrongly -ment Action or process
sub- Under, lower -ic Having characteristics of
pre- before -ous, -eous, -ious Possessing the qualities of
inter- Between, among -en Made of
fore- before -er more
de- Opposite of, down -ive, -ative, -itive Adjective form of noun
trans- across -ful Full of
super- Above, beyond -less without
semi- half -est most
anti- against -s, -es plurals
mid- middle -ed Past-tense of verbs
under- Too little, below -ing Verb form (present participle)

Using the table above as reference, let us now look at a few sample questions like the ones you could see on the synonym test.



Synonym test questions are typically formatted in two ways: direct and contextual. Direct synonym questions are straight to the point and ask you to identify the synonym of the word you are given.

Example: What is a synonym for “run”?

Contextual questions are a bit trickier. You will be presented with a block of text (usually an excerpt from a novel or article) and a word will be underlined/bolded/superscripted. You will then be asked to identify which choice is the best replacement for that specified word. A general understanding of context clues is very helpful when it comes to these questions!

Now, let us use what we have discussed so far to look at a few questions and answers in-depth. We will start with an easy one to practice using prefixes and suffixes.


Example Question 1: What is a synonym for international?

  1. Diverse
  2. Intercontinental
  3. Simplistic
  4. Bipartisan


Let us begin by breaking down the word “international:”

  • Inter-: Between, among
  • Nation: a body of people of common descent, history, culture, or language
  • -al: Having characteristics of

Using this breakdown, we can safely assume that international means “having characteristics of being among nations.” This is very close to the dictionary definition, which simply defines international as “occurring between two or more nations.”

Now that we are confident in the given word’s meaning, we can look at our answer choices and begin the process of elimination. We can immediately eliminate C: Simplistic and A: Diverse. Neither of these words have close enough definitions to make them synonyms of international.

Turning to our remaining options, we can see that B: intercontinental has the exact same prefix and suffix as the given word. The root word “continent” is also very close to the root word of international, so it’s most likely our best answer. Just to be safe, we can also examine D: Bipartisan, which refers to an agreement between two opposing political parties. Neither the root word or its pre/suffixes match, therefore we can decide that B: intercontinental is the best answer.

Not all synonym questions will be quite so straightforward. Let us now look at a contextual example.


Example Question 2: “In the 1970’s, American high-school students rallied against the Vietnam War. Their antiwar campaigns caused commotion in schools, inspired musicians, and brought forth a new subgenre of art.”


Which of the following could best replace the underlined word?

  1. Equable
  2. Dovelike
  3. Pacifistic
  4. Antiviral

It is fairly easy to assume that antiwar means “against war” even without looking at its prefix. However, test makers utilize a trick you can see here to trip you up when it comes to answering synonym test questions. This trick is that 3 out of the 4 answers can be used in place of the underlined word, but the question asks you to identify the best synonym, or the one with the closest meaning.

We can immediately eliminate D: Antiviral. While this word has the same prefix as the given word, its meaning is completely different. A and B both mean calm, not easy to anger. While these do work, the best answer is, in fact, C: Pacifistic. If we break down the word like we did in the first example, this becomes even more clear:

  • Pacifist: someone who is against war
  • -ic: Having characteristics of

“Pacifist” is a word that is often misused to describe someone who is calm and reserved, or someone who stays out of fights. In reality, it specifically refers to a person who is against war or the idea of war–someone who is antiwar, if you will. This does not necessarily mean that a pacifist is a calm person! Learning to identify test-maker tricks such as this one can give you an upper hand when it comes to taking the test.


Tips for Preparing for the Synonym Test

Preparation for the synonym test comes down to simply exposing yourself to new vocabulary and actively practicing what we have discussed in this article. Working with prefixes and suffixes will take you a long way in regards to preparation, but habitual reading and constant exposure to new vocabulary is also a huge help. Do not forget to use the process of elimination when looking at answer choices to help you assess which is your best option. Above all, take advantage of the tips and tricks you find online–such as this article!
On the second tab, you will find eight free sample questions (with an answer key at the very bottom) with which you can use to aid in your practice. Best of luck!


Synonym Test Sample Questions

  1. Which of the following is a synonym for manufacture?
    1. Contrivance
    2. Manuscript
    3. Fabricate
    4. Demolish
  2. Which of the following is a synonym for archaic?
    1. Obsolete
    2. Eldritch
    3. Novel
    4. Spurious
  3. Which of the following is a synonym for dispute?
    1. Connote
    2. Inquire
    3. Determine
    4. Argue
  4. Which of the following is a synonym for tantalizing?
    1. Piquant
    2. Arresting
    3. Dwelling
    4. Keen
  5. “The prince looked on in wonder at the princess, whom he found resplendent with her luscious hair, shining eyes, and enthralling smile.”

    Which of the following is the best synonym for the underlined word?

    1. Eminent
    2. Intrepid
    3. Comely
    4. Radiant
  6. “The entire council stopped mid-breath to stare at the newcomer who had just finished presenting what was perhaps the most baffling idea they’d ever heard.”

    Which of the following is the best synonym for the underlined word?

    1. Gawk
    2. Look
    3. Peek
    4. Study
  7. “Owls are known to be quite the taciturn animal; they make no noise when they fly. They only break their silence for the occasional hoot into the night.”

    Which of the following is the best synonym for the underlined word?

    1. Mute
    2. Pandemoniac
    3. Reticent
    4. Orthodox
  8. “Thanks to a fraudulent check that was given to him in exchange for service, the salesperson was now in trouble with his superiors.”

    Which of the following is the best synonym for the underlined word?

    1. Deceptive
    2. Counterfeit
    3. Staunch
    4. Minute


Answer Key:

  1. C
  2. A
  3. D
  4. B
  5. D
  6. A
  7. C
  8. B