Synonym questions will be the first 17 questions you see in the Verbal Reasoning section. These will simply present you with a word and you must match this word to its corresponding synonym (word that has the same meaning).
For Synonyms, you must know the definition of the word in all capital letters as well as the definition of each answer choice. Here’s what a typical Synonym question looks like:
With 17 capitalized words and 4 answer choices paired with each capitalized word, you must potentially define 80 vocabulary words on the Synonyms portion of the ISEE’s Verbal Reasoning section. You do not receive any context for these words.
It is important to note that a positive word does not necessarily mean “good”, and a negative word does not necessarily mean “bad”. Think about context. A positive word can be a word where the action is moving up, such as “ascend.” A negative word can be a word where the action is moving down, such as “descend.” In the same sense, entering a room is positive while exiting a room is negative.
Basically, a word is positive if it moves forward, up, or toward something, if it adds or increases, or if it complements something. A word is negative if it moves back, down, or away from something, if it takes away or decreases, or if it contrasts something. There are more aspects to positive and negative words, but you will get a better feeling for these aspects after studying more words.
Systematic Approach Example
Let’s look at how we might apply our systematic approach to Synonym questions to the sample question included above.
1. Review the capitalized word.
2. Review the answer choices.
3. Eliminate what you can add choose your answer.