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Math and
Vocabulary for
Civil Service
Exams

N E W Y O R K

®

Page 2

Copyright © 2008 LearningExpress, LLC.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:

Math and vocabulary for civil service exams.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-57685-606-2

1. Civil service—United States—Examinations—Study guides. 2. Mathematics—Examinations—Study

guides. 3. English language—Examinations—Study guides.

JK716.M24 2008

513.076—dc22

2007037804

Printed in the United States of America

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN: 978-1-57685-606-2

For information on LearningExpress, other LearningExpress products, or bulk sales,

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Page 152

� In the sentence, adversely most nearly means

a. mildly or slightly.

b. regularly or steadily.

c. negatively or unfavorably.

d. immediately or swiftly.

The correct answer is choice c, negatively or unfa-

vorably. The addition of the second part of the sen-

tence now tells you exactly how the new policy will

affect the employees:“It will freeze their pay, limit their

vacations, and reduce their benefits.” It is not choice a,

a slight or mild change, nor is it choice b, a regular or

steady change. You do not know if it is an immediate

or swift change, choice d, because the sentence says

nothing about the time frame in which this change will

take place. Remember, good detectives do not make

assumptions they are not able to support with facts,

and there are no facts in this sentence to support the

assumption that the changes will take place immedi-

ately. Thus, choice c is the best answer.

You may also have noticed that adversely is very

similar to the word adversary. If you know that an adver-

sary is a hostile opponent or enemy, then you know that

adversely is not likely to be something positive. Or, if you

know the word adversity—hardship or misfortune—

then you know that adversely must mean something

negative or difficult. All of these words share the same

root: advers-. The only change is in the endings.

Being able to determine the meaning of unfamiliar

words from their context is an essential vocabulary skill.

Sometimes you will encounter an unfamiliar word whose

meaning is indecipherable without a dictionary. More

often than not, though, a careful look at the context will

give you enough clues to interpret the definition.

� Pract ice Quest ions

Read the following paragraph. Some words that may

be unfamiliar to you are in italics. After you have read

and understood the paragraph, explain the context

clues that helped you with the meaning of the itali-

cized words. Write your answer on the lines provided

on the next page.

Medical researchers can now verify that college

freshman living in dormitories are at a greater risk

of contracting meningitis than other college stu-

dents. Meningococcal meningitis is a tenacious

bacterial infection of the membranes around the

brain and spinal chord that, if left untreated, can

be fatal. Symptoms include fever, neck stiffness,

and constant pain from a chronic headache. Col-

lege officials are using this information as an

inducement for vaccinating incoming freshman.

Many universities are now offering this vaccine

either free or for a nominal fee. The vaccination’s

protracted effectiveness is three to five years.

–VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT–

148

Page 153

–VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT–

149

� Answers

After reading the paragraph, you learn that a study has

been done that shows that college freshman living in

dorms have a higher risk of getting meningitis; there-

fore, you can conclude that verify means confirm.

Because this disease can be fatal, you can understand

that once contracted, it is not easily wiped out; thus, you

can infer that tenacious means persistent and not easily

stopped. Because the symptoms include constant pain

from a chronic headache, you can deduce that chronic

means continual. It makes sense that college officials are

concerned about the possible outbreak of such a disease

on campus and would take measures to prevent its

occurrence, so you can infer that inducement means

encouragement. Students would be encouraged to take

the vaccine if it were free or inexpensive; therefore, you

can see that nominal means a small amount. Finally, you

can gather that protracted means drawn out by the men-

tion that the vaccine will last from three to five years.

Page 303

ROOT MEANING EXAMPLE DEFINITION SENTENCE

podos foot podiatrist n. an expert in diagnosis The podiatrist saw that the

and treatment of ailments ingrown toenail had

of the human foot become infected.

psuedein to deceive pseudonym n. false name Was George Eliot a pseudonym

for Mary Ann Evans?

pyr fire pyromaniac n. one who has a compulsion The warehouse fire was not an

to set things on fire accident; it was set by a

pyromaniac.

soma body psychosomatic adj. of or involving both the In a psychosomatic illness,

mind and body physical symptoms are caused

by emotional distress.

tele distant telescope n. optical instrument for While Galileo did not invent the

making distant objects telescope, he was the first to

appear larger and nearer use it to study the planets and

when viewed through the stars.

lens

therme heat thermos n. insulated jug or bottle that The thermos kept my coffee hot

keeps liquids hot or cold all afternoon.

–APPENDIX 5: PREFIXES, SUFFIXES, AND WORD ROOTS–

299

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