Can You Pass This Basic True/False SAT Word Quiz?

Brittany Rowland

Image: damircudic / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

There are few standardized tests in the United States as intimidating as the SAT. College-bound high school students across the country submit themselves to a grueling three-hour exam to attain the highest score they can, hopefully one high enough to impress their dream school's admissions committee. 

With so much emphasis placed on performing well on the SAT, students often practice for months in advance with test prep books as thick as the phone book. (Those are really, really thick books, for those of you who have never seen a physical phone book). Students also try to memorize the dictionary because you never know which complicated words will show up on the reading part of the test. It's best to simply memorize all the words. 

If this description of the SAT is making you break into a cold sweat as you remember those days of fervid studying and memorizing, fear not! This quiz has a basic true or false format, therefore giving you a greater chance of guessing correctly than the poor young souls taking the actual SAT! 

So are you ready to flex those brain muscles? Are you anxious to prove yourself an erudite scholar, no matter how many years ago high school was? Then proceed, highly literate person, and see how you stack up against an SAT test taker!

Is it true or false that "noxious" means harmful or poisonous?

Synonyms for "noxious" include poisonous, unpleasant and toxic. It comes from the Latin word "noxa," which means harm. Now if only we could get rid of that noxious smell in the fridge ...

A "talisman" is payment for completed work. Is this true or false?

You might be thinking of the word "remuneration." A "talisman" is actually a magical item believed to bring good fortune. If you bring a lucky rabbit's foot to the SAT, you have a talisman!

The word "covert" means calm and peaceful. Would you agree or not?

"Placid" means calm and peaceful, but something "covert" is secret or concealed. It can also be a noun, meaning a covering or a hiding place. Sometimes students pass notes covertly.

To "bilk" someone means to cheat or swindle them. Are we pulling your leg or not?

The word "bilk" originated in the 1600s, but no one's sure how it came about. Synonyms for "bilk" include "swindle," "fleece," "dupe" and "rook." Stay smart; don't fall prey to a bilker!

A "labyrinth" is an elaborate maze. True or false?

The Labyrinth of Greek mythology was the domain of the fearsome Minotaur. Labyrinths have also appeared in "The Shining," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and, well, "Labyrinth."

Would you say it's true or not that to "abrogate" means to cuddle or snuggle?

You're possibly thinking of the word "nuzzle." Cats like to nuzzle, not abrogate! "Abrogate," which has a Latin origin, means to repeal or officially abolish something, like a law.

Something "reprehensible" is very shameful or bad. Are we telling the truth or telling a whopper?

If your principal ever used the word "reprehensible," you knew you were in big trouble! It's a big word, meaning "blameworthy" or "culpable." A judge might call a defendant's crime reprehensible.

A "plaudit" is religiously offensive speech. Is this sentence true or false?

While "blasphemy" is speech that offends religious sensibilities, a "plaudit" can mean either strong praise or a round of applause. It comes from the Latin "plaudite," meaning "applaud."

Is it true that "lacerate" means to hurry or go faster?

You might be confusing "hasten" with "lacerate." To "hasten" is to hurry, but to "lacerate" means to tear something (usually skin) jaggedly. It can also mean to hurt someone emotionally.

A "tawdry" item is cheap and gaudy. Are we being truthful or not?

"Tawdry" things are showy and of poor quality, like costume jewelry you might find at a rummage sale. If you want some synonyms for "tawdry," try "meretricious," "chintzy" and "garish."

"Blatant" means obvious. True or false?

When something is "blatant," it's glaringly obvious. In other words, you can't possibly miss it. "Blatant" can also refer to an annoyingly loud noise. Turn down that blatant music, whippersnapper!

If you call someone "obdurate," you mean stubborn. Is this true?

You wouldn't want to be called "obdurate." It means stubborn or unyielding, or even hardhearted. The word comes from the Latin for "hardened." Synonyms include "obstinate" and "callous."

A "lachrymose" person is arrogant and proud. Will you deign to answer true or false?

Actually, "haughty" means arrogant. "Lachrymose" means tearful, like audiences at the end of "Avengers: Endgame." Remember that your lachrymal glands are responsible for producing tears.

True or false: does "plethora" refer to boredom?

You're likely thinking of the word "tedium," which means boredom. A "plethora," on the other hand, is an overabundance. As in, there's a plethora of sequels and reboots at the theaters lately.

To "repudiate" means to renounce or deny. Is this true or false?

"Repudiate" is a strong word to use when you have to reject something as untrue. So when your friend falsely accuses you of taking the last cookie, you can repudiate that repugnant lie!

To "obfuscate" means to decline to vote. Will you agree to answer true or false?

To decline to vote is to "abstain." To "obfuscate" actually means to purposely make something hard to comprehend. Do you agree that instruction manuals tend to obfuscate the directions?

Someone who's "abstemious" is carefree. Is this statement true or false?

A carefree person could be called "blithe." But "abstemious" means self-denying, like the sad person who turns down dessert when everyone else is enjoying luscious chocolate cake.

"Lackluster" means dull or monotonous. Are we yanking your chain or not?

"Lackluster" can mean either lacking in vitality, as in a mediocre performance, or lacking brilliance, as in a dull stare. One thing's for sure: your performance on this quiz isn't lackluster!

To "temper" means to recoil or flinch. Would you call this the truth or a lie?

You might think of "temper" as a state of anger, leading you to cringe or flinch. But "temper" is also a verb, meaning to soften something. Your mom might temper criticism with words of love!

If you call something "abstruse," it means difficult to understand. True or false?

"Abstruse" is a fancy way of saying "hard to understand." It can also mean esoteric, or only meant for people with special knowledge to comprehend. Good synonyms are "enigmatic" and "obscure."

A "laconic" person talks a whole lot. Is this the gospel truth or a dirty lie?

It's easy to get "loquacious" and "laconic" mixed up! But while "loquacious" means talkative, "laconic" means being brief and to the point. We hope our skydiving instructor is laconic.

To "plummet" means to destroy or eradicate. Are we telling a falsehood or not?

Something that "plummets" to the ground may end up destroyed, but you're probably thinking of the word "obliterate." To "plummet" means to drop sharply or plunge, like lemmings jumping off a cliff.

Is it true that an "accolade" is praise?

You'll hear the word "accolade" a lot during Oscar season, when films vie for those coveted awards. It also describes tapping a man's shoulders with a sword to make him a knight. Rise, Sir Bedivere!

A "hedonist" is a clumsy person. Is this statement true or false?

You can call your klutzy friend a "bungler." A "hedonist," on the other hand, is someone who seeks out pleasure, like college students flocking to the beaches for spring break.

When something is "tentative," it is flimsy or fragile. Are we telling the truth or not?

Don't you hate it when someone makes "tentative," or uncertain, plans with you? That is, "Maybe I'll come to your party, but I'm not sure. I may need to wash my hair." "Tenuous" means weak.

Is it true or false that to "curtail" means to cut short?

When you "curtail" something, you abridge it or cut it short. A baseball game can be curtailed on account of baseball-sized hail. Synonyms include "truncate," "lop" and "retrench."

To "lampoon" means to ridicule. Will you kindly tell us if we're right or wrong?

Many popular comedy sketches, like those of "SNL," lampoon celebrities and politicians. That is, they satirize or mock the person's behavior or traits. The word can be a noun or a verb.

A "nuance" refers to a subtle shade of meaning. True or false?

If you've written an essay or two for English class, then you know there are often "nuances," or subtleties, in the words you choose. The word "nuance" comes from the French "nuer," which means "to shade."

Something that is "acrid" is deeply moving. Are we being honest or not?

"Poignant" can describe something deeply moving, but "acrid" means pungent or extremely bitter. It's a handy word because it can describe a smell, a taste or that super sarcastic person you know.

A "boorish" person gets right to the point. Is that true or false?

"Boorish" people are so ill-mannered and coarse that they will burp at a dinner party or insensitively joke about a friend's job loss. A "terse" person, in contrast, is brusque or concise.

Is it true or not to say that an "epistle" is a letter?

Yes, an "epistle" is a written communication, like the Epistles of the Bible. And an epistolary novel is written in the form of letters, like Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

"Hiatus" is a form of writing with pictures. Can you decide if that's true or false?

Maybe you're thinking of "hieroglyphics"! A "hiatus" is a pause or a break in continuity. How do you cope when your favorite show is on hiatus? Maybe you take a hiatus from work ...

Someone who is "timorous" is inflexible. Yea or nay?

"Adamant" means inflexible, but "timorous" means fearful or cowardly. Think of its similarity to "timid." We can't all be brash and boisterous like Tigger; some of us are more like Piglet!

"Brawny" is another way of saying muscular. Are we being truthful or fibbing?

Like the lumberjack-looking guy on the paper towels packaging, "brawny" means strong or muscular. Women can be brawny too. Just ask Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley or Brienne of Tarth!

People who "equivocate" speak ambiguously. True or false?

Have you ever tried to skirt around taking the blame for a mistake? You probably "equivocated," meaning you used unclear language. "No, officer, I rolled through the stop sign, but I didn't run it!"

To "thwart" means to expose false claims. True or false?

While "debunk" means to expose false ideas, "thwart" means to keep someone from accomplishing something. The Scooby-Doo gang, for instance, was always thwarting the villains' evil plans.

If you say a person is "obsequious," you mean servile. Are we being honest here?

"Obsequious" means fawning or deferential, like the butler you wish you had who would fluff your pillows and serve you breakfast in bed. Sigh. There's always a chance of winning the lottery, right?

"Acuity" refers to sharpness. Is that sentence true or false?

No, you're not calling someone a cutie, despite how the word sounds! You may have heard the word "acuity" in reference to a person's mental or visual sharpness. Synonyms include "acumen" and "wit."

Another word for briefness is "brevity." Can you quickly tell us if that's true?

"Brevity is the soul of wit," as Shakespeare noted in "Hamlet." Being brief, concise or succinct certainly has its advantages, like when you have to shout, "Where's the fire extinguisher?"

"Deference" is another way to say "hardship." Is our nose growing like Pinocchio's?

If you're trying to say hardship, use the word "adversity." "Deference" means yielding to the wishes of another person out of respect. Courteous people show deference to their elders.

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