TEAS Vocabulary: Comprehensive Study Guide 2022

Spread the loveOf the 24 scored English and language usage questions on the ATI TEAS, 6 questions (25%) will be in the sub-content area of Vocabulary Acquisition. To answer these questions, you will need to identify the meaning of words and phrases from their parts, such as roots and prefixes, as well as from the […]

May 6, 2022

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Of the 24 scored English and language usage questions on the ATI TEAS, 6 questions (25%) will be in the sub-content area of Vocabulary Acquisition. To answer these questions, you will need to identify the meaning of words and phrases from their parts, such as roots and prefixes, as well as from the context in which they appear. This article provides you with the top strategies for tackling TEAS Vocabulary.

Let’s get started with our free TEAS practice test to pass your actual exam with a high score on the first attempt.

What’s Tested on the ATI TEAS English and Language Usage?

You will be expected to express yourself clearly and correctly in writing, as a nursing or health science student and later as a healthcare professional. This skill will help you communicate effectively with clients and colleagues. You might be taking notes on a client’s chart, writing out instructions for a colleague or client, or preparing educational material to distribute to clients or the public.

The TEAS English and language usage content area assesses your ability to use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation; construct sentences and paragraphs to express meaning clearly; and use appropriate style and vocabulary to communicate to a given audience.

There are 28 items in English and language out of 170 total items on the TEAS, and you will have 28 minutes to answer them.  This means that each question will take an average of 1 minute to answer.

24 of the 28 questions in the English and language usage section, will be scored, and 4 questions will be unscored. You won’t know which questions are unscored, therefore, do your best on every question.

The 24 scored English and language usage questions are divided into three sub-content areas:

Sub-content Areas

Number of Questions

Conventions of standard English

9

Knowledge of language

9

Vocabulary acquisition

6

 

ATI TEAS Vocabulary

Use Context Clues

Context clues are the phrases and words in a sentence that assist the reader in understanding unfamiliar terms. There are many different types of context clues that can help you infer the meaning of a word.

Synonyms

When you’re not sure what a word in a sentence means, look for clues that point to a similar idea. In the sentence, another word or phrase with a related meaning may appear.

Example: The witness intentionally attempted to obfuscate the facts of the case by confusing the detective with conflicting accounts of the event.

Analysis: The clues “conflicting” and “confusing” both refer to the meaning of the verb obfuscate, which means “to make ambiguous” or “to confuse”.

Contrast words

Looking for clues that point to a contrasting idea in a sentence can help you determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

Example: The team members were surprised by their manager’s churlish behavior at the meeting, given that he was normally polite and pleasant to everyone on the team.

The clues “surprised” and “normally” indicate that the word churlish means “polite” and “pleasant” in the opposite manner. And churlish is defined as “rude” or “uncivil.”

teas vocabulary

Tone words

Positive or negative tone words can provide you with clues to the meaning of an unfamiliar word in a sentence.

Example: The pernicious rumor threatened to destroy her reputation.

Analysis: The clues “threatened” and “destroy” set a decidedly negative tone for the sentence, indicating that pernicious also has a strongly negative meaning. And pernicious is defined as “extremely harmful.”

Read more>> TEAS English Study Guide 

Words in a series

When a word appears in a series of related or similar terms, use context clues to determine whether the meaning of a word is related to the meanings of the other terms.

Example: My grandfather was well-known for his generosity to hospitals, schools, orphanages, and other philanthropic organizations.

Analysis: The word philanthropic appears in a list of organizations that assist people in different ways. Philanthropic is an adjective that describes an act or a person that is “dedicated to ensuring the welfare of people.”

Cause and effect

Some context clues aid the reader in comprehending the relationship between the ideas in the sentence. You could understand the meaning of a word by recognizing a cause-and-effect relationship between the unfamiliar word and another portion of the sentence

Example: The incontrovertible evidence that is presented at the trial proved the involvement of the defendant in the crime.

Analysis: This sentence describes a cause-and-effect relationship between the kind of evidence given at the trial and the level of certainty about the defendant’s involvement in the crime. 

The term incontrovertible must mean “undeniable” or “completely certain” because the evidence “proved” that the defendant was involved.

General idea of a sentence

Context clues can provide information about the general situation or subject matter described in the sentence. These details can assist you in predicting the meaning of an unfamiliar word appearing in that context.

Example: The mother admonished her daughter for recklessly driving on the icy roads.

Analysis: The word admonished is used to describe how a mother reacted to the dangerous driving of her daughter. Admonish must mean “to scold” or “reprimand” because “reckless driving” is a risky behavior and a mother would likely want her child to drive safely.

Break Up Unfamiliar Words Into Word Parts

Many words are created by combining smaller word parts.  You can often decode the general meaning of a word by taking an unfamiliar word apart and analyzing the meaning of each of its components.

Common affixes

A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of grammar in a language. A morpheme that connects the beginning or end of a word root to create a new word is called an affix. Affixes have specific meanings and roles, despite the fact that they cannot stand alone. Derivational morphemes are affixes that change a word’s grammatical function or essential meaning. Inflectional morphemes are affixes that do not change the meaning of a word but indicate number, tense, possession, or comparisons. You will be able to understand how affixes shape the definitions of the words they help build by becoming familiar with the meanings and functions of the most common affixes.

teas vocabulary

A prefix is a type of affix which is added to the beginning of a word root to build a new word. Some prefixes, such as in-, might have several meanings, therefore, you may also need to use context clues when analyzing the general definition of a word. Look over the following table to become familiar with some of the most common prefixes.

Prefix

Meaning

Example

anti-

against

antisocial

auto-

self

autobiography

de-

opposite, down

deactivate

dis-

not, opposite of

disinterest

en-

to cause to be

entangle

in-

In, into, toward, near

indoctrinate

in-

not

inaccurate

inter-

between

interstellar

mid-

middle

midline

mis-

wrongly

misinterpret

non-

not

nonsense

pre-

before

prelude

re-

again

return

sub-

under

submarine

trans-

across. through

transcontinental

un-

not

unhappy

dys-

bad or difficult

dysentery

endo-

in, within

endoscopy

epi-

over, around

epidural

exo-/extra-

outside

exoskeleton

hyper-

beyond normal, high

hypertension

hypo-

low, under

hypoglycemia

intra-

within

intravenous

macro-

large, long

macroglossia

micro-

small

microscope

mal-

bad

malaise

per-

through

percutaneous

peri-

around, surrounding

pericardium

poly-

many, much

polydactyly

post-

after

postmortem

super-/supra-

above

supraorbital

tachy-

rapid

tachycardia

 

Word roots can also combine with suffixes to form new words. A suffix is an affix that attaches to the end of a word, and it can change both the meaning and grammatical function of a word or part of speech. The following is a list of some of the most common suffixes in the English language.

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-able, -ible

capable of being

passable

-acy

state or quality

democracy

-ate

become

fixate

-ed

past

wanted

-en

become

enlighten

-er, -or

one who

teacher

-ful

full of

joyful

-ify, -fy

make or become

magnify

-ious, -ous

characterized by

pious

-ist

one who

pianist

-ize, -ise

become

energize

-less

without

wordless

-ly

characteristic of

happily

-ment

action or resulting state

retirement

-ness

state of being

fullness

-ology

study of

biology

-s, -es

plural

lights

-ship

position held, character

friendship

-sion, -tion

state of being

tension

-y

characterized by

weepy

-ac/-al/-ar/-ary

pertaining to

cardiac

-algia

pain

myalgia

-ase

enzyme

lipase

-asthenia

weakness

neurasthenia

-crine

to secrete

endocrine

-cyte

cell

leukocyte

-dynia

pain

gastrodynia

-ectomy/-tomy

surgical removal

tonsillectomy

-emia

blood

anemia

-gnosis

knowledge

prognosis

-gram

picture or record

cardiogram

-ia/-ism

state or condition

tachycardia

-ic

pertaining to

therapeutic

-it is

inflammation

sinusitis

-lysis

breakdown, separate

paralysis

-lpsy

attack or seizure

epilepsy

-ole/-ule

small

molecule

-oma

tumor

blastoma

-osis

condition

ankylosis

-pathy

disease

neuropathy

-penia

deficiency

osteopenia

-poiesis

formation

hematopoiesis

-rrhage

excess fluid

hemorrhage

-stasis

stopping, controlling

homeostasis

Read more>> TEAS Math Study Guide

Word roots

Understanding the meaning of an unfamiliar word’s root can aid in making decoding the word much easier. Many terms in the English language get their roots from Latin and Greek words. The root word derma-, for example, is from the Greek word for skin, and a doctor who specializes in the skin is called a dermatologist. The root appears in many other words as well—epidermis,  dermatitis, and hypodermic, to name a few. Once you get familiarized with the meaning of a root, you can apply that knowledge to decode a variety of words.

As a healthcare professional, becoming familiar with common roots that appear in medical terminology will be very beneficial; however, the TEAS will ask you to assess the meaning of words and their roots that are not strictly medical usage. The table below lists some of the most common roots that appear in medical terms.

Root

Meaning

Examples

acous-

hearing

acoustic

bronch-

lungs

bronchitis

cutane-

skin

subcutaneous

glyc-

sugar

hypoglycemic

hemo-

blood

hemoglobin

nephro-

kidney

nephrologist

ocul-

eyes

oculist

osteo-

bone

osteoporosis

pod-

foot

podiatrist

pulmon-

lungs

pulmonary

vas-

vein

vascular

 

You will be able to decode even the most complex words on the TEAS by putting your knowledge of roots, suffixes, and prefixes together:

Example: neonatologist = neo (new) + natal (birth/born) + ologist (one who studies)

Analysis: A neonatologist is one that specializes in the development and health concerns of newborns.

Let’s try a question that requires you to take apart an unfamiliar word to decode its meaning. After that, you can visit our website to take thousands of free TEAS vocabulary practice tests

Question: Jasmine’s primary physician recommended that she get a second opinion on her condition from a hematologist. Jasmine likely has a condition related to which of the following disease?

(A) Lungs

(B) Liver

(C) Hands

(D) Blood

Answer:

Step 1: This question inquires as to why someone might consult a hematologist. Different areas of the body are represented by the answer options. This area of expertise can be identified by taking the word “hematologist” apart into its components

Step 2: The root of the word “hematologist” is hemato-, which has to do with blood. Hemoglobin, a crucial part of blood, is another word with this root. The suffix -ologist implies someone who studies something. As a result, a “hematologist” is one who studies or specializes in blood conditions.

Step 3: The prediction matches the answer choice (C). The other choices are all about different parts of the body.

Conclusion

The Vocabulary questions on the ATI TEAS test assess your knowledge of words that may be used in news articles, medical journals, and even novels. There are many ways to learn the ATI TEAS vocabulary. Reading for pleasure can help you expand your vocabulary, especially if you read a variety of nonfiction subjects as well as fiction. Read all of the study materials for the ATI TEAS test and pay close attention to the phrasing in the given sentences. Brush up on basic TEAS reading vocabulary and synonyms, with a focus on medical terms and commonly confused words. You can study ATI Teas English & Language Usage Vocabulary with our TEAS Practice Test Free