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Vocab Wednesday: Words from Newly Released ETS Material

Just last week ETS—the writers of the GRE—released a new on-line paper-test (pardon the oxymoron). That equals 100 new questions: 50 verbal and 50 quantitative.

In honor of the new test, I went through and picked out vocabulary that were part of the questions. I also highlighted—as you can see below—vocabulary words from the test that have also appeared on Magoosh’s past weekly vocab posts!

We’re pretty excited that we were able to “predict” the words so well, so that definitely means you should check in every Wednesday for new words we post since you may just see them on test day! 🙂

Vocab Wednesday words that were on the new test


















Words for this week


In the early stages, just beginning.

According to the pundit, the nascent economic reforms have only begun to affect the private sector; a measurable improvement may still be as much as a year off.



(second definition) n. adaptable, capable of change, not fixed.

Because the brain is plastic, many who suffer severe head trauma are able to recover without losing the ability to go about their daily lives unencumbered.



Looking down at someone scornfully.

An easy way to invite contemptuous sneers is to waltz through the mall dressed in last decade’s fashion.



To irritate or annoy.

Nettles are small prickly plants, which prick the unsuspecting; having to pull out the little thorns, the victim is most likely nettled.



Sharpness, cleverness; keen judgment.

Chester lacked the necessary financial acumen to make savvy investments; often he would jump on the bandwagon only to buy a stock that was already overly inflated.



Not skillful; clumsy, bungling.

Mark played videos games as though he had two left hands; so maladroit was he that as a child he never progressed beyond the first level of Super Mario Brothers.



Everywhere, universal.

Globally, Starbucks are ubiquitous; even along China’s redoubtable Great Wall, , there is rumored to be a Starbucks or two.



A beneficial thing.

Having an on-line dictionary with copious example sentences is a boon for those studying for the GRE.



Criticized harshly.

No matter how mercilessly a Sci-Fi movie is panned by the critics, Charles will always attend opening night; so unflinching is his devotion to the genre.



Never ending.

The 20-mile hiker to the summit seemed interminable for the fatigued hikers, who opted to camp at the base of the mountain and press on in the morning.


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

17 Responses to Vocab Wednesday: Words from Newly Released ETS Material

  1. Mimi May 24, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Hello Chris, I am studying for the GRE and will take it approximately 3 months from now. I have just started preparing and have absolutely no math or verbal skills. I plan on using Magoosh to help me prepare. Can you please direct me to a really good word list I can use to study? Throughout the site I have just seen too many sources listed and just want to narrow my choices down to one good list I can study from. Thank you.

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel May 24, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      Hi Mimi!

      Great question. Here’s our Vocabulary eBook, which includes our recommended strategy for learning and remembering vocabulary words, word lists, and resources for finding more words to learn in context:

      Other than that, I’d recommend Barron’s 1100 Words You Need to Know. It’s a great resource!

      Happy studying,

  2. Aditi August 2, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I have been preparing for exam since last one and half month. I am doing fine in quants but verbal section is nettling me. I am from India so my vocab is kind of medium. Can you suggest any website where i can get sentences for words.
    I understand that preparing your own sentences is good practice and helps you retain the word for more time but i think sometimes with difficult words it is better to have some examples in front of you before trying your own sentences.

  3. Shyam July 21, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    I would like to add a word – ‘Lurid’. This word was on the test last week.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Shyam,

      Do you mean this word was on the new online test?

      • Shyam July 30, 2012 at 8:39 am #

        Yes, Chris. Sorry for the late reply.

  4. Aman July 20, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Hey Chis,
    Thanks for the efforts I was thinking of noting them down on my phn …..This could prove to be handy for me

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 23, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Yes, as long as your phone has a notes section that should work well!

  5. Vikas July 20, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    just started preparing for GRE..i am from India very bad at english..Tried my best chris –

    Soccer being a ubiquitous game coach expects acumen from his players in passing and dribbling. Though learning is a interminable process coach demands nascent learning state to become plastic and acumen from maladroit.He panned players who were maladroit and nettle others while playing but usually he is always phlegmatic. Finally soccer is the boon to the people who are solicitous about their health.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 23, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Good job Vikas :).

      While not every word was used perfectly, you definitely get the general sense of each word and that will help you test day (BTW most native speakers struggle using these words correctly).

  6. Akki July 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Thank you so much Chris.Are all the words that you discuss in Vocab Wednesday present in the practice question of Magoosh?I was thinking of going through all the words present in practice test.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      Many of the words from vocab Wed. make it into Magoosh practice questions. There are still hundreds and hundreds of other Magoosh words that still have not made it onto the list. Maybe soon :).

  7. Len July 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Thanks for comparing the new ETS test with past Magoosh vocab lists, keep up the good work!

    Here is a practice paragraph using the words of the week:
    The contemptuous businessman nettled his employees because of his maladroit managerial skills. The boss had recently developed a marketing campaign that he thought would give the company a boon in profits, however his plan panned in the nascent stages since the public found the new ads offensive. Instead of being plastic and altering the offensive material in the ads the boss, lacking public relations acumen, decided to ubiquitously publish the unmodified ads on bus stops, magazines, and online. His disgruntled employees really hope that the interminable delude of complain letters begins to desiccate soon.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      I really like your flair with the vocab words :).

      I think the word ‘panned’ isn’t used correctly. Otherwise, the rest is perfect :).

    • Alok July 21, 2012 at 7:53 am #

      Hello Len,

      Clever way to use new words. Amused.

      However I think you meant ‘deluge’ in the place of ‘delude’.

      Also there should be a comma after ‘in the ads’ in the penultimate sentence.

      And yeah as Chris pointed out ‘panned’ cannot be used there. Instead you can

      use ‘drew flak from the employees and public alike in the nascent stages since the

      new ads were blatantly offensive’.

      • Chris Lele
        Chris July 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

        Thanks for noticing those typos :).

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