High School Vocabulary in Context Worksheets

Students writing in classroom
Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images

One of the skills tested most frequently on standardized tests from the PSAT to the ACT is reading comprehension. Many people focus on reading skills like finding the main idea, determining author's purpose and making inferences when they practice for their tests, assuming that the vocabulary in context questions will be a breeze. Vocab in context questions can be tricky, though, especially if you haven't prepared! 

Why Context Is Important

Guessing a vocab word on a standardized test will almost always garner an incorrect answer because test prep writers use vocabulary words in different ways according to the context. 

For example, the word "striking" seems pretty straightforward, right? If a friend asked you, "What does 'striking' mean?" You might say, something like "hitting" or "beating" as in the instance of lightning striking. However, in other situations, the word can mean killing. Or missing the ball with your bat. It can also mean beautiful "What a striking sunset!" or that you're heading somewhere "We were striking out for the Great Plains and nothing was going to stop us." If you answer the question without context, you may miss out on some test points.


Before you take your next standardized exam, master, a few of this vocabulary in context worksheets. Teachers, feel free to use the free pdf files in your classroom for test prep practice or quick, easy substitute lesson plans. 

Vocabulary in Context Worksheet 1

Getty Images | Jan Bruggeman

Reading Selection: An excerpt from "The Boarded Window". “It was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on April 12th, 1891; Bierce made some revisions before including it in Tales of Soldiers and Civilians in 1892.

Author: Ambrose Bierce

Genre: Short story

Length: 581 words

Number of Questions: 5 multiple-choice questions

Vocabulary Words: indigence, suffered, traversing, lusterless, retained

Vocabulary in Context Worksheet 2

Getty Images | Serge

Reading Selection: An excerpt from "The Necklace". "The Necklace" or "The Diamond Necklace" as written by some, was first published on February 17, 1884, in the French newspaper Le Gaulois.The story has become one of Maupassant's popular works and is well known for its ending. It is also the inspiration for Henry James's short story, "Paste".

Author: Guy de Maupassant

Genre: Short Story

Length: 882 words

Number of Questions: 5 multiple-choice questions

Vocabulary Words: blundered, mean, gallantries, exultant, select

Reading on Standardized Tests

 Wondering what the reading comprehension sections will look like on various standardized exams? Here are a few from some of the most popular standardized tests with information about the skills and content you should know before you test. Enjoy!

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "High School Vocabulary in Context Worksheets." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/high-school-vocabulary-in-context-worksheets-3211567. Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 27). High School Vocabulary in Context Worksheets. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/high-school-vocabulary-in-context-worksheets-3211567 Roell, Kelly. "High School Vocabulary in Context Worksheets." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/high-school-vocabulary-in-context-worksheets-3211567 (accessed June 6, 2023).