– In most international certification exams, one of the reasons that make candidates most concerned is vocabulary. Let review the 200 most difficult words in the ACT test through this article.

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Why do ACT vocabulary struggle for candidates?

In order to be able to control the test time well, you should have a good grasp of the vocabulary so that you can quickly read and understand the orders of the test and present your expression on the right topic and get full marks. But not many candidates find it easy to improve ACT vocabulary, why is that?

Unlike international foreign language certificates such as IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL, etc. ACT academic certificate is a prerequisite for admission to US universities. Although you already have basic English, practicing the ACT often causes you difficulties such as:

  • Large vocabulary: Just cultivating basic vocabulary for common communication is not enough for you to take the ACT. ACT vocabulary is both large and academic, making it difficult for candidates to apply in practice and easy to forget if not regularly fostered.
  • Vocabulary must come with context: Although the ACT tests only moderate to difficult vocabulary, knowing only the general meaning of words is not enough. The ACT requires candidates to have a clear understanding of what context, vocabulary will mean and how relevant. In addition, the ACT also tests the candidate’s language ability through idioms, so candidates are always in a difficult situation when learning the ACT’s large number of words that are both multi-sense and multilingual.

So what are the 200 most difficult words in the ACT test that confuse many test-takers?

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200 most difficult words in the ACT test

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  1. abbreviate (v): shorten, abridge
  2. abstinence (n): act of refraining from
  3. adhere (v): to stick to a surface or substance [or] to follow a practice or belief
  4. adulation (n): high praise
  5. aesthetic (adj): pertaining to beauty
  6. amicable (adj): agreeable
  7. anachronistic (adj): out-of-date
  8. anecdote (v): short account of event
  9. anonymous (adj): nameless
  10. antagonist (n): opponent
  11. anticipate (v): to regard as probable [or] to expect or predict
  12. arid (adj): extremely dry
  13. assiduous (adj): hard-working
  14. asylum (adj): sanctuary
  15. benevolent (adj): friendly, helpful
  16. camaraderie (n): trust among friends
  17. censure (n): to criticize harshly
  18. characteristic (adj): a special quality of a person, thing, or group
  19. circuitous (adj): indirect, roundabout
  20. clairvoyant (n): able to see the future
  21. collaborate (v): to work together
  22. compromise (v): to settle differences
  23. condescending (adj): patronizing
  24. conditional (adj): provisional, contingent
  25. conformist (n): follower of customs
  26. convergence (n): joining of parts
  27. critical (adj): expressing criticism or disapproval
  28. deleterious (adj): harmful
  29. demagogue (n): rabble-rousing leader
  30. differentiate (v): to recognize what makes someone or something different
  31. digression (n): straying from main point
  32. diligent (adj): hard-working
  33. disdain to regard with scorn
  34. divergent (adj): variant, moving apart
  35. empathy (n): sharing of feelings
  36. emulate (v): follow an example
  37. enervating (adj): tiring, weakening
  38. ephemeral (adj): momentary, fleeting
  39. evanescent (adj): short-lived, as an image
  40. exemplary (adj): outstanding
  41. extenuating (adj): guilt diminishing
  42. florid (adj): flushed, ornate
  43. fortuitous (adj): lucky
  44. frugal (adj): thrifty
  45. glaring (adj): giving or reflecting a strong light, very obvious or conspicuous
  46. hackneyed (adj): overused, cliched
  47. haughty (adj): arrogant, condescending
  48. hedonist (n): pleasure seeker
  49. hypothesis (n): theory requiring proof
  50. impetuous (adj): rash, impulsive
  51. impute to attribute to someone
  52. incompatible (adj): unable to work together
  53. inconsequential (adj): trivial
  54. inevitable (adj): unavoidable, certain
  55. intrepid (adj): fearless, adventurous
  56. intuitive (adj): instinctive, untaught
  57. jubilation (n): joy, exultation
  58. justify (v): to show or prove to be right
  59. lobbyist (n): persuader of legislators
  60. longevity (n): long life
  61. mundane (adj): ordinary, common
  62. nonchalant (adj): calm, casual
  63. novice (n): beginner
  64. omit (v): to intentionally leave something or someone out
  65. opulent (adj): wealthy
  66. orator (n): speaker
  67. ostentatious (adj): displaying wealth
  68. parched (adj): dried up
  69. perfidious (adj): disloyal
  70. precocious (adj): talented beyond one’s age
  71. pretentious (adj): pompous, self-important
  72. prosaic (adj): run-of-the-mill
  73. provocative (adj): inflammatory
  74. prudent (adj): wise, careful, cautious
  75. querulous (adj): irritable
  76. rancorous (adj): hateful
  77. reclusive (adj): withdrawn, hermit-like
  78. reconciliation (n): agreement after a quarrel
  79. redundant (adj): no longer useful
  80. relevant (adj): appropriate to the matter at hand
  81. renovation (n): state of being renewed
  82. resilient (adj): quick to recover
  83. restrained (adj): controlled, restricted
  84. reverence (n): profound respect
  85. sagacity (n): wisdom
  86. scrutinize (v): to observe carefully
  87. spontaneity (n): impulsive action
  88. spurious (adj): phony, false
  89. substantiate (v): to verify, confirm
  90. superficial (adj): lacking in depth
  91. superfluous (adj): more than enough
  92. surreptitious (adj): secret, stealthy
  93. tactful (adj): diplomatic, polite
  94. tenacious (adj): persistent, resolute
  95. transient (adj): temporary, fleeting
  96. trivial (adj): of small value or importance
  97. uniform (n): not changing in form or character
  98. venerable (adj): respectable due to age
  99. vindicate (v): to clear from blame
  100. wary (adj): watchful, alert
  101. infer (v): deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from clear statements (inference)
  102. integrate (v): combine one thing with another so that they become a whole
  103. intuition (n): the ability to understand something immediately, a ‘gut feeling’
  104. lack (v): be without or deficient in
  105. latent (adj): existing but not yet developed or obvious; hidden; concealed
  106. lethargic (adj): sluggish and apathetic
  107. mere (adj): used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is
  108. minute (adj): extremely small (pronounced MY-noot)
  109. mishap (n): an unlucky accident
  110. nostalgia (n): a sentimental longing or affection for the past
  111. notion (n): a conception of or belief about something
  112. obsolete (adj): no longer produced or used; out of date
  113. obstruct (v): to be or get in the way of; prevent; hinder
  114. omit (v): leave out or exclude (someone or something), either intentionally or forgetfully
  115. orient (v): align or position something relative to a known point or landmark
  116. paradox (n): an idea that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises
  117. perpetual (adj): occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted
  118. ponder (v): think about something carefully
  119. potent (adj): having great power, influence, or effect
  120. precede (v): (1) come before (something) in time (2) come before in order or
  121. position* (preceding)
  122. predate (v): exist or occur at a date earlier than something
  123. principle (n): a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior
  124. proficient (adj): competent or skilled in doing or using something
  125. profound (adj): (1) very great or intense* (2). having or showing great knowledge or insight
  126. pungent (adj): having an intensely strong taste or smell
  127. redundant (adj): not or no longer needed or useful
  128. relevant (adj): closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand (antonym: irrelevant)
  129. resent (v): feel bitterness or slight anger at a circumstance, action, or person
  130. rudimentary (adj): 1. involving or limited to basic principles 2. of or relating to an immature, undeveloped, or basic form*
  131. sensory (adj): of or relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses
  132. skeptical (adj): not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations
  133. solemn (adj): formal and dignified; serious
  134. static (adj): lacking in movement, action, or change
  135. superlative (adj): of the highest quality or degree
  136. sustainable (adj): (1) able to be maintained at a certain rate or level (2) conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources*
  137. trait (n): a distinguishing quality or characteristic
  138. trivial (adj): of little value or importance
  139. (un)realized (adj): give actual or physical form to (unrealized: not given form to, such as ‘unrealized plans’ to have a picnic on a rainy day)
  140. void (n): a completely empty space
  141. wholly (adv): entirely; fully
  142. abundant (adj):  existing or available in large quantities; plentiful
  143. altitude (n): the height of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level
  144. attribute (n): a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something
  145. characteristic (adj): typical of a particular person, place, or thing
  146. combustion (n): the process of burning something
  147. conduct(ivity) (v): transmit a form of energy such as heat or electricity (conductivity: the effectiveness of a material at conducting energy)
  148. correspond (v): have a close similarity; match or agree almost exactly
  149. decelerate (v): reduce the speed of; lose velocity; move more slowly
  150. deposition (n): the process of some substance being naturally deposited somewhere
  151. distinguish (v): recognize or treat (someone or something) as different
  152. efficient (adj):  being effective without wasting time or effort or expense; able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively
  153. emit (v): give off, send forth, or discharge; as of light, heat, or radiation, vapor, etc.
  154. erode (v): remove soil or rock; become ground down or deteriorate
  155. evolution (n): a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)
  156. exert (v): put to use; make a great effort at a mental or physical task
  157. exhibit (v): show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill; to show, make visible or apparent
  158. fuse (v): mix together different elements; join 
  159. gauge (v): measure precisely and against a standard; determine the capacity, volume, or contents of by measurement and calculation
  160. given (adj): specified or stated: Students’ understanding of any given topic.
  161. hypothesis (n): a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet
  162. verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena
  163. incremental (adj): increasing gradually by regular degrees or additions
  164. intact (adj): undamaged in any way; whole
  165. interval (n): the distance between things; a definite length of time marked off by two instants
  166. larvae (n): the active immature form of an insect, especially one that differs greatly from the adult and forms the stage between egg and pupa, e.g., a caterpillar or grub.
  167. latter (n): the second of two or the second mentioned of two
  168. mass (n): the quantity of matter that something contains
  169. maturation (n): coming to full development; becoming mature
  170. onset (n): the beginning or early stages
  171. precipitation (n): the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
  172. prolong (v): lengthen or extend in duration or space directly proportional
  173. prolong (adj): inversely proportional
  174. prolong (adj): a relationship between two connected amounts, factors or quantities in which an increase in one causes a decrease in the other
  175. residual (adj): relating to or indicating a remainder; something left after other parts have been taken away
  176. solution (n): a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances; frequently (but not necessarily) a liquid solution
  177. substrate (n): any substance or layer lying underneath another; a surface on which an organism grows or is attached; the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment
  178. trial (n): a specific experiment or set of experiments within a larger context
  179. uniform (adj): evenly spaced; always the same; showing a single form or character in all occurrences
  180. variable (n): in an experiment: an element, feature, or factor that is changed within the experiment to determine its effects
  181. devoid (adj): entirely lacking or free from
  182. diffuse (adj): spread out over a large area; not concentrated
  183. digress (v): leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing 
  184. diminish (v): make or become less
  185. discrepancy (n): a lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts
  186. (dis)inclined (adj): willing or positive about an action, belief, or attitude (disinclined: unwilling or negative about something)
  187. dismay (v): consternation and distress, typically that caused by something unexpected
  188. disposition (n): (1) a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character* (2) an inclination or tendency
  189. dynamic (adj): characterized by constant change, activity, or progress
  190. eclipse (n): a loss of significance, power, or prominence in relation to another person or thing
  191. emerge (v): become apparent, important, or prominent
  192. eminent (adj): famous and respected within a particular sphere or profession
  193. engage (v): (1) occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention) (2) (engage someone in) cause someone to become involved in (a conversation or discussion) (3) (engage in) participate or become involved in*
  194. engross (v): absorb all the attention or interest of
  195. ethereal (adj): extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world
  196. evolve (v): develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form
  197. exploit (v): (1) make full use of and derive benefit from* (2) use a situation or person in an unfair or selfish way
  198. facilitate (v): make an action or process easy or easier
  199. feign (v): pretend to be affected by a feeling, state, or injury
  200. fleeting (adj): lasting for a very short time
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