Can You Pass This AP English Test Prep Quiz?


By: Elizabeth Lavis

6 Min Quiz

Image: PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We use the English language every day, but how many of us really know how to use it with the flair of a master wordsmith?

It takes a lot of skill to make your words sing, so we've peppered this quiz with some of the toughest AP vocabulary, plus grammar questions that will make you wish that you had paid attention in the tenth grade. If you think you can string a sentence together seamlessly and know the difference between an adverb and a metaphor, try your hand at this nerdy but super fun English Test Prep Quiz!

We've also included some words that have gone out of style, but we totally hope that they will come back into fashion. By the end of this quiz, you will have been able to add a few new amazing words to your vocabulary arsenal. Break them out at your next party. We promise it will be fun, and you'll get to impress everyone with your staggering and sophisticated understanding of the English language.

If you think you remember AP English and that your vocab and grammar are on point, it's time to show us what you've got. Get ready, English nerds; we're going back to school!

This term is used to describe a body of water with no current or flow. What is it?

Stagnant water has no flow or current and often develops pond-like symptoms like underwater growth and a muddy appearance. It can also refer to the air in a stuffy, confined space.


When you don't reveal your identity, you are going what?

Going incognito means that you are being totally anonymous. This spy term has gone far out of the James Bond world to mean anonymity or using VPNs online and is largely used in that context.


Speaking of water, what do we call a powerful, spinning current?

If you see a vortex of water, it is in your best interest to stay far away from it. Vortexes are tiny whirlpools that can drag you under the water in a lightning-quick blink of an eye.


What is another word for hostile behavior?

Hostile behavior is also referred to as belligerence. If someone is exhibiting belligerence, we refer to them as being belligerent, hostile or otherwise very unpleasant to be around.


Whoa! Didn't that happen before? What's the term for thinking you've had an experience before?

If you have ever felt as if you've experienced something before when you know you haven't, you're enjoying a strange sensation called "deja vu." This feeling is common but hard to explain.


"Mary and her sister sarah thoroughly enjoyed the cool airconditioned sanctuary of the movie theater." What is wrong with this sentence?

"Sarah" needs to be capitalized because it is a proper noun. All names of people or places need to be capitalized regardless of whether they occur at the beginning of the sentence or not.


It's the word for something that is not well-known, or vague. What is it?

We generally use the word "obscure" to refer to something that is not well known, like an obscure band that only you and your friends know about. It can also be used as a synonym for "vague."


Oops! You made a social gaffe. What's this other word for it?

It happens all the time to even the most well-intentioned people. Faux pas are little social missteps that we make without thinking and wind up apologizing for in order to be forgiven.


"I closed the windows against the incoming tempest." Why did I close the windows?

"Tempest" is another word for a strong storm, and if one is coming, you would be wise to shut the windows against it. It can also be used to describe someone with a stormy type of personality.


"Don't talk to Aaron today. He's quite incensed." Why should we avoid Aaron?

"Incensed" is a synonym for "angry". If Aaron is incensed, he is extremely angry and it is best to avoid interacting with him. Like many words for anger, "incensed" references smoke or fire.


It's an "aha moment" where it all comes together. What is it?

Epiphanies are usually what precedes a burst of brilliance; whether it's an idea that will change the world, a realization about one's own life, or a breakthrough to a stubborn problem.


It pertains to movement in the Earth's crust. What's the word?

Tectonic activity refers to movement in the Earth's crust. Our continents sit on a series of tectonic plates, and when they shift, we get natural events like tsunamis and earthquakes.


Looking for somewhere zen? This term means peaceful and calm. What is it?

If you're looking for a quiet place where a softly falling waterfall is the only sound, you're looking for an idyllic paradise. This word is the perfect term for those quiet, restorative places.


When there's a lot of loud, clashing sounds, we call it this term. What is it?

When you're trapped in a room with a bunch of sounds that are all clashing together, you are stuck inside of a cacophony of clashing sounds. It's all a little headache-inducing, isn't it?


If you're losing interest in something or everything, you're expressing which quality?

Apathy is usually a term that is applied to teenagers who show little or no interest in anything, but it can be used to talk about anyone who is acting disinterested in something.


You're babbling about nothing important. What word can we use to describe you?

When someone is talking seemingly to fill the air with mindless chatter, we consider them to be loquacious. It's almost the opposite of stoic and usually associated with frivolity.


Fake courage is a real thing. What's the term for it?

If you don't actually have courage, but you really wish that you did (or are trying to play as if you did), you are exhibiting bravado. Bravado is a show of fake courage put on for show.


It's a gorgeous cat that lives in primarily cold climates. What's the term?

Lynxes are a breed of large cats that live on almost every northern continent. They are medium-sized predators that are distinguished by their large, very furry ears and thick coats.


These sorts of societies live off the land. What are they called?

The term "agrarian" has "agriculture" built right into it, so it's easy to remember that it refers to societies that live off the land and utilize farming as a main source of food and income.


What is the object of a sentence?

There are two important parts of a sentence; the subject and the object. The subject is the hero of the sentence, and the object is at the whim of what the subject is doing at the time.


If you are shrewd, you are exhibiting a lot of this quality. What is it?

If you have a high amount of acumen, you are able to make intelligent and informed decisions quickly. People who are shrewd have this quality in bulk and often use it to their advantage.


This word means a fear of foreigners. What is it?

If you have a fear of foreigners, you have xenophobia. We call people who exhibit these traits xenophobic, or xenophobes. Xeno is the Greek word for "stranger," and phobia is the Greek word for "fear."


If something doesn't have any matter, we refer to it by this term. What is it?

If something doesn't have any matter, we refer to it as vacuous. This term is usually used in the scientific community, but it can also be applied to people who are shallow or vain.


"Alan's placid demeanor served him well in stressful situations." Which option would not describe Alan?

If Alan has a placid demeanor, he is able to stay calm under pressure. People who share this quality tend to do very well and think clearly in situations that are extremely stressful.


Do you have a bad disposition? We call you this word. What is it?

Churlish is a descriptive phrase for someone who has a sour, or a bad disposition. It's not a very popular word in our lexicon, but it did have its heyday a few decades ago and it's time for a comeback!


This "play on words" is often used as a brand of humor. What is it?

Puns, or play on words, are humor devices that rely on double entendre or similar sounding words to make jokes. They are a popular comedic device for different types of performers.


Defined by its flora and fauna, this word encapsulates a part of our world. What is it?

Biomes are combinations of flora and fauna. They are used to differentiate between certain areas of our world. For example, there are arctic, tundra and taiga biomes, just to name a few.


"Angela has to wake up early, she can't meet you out at the party." How can you fix this sentence so it's more grammatically correct?

When you have two independent clauses that could technically stand on their own, you need to use a semicolon to separate them. Alternately, you could separate them into two sentences.


If a group has dominance over another, it has what word?

Hegemonies are groups that have demonstrable power over other groups. It's usually used in the context of how countries relate to each other. Hegemonic countries are "superpowers."


This word means optimistic and cheerful. What is it?

Sanguine personalities are those who delight in being optimistic and cheerful. These people always see the glass as being half-full and they exude sunshine wherever they tend to go.


If one completely rejects institutions and authority, they are exhibiting this quality. What is it?

Nihilism is the practice of rejecting institutions and authority and is often associated with the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It is commonly associated with anarchy, although the two aren't technically the same.


"Bella and Brian are self starters who like to get work done quickly." Which sentence rewrite makes it correct?

Terms like "self-starter" require a hyphen. In fact, most terms that start with "self" need a hyphen to be grammatically correct. Similarly, "ex" is almost always followed by a hyphen.


When you toss an object in the air and it makes a curve coming down, we call it which term?

We usually think of parabolas as they relate to graphs, but parabolas can be created simply by tossing a ball in the air and watching it come down in a curve. How do you like that math?


A political system run by a few is referred to by what term?

An oligarchy is a political system where the government and laws are controlled by a few powerful people, instead of many people, which is how things are supposed to work in a democracy.


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