Research and Scientific Words Quiz

Practice these important research and scientific words (studied in issues 9 and 10 of English Detective) by choosing the right word in each of the following exercises.  (if you would rather work from a printed copy, click here for the pdf version of this quiz (slightly different, due to the requirements of the interactive gap-fill) and its answers.

Odd One Out (Find the Antonym)

scientific equipment including a microscope and a test tube

This is actually a group game, but you can play it by yourself. The usual rules are to decide which one of four words is odd or different from the others and explain why. (The game is often made more complicated because there are several possible ways to decide which three fit together in a category.

For example, if the words are strawberry, lemon, apple, and sweet potato, you could say lemon is the odd one because the others are sweet. Someone else might choose sweet potato, because the others are fruits. It’s valuable English practice to have to think about and explain different possible categories.)

For this quiz, the game is simple. Each group has three synonyms with similar meanings and one antonym (a meaning that is the opposite or close to opposite of the others.) So choose the antonym as the odd one to take out of the group.

1. acknowledge, confess, deny, admit

2. notice, focus on, pay attention to, ignore

3. indicate, conceal, show, point out

4. instruct, teach, learn, educate

5. presume, verify, investigate, examine

6. criticize, promote, oppose, undermine

7. quote, paraphrase, reword, restate 

8. restore, destroy, rebuild, update

9. undergo, avoid, miss, escape

10.knowledgeable, informed, aware, ignorant

11.participating, engaged, observing, involved, childish, full-grown, mature

13.voluntary, optional, required, elective

14.odd, normal, unusual, strange

15.random, chance, planned, unpredictable

16.temporary, permanent, lasting, enduring

17.primary, secondary, principal, first

18.relevant, connected, topical, unrelated

19.subsequently, initially, previously, beforehand

20.outcome, result, input, product

Scientific Words Gap-fill

Instructions: Fill in the gaps (blanks) with the words above the paragraphs. Use the sample paragraph below as an example. (If you need help, you can click on the question mark (?) to get the first letter of the word, but it will take away points.) Click "check" when you are done.


arbitrary, formulas, grade, participation, principles

Some instructors have complicated formulas for deciding on the grades they will give each student. They may give 10% credit for class participation, 15% for homework completion, 25% for a research paper, 25% for periodic quizzes and tests, and 25% for the final exam. In the U.S. students expect grading to be based on fixed  principles,  not on a teacher’s personal feelings about a student or some other arbitrary standard.

Now You Try It:

                          acknowledge, commitments, implications, indicated, outcomes, predictions, rational, validity, whereby

Some of the most famous experiments studying willpower used marshmallows. A researcher would offer a child a marshmallow, and then tell the child that he or she would get a second marshmallow as well by waiting until the researcher returned before eating it. The marshmallow was just a means scientists could measure the child’s self control.

The marshmallow studies were especially interesting because the researchers followed a large number of participants’ lives for years after the marshmallow test. This enabled the scientists to collect enough data to draw some conclusions. The of these experiments matched some peoples’ : children who displayed the most willpower during the experiment turned out to be successful more often as adults than the children who ate the marshmallows right away. The of the study are that finding ways to increase willpower will provide long-term benefits both to individuals and to society.

Some critics of these experiments have a problem with them, though. The test measures not only self-control, but also trust. Eating the marshmallow immediately is a response for children from backgrounds in which the adults around them often do not keep their or are unable to meet their needs. They may fear that if they wait, they will end up losing BOTH marshmallows. Such critics often the value of willpower but question the of this way to test for it, especially among “disadvantaged” children who may have valid reasons to distrust the adults in their lives.

Odd One Out Answers

  1. deny
  2. ignore
  3. conceal
  4. learn
  5. presume
  6. promote
  7. quote
  8. destroy
  9. undergo
  10. ignorant
  11. observing
  12. childish
  13. required
  14. normal
  15. planned
  16. temporary
  17. secondary
  18. unrelated
  19. subsequently
  20. input

(For more information or other similar games to practice word groupings and synonyms, see Odd One Out.)

If you would like more practice with these words, try  the Brain Research Crossword and its Answers.

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