These questions ask you to identify the meansings of individual words and phrases as they are used in the reading passage (a word might have more than one meaning, but in the reading pasage, only one of those meanings is relevant.) Vocabulary is chosen as it actually occurs in the passage. There is no "list of words" that must be tested. Usually a word or phrase is chosen to be tested as a vocabulary item because understanding that word or phrase is important to understanding a large or important part of the passage. On the TOEFL iBT, words in the passage that are unusual, technical or have special meanings in the context of the topic are defined for you. If you click on the word in the passage, a definition will appear in a box. Naturally, words that are tested as vocabulary questions are not defined for you.
How to Recognize Vocabulary Questions
Vocabulary questions are usually easy to identify. You will se one word or phrase highlighted in the passage. You are then asked a question like this:
The word X in the passage is closest in meaning to
In the case of a phrase, the question might be:
In stating X, the author means that
Tips for Vocabulary Questions
1. Remember that the question is not just asking the meaning of a word; it is asking for the meaning as it is used in the passage. Do not just choose an answer just because it can be a correct meaning of the word; understand which meaning the author is using in the passage.
2. Reread the sentence in the passage, substituting the word or phrase you have chosen. Confirm that the sentence still makes sense in the context of the whole passage.
Passage Excerpt: "In the animal world the task of moving about is fulfilled in many way. For some animals locomotion is accomplishe by changes in body shape..."
The word "locomotion" in the passage is closes in meaning to:
I think the right answer is movement